I know this isn’t the most revolutionary idea for a piece, but finding out what 10 recordings they would bring if they were stranded on a deserted island shines a light on a person’s inner workings. For example, in 2004, when General Wesley Clark answered that his favorite record was Journey’s Greatest Hits, I knew that I could not support him. I know this sounds a bit superficial, but to list Journey’s Greatest Hits as your favorite…
So I have listed my Top 10, with a bonus wild card. The rules here for your list are as following.
- Cannot be a greatest hits album
- Cannot be a live album.
- Cannot be a compilation album.
- Cannot be a soundtrack album.
- No artist/group can be represented more than once.
Your choice can be a double, triple, etc. album, as long as it wasn’t a compilation. The bonus wild card album is set up for you to put something on the list that is a guilty pleasure that you would want to bring. Call it the Wesley Clark special, but this choice is designed so the cool kids around here don’t go completely Pitchfork on the list. Finally, my list is in no particular order.
Beatles White Album– Hard to top this one, as I find it superior to the more highly touted Sgt Peppers. Being a double album puts it a notch above Revolver.
Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers– While I think the Stones reach higher peaks on Let it Bleed, I’m think this is their most consistent record, with the album closing out with the haunting songs Sister Morphine, Dead Flowers, and Moonlight Mile. Bonus would be that the album cover comes with an actual zipper that might come in handy.
The Who Who’s Next– Baba O’Reilly and Won’t Get Fooled Again are 2 of the 10 greatest pure rock songs of all-time. There is absolutely no filler on this record.
Jimi Hendrix Are You Experienced?-This is easily the greatest debut recording of all-time. Give me some headphones and I think I could forget my troubles, while listening to this acid trip put to vinyl.
Led Zeppelin Physical Graffiti– While classic rock stations have burned me out on some Zeppelin tunes; this double album sounds as fresh today, as when it was released.
Queen Night at the Opera– This was the first album that ever connected with me from beginning to end and it is still influential as the latest by Muse and My Chemical Romance demonstrate. Sure the album was bombastic, but the incredible range of style and sound still is magical.
Prince Sign of the Times– Sign is a diverse collection of styles that no one else on this planet could have done. It’s hard to name a better pop song, with a dynamic social message than the title track. When I need funk or soul music, this would be my elixir.
U2 Achtung Baby– While Joshua Tree is hard to beat; the music on this 1992 release has more of an industrial feel that puts it over the top.
REM Automatic for the People– Man on the Moon is a brilliant look at people who live outside the mainstream, while Everybody Hurts and Nightswimming are the two best ballads of their career. Are they America’s greatest rock band of all-time?
Radiohead The Bends– One seamless piece of music, marrying U2 dramatics, with Beatlesque harmonies. Actually, this album reminds me some of Who’s Next, with great rock songs, High and Dry and Just, plus delicate ballads like Fake Plastic Trees and Street Spirit.
Jude Cole I Don’t Know Why I Act This Way– Power pop singer who had a couple marginal hits in the 90’s with Baby It’s Tonight and Start the Car, this was his 4th and final major label release. Great hooks as usual by Cole, but what makes this record really connect with me is how he explores the concept of failure, as he seems to understand that his career will never reach the peaks he and others might have expected. Cole now runs a record label (Rocco DeLuca, Lifehouse) which he co-owns with Keifer Sutherland. If you like roots rock/power pop music, I recommend you check out Jude Cole’s solo work.
My list seems a bit too skewed towards rock music, as no rap or country is on it. I just couldn’t see excluding any of these to put someone else on it. CCR, Stevie Wonder, David Bowie, Elvis Costello, The Clash, The Pixies, AC/DC, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, and, Michael Jackson would have been on my next 10. If the list was also based on what I might need for visual help, I would have added an Ohio Players album, just for the cover.
Now is your turn. And remember on the wild card that this is the place to list your favorite guilty pleasure.