My Time on the Desert Island…

Last Thursday FM94.9 played my desert island discs. It was very cool to hear tracks from some of my favorite albums played over the airwaves. It was no easy task picking those albums, though. The rules stipulate that you can only take three pieces of vinyl (the FM94.9 website says CDs but if I am trapped on an island, I am going old school), so I had to choose wisely. I figured that each selection had to do something for me–emotionally, spiritually, or maybe, if it made me want to move, physically. Putting together my list was quite the mental exercise. Don’t know about you, but my brain needs all the stimulation it can get, so that aspect was definitely a plus.

Hilary, FM94.9’s midday DJ extraordinaire, picked great songs from each of my albums. I thought I’d share which cuts she chose, and why I selected the album in the first place.

The ClashLondon Calling.

Song played: Guns of Brixton.

It almost felt like cheating to pick this album. First, it contains 19 songs which by today’s standards is a lot. Second, there is enough variety in the style and sound of the songs to make it practically impossible to tire of. And third, the lyrical content is supreme. No, really, it is. The topics explored aren’t necessarily those that make you want to jump up and dance, but, if you are really listening, these lyrics will make you think. The subject matter is as relevant today as it was back in 1979, when the album was first released. I chose London Calling to keep my brain active while I am on the island.

The WaterboysThis is the Sea.

Song played: This is the Sea

If I were only allowed to bring one album, this would be it. I won’t go into too many details, but I will say that This is the Sea is full of material that fills, and feeds, my soul. And, each time I listen to it, I get to visit with my dad, which alone makes it desert island worthy. Like London Calling, there isn’t a bad track on This is the Sea. Mike Scott, in my opinion, is a musical genius. A highly underrated and under appreciated one, but a genius nonetheless.

My third choice?

R.E.M.Murmur.

Song played: Sitting Still

I could go on and on about the artistic merits of Murmur. It is after all included in RollingStone Magazine’s 500 Greatest Albums list, but I won’t bother getting into all of that. If I am on the island, by myself, what do I need to survive? Water (duh), but other than that, I need something to live for. Something that will keep me emotionally strong. I have to be reminded of home. Listening to R.E.M. always takes me back to Georgia. Always reminds me of people and places I love. People and places, that as corny as it might sound, are an integral part of who I am. So, heck yes, Murmur has a spot right next to the sunblock.

Which three albums are you bringing to the desert island? Or, if music isn’t your thing, what would you take?

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10 responses

  1. Jenniefer… I love this exercise but I also find it so difficult because the finals cuts are nearly impossible. I propose to be stranded on your desert island so that we could have 6 albums! Your choices are all extraordinary selections and all have enduring meaning to me as well. I will come back to this post this afternoon with my 3… need some time to think and maybe soul search. 🙂

      • This has been hard, but if I were to get stranded today, these are the three albums I would want with me (note: I didn’t want to cheat and choose any greatest hits, etc. but I had to choose 2 live albums because these two bands sound such much better live than in studio.)

        1. The Cure – Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me. This is the one that will get me moving or brooding depending on the song. But, it will also bring back many memories of dancing during the college daze.

        2. Dire Straits – Alchemy. Incredible Live set of my favorite living guitarist, Mark Knopfler. It is a bonus that the songs are long with amazing jams and solos. This is the one I would want when I feel like closing my eyes and being carried away to a different place. (If choosing a live album which includes songs from multiple albums breaks an unwritten rule… then I would select “Making Movies.”)

        3. Dave Matthews Band – Live at Red Rocks 1995. I could never, ever tire of listening to DMB live and imagining being there in the Red Rocks amphitheater on that special evening would sustain me for great stretches of time. I would need this album to get my horns fix. DMB also reminds me of 3 great years in Athens during law school in 1993-96 when we would go see them at the Ga. Theater for free since my rugby teammate worked the door. In fact, I am taking my wife to Charleston in November to see DMB for her birthday.

        And Debbie… I would sneak a few books as well. What are your three books?

      • Love your list! So glad you included why you made each selection!

        The Cure always makes me think of college as well. And Dire Straits is another of my dad’s favorites, which makes them special to me, so I applaud that choice as well. Romeo and Juliet makes me weepy though, so I’ll have move to the other side of the island when that track comes on.

  2. i loved playing your albums and getting to pick the songs was a thrill! your choices were so great, my program director garett and i were in heaven. i don’t think i could narrow down my favorites into a top 5, let alone a top 3. i’ll get back to you on that!

  3. Not an easy one, since my musical tastes transcend CDs and albums, but I’ll bite anyway. Three that I couldn’t do without on a desert island (out of many, many choices):

    Brothers In Arms – Dire Straits
    Aja – Steely Dan
    August And Everything After – Counting Crows

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