Monday, January 28, 2013

Top 25 'Stranded on an Island' Albums

So, this is my stab at the top 25 albums you would choose if you could only take 25 of them with you to an island. The idea is from my friend Willie on Facebook and has these basic rules:
A) If I were limited to 25 lps (for whatever horrific reason), which 25 would I choose?
2) For my own purposes, I limited myself to one lp from any particular artist.
d) Also, for weird integrity purposes, I didn't pick compilations. The only possible exception is the Robert Johnson, but his recordings are limited in number and usually sold as one compilation.

Based on the premise, I chose a few additional strategies for my list. First, longer albums get a bit of a bump because more music would be a better thing. Second, I tried to not pick the "25 Best Albums Ever," because many of my entries on that list are albums I've listened to so many times I would likely get bored with them if I were stuck with them on an island, so I pushed a bit for albums I might know a bit less, so that I would have a longer period of enjoyment out of them.

So here they are:
1. Prince and the Revolution, "Purple Rain." My favorite album of all time. I never get tired of it.
2. Hole, "Live Through This." Another easy selection. The songs sound as good today as they did the first time I heard it.
3. Beastie Boys, "Licensed to Ill." One of the few albums that changed my life. They have quite a few albums that have songs greater than those on this album, but there are no weak links here and I could listen to these over and over and over and over.
4. Duran Duran, "Rio." The best album by my favorite band.
5. R.E.M., "Automatic for the People." This was the title for my college newspaper column and it's a very dense, varied album with a lot to dig into.
6. De La Soul, "3 Feet High and Rising": While it doesn't have as many pure standout singles as Licensed to Ill, it's a more artistic achievement and you can literally spend years trying to figure out what all the De La slang means.
7. Green Day, "Dookie": Screw you, I like Green Day.
8. The White Stripes, "Elephant": The first seven songs on this might be the most perfect set of seven songs to start off an album. The rest isn't too bad, either.
9. Nirvana, "Incesticide": I know I'm supposed to take Nevermind, but that's my third favorite Nirvana album and I've heard In Utero enough times I'd rather take this one.
10. Stone Temple Pilots, "Purple": The perfect Pearl Jam album that Pearl Jam never made.
11. The Muffs, "Blonder and Blonder": You haven't heard of them, you should. Think Courtney Love with a punk attitude.
12. Liz Phair, "Exile in Guyville": Double-length and packed with so many things to ponder that it's a must for such a trip.
13. Soul Asylum, "Grave Dancer's Union": I like every song on this one, too.
14. U2, "Zooropa": It's not the most U2 album that U2 put out, but I think it's the best album they put out. Plus it let's me bring Johnny Cash without having to bring a country album.
15. The B-52's, "Cosmic Thing": We're on an island, we've got to have some fun, right? Plus what else would I call the hut I'm living in if not "The Love Shack."
16. The Fratellis, "Costello Music": I wanted to bring a more recent classic and what's more classic than this album,w hich is the newest on the list.
17. The Killers, "Hot Fuss": If their stuff is tailor-made to rock arenas, why wouldn't it kill on the beach as well?
18. Nine Inch Nails, "The Downward Spiral": Not the best Trent Reznor album, but long enough and good enough to get more bang for the buck.
19. Beck, "Mellow Gold": I'm going to need my mind blown if I'm stranded on and island, so here goes.
20. Marilyn Manson, "Antichrist Superstar": Another longer album that has some awesome songs and a lot of thoughtful lyrics to ponder.
21. Public Enemy, "Yo! Bum Rush the Show": PE is my favorite hip hop artist and I really could take any of their albums and I'd be happy. This one is the best balance for me of quality and "I haven't heard it too many times."
22. Weezer, "Weezer (The Blue Album)": I figure if I'm on an island that long, I'm going to be somewhat emo. What's better for that than this album?
23. Sublime, "Sublime": Pretty sure this album was made for being on an island.
24. The Clash, "London Calling": I'm sad I'm not bringing more punk, but punk songs and albums tend to be too short, this one is longer (and awesome), so it makes the list.
25. N.W.A., "Straight Outta Compton": As with being emo, I'm going to be angry a lot on the island, so I might as well get some attitude.

I totally skipped any albums by bands that I love, but that I've heard enough times that I would get bored with them, including: the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Guns N Roses.

I also decided that I would take to books with me:

"How To Turn Anything You Find On An Island Into a CD Player"

and

"1000 Ideas for Getting Off An Island After You Listen to 25 CDs"

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