Desert Island Singles

Not sure who is familiar with NPR’s Desert Island Discs series (you’re stuck on an island, you get 8 CDs, one book – the Bible and Shakespeare not allowed – and one modern electronic convenience), semi-famous people get interviewed for an hour and they discuss various discs they’ve chosen and play a few cuts and discuss why those songs mean so much to them.

My musical education is woefully deficient – I never heard of Led Zeppelin until I was 21 years old in 1989; I was raised on 70s soul and old country and western, which I don’t regret for a moment – but I happened across a website listing greatest songs by decade, and Can’t You See by the Marshall Tucker Band was not in the top 250 for the 70s. Now, come on…

Anyway, I got to wondering what are the singles I could never do without if I were given the chance to make the one and only CD I’d get for the rest of my life. What’s on a CD, 12-16 songs? I’ll stay within that range, and I’d be interested in what other people would absolutely have to have on theirs. No more than two songs per artist, that’s the only rule.

My list:

Can’t You See (Marshall Tucker Band)
Sweet Virginia (The Rolling Stones)
Midnight Rider (Allman Brothers Band)
Won’t Get Fooled Again (The Who)
That’s The Way Of The World (Earth Wind, and Fire)
And If I Had (Teddy Pendergrass)
You Don’t Know Me (Ray Charles)
Johnny B. Goode (Chuck Berry)
Voodoo Chile (Jimi Hendrix)
Ball Of Confusion (The Temptations)
Baby I Love You (Aretha Franklin)
You Really Got Me (The Kinks)
Fight The Power (Public Enemy)
Jambalaya (Hank Williams)
Luckenbach, Texas (Waylon Jennings)
Folsom Prison Blues (Johnny Cash)
The Night They Drove Ol’ Dixie Down (The Band)

Okay, that’s 17, but it’s a really big CD…

Pretty weird construct, given that I have an MP3 player smaller than a CD…Ok, hmm. Would it be a ‘right now’ list or a history of me list? (Erm, Kayleigh by Marillion probably wouldn’t still be on it. Or maybe it would? Evocative of THAT NIGHT!)

‘Suck’ The Wedding Present
‘Things have changed’ Bob Dylan
‘Stay Positive’ The Streets
‘Goodnight Irene’ Leadbelly
‘Sunny Afternoon’ The Kinks
‘Bone Machine’ The Pixies
‘City Hobgoblins’ The Fall
‘Black Math’ White Stripes
‘People Are Strange’ The Doors (or ‘LA Woman’?)
‘Mote’ Sonic Youth (or ‘Purr’?)
‘Peaches En Regalia’ Frank Zappa
‘Jesus Gonna Be Here’ Tom Waits
‘Kimberly’ Patti Smith (Or ‘25th Floor’?)
‘The Great Dominions’ Teardrop Explodes (or ‘Upwards at 45 degrees’ Julian Cope)
‘Waiting for my Man’ Lou Reed
‘Lucy’ Nick Cave
‘River Man’ Nick Drake
‘Sugar Spun Sister’ Stone Roses
‘Matty Groves’ Fairport Convention
‘Go Your Own Way’ Fleetwood Mac

Should prolly be some Happy Mondays, the Clash, Johnny Cash or RObert Johnson on there as well.

Oooh, my turn!

Oh my Buddha, that track by the Stone Roses you’ve picked is one of my favouritest songs ever. It’s like you’re looking into my soul, fer crise sake.

Do they have to be singles in the old 45 sense of the word, when they were the songs that got on the charts? Or do you mean single, individual songs? I last cared about the top 40 back in 1978 when I collected the weekly charts put out by CKOC in Hamilton, Ontario, so I’ll go with the second sense:

“There’s Good Cud,” Cardiacs
“A Day in the Life,” Beatles
“Accept Yourself,” Smiths
“Mersey Paradise,” Stone Roses
(not trying to curry favour with the “northerners” on Forumosa, the harmonies on this most excellent track are truly transcendent)

“Cybele’s Reverie,” Stereolab
“Mr. Odd,” Jazz Butcher
“The Edge,” David Axelrod
“Aladdin Sane,” David Bowie
“Loomer/Touched/To Here Knows When,” My Bloody Valentine
(okay, that’s three tracks, from the monumental Loveless, but you really have to listen to them all together, you can’t just listen to just one of them out of their proper context because you may be harmed)

“Cecilia Ann/Rock Music/Velouria,” Pixies
(see above)

“Kicker of Elves/Ester’s Day,” Guided by Voices
(see above again)

“No Language In Our Lungs,” XTC
“Beginning to See the Light,” Velvet Underground
“Town With No Cheer,” Tom Waits
“15th,” Wire
“Houses in Motion,” Talking Heads
“Miss You,” Rolling Stones
“Accidents Will Happen,” Elvis Costello
“Black Out,” Pavement
“Unkle Main Title Theme,” Unkle
“Twist,” Tones on Tail
“Your Silent Face,” New Order
“The State I am in,” Belle and Sebastian
“Scrape Away,” Jam
(though it’s really about 1:00 too long, sadly)

“Truckdrivin’ Neighbors Downstairs,” Beck

How’s that? Any violent opposition?

By the way, Buttercup, can I go out on a limb here? You need to hear more of the Jazz Butcher. Please find 1984’s A Scandal in Bohemia somewhere on the intarwebs and download it, or get it at a used CD shop or something. Please.

I choose tash…I hear she’s single…

I would have a book called “How to make an outboard motor out of sand and branches”, and a really big inflatable CD.

[quote=“rousseau”]“Truckdrivin’ Neighbors Downstairs,” Beck

Heh! I love that one. ‘Yeah, well you’re a lousy lowlife who can’t do nuthin’ for himself…’

Forgot ‘Jef’ by Jacques Brel.

rousseau, I will try to finding.

northerners don’t need favour. I was born at the confluence of the Goyt and the Tame…

(okay, that’s three tracks, from the monumental Loveless, but you really have to listen to them all together, you can’t just listen to just one of them out of their proper context because you may be harmed)

An interesting concept/deviation. Sonic Youth albums would definitely fall under this rule.

OK, I’m changing, then;

Dalliance/Dare/Suck, the Wedding Present.

And if we’re talking about B&S, where’s ‘Piazza, New York Catcher’?

I used to quite like Sonic Youth’s album Goo when it came out. I then discovered that they were critical favourites, and so I got some other critically favoured albums. Those ones, though, I really only pretended to like because I thought I should, and whenever talk of favourite bands came up I’d always name-check Sonic Youth. But I was living a lie. Eventually I came to the conclusion that “Total Trash” was emblematic in more ways than one.

A stellar track, no question. It was either the one that started them off, or this one, and I chose the former.

Yeah, Sonic Youth as an ‘it’ band. I have to admit, I first started listening to SY because the cool, older art school kids wore their Tshirts…

I don’t listen to them as often as I used to. But ‘Goo’ is just fab, at HIGH volume. What the early 90s were all about for me. Kurt who?

The “Rain Dogs” LP from Tom Waits would be an essential. It would help speed up my descent into madness.

The singles “Tango Til’ They’re Sore” and “Walking Spanish” are particularly appropriate.

Rain dogs is ace, but I like Swordfish Trombones

I forgot Fisherman’s Blues by the Waterboys. Reminds me of my dad.