Interesting to ponder

My good San Antonian friend wrote me this:

Here’s how it works. You select ten CDs you’d take with you to a desert island. You can take them and no others. The only stipulation is that they must come from your current CD library. Modest anthologies (two, maybe three discs) are permitted, but, say, the dozen plus discs in the complete series of the late Isaac Stern, A Life in Music, would not be.

I’m assuming self-made mixes are out, even if they are single artist compilations made across albums – which is a lot of my collection. This holds even for many of my favorite artists, because I don’t tend to like everything on any of their albums. So Gomez, Dar Williams, Tom Waits, Pete Yorn, the Be Good Tanyas, Sarah Slean, Adam Ant, Ben Folds Five, Jonathan Richman, Luscious Jackson, Poe, They Might Be Giants, Solas, Greg Brown, and Ashley MacIsaac lose out because I bought their stuff, ripped it, and burned greatest hits collections for myself.

Boy does that narrow it down. Very efficient.

My 10 that could actually be purchased in stores:

  • Soul Coughing – El Oso
  • Cake – Comfort Eagle
  • Faith No More – Introduce Yourself
  • Moxy Früvous – You Will Go To The Moon (or Live Noise?)
  • Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Let Love In
  • Battlefield Band – Home Is Where The Van Is
  • Alanis Morissette – Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie
  • PJ Harvey – 4-Track Demos
  • Sleater-Kinney – One Beat
  • Liz Phair – whitechocolatespaceegg

If I could wait to leave for the desert island until after Katell Keineg’s new one came out, I would replace the PJ Harvey with that.

4 thoughts on “Interesting to ponder

  1. B.

    Interesting exercise. I didn’t consider this too long, and I feel like I’m cheating because I actually have a fair number of “best of” collections already, but here goes:

    1. R.E.M. – In Time (Special Edition with DVD)

    2. Basia – Clear Horizon

    3. Pylon – Hits

    4. Everything But the Girl – Walking Wounded

    5. Suzanne Vega – Retrospective (European 2-CD/DVD version)

    6. Belly – Sweet Ride

    7. Lush – Ciao!

    8. Sleater-Kinney – All Hands on the Bad One

    9. Talking Heads – Sand in the Vaseline

    10. “Amateur” Original Soundtrack

    However, I think I’d want to swim over to your island every once in a while, since a few of your choices were under serious consideration.

  2. Shane

    Good point, Princess. We’ll add the stipulation that they can not be mixes — or at least not DIY mixes, multi-artist albums, like tributes or theme discs, would be fine. Also, I’m doubting the allowance of multi-disc anthologies to count as single entries. By that measure, my initial list actually consists of 17 discs. That strikes me as a loophole large enough for an entire second stack of discs to be smuggled through. Rescinding it, my list gets pared down to:

    Buddy Guy: A Man and The Blues

    Skip James: Blues from the Delta [sixties Vanguard recordings]

    Robert Johnson: The Complete Recordings [2 discs]

    Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin, & Paco de Lucia: Friday Night in San Francisco

    Christopher O’Riley Plays Radiohead: True Love Waits

    Nicolo Paganini: The 6 Violin Concertos [violinist Salvatore Accardo] [disc 3, concertos 4 & 5]

    Astor Piazzolla: Sergio & Odair Assad Play Piazzolla

    Svatoslav Ricther: In Memorium [1959 – 1965 recordings] [2]

    Finally, there’s the excessively contemporary bias inherent in discs. The copious stock of jazz albums never released on CD testify to this point. So albums available only on LP must be admitted. I can imagine a couple of SA’s most esteemed DJs reprimanding me for neglecting this, and rightly so.

  3. Stormierbones

    There’s no CD player on the island, it seems. Just CD’s, so I’d pick mine by their covers.– Ok, that was spoilsport of me — real answers:

    Miles Davis, The Complete Birth of Cool

    Beethoven, Brandenburg Concertos (Glen Gould)

    Beethoven, Brandenburg Concertos (STL Philharm)

    Dead Can Dance, Toward the Within

    Frank Sinatra’s Greatest Hits

    The Beatles Greatest Hits

    St. Germain, Tourist

    REM, Adventures in Hi-Fi

    U2, Joshua Tree

    Ani DiFranco, Living in Clip

    Now, Books anyone???

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