Desert Island Discs cont’d

I already pumped out #’s 1 thru 5 earlier in the week, so here’s the rest.


6) The Who – Who’s Next

I grew up on classic rock. My brother had a pretty big LP collection from the 70’s, so I was singing along to Aerosmtih and Zeppelin long before I realized who they really were. So it stands that I’ve got to have at least *one* slice of nostalgia rock on the island. And if I’m gonna limit myself to one, I’m gonna damn sure make it a good one. Enter The Who. I mean seriously, is there a better rock song ANYWHERE than “Won’t Get Fooled Again”? I submit there is NOT! That song right there is worth having this album on the list. It’s perfect. But then we throw in “Behind Blue Eyes” (great ballad), “Baba O’Reilly” (all-time great teen angst anthem), “Bargain”, “Love Ain’t For Keeping”, even “Going Mobile” has a folky 60’s charm to it. The guitar riffs on this record cut right to the core. If I had to try and explain what rock n’ roll was to someone who had never heard it before, I would play “Won’t Get Fooled Again” and all their questions would be answered. I love this album. I want to have it’s baby.

7) Shinedown – Leave A Whisper

I was a huge fan of 80’s hair bands back in the day, so it only stands to reason I would become a huge fan of the “nu metal” craze of the new millennium. Both featured a lot of interchangeable bands that kinda sound the same and focus mostly on playing catchy music that just so happens to also be aggressive and loud. I could pick any number of albums to fill this need in my system (Nickelback, Flaw, Saliva), but the one that rips me up from first song to last is Shinedown’s debut. Another case of an album where every song seems to have something about it that grabs me.

True story about this one, and a major reason why I wind up buying too many CD’s and DVD’s … I had never heard of this band when I bought this. I knew NOTHING about them. The cover caught my eye while I was browsing at Newbury Comics one day. I flipped it over, looked at the song titles, saw who had produced it, and thought to myself, “I have no idea who this is, but all signs point to them being a Saliva sound-alike. I like Saliva. I’ll give it a try.” So I plunked down the 10 bucks and gave it a shot. Now it’s one of my all-time favorite records. Sometimes you just gotta take a shot and buy something on a hunch. You never know when you’ll uncover gold.

8) Jim Matheos – First Impressions

Strange record this one, but it fills a much needed void on my island excursion, that of the “sparse instrumental”. While he spends most of his time as lead guitarist for progressive metal band Fates Warning, Jim Matheos occasionally pumps out an all-acoustic album on a new age label. This first one is simply him with his guitar, and a couple of tracks backed by a violin & cello. All the songs are simple and quiet and, quite frankly, haunting. It’s a total atmosphere record, and since I’m not gonna be bringing any classical or jazz along, I need something for those moments when it’s late at night and I’m lying there thinking, “My God… I’m trapped on a desert island. I am going to die soon.”

9) Hardline – Double Eclipse

With all my mad crazy love of 80’s/90’s arena rock and the various sub-genres it includes, I have to find a place for something that I can crank with the windows down while I whip down the highway, even if there won’t be any highway (or cars) on my island. For all the hype the big name bands got (Bon Jovi, Poison, Motley Crue, etc.), it’s this record from a bunch of no name Canadians and (then ex-)Journey guitarist Neal Schon that makes the cut. The ballads are big and powerful, and the rockers well … rock. I mean, how can you not love a song called “Rhythm From A Red Car”? There are so many records I want to put in this slot, but in the end there can only be one, so this will be it. Now where’s my air guitar?

10) …

And so it’s down to this. So many genres still left untouched and yet only one slot remaining. What do I do? So far there’s been ZERO female representation on my list, and yet for a time in my life I was playing Shawn Colvin more than anything else (not to mention the fact that Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel” is one of my top five songs ever). Or how about the grunge era, which while annoying at the time, provided some great records (leaving Alice In Chains off the island is not a good thing). Or the mid-90’s power-punk/pop movement with bands like the Goo Goo Dolls, still one of my top 10 favorite bands. Or What about the lack of Iron Maiden? Mouth would kill me if he read this. Indeed the whole process is truly a bitch. I hate my list already and it’s not even done. But I must decide, and in the end I do …

10) Metallica – Metallica

I’m a headbanger, always have been. It’s simply not possible, even with some good hard rockin’ records on my list, to get away without having a pure heavy metal record on my secluded stay. Narrowing the field is a near impossible task, but in the end in comes down to the big three 80’s metal bands: Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax. For me, these three bands represent all things metal, and for the three year period of 1991-1993 they also happened to put out the three greatest albums of the genre: Metallica’s infamous “black album”, Megadeth’s brilliant “Countdown To Extinction”, and the criminally forgotten “Sound of White Noise” from Anthrax.

Truth be told, I could pick any one of the three and be immensely happy with my choice. I’m going with Metallica in part because it’s the most diverse of the three and in part because, well it’s fuckin’ Metallica. I don’t think I could ever grow tired of listening to this band. So many great songs, and they were masters at album sequencing.

So there you have it. My Desert Island Discs. Of course if you ask me to do this again in a couple of years (or months, or days, hours even) I would probably come up with a bunch of different choices. Thank God I don’t actually live on a Desert Island is all I can say.


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