Desert Island Disks

Inspired by The Incomparable’s current podcast listing record albums they would take to a desert island, I decided to compile my own list. The rest of the gang on the Tea Leaves slack channel got into the act. What results is this little compilation. I was going to include links and explanation and discussion, but on reflection I think the various lists are sort of more interesting taken on their own. So allow me to present them with minimal comment.

Scrabbling at the Lock

My list, in order from “most essential” downwards:

  1. Tom Waits - Swordfishtrombones
  2. The Ex - Scrabbling At The Lock
  3. Miles Davis - Kind of Blue
  4. Bjork - Post
  5. Downtown Science - Downtown Science
  6. Aimee Mann - Bachelor No. 2
  7. David Bowie - Scary Monsters
  8. Fugazi - Steady Diet Of Nothing
  9. Sugarhill Gang - Sugarhill Gang
  10. King Crimson - In the Court of the Crimson King

(Interestingly, I found that I had made a similar list back in 2010, and 5 of the albums were the same. Sensible consistency, or hidebound conservatism? Who can say?) Feel free to complain about my list on Twitter, if you like.

On a side note, I feel like I deserve a medal for not putting an opera on the list. But maybe I’ll make a separate post for opera recommendations.

Tea Leaves co-founder @psu_13’s contribution, which he says is in no particular order:

  1. Bill Evans - The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings
  2. Bruckner 7th, Eichhorn
  3. Brahms Sextets, Raphael Ensemble
  4. Talking Heads - Stop Making Sense
  5. John Coltrane - Blue Train
  6. Thelonius Monk - The London Collection
  7. Duke Ellington 1940-41. There are various possible collections
  8. Bach: Golberg Variations, Glenn Gould 1981
  9. Beethoven 5, von Karajan 1960, not the later ones.
  10. Bach Musical Offering, Leppard on Musical Heritage Society/Erato

Next up was @importantshock’s essential 10, from top to bottom:

  1. Radiohead - ​Kid A​
  2. Nirvana - ​Nevermind
  3. The Notorious B.I.G. - Ready to Die
  4. Radiohead - OK Computer
  5. Nas - ​Illmatic
  6. Lil Wayne - ​Dedication 2
  7. Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
  8. Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works​
  9. Glenn Gould - The Goldberg Variations
  10. Elliott Smith - self-titled

Remain In Light Fourth in the batting order comes left-fielder @inmostlight.

  1. Talking Heads - Remain in Light
  2. LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver
  3. Belle & Sebastian - The Boy With the Arab Strap
  4. Thin Lizzy - Jailbreak
  5. Yo La Tengo - I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One
  6. The Mountain Goats - Tallahassee
  7. The Hold Steady - Almost Killed Me
  8. Pulp - His ‘n’ Hers
  9. Faith No More - Angel Dust
  10. Joy Division - Substance 1977-1980

Next comes @snefster with his nostalgia-laden list. He’s trying to pretend that he’s trolling, but I can tell that he’s serious.

  1. Billy Joel - Piano Man
  2. Pink Floyd - Momentary Lapse of Reason
  3. Aqua - Aquarium
  4. The Pogues - Waiting for Herb
  5. Styx - Kilroy Was Here
  6. ELO - Xanadu
  7. Samantha Fox - I Wanna Have Some Fun
  8. Primus - Pork Soda
  9. Black Eyed Peas - Monkey Business
  10. How to build a wooden boat - audiobook

I expected musician and high-powered record-company executive @djehuti to come in esoteric and noise-heavy, but he surprised me with his list:

  1. Fleetwood Mac - Rumours
  2. Fripp/Eno - (no pussyfooting)
  3. Led Zeppelin - II
  4. Yes - Close to the Edge or Fragile
  5. ZZ Top - Tejas (on vinyl!)
  6. Tangerine Dream - Tangram
  7. Miles Davis - Bitches Brew
  8. Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
  9. Robert Rich - Below Zero or Bestiary
  10. Dave Brubeck - Time Out

Finally, long-time Tea Leaves contributor @ctokar hits us over the head with this (un-ordered) asiapop list:

  1. Rie fu - I Can Do Better
  2. Mika Nakashima - NO MORE RULES
  3. Perfume -
  4. Namie Amuro - Uncontrolled
  5. YUI - Orange Garden Pop
  6. Ellie Goulding - Halcyon Days (Deluxe Edition)
  7. LAMA - New!
  8. Mika Nakashima - DEARS
  9. La Oreja de Van Gogh - Cometas Por El Cielo
  10. Namie Amuro - Feel

Lots of good music here. Now I just need them all in a single Apple Music playlist.