Yes, Dessert Island.
A whole Island made of expired candy, delicious soggy graham crackers, and sandy chocolate beaches. Mhhhmmmmmm!!!
You can't really eat alot of it, seeing as how it's been exposed to the elements for thousands of years, but let's say you're stuck there. And let's say you have 5 of your favorite 8-track cassettes! And an 8-track machine that doesn't run on batteries, but instead runs on shitty dessert foods.
Now we're talking!
Well let's assume you can bring any album--regardless of whether it was ever made in 8-track form. What 5 hot tapes would you want?
I thought about mine, and the answer isn't as easy as 'What are my favorite albums?'. On the contrary. You need variety. Imagine if your favorite band was Matchbox 20 and you wanted 2 of their albums (clearly Yourself or Someone Like You and one of the others). Now you pick 2 more 90's-rock-band albums and you throw in your favorite Classic Rock CD to round out your Top 5...
You're on a Dessert Island here, probably forever. Variety is huge. So you think of your favorite albums in various genres, polish up your 8-track tapes and kick back, right?
You need to think of timelessness. And growth. Have you ever loved a CD the first 5x through it and every time thereafter it just kinda... got predictable? Kinda just 'eh'? Now think of an album that aged like a fine wine. And just gets better every time you listen to it. Hot musical scores where you hear something new almost every time through. Now that's a keeper.
Just don't forget length, too. You don't want a 35-minute pop-rock album with the same 12 tracks. And it's no good if there's no variety within the album itself. And don't you think it's a good idea to have album choices for different 'moods'? No use packing Alanis Moreissette, Emo I, Emo II, Staind, and Dashboard Confessionals-- I mean, talk about nothing to lay out in the sun in, these albums just scream 'pale', 'sickly', 'sadness' and 'introspective'. Nothing like one of them when you celebrate discovering 'fire' for the first night. Or putting one of them on when you 'get in the mood' to get intimate with some soggy marshmallows because you're Oh-so-lonely.
This is alot of work.
Don't take it lightly. (it's all you'll have forever)
And don't screw it up.
Mine, in no particular order.....
Led Zeppelin II
My heroes of classic rock, The Zep. I feel this is truly one of the most symbiotic bass-drum relationships ever caught on an album. The pocket and weave between Bonhom and Paul Jones is palpable. To a boner-inducing pitch, even, on The Lemon Song. It's the ultimate chill-out air-bass song. And if you're not into air-bass don't worry, it rocks for the casual air-drummer.
I needed a Zep album and this one is more diverse and refined than Led Zeppelin I in my opinion. This album revolutionized rock and these guys just had such a feel for what they were doing it's outrageous. I've listened to it countless times, and it's something I can actually 'sing along with' if I'm feeling really lonely and I need to perform a Whole Lotta Love on myself. It's timeless. It's old school. It's mostly upbeat. It has jam-essentials mixed with killer Paige riffs. Need I say more?
Also, I'm pretty sure they invented drugs.
(The Lemon Song cover - highlighting drum and bass intra-mechanics of funk)
Tool - Lateralus
This album is a collaborative, intertwined, dark piece of sinister work. I wasn't sure about putting a Tool album on my list but there's something about this one that grows into the listener. It's the only CD that I physically went out and bought 3 seperate times (once lost, once scratched) even though I had it on my computer. I can't explain it. It's a brooding inward spiral that captivates and swirls around in my brain in the form of Danny Carey drum madness.
Seriously, drummer Danny Carey and bassist Justin Chancellor deserve an Emmy just for Schism let alone Lateralus or Ticks & Leeches or... frankly, the rest of the album. Just has a great 'flow' to the whole thing with alot of '3/4' and off-beat subterranean rhythms. This is for my nighttime or deep thought kinda moods.
FACT: Sometimes I listen to this whole album just for the drums. Danny Carey, he just 'is', ya know?
(Tool - Schism video. These guys do drugs, too. wow.)
Miles Davis - Get Up With It
Miiiiiiles Davis. The jazz-man. This little number isn't your prototypical Miles album either. It's way funkier and at times way more 'out there.' The man was a musical genius and his improv and 'touch' dance in and out of the deep, deliberate tracks laid out by some of jazz's most talented and influential artists. Take your average studio bassist or drummer from a rock band. Now multiply that by 7,000 -- that's an average studio jazz bassist or drummer. Now multiply that by horns, drums, crazy background sounds and 5,000 more and you've got a Miles Davis studio performer. These guys are the pros.
Red China Blues is a funk-splosion of progressive blues. And there's a 32 minute song called He Loved Him Madly which is eerie dark and experimental and contageous and... and I don't even know. Crazy. Then there's Honky Tonk -- all I can say is, you listen to it, and you become black. And the jazziness is enough to break up the verse-chorus-refrain of the repetitive nature of most rock and mostly eating stale chocolate syrup leaves every day.
(Miles - Red China sounds like we're workin on that ole Chaaaiiiiin gang.)
Opeth - Deliverance
"This next song, is a fucking masta-piece." ~ Mikael Akerfeldt.
Mikael sums it up nicely. Deliverance is one of the top 3 most-listened-to-songs on my ipod -- no small task for a 13:36 long song. It's also one of the most metal albums I've heard in my entire life. The thing with most metal, is it's re-sale value. You hear it, you've got it, it's fast, let's move on. But not Opeth. Opeth uses crazy time signatures, plays with volumes, harmonizes vocals as well as growls, goes into acoustic breakdowns, and shreds out ridiculously tight intellectual music.
Every member of Opeth can play better than you. It's a fact. But I've just never heard a group blend death metal, latin drum beats, and jazzy-blues guitar solo-ing like this. This album in particular, drummer Martin Lopez puts on a metal-latin clinic. The sounds are so much deeper and so much more enjoyable with each listen. I hear something new on this album every time I listen. And 3 tracks on it have been my 'favorite' song on the album already.
Plus, if I'm blasting this, I could kill any small or large animal I find on Dessert Island without even blinking. In front of its parents.
(Opeth - Deliverance on drums. play it 3x fast and i'll give you $1)
Stevie Ray Vaughn - Texas Flood
Stevie 'Cocaine Ray' Vaughan is guitar. He is blues. The devil sold his soul to Stevie Ray so Vaughan would play a private concert for his daughter's 7th birthday party. She never made it to 8.
With all of the 'bass' and 'drum' action going on on this island this was a nice change of pace. Blazing fast blues licks mixed with some of the most genuine, soul-spoken, ridiculous solos I've ever heard in my life. You hear new things within the individuals notes of a Ray Vaughan solo every time you listen. I'm trying to find more adjectives to describe this madman on the axe... but I can't. My only regret is that Little Wing isn't on this album. But Lenny, written about his wife, is the projection of a human soul in guitar chords. To quote Stevie Ray: "I never really learned notes or scales, I just sort of played what I felt."
Play Stevie play. Let me tell you them blues about eating shitty desserts everyday...
(Stevie Ray - Lenny this is what cocaine looks like. he's literally not conscious for this whole song. look at the sweat drip off his nose. oh my god, he's channeled his soul and left his body / done drugs and whiskey)
& The 'On-the-Cusps'
It was tough to not let these absolute gems aboard, but sorry fellas, only 5.
These 8-tracks washed ashore somewhere else I guess.....
Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon Medeski, Martin and Wood - End of the World Party (Just in Case) Incubus - SCIENCE Porcupine Tree - In Absentia Phish - Story of the Ghost Metallica - Master of Puppets
Tool - Aenima
What about your top 5?