I’ve been meaning to write a blog post for Music Lives since we launched it over a year ago. Alas, life gets in the way and here I am, finally getting around to writing my first post. I thought I would take the time to write about Desert Island Albums.
I remember the first time I was introduced to the concept of a “desert island” album. I was probably around 13 and really starting to develop my own musical identity. After years of listening to Indigo Girls and Cat Stevens (my older sister’s choice of tapes for the car), I had started to pick up the bits and pieces of the grunge scene. While I loved, and still love, acoustic guitars and harmonized vocals, there was something about the raw sound of an electric guitar and heavier drum beat that piqued my interest. I remember having a discussion with my boyfriend of the time period about music and albums, and it was then that he presented to me the idea of a desert island album.
At minimum, a desert island album has to make the cut when answering the question, “If you were going to be stuck on a desert island for the rest of your life, what albums would you bring?”. A tough question to be sure, but there are some good strategies that can help play into your decision.
1. Are there just a few songs on the album that you like, or is the album solid start to finish? A desert island album needs to last.
2. How long have you been listening to the album? If the answer is less that 3 years, you’re probably going to out grow it.
3. How often do you listen to the album? You don’t want to get sick of the album… you need to be excited when you hear one of the songs come on the radio… and then rush to your nearest musical device to listen to the album in it’s entirety as soon as you can!
4. Is there one song on the album that you hate? This is a deal breaker. Some of my favourite albums can’t qualify because I always have to hit “skip” on that one track that drives me crazy.
At 13, it was obviously hard to choose any album that might qualify. The one that has lasted however, is Siamese Dream by Smashing Pumpkins. I never seem to get tired of this album, and am always left wanting more when it’s done. I love the flow of the album from start to finish: how it takes you on a journey.
What about you? What’s your top desert island album? Does it meet all the requirements? I’d love to hear your thoughts!