Stuck On a Deserted Island: Music Edition

You’ve been banished to a desert island, never to return.  In addition to food and water to survive indefinitely, you’re allowed to take a device to play music with and the collected works of any single recording artist, but no other music.

What music library do you select?

Additional Rules:

  1. You can choose a solo artist or a group.
  2. If you choose a solo artist, you can also choose the songs written/performed by that artist as part of a group, but not vice versa. For example, if you choose Sammy Hagar, then you get any Van Halen albums he contributed to, but if you choose Van Halen, then you do not get Sammy Hagar’s solo albums.

My choice: It’s a clear win for the Beatles.  The sheer volume of songs, combined with the variety in styles as the band progressed from dance hits to psychedelic awesomeness, along with Paul’s granny music ballads, would make sure that I have tunes for all seasons.  I’m tempted to choose John Lennon instead, since I’d still get all of the Beatles, but also some of his solo works which I like, but then I find myself wanting some of Paul’s solo work, and I think it’s safer to stick with the duo.

The only other band I’d consider would be Depeche Mode, since they were my first non-family-influenced love.  In fact, if DM hadn’t royally sucked since Songs of Faith & Devotion, I might be persuaded.

Next time: Stuck On a Deserted Island: Actor Edition


36 thoughts on “Stuck On a Deserted Island: Music Edition

  1. My first thought is Thom Yorke, but then I’d probably realize that the music combined with the situation would make me want to kill myself. 🙂 So I’m going to go with Led Zepplin. Classic rock that still rocks.

  2. Easy choice: U2, for their breadth + depth. They have a full playlist of songs for every occasion.

    My lazy-day-stuck-on-an-island playlist: Promenade, You’re So Cruel, Trying to Throw Your Arms Around the World, Running to Stand Still, Stay, Dancing Barefoot, If God Would Send His Angels, Love Rescue Me, One Step Closer…

    …see what I mean?

  3. Geeze. That’s hard. My initial choice would be Robert Plant. That covers a lot of styles from his Yardbird days through Zepplin to the Honeydrippers and his solo stuff and then to his more recent roots style of music.

    However part of me wants to say David Gilmore. That’d get me Pink Floyd, his more bluesy solo work and then his recent On An Island solo album which sounds appropriate all things considered. U2/Bono; Eric Clapton; or Sting/Police would be my runner ups.

  4. George Harrison. I never tire of the Beatles, and I prefer George’s solo stuff to either John or Paul’s.

  5. Last Lemming,
    George’s stuff is great. All four had some good post-Beatles tunes, but I honestly have a hard time putting Harrison ahead of J or P. Especially since this is a desert island we’re talking about–quantity matters! When quantity of songs becomes relevant, then the sheer volume of Paul’s production is a heavy factor.

  6. So if I chose Van Halen, I’d never get to hear “I Can’t Drive 55” ever again?

    Wow. That’s harsh.

  7. I think I’d go with Jerry Douglas, Alison Krauss’s dobro player. Because I’d get all the Alison Krauss stuff, plus he’s been on something like 1,500 other recordings.

  8. Robert Plant is a good call, Clark. As are your runner ups. In a similar vein, I would consider Jerry Garcia a good choice. His guitar style is totally mesmerizing to me and he has guested on a variety of recordings, from rock to bluegrass. I’d get not only the huge volume of Dead recordings, but his work with David Grisman and all the stuff he did with San Francisco artists, CSNY, the Airplane and New riders.

    Plus I might get a few neckties and some ice cream as part of the deal.

  9. All things Finn (Neil, Tim, Liam, Crowded House, Split Enz, solo, etc…)

    And DM doesn’t suck. They’re still fabulous.

  10. Ooooh, good call Gabby. If you say Neil Finn, you get a lot of bands included. More for your money!

    Still, I would probably just take my whole ipod, even if I had to make batteries out of seawater like on Gilligan’s Island.

    Then I would make speakers out of conch shells and rock that joint.

  11. Johnny Marr has been quite the guitar whore since the breakup of the Smiths. Picking him would also bring quite a variety of music from many bands, most of which sound (sadly) nothing like the Smiths. The variety of his post-Smiths work is described here:

    Thinking about it all, I would probably end up picking John Lennon and McCartney. Like Scott B., I think the Beatles are where it’s at.

  12. Britten or Stravinsky… can’t decide. I’m also not sure who actually recorded more music, but if the volume of recorded music were equal, I’d lean toward Britten.

  13. I’d choose bob dylan for the following reasons:

    1 – All things considered he is probably the greatest artist of all time (when you really back up and look with a wide lens)

    2 – His output is off the charts. Including all bootlegs and other weird off-album releases there are over a hundred albums, I’m sure.

    3 – Lyrics. If I’m on an island I’m going to get bored, and sitting back memorizing all of the words to Lily, Rosemary And The Jack Of Hearts or Desolation Row would be a great way to pass the time. It’s like bringing several books of medium quality poetry with you hidden inside the CD jewel cases.

    4 – Two words: Traveling Wilburys.

    Just kidding about the last one, but still if I was actually on a desert island I would end up cranking the Wilbury’s at some point I’m sure.

  14. Two solid picks, in my view, already presented: U2 or anything Finn. I could be happy with either of those choices.

    If I were to go old school, I would have to pick Simon and Garfunkel, or perhaps even Peter, Paul, and Mary.

  15. The correct answer is, of course, The Rolling Stones (I guess I could go with Mick for some solo stuff as well). Followed closely by U2.

  16. Britney Spears

    Okay, not really. Most definitely U2. Followed closely by the Beatles or Paul Simon (because then I’d get Simon and Garfunkel too.)

  17. In the vein of Susan’s 10, I’d be really tempted to go with Josh Freese, you’d get albums by – The Vandals, DEVO, Danny Elfman, Lazlo Bane, New Radicals, Guns n’ Roses, Perfect Circle (!!!!!!!), Rob Zombie, Puddle of Mudd, Seether, 3 Doors Down, The Offspring, Evanescence, Good Charlotte, Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken, Queens of the Stone Age, Unwritten Law, Lost Prophets, Nine Inch Nails, Gavin Rossdale, Filter, Katy Perry, and Weezer (and about a thousand others)

    You could survive forever on that.

    In more of the vein that I think this post was meant: Mike McCready. You’d get Pearl Jam, and you’d also get Temple of the Dog and Mad Season which are both amazing as well.

  18. Miles Davis. His 50-ish year output includes pretty much every kind of jazz recorded, and he played with nearly every significant jazz musician out there.

    Alternates: Art Blakey (fewer styles, but the same great collection of sidemen) or Bach.

  19. If I pick Bill Nelson, then I have more CDs to use as reflective surface to get rescued. Oh wait, I’ve been banished?

    I’m torn. TyTabor would be a good pick, to get his solo stuff plus King’s X, Jelly Jam, Platypus. The only problem is that then I don’t get any female vocalists. The ones I like are not that prolific.

    I guess if I’m going to be banished and need to keep my spirits up, I’ll have to go with Amy Grant.

  20. Strange that this turned into a discussion on proliifc session artists. Very interesting.

    I’d go with Jerry Douglas, too. I could listed to that stuff on a beach forever.

  21. Late to the party, but I’m bringing Neil Young, so that includes almost all the Buffalo Springfield, CSN&Y, his album with Pearl Jam, the Crazy Horse stuff, and his incredible range of solo albums that range from country and rockabilly to grinding hard rock and Techno (Neil and the Shocking Pinks). Although Jerry Garcia and Robert Plant are not bad choices, either.

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