Desert Island Discs- The Albums I would take into the wilderness


Arguably the greatest jazz record of all time, Kind of Blue provides me with a sense of pure smokey nostalgia.  A record I picked up back when I started playing in a local jazz group recommended to me by a good friend, this has been on my listening list for a long time.  Miles’ mastery of modal jazz is like listening to pure gold.  The group made up of pianist Bill Evans (Wynton Kelly on one track), drummer Jimmy Cobb, bassist Paul Chambers, and saxophonists John Coltrane and Julian “Cannonball” Adderley just oozes talent and class.  The true masters with this undoubtable masterpiece.  A source of never-ending inspiration to me, this is a must have on my lonesome island.


Glaring sounds from New York portraying seedy cross-dressing sex, lost love, heroin induced romances and other vivid imagery from the leather underground.  Transformer is Lou Reed’s second solo album, produced by David Bowie and Mick Ronson and is considered one of the greatest rock and roll record of all time.  It was the first album that really caught my attention and imagination.  The incredible piano part in the romantic Perfect Day and the innovative smooth and dark bass of Walk On The Wild Side are masterful.  Its tongue-and-cheek lyrics have never lost their relevancy I am startled by how astonishingly fresh each song seems.  An album I love, Transformer will never cease to be in my top playlist and for good reason.


One of the wildest and most psychedelic albums I have ever encountered Merriweather Post Pavilion is a piece of art compiled with all the sounds of my childhood.  The synthadelic sounds are nothing short of mind-bending and this album deserves credit for its beautiful harmony, watery  melodies and innovative driving beats.  Like alien tribal dances or trippy baroque chorals each track provides its own personality and vaguely hypnotic stories.  The album is a concept created from dreams and takes you on a journey through intensely colourful soundscapes.  Ever since I discovered this album I have used it as a form of therapy to ease me on journeys or carry me through restless nights.  A truly beautiful album from a brilliantly unorthodox band.  The Pavilion is a place I would regularly need to visit on a desert island.
On a desert island, I would need to take my soul, and that soul comes in the form of the spectacular voice of Otis Redding.  The greatest soul and rhythm and blues singer in my eyes, Redding really does have so much love in his voice.  An album to help me retain my humanity, The Dock Of The Bay is a perfect example of songwriting triumph.  In other words, Otis is the man.  How could I leave the open throated “King of Soul” or his album of absolute gems.  An incredible compilation of an incredible voice and my favourite voice.  One of the greatest things to come out of the last century and one of the most influential sounds in my life.
The last album released before the death of the legendary Johnny Cash, American IV: The Man Comes Around is one of the most poignant and violently life changing albums I have ever listened to.  Each track is a masterpiece within itself made only greater by Cash’s instantly recognisable southern drawl.  The majority of tracks are covers cut down to Johnny’s ‘spare style’ with impressive grace and each, when played, fills the room with the presence of the late Johnny Cash himself.  Each song has managed to tear holes in my heart and inspire me in many strange ways.  This album is a masterpiece that I could not easily live without and has such stopping power and incredible narratives it is the most suitable totem and salute to the man and legend himself, Johnny Cash.  Deeply moving and meaningful this album means a lot to me and I would never leave it off a list like this.  A triumph of class and simplicity, unbeaten and unbeatable.

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