Category Archives: Desert Island Albums

Desert island albums #4: The Beatles — Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)

Sergeant Pepper or Revolver? Revolver or Sergeant Pepper? It’s so tempting just to say “both”, but I’ve only allowed myself ten slots in the Desert Island Albums series, and it would seem unfair to give 20% of all the space to a single band. [Previously: Joni Mitchell’s Hejira, Rainbow’s Rising and Blue Öyster Cult’s Fire of Unknown Origin.]

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I’ve been vacillating between these two albums (with an occasional thought for Abbey Road) for some time. Now, with the death of George Martin, I’m pushed into actually writing this piece, and as it happens the dial is currently in the Pepper region. Continue reading

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Desert island albums #3: Blue Öyster Cult — Fire of Unknown Origin (1981)

In this very occasional series, I am writing about the ten albums that I would take with me to a desert island. The idea is based on the long running BBC Radio series Desert Island Discs, of course; but I am giving myself entire albums rather than individual tracks, and I am having ten of them instead of the regulation eight. Hey, it’s my series, I can do what I want. [Previously: Joni Mitchell’s Hejira, and Rainbow’s Rising.]

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Desert island albums #2: Rainbow — Rising (1976)

[This is the second in my series of Desert Island Albums — eight albums that I would choose to take with me if I were to be stranded on a desert island.]

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Aside from experiments in individual tracks — the Beatles’ Helter Skelter, the Kinks’ You Really Got Me — The genesis of the musical genre known as heavy metal is generally agreed to rest with three British bands of the late 1960s and early 1970s: Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple.

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Desert island albums #1: Joni Mitchell — Hejira (1976)

In BBC Radio 4’s venerable programme Desert Island Discs, a guest is invited to imagine themselves cast away on a desert island, and allowed to choose eight pieces of music to take with them. (The quaint “discs” in the title of course refers to gramophone records; I for one welcome the BBC’s refusal to retitle the programme Desert Island Digital Audio Files.)

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I think this is a fascinating exercise, and one that I’ve often toyed with doing myself. Continue reading