What are your Desert Island Discs?

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Following the BBC's 76 year old formula: imagine that you were ship-wrecked, washed up alone on a desert island, and found that the only possessions with you were eight discs from your record collection, one book (not including The Bible or Shakespeare, which are already there on the island) and one luxury item of no practical use. Which eight records would you choose, and why? If a rogue wave then came and washed away all but one, which would you hope to keep? Which one book would you choose? What luxury item would console you most?


American Pie. Don McClean
Seargent Pepper. Beatles
Italian Concerto. Bach. Glenn Gould recording
Beethoven string quartets
Beethoven symphonies 6 and 9
Mozart. The Magic Flute
Puccini. Any Opera
Bernstein. Candide

Complete Dickens. Or if just one novel either Nicholas Nickleby or Bleak House

Luxury item? A Turner painting

Record collection and discs? Isn't that a little last century? My music is a jumbled mix, partly from my youth and partly newer stuff and it all lives digitally on my computer.
Books? I think I've probably read The Lord of the Rings two dozen times, although not at all recently. It's a book I can open at any page and instantly be transported to Middle Earth.
Can I take Alexa?
No. Too useful. Or so I'm told.

CW it is indeed very last century, almost pre-war. You have to imagine yourself sitting there with only a His Master's Voice type phonogram and shellac editions of your favourite tracks.

Definitely the Choral, Barb! You'd have time to learn it, too, and in my case it's probably the only place I could sing it without causing a breach of the peace.

I'm not sure the Glenn Gould doesn't count as two: one of the Bach and one of the humming. Nowadays I suppose they'd be able to filter it out?
Also Beethoven's Ninth.
Don't Stop Me Now, Queen.
Lambada, Kaoma.
59th Bridge Street Song, Simon & Garfunkel.
(Probably) Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd.
As, Stevie Wonder.
Mon Manège A Moi, Edith Piaf.
Heard It On The Grapevine, Marvin Gaye.

H'm. No use at all. Where's Carol King and Carly Simon for a start?

Phewf, I don't know how any of the guests ever manage - !

You can try associating tracks with key people...

Schumann's piano concerto
Nimrod, from Elgar's Enigma Variations
Old Fashioned Girl Eartha Kitt
Bellini's Norma (reluctantly, maybe I'll learn to love it?)
La-Di-Dah Jake Thackray
Right Here Right Now Fatboy Slim
Stan Eminem
but oh GOD that means I'd have to have some Radiohead. Enough incentive to start swimming home...
I like records. Big black vinyl records. I miss them. So warm sounding.

1. Rush - Clockwork Angels
2. Joni Mitchell - Misses
3. Yes - 90125
4. Blue Rodeo - Diamond Mine
5. Living Colour - Vivid
6. Paul Simon - The Rhythm of the Saints
7. Iron Maiden - The Final Frontier
8. Crowded House - Woodface

I'd keep the Rush album.

Primitive Wilderness Living and Survival Skills
by John McPherson and Geri McPherson
(I mean, seriously, I want to live.)

Luxury Item:
Does my guitar count? It's technically of no practical use.
Right, I'm definitely going to have to check out Blue Rodeo.

Yes you are allowed musical instruments except pianos (provisional shelters) and double basses (provisional boats). That would rule out kettle drums too but I don't think any guest has yet asked for those.
CM - I recommend starting with this album (a Canadian favourite):

(But I'd still choose the Rush album.)
Can't decide right now about the books, but I'd have to have CDs. I can't afford any new musical instruments or the new formats which require charging and increasing my carbon footprint (of course there will be a fictional electrical source on this fictional island).

But I would want a baby grand, plus complete works of

1. Beethoven
2. Handel
3. Mozart
4. Tchaikovsky
5. Ara Topouzian's
7. Can-Can
8. Marlene Dietrich - love that sultry voice

And since I don't accept limitations, I'd also have:

9. Military music, such as that of the inspiring military tattoo I'm watching right now on PBS.

Can we add dancing videos? I'd take those of Riverdance and other step dancing masterpieces, and especially those of the NY City Ballet and ABT. If I'm going to be isolated, I must have ballet! Hawaiian dancing (frenetic and graceful) to help shake off all the weight I'd lose from sitting around doing nothing.

Can't even think about books, but Shakespeare's complete works would absolutely have to be one. (The BBC's formula needs to be changed! How could anyone survive such isolation w/o the inspiration of the brilliant Shakespeare?)

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