Desert Island Discs


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This is a shortlist of my long list of absolutely all-time favourite records (all LPs unless stated), in case I'm ever invited onto Radio 4. I know it's supposed to be only eight songs, but we are not so constrained here. Obviously the choices are mood-dependent but I've tried to select the finest complete albums I know and love which I'd take with me to keep me sane on a desert island or space station. Something upbeat, something very chilled and others in between; some dark, some light, and some to dance to. Since I'd never cover all the many genres of music I adore, there are some glaring omissions: no African music, but I could play that myself :-) There may well be other individual tracks I'd want to include (for example, some Classic Acid House and pop tunes I sadly don't own - would a DJ Spock megamix count as one album? ;-) This list was inspired by hearing LES MORTS VONT VITE once again and realising that most people would never have even heard of this masterpiece. A big thanks to the guys at Ultima Thule records for switching me on to much of this awesome unexplored music.

  1. Alfred Schnittke - CONCERTO GROSSO No.1 (1977) / CONCERTO FOR PIANO & STRINGS (1979) / CONCERTO FOR OBOE, HARP & STRINGS (1971) {Helen Jahren (oboe), Kjell Axel Lier (harp), Patrik Swedrup (violin), Christian Bergqvist (violin), Roland Pontinen (piano), New Stockholm Chamber Orchestra} [BIS BISCD377] (1987) CD
  2. Alfred Schnittke - PIANO QUINTETT {Ludmilla Berlinsky with The Borodin Quartet} (1976) [Virgin Classics] CD [Score published by Hans Sikorski No.2252]
  3. Klaus Schulze - X (1978) [Brain 0080.023] 2LP also [Brain 833627-2] 2CD
  4. Klaus Schulze - INTER*FACE (1985) [Brain 827673-1] also [Revisited SPV305262] CD with bonus tracks
  5. Robert Schroeder - HARMONIC ASCENDANT (1979) [Innovative Communication KS80.033] also [Racket Records/DA Music 873015-2] CD
  6. Blessed Oblivion - BLESSED OBLIVION (2001) [Ventricle cd-14]
  7. Magma - MEKANIK DESTRUKTIW KOMMANDOH (1973) [A&M Records] also [Seventh Records REX7/Harmonia Mundi HMCD85] CD
  8. Shub Niggurath - LES MORTS VONT VITE (1987) [Musea FGBG2002] also [1997, Musea/Gazul GA8613.AR] CD with bonus tracks
  9. Principal Edwards Magic Theatre - SOUNDTRACK (1969) [CBS 63752]
  10. Goblin - IL FANTASTICO VIAGGIO DEL BAGAROZZO MARK (1978) [Cinevox CD OST 712/s] CD
  11. David Hykes & The Harmonic Choir - HEARING SOLAR WINDS (1985/1988) [Ocora 558 607]
  12. Harold Budd - THE PAVILION OF DREAMS (1978) [EG Records EGS301]
  13. Steve Moore - A QUIET GATHERING (1988) [Recommended Records ReR30]
  14. Stephan Micus - DARKNESS AND LIGHT (1990) [ECM 1427] also [ECM 1427] CD
  15. Weyes Blood - FRONT ROW SEAT TO EARTH (2016) [Mexican Summer mex228] CD
  16. Parliament - OSMIUM (1970/1999) [Invictus/Sequel NEMLP997] also [2001, Sanctuary/Castle CMRCD339] CD with 7 great bonus tracks
  17. Young MC - KNOW HOW / THE FASTEST RHYME (1988) [Delicious Vinyl / Island 12BRW120] 12"
  18. Cristian Vogel - ARTISTS IN CHARGE OF EXPERT SYSTEMS (1995) [Mosquito MSQ003] EP
  19. Abacus - EROTIC ILLUSIONS (1995) [Transmat / Fragile Records FRG12] 12"
  20. Gemini - LE FUSION (1995) [Cajual Records CAJ226] 12"

My luxury (obviously besides a hi-fi and electricity to play the above with) would be a piano, and instead of the Bible and complete works of Shakespeare (*yawn*), I'd ask for plenty of music manuscript paper, pencils and erasers, so I could keep writing music until all they found left of me was a skeleton at the keyboard.

You also may like to see my longer list of recommended records and also my fantasy Top Forty pop songs.

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This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike v3.0 Licence © The right to copy is left with the user copyleft Malcolm Smith 2010-11-22 - last updated 2017-09-02 - links verified 2004-11-09