(I didn’t intend to hit two milestones in one week, but what are you going to do?)
I wouldn’t take “Money (That’s What I Want)”, but I would take some Motown. Photo by Adrian Bischoff
For my 1000th post, I’ve decided to compile some of my desert island picks: 10 albums and 100 songs that I’d take take with me if I had to pick some music for the rest of my life. These aren’t necessarily my 10 favorite albums and 100 favorite songs but they fulfill some need. And they’re good.
Here they are, in chronological order.
The 10 [albums]:
- Sam Cooke Portrait of a Legend [recorded 1951-1964; release 2003]
The man who invented soul, they call him. This is a great retrospective of his incredible music.
- New York Philharmonic Bernstein Century – Copland: Appalachian Spring, Rodeo, Billy the Kid 
Aaron Copland’s music is so grand and so American. Blending beautiful traditional songs with gorgeous orchestrations, this would fulfill my needs for classical music.
- Beatles Revolver 
I’d have to bring one Beatles album at least, and this is my favorite. I love the harmonies and orchestrations they bring to the table here. “For No One” is probably my favorite Beatles song and its on here.
- Paul Simon Graceland 
I loved this album when I was 12 and I love it now. Besides its warm nostalgia-value for my childhood and my parent’s country, it’s just a great album of pop music, blending Africa, Zydeco and American music effortlessly.
- U2 Joshua Tree 
For all the musical revisionists and contrarians, I still think this is U2’s best album and I think it’s one of the best rock albums of the last 20 years. It’s not without false steps, but they’re so minor in the scope of this album that I can listening it front to back repeatedly.
- Neutral Milk Hotel In the Aeroplane over the Sea 
I’ve already gone on at length about how incredibly meaningful this album is to me. An epic fuzz-folk masterpiece about Anne Frank.
- Pedro the Lion It’s Hard to Find a Friend 
I don’t listen to Pedro the Lion constantly but I have seen Bazan a ridiculous amount of times live–are there such things as Bazanheads? not that I’d want to be labeled one of those–and I love his music, so obviously I connect with it. Sometimes Control best fulfills my Pedro-need but this is a more balanced effort in the end.
- Notwist Neon Golden 
Part of this is nostalgia–it reminds me of my summer in Germany, where I bought this and listening to this constantly–and that is reminds me of the people and places I saw there. The other part is that it’s a great blend of electronic and organic elements into a fantastic album.
- Sufjan Stevens Seven Swans 
Suf’s one of my favorite artists and this is my favorite album of his, so it’s got to come along. Beautiful, stripped-down (by Sufjan standards) folk with no less incredible songwriting behind it.
- Bon Iver For Emma, Forever Ago 
It wasn’t all that long ago that I went all gah-gah over this album (again). Gorgeous and heart-wrenching, it’s a perfect example of what an album should be: greater than the sum of its parts.
The 100 [songs]:
- Horton Barker Two Sisters [recorded around 1943, traditional song]
- Clifford Brown & Max Roach Quintet Cherokee 
- Almeda Riddle Bury Me Beneath the Willow [recorded around 1959, traditional song]
- Alabama Sacred Harp Singers Sherburne [recorded around 1959, traditional song]
- the Crystals (/ the Blossoms) He’s a Rebel 
- the Crystals Then He Kissed Me 
- Bob Dylan Girl from the North Country 
- the Ronettes Be My Baby 
- the Supremes When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes 
- the Wright Specials Nintety-Nine and a Half Won’t Do 
- Bob Dylan The Times, They Are a-Changin 
- Bob Dylan When the Ship Comes In [Bootleg Series version] 
- the Beatles You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away 
- the Impressions People Get Ready 
- the Miracles Tracks of My Tears 
- the Beach Boys God Only Knows 
- the Beach Boys Wouldn’t It Be Nice 
- the Four Tops Bernadette 
- Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell Ain’t No Mountain High Enough 
- Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell Oh How I’d Miss You 
- Smokey Robinson & the Miracles the Tears of a Clown 
- the Tremeloes Here Comes My Baby 
- Elvis Presley Suspicious Minds 
Check out the rest of the list after the jump.
- Darondo Didn’t I [recorded, 1973, widely released 2006]
- Tommy Jarrell the Drunken Hiccups [recorded 1976, traditional song]
- Talking Heads Once in a Lifetime 
- Bruce Springsteen Atlantic City 
- the Dagar Brothers Rag Kambhoji – Alap 
- the Pixies Where is My Mind? 
- Paul Simon the Obvious Child 
- My Bloody Valentine Sometimes 
- Seamus Connolly & Brendan Mulvihil The Salamanca/ Trim the Velvet [recorded 1991, traditional songs]
- Sebadoh Brand New Love 
- Archers of Loaf Web in Front 
- the Magnetic Fields Fear of Trains 
- Weezer My Name is Jonas 
- the Mountain Goats Cubs in Five 
- Palace New Partner 
- Rachel’s Those Pearls… 
- Apples in stereo Silvery Light of a Dream, pt 2 
- Ben Folds Five Brick 
- Elliott Smith Say Yes 
- Yo La Tengo Autumn Sweater 
- Belle & Sebastian Sleep the Clock Around 
- Modest Mouse Never Ending Math Equation 
- Seam Get Higher 
- Beulah If We Can Land A Man On The Moon, Surely I Can Win Your Heart 
- Built to Spill The Plan 
- Jimmy Eat World Goodbye Sky Harbor 
- Damien Jurado Ohio 
- Pedro the Lion Be Thou My Vision [1999, traditional song]
- Pinback Loro 
- Cat Power I Found a Reason 
- Mark Kozelek Bad Boy Boogie 
- American Analog Set Punk as Fuck 
- Low Sunflower 
- Mogwai 2 Rights Make 1 Wrong 
- Seldom Can’t/ Must 
- Johnny Cash Hurt 
- Death Cab for Cutie Wait 
- Iron & Wine Lion’s Mane 
- the Mountain Goats the Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton 
- the One AM Radio All I Can Recall is the Haunting 
- P:ano All of November, Most of October 
- Sigur Ros Untitled #4 (a.k.a. “NjÃ³snavÃ©lin”, aka “The Nothing Song”) 
- Songs: Ohia Blue Chicago Moon 
- Sufjan Stevens Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing [2002, traditional song]
- Explosions in the Sky Your Hand in Mine 
- Four Tet My Angel Rocks Back and Forth 
- Jose Gonzalez Crosses 
- Jens Lekman Black Cab 
- Sufjan Stevens Romulus 
- Heiruspecs 5ves 
- the Mountain Goats Against Pollution 
- John Vanderslice Pale Horse 
- Madvillain Money Folder (Four Tet remix) 
- Kanye West (ft. Lupe Fiasco) Touch the Sky 
- the Acorn Dents 
- Beirut Postcards from Italy 
- Beirut Scenic World 
- Dert the Light (Common & Erykah Badu vs. Jose Gonzalez) 
- Fionn Regan Put a Penny in the Slot 
- Sarah Siskind Lovin’s for Fools 
- Sufjan Stevens Sister Winter 
- Swan Lake All Fires 
- Two Sheds It’s Hard 
- Beatbeat Whisper Lulu 
- Coconut Records West Coast 
- the Lightning Bug Situation Message To Myself After Franny Was Born 
- Magnolia Electric Co. Shiloh Temple Bell 
- Mobius Band Friends Like These 
- the National Fake Empire 
- Or, the Whale Call and Response 
- Candie Payne By Tomorrow 
- Sigur Ros Heysatan [Hvarf-Heim version] 
- J Tillman Crooked Roof 
- Kanye West Everything I Am 
- Horse Feathers Curs in the Weeds 
- the Rural Alberta Advantage Don’t Haunt this Place 
- Tallest Man on Earth the Gardener
 Let’s be honest. Though I’ve tried to take a longer-term view of this list, it is pretty highly influenced by what I like right now.
 The Apples in Stereo’s Tone Soul Evolution was a close runner-up here. It’s a magnificent album, close to the perfect pop album.
 These two old hymns are some of my favorite songs. The versions are nice but the versions here are secondary to the songs.