If I Could Only Have Five Albums on my iPod



You’re right.  Desert Island lists are lame. So I choose a musical scenario where I’m only allowed to put five complete albums on my iPod.  It sounds like something Apple might force people to do, right?  I’m not sure I have the musical depth that you do, so my albums might seem trite, but this is what I would choose (today).

"I'd Give It All Up For You"

I'd Give It All Up For You

Simply Red, Stars

No. Seriously.  I love this album.  From the moment I heard Mick Hucknall growl, “Show Me” at the beginning of “Something Got Me Started”  as a 15 year old, I was sold.  There is something so sexy about their music (and him, frankly.  Could it be the red hair?). I can never figure out why nobody listens to it. Side note: Stars was the soundtrack to my first great love affair.  I was a freshman, he was a senior.  I figured out he was a douchebag in about five days, but I will never forget sitting around my house, listening to this CD, waiting for him to show up.  I will also never forget the way that guy grossed me out when he kissed me. Ick.  Simply Red was the only good thing I got out of that relationship.

Smashing Pumpkins, Siamese Dream

I was a teenager during the 90’s when music was turned on it’s ear, resulting in some of the worst shlock ever produced.  But there were a select few groups that cut through the clutter and made truly groundbreaking albums and I don’t think it was a surprise that they were all considered “alternative”. A beautiful alternative to all the other crap we were forced to digest (see: Spin Doctors).  There are several groups I could include here like, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Soundgarden, Sonic Youth and Nirvana, but I think the best of this time period and genre is the Smashing Pumpkins.  Maybe it’s because I’m from Chicago, maybe it’s because they tended to be a little softer than the rest, I don’t know.  What I do know is that Siamese Dream is a masterpiece.  If you don’t believe me, listen to track number 9, Mayonnaise.  You will not be sorry.

"Say What You Want"

Say What You Want

Tears for Fears, The Hurting

As a child I remember hearing Tears For Fears’  “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” on the radio and thinking it was a nice head-bopping pop song.  Then I grew up.  That’s when I heard “Ideas as Opiates” from The Hurting and it made an incredible impact.  It’s the type of song I call ugly-beautiful.  It shouldn’t be enjoyable.  It’s weird and dated and not right in scale.  It’s also magic.  Pure musical magic.  The Hurting is the kind of album that makes me wish I was a tiny bit older so I could have enjoyed it in the moment.


Justin Timberlake, Justified

You know I love me some boy bands.  I take that genre of music completely at face value.  Because really, that’s all it is; FACE value. Thusly, I underestimated Justin Timberlake.  A lot.  I didn’t think he was capable of producing anything I would actually want to listen to or buy.  I was wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong again.  Justified proved just how very wrong I was.  “Rock Your Body” is one of the catchiest R&B songs of all time and Timberlake dumping on Britney during “Cry Me A River” is a stroke of genius. Who cheats on Justin Timberlake anyway? Jesus.  He’s since followed up with Future Sex/Love Sounds and it is also fabulous, but I don’t think he can top the surprise value of Justified.

The Cure

"I'd Love To Touch The Sky Tonight"

I'd Love To Touch The Sky Tonight

This is probably the hardest choice for me.  I love The Cure.  Every. Single. Album.  We’ve had this argument about a thousand times by now.  Which one is the best?  I usually say Disintegration and you say Wish.  It’s really a toss up, I think.  In this scenario, I need a little something extra.  Something varied and enjoyable, not just deep and meaningful.  So I would choose, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me.  There are countless reasons why this is the right choice, but if I was only able to listen to five albums worth of music for the rest of my life and I couldn’t hear “One More Time” ever again, I’m not sure life would be worth living.  


Marc, you and I both know that there are thousands of albums that could be included on this list.  I didn’t get to add in any of my runner-ups like, Radiohead, Talking Heads, The Smiths, Solomon BurkeDavid BowieColdplayWilcoU2, The National or any of the others that have helped shaped my musical life.  So I’m reserving the right to adjust our lists periodically.  I don’t think Apple will mind.




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2 Responses to “If I Could Only Have Five Albums on my iPod”

  1. m000se Says:

    good call on the Cure. Kiss Me is my most nostaglic Cure CD. i remember i discovered it right about the same time as Depeche and New Order after years of Prince and Journey. it was so weird to me, but enjoyable. challenging. and if you listen to it on headphones, the instrumentation is as intricate as an orchestra.
    agree on Simply Red, totally. I’m listening right now.
    JT’s better CD was FutureLove though. Sorry, but i’m right.

  2. Jamie Says:

    How sexy is Something Got Me Started?

    You could be right about JT. I was so startled by Justified that I can’t get past it. I mean, it could have been like JC Chasez’s last album, you know?

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