Deserted-Island Albums

You know the question. If you were stuck on a deserted island for the rest of your life and could only listen to five albums, which five would you take with you? By default that means what are your favorite five albums of all time, right? I assume if you were on a deserted island for the rest of your life, you’d want your five favorite albums with you. Maybe that assumption is wrong. Maybe you’d just take five albums you never get tired of hearing, or five albums you can’t imagine never hearing again. I’d still make the assumption those would be your five favorite albums of all time. Whatever the hell it means, here are the five albums I would take with me.


“Jailbreak” (Thin Lizzy) – Thin Lizzy is my favorite band and this is their most iconic album. Besides “The Boys Are back in Town,” this album has “Cowboy Song,” “Warriors,” “Emerald,” and the title track. These are just the classic songs. Every song on this album is a shining jewel. I can’t imagine not listening to it.


“Against the Wind” (Bob Seger) – There are other Bob Seger albums I could’ve picked, but this is my favorite. It’s a perfect blend of uptempo rockers and reflective mid-tempo ballads, with one slow ballad just to round it out. This album is well balanced lyrically and musically. I wear it out.


“Nothin’ Matters and What If It Did” (John Mellencamp) – This is an album John recorded when he was still going by the name John Cougar. It’s an album he doesn’t particularly like. He told “Record” magazine in 1983, “The singles are stupid little pop songs.” I happen to really like those stupid little pop songs, which include “This Time” and “Ain’t Even Done with the Night.” Other great songs include “To M.G. (Wherever She May Be),” “Don’t Misunderstand Me,” “Wild Angel,” and “Hot Night in a Cold Town” (the only song on the album Mellencamp didn’t write). Yes, it’s a bit on the pop rock side, but the songs are really good.


“A Rock and Roll Alternative” (Atlanta Rhythm Section) – Most people are familiar with the song “So into You” from this album, but I fell in love with this band as soon as I heard “Georgia Rhythm.” The Atlanta Rhythm Section is billed as a southern rock band, but they have a different sound. Smoother. Champagne instead of beer. There’s not a bad song on the album. I can never get enough.


“Bat out of Hell” (Meat Loaf) – Hearing this album for the first time was magical. The voice of Meat Loaf and the songwriting talents of Jim Steinman are a classic combination — the perfect storm. These songs are legendary. “Two out of Three Ain’t Bad” and “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” are woven into the fabric of so many lives. Other great songs from the album include  “All Revved up with No Place to Go” and the title track “Bat out of Hell.” Epic ballads and bombastic rockers, all delivered by the powerful singing beast we call Meat Loaf.

That’s it. Those are the five albums I’d take with me to spend the rest of my life on a deserted island. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life on a deserted island, and I certainly don’t want to have to settle for just five albums, but if I had to, these are the five that would work for me. What are yours?


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