Desert Island Discs

By Lee_Armstrong Lee_Armstrong
updated about 1 year ago

This is a list of those rare discs that if I were on a desert island, I'd wish I could play, ones I play regularly. Many for years. I like a lot of genres, but more folk/pop/rock that makes me feel.

  1. Laura Nyro - New York Tendaberry

    Laura Nyro's "New York Tendaberry" is my favorite album from my very favorite singer/songwriter. Nyro, who loved John Coltrane, often shifts time signatures and can race from ecstasy to despair in the matter of a few bars. I bought this when I was 17. It's the album that kept me on the planet.

  2. Buffy Sainte-Marie - Changing Woman

    Buffy Sainte-Marie's "Changing Woman" is one of my favorite albums. "Nobody Will Know It's Real But You" is a quintessential dreamy love song, touches the romantic side of my soul. "Love is a clock for eternity" was a line printed on our wedding invitations. This one is so very sweet to me.

  3. Jackson Browne - Late For The Sky

    44 For Sale from $0.50

    Jackson Browne's third album was his very best set. The song "For A Dancer" is such an exquisite exploration and effort to understand death, "It's a song I can hear playing right in my ear..." With David Lindley's fiddle giving such depth of feeling, this is a disc I repeatedly play in my mellow moods.

  4. Donovan - Essence To Essence

    46 For Sale from $0.99

    "Essence to Essence" is my favorite of Donovan's releases. This set was his most spiritual, and therefore least commercial, but showing a depth and maturity of a master musician. "There Is An Ocean" is an incredible song about the joys of meditation and the despair of human nature.

  5. Carole King - Simple Things

    97 For Sale from $1.00

    Carole King was just past her commercial peak when she put out this exquisite record. "One" and "In the Name of Love" are two slow spiritual anthems that are favorites in my collection. This disc spins often in my house, joyfully embraced each time.

  6. Judy Mayhan - Judy Mayhan

    9 For Sale from $6.00

    Judy Mayhan's self-titled LP is ambrosia to my ear. Her singing on "See Here" sears the speakers with its resolution and conviction, urging the listener to do their very best. She utterly transforms Randy Newman's "He Gives Us All His Love" from a tongue-in-cheek satire to a deep statement of faith. She makes Bobby Darin's "Sweet Reason" exquisitely personal. I find this music very moving.

  7. George Harrison - Living In The Material World

    106 For Sale from $1.00

    This is probably my favorite of George Harrison's solo records. "Be Here Now" and "The Day The World Gets Round" are glorious spiritual statements balanced on the set by the more pop-oriented but thematically similar "Give Me Love" and the title track. This is a delicious disc from my favorite Beatle.

  8. Joe Jackson - Body And Soul

    98 For Sale from $1.95

    This may be my favorite of Joe Jackson's records, although he seems to keep getting better. "You Can't Get What You Want (Till You Know What You Want)" bops and jazz-rocks with such great conviction. A wonderful set.

  9. Sloan Wainwright - Cool Morning

    I love this artist's work. More known as Loudon's sister or Rufus' aunt, her solo work consistently connects with me. On this set she re-recorded "From Where You Are," such a strong powerful song about loss, cleaning out the closet of the dearly departed, heartbreaking, so very real. "Good Day to Live" and the title track are delights. For me, she transforms the U2 classic "Where the Streets Have No Name," slowing the tempo that lets the import of the lyric float on its exquisite melody. Ambrosia!

  10. Teddy Thompson - Bella

    2 For Sale from $10.00

    Teddy Thompson's "Bella" is off-the-charts wonderful, a perfect pop confection. "Looking For A Girl," "Delilah," "Take Me Back Again" and "The One I Can't Have" are hook-laden addictive pop songs, sung with a remarkable maturity and voice.

  11. The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

    51 For Sale from $11.99

    Sgt. Peppers was the fulcrum album for the Beatles, whose work was always excellent. It represented a maturity in both songwriting and arrangement that has kept this album fresh over the years.

  12. Bob Dylan - Blood On The Tracks

    So much of Bob Dylan's work is breathtaking that when "Blood On The Tracks" stands out, it is an incredible blend of melody, songwriting and wry delivery that keeps me coming back. "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go," "Tangled Up In Blue" and "Shelter From The Storm" are gorgeous songs.

  13. Arlo Guthrie - Washington County

    This is my favorite of Arlo Guthrie's records. "Gabriel's Mother's Highway Ballad #16 Blues" is the jewel in this lovely set. I pull this off the shelf frequently and relish it as it spins.

  14. Bryn Haworth - Grand Arrival

    I love this album so much. "Sing to the Lord" is such a beautiful faith song. The album is consistently strong for me, one I frequently play.

  15. Betty Elders - Peaceful Existence

    This is such an amazing set of country flavored folk/pop. The songwriting is breathtaking from the jarring "Crack in the Mirror" to the catchy "Edge of the Universe" and the lovely "Long Bed From Kenya." It amazes me that this set is not better known.

  16. Larry Groce - The Wheat Lies Low

    This is a fairly quiet folk/pop set that continues to amaze me whenever I spin it. The title track, "God and the Body" and "I Love" are lovely sweet tunes, delivered with a very gentle voice.

  17. Joni Mitchell - Blue

    This album was wildly popular for a very good reason; it's consistently strong in the songwriting, delivery and arrangement. "Carey," "River" and "Blue" are classic folk/pop at its best.

  18. Beth Nielsen Chapman - Look

    This is an incredibly catchy pop set, delivered with style and panache. From "Will and Liz" to "Right Back Into the Feeling" and "Free," this is a glorious upbeat pop/rock gem.

  19. Laura Allan - Laura Allan

    17 For Sale from $6.99

    Led by the incredible "Stairway," this LP has consistently been one of my favorites. Laura has a beautiful voice and this lovely pop/rock/folk record.

  20. Cher - 3614 Jackson Highway

    This is my very favorite of Cher's many records and CDs. The range she displays from Dr. John's "I Walk On Guilded Splinters" to the Dylan tracks "Lay Baby Lay" and "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You" is incredible. I pull this out nearly every year. Great record!

  21. Amy Ray - Stag

    14 For Sale from $2.11

    It's hard to pick my favorite Amy Ray album. I like her solo work much more than any Indigo Girls record because Ray is a rocker. This set has bite to it, often brutal and bitter, but with a heart striving for a better world. The ballad "Laramie" is a modern tragedy. Great set!

  22. Maia Sharp - Hardly Glamour

    2 For Sale from $2.89

    This first set by Maia Sharp has had me avidly following her subsequent releases. "The Apology," "I Need This to Be Love," and the lovely "Parting Request" set this high up in my folk/pop constellation of great albums.

  23. Catie Curtis - Truth From Lies

    It's hard to pick my very favorite of Catie Curtis' many releases, but this one has been magical for me since its release and made me an ardent fan. "Troubled Mind" is one of the best songs ever. A great folk/pop gem among her many excellent releases.

  24. The Borrowers - The Borrowers

    2 For Sale from $3.00

    Since its release, this has been one of my favorite under-the-radar gems, one of those sets so wonderful that it's hard to explain its obscurity. Consistently strong songwriting and performance as on "Beautiful Struggle" and "Strange Companion" keep this frequently in my changer.

  25. Laura Nyro - Mother's Spiritual

    27 For Sale from $2.00

    Because I have been spinning records since I was six and music is such an integral part of my life experience, it's appropriate that my list of Desert Island Discs begin and end with my very favorite singer, Laura Nyro. The title track, "Melody in the Sky" and "Sophia" are all gems in this lovely pop set by this Master songwriter and singer.