Almanac Desert Island Discs – Which album will you take?


A few years back I posted this piece on the site regarding a favourite album you would take with you to your mythical ‘desert island’.


Over the  passing years  many new albums have been released to take into consideration, and also, the opportunity arisen whereby you  discovered older albums you may have  overlooked in the past, or were totally unaware of. 


Having said that, the ‘Desert Island Disc’ I would take with me remains the same, ‘Highway 61 Revisited’ by Bob Dylan.


Has your ‘desert island disc’ remained the same?



For some time now I’ve been part of a disparate group of individuals who meet weekly for coffee and discussion about everything and nothing.


Col & cahoots at the Fair Trade Cafe Colac
(Image: CGR)


Usually it’s a music related theme we discuss over our coffee. We bring along old vinyl LPs, cds, books, magazines, and photographs to support the discussion and to share for comment. We may discuss topics such as our favourite LP, the “why did I ever buy that album?”, favourite group, and so. As you can imagine the conversation can be robust, entertaining and enlightening.


Tony brings his guitar occasionally and has penned a theme song about the group which we enthusiastically join in to the amusement of our fellow patrons. Our impromptu singalongs  can be a lot of fun as we struggle to remember the words to old favourites as well.


At our next coffee session we are bringing along our “Desert Island Disc” for show and tell. Mine is easy, without a doubt, Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited is the one album I would like to be marooned with on a desert island.


What is your Desert Island Disc? Please share your  choices in the comments box or add to the discussion there.


I’m sure there will a lot of interesting music nominated.


More from Col Ritchie can be read Here


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About Colin Ritchie

Retired teacher who enjoys following the Bombers, listening to music especially Bob Dylan, reading, and swimming.


  1. I have to second that Col. Closely followed by Blood on the Tracks and The Basement Tapes (if a martian landed on planet earth and wanted to know who Bob Dylan was, for some reason I reckon I’d give them The Basement Tapes). Can we bring a few more albums? I’d also like to take Cosmo’s Factory by Creedence too. Abbey Road by the Fab Four. I better spot now.

  2. Colin Ritchie says

    Good choices Damian! Blond on Blond would be my next followed by the second The Band album. I’d probably throw in a Best of the Beach Boys or something like that to suit the mood of the island as well!

  3. Such a great, perennial question Col.

    Unlike picking a footy team a shortlist here is easier. Blood on the Tracks, Exile on Main St and Astral Weeks are all in the conversation as is Frank Zappa’s Joe’s Garage, Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew (NB- no apostrophe here), Vampire Weekend’s Modern Vampires of the City and Belle and Sebastian’s If You’re Feeling Sinister.

    Looking forward to this thread.

  4. Frank Taylor says

    Good one Col
    I have been interested in a person’s Desert Island Disc (DID) since 2009 when I was doing a stint in WA mines for a while.
    I gave a whole bunch of people a blank CD and asked for their 80mins of must-have music and received well over 60.
    Fascinating. And very, very enjoyable. It brought me some new (a lot) of new (great) artists that I had never heard of as most people were not of my generation, but usually closer to my children.
    I have done a couple since and both have been quite different, funny how the passage of time changes things slowly.

    If the DID is a compilation, my MUST inclusions are:
    Artie Shaw’s version of Begin the Beguine (my mothers’s and my all-time favorite piece), and a song from artists: Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, Billy Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Pink Floyd,The Stones (or) Beatles.
    Also selected over the journey have been:
    Julie London, Fleet Foxes, Tuung, Boy and Bear, Simon and Garfunkel, Dire Straits, Benny Goodman, Tchaikovsky, Bing Crosby, Andrew Sisters, Beirut, Jackson Browne, Cat Empire, Marty Robbins, Little Richard, Chubby Checker, Chilli Peppers, Cannons Jug Stompers….

    However if I could take one artist, and ONE artist ONLY, it would be:
    Benny Goodman, “Sing, Sing, Sing” – a compilation released probably 20+ years ago including that famous (and great) title track.
    Such happy music.

    A nice theme Col and friends,
    Looking forward to more responses/choices

  5. An impossible choice, but in my shipwrecking, providence fudged it a bit and provided a double album. A White one. She also washed up a solar panel and a coffee grinder along with a crate of beans. What joy!. Then when boredom and loneliness threatened to overwhelm, a High tide transported a canoe-wrecked tropical maiden to a beach on a remote part of the island. We Found each other, did what mammals do and pretty soon there was a population. “Why don’t we do it in the road?” became the national anthem.
    We found there was a song for every emotion: sexy, sad, mad, celebratory and dissenting.
    But I never did get back to the USSR.

  6. Colin Ritchie says

    Thanks Frank, a real variety there, a choice for every mood and moment.

    Ripper Paul! Must admit similar thoughts did cross my mind.

  7. Great one Col.

    Today, I choose Taylor Swift’s “Lover.”

    So much going on.
    A celebration.

  8. Shane John Backx says

    Derek & Clives Ad Nauseum for me.?????

  9. I am sure that like many others, my favourite albums are now as much memories of times and places as they are pieces of music. As such, the question I’ve been asking myself since reading this post hasn’t been “What’s my favourite album of all-time,” but rather “If I was marooned on an island and completely out of touch with the world for the foreseeable future, what part of my life would I most want to reminisce over through music?”

    Of course, this was completely overthinking your question, Col.

    If I was marooned on a desert island, I’d surely be nostalgic for times past, even if the specific time I was nostalgic for was frequently changing… As such, I suspect the album I’d take is ‘The Suburbs’ by Arcade Fire.

  10. Roger Lowrey says

    L A Woman, The Doors.

  11. Playlists/mixtapes have long since replaced albums. When we drove around Spain & Portugal for 6 weeks in 2017 3 artists got their own iPad download playlist – Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne & Jason Isbell. On the ‘PB Faves’ list the biggest numbers went to Dylan, Neil Y, Emmylou, Linda R, Glen Campbell, Paul Simon, Mary Black, Bowie, John Stewart, REM, Pretenders, Smiths. Dunno why The Band didn’t get a gig.
    Hold my head under water and limit me to one album – Jason Isbell – Something More Than Free. His “South Eastern” album is staggeringly poetic and elegant but just a little too Cohenesquely mournful to listen to for the rest of my life.
    Nice one Col.

  12. A Bach piano sonata

  13. Shane, why did you pick Ad Nauseum over Derek and Clive Come Again?

    London Calling by the Clash. A double without a filler track can’t be surpassed.


  14. Assuming I could power up my record player, I reckon I’d enjoy the Goon Show, Abba, Queen, or perhaps Credence.

  15. I’ve wrestled with this unanswerable most every week since I was 15. It doesn’t help that albums as a specific art form only took root in the 60s and it could be argued started to lose their raison d’être once downloading took the reigns. Also there are heaps of artist with plenty of great songs over a career that easily supersede a particular album. A best of from Hank, Johnny, Chuck, Little Richard, Elvis, Merle, Ray, Aretha, Smokey, Marvin, CCR, Sly, Slim, ACDC, John Prine, Charlie Rich, Dolly, Stevie and so on could satisfy me for a very long time. However as for specific albums, here’s some that come to mind, today:

    Pet Sounds
    Amazing Grace
    London Calling
    Lucinda Williams (self titled)
    Mug’s Game
    Speakerboxxx/Love Below
    To Pump a Butterfly
    Western Stars

  16. To Pimp a Butterfly (auto-correct getting it wrong, again)

  17. Colin Ritchie says

    Some inspired choices Almanackers! I’m sure if we were all marooned on the same desert island together we’d be well and truly entertained!

  18. Rick, good to see London Calling on your play list.

    I can’t place the self titled Lucinda Williams album but always enjoyed Car Wheels On A Gravel Road.


  19. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Real Life by Magazine

    You’ll get a different answer tomorrow.

  20. “Which album will you take?”
    Virtually impossible to answer. But I will have a go:

    “London Calling” by the Clash.

  21. Hey Glen, here’s a link:

    All killer, including my fave Lucinda song, Side of the Road.

    Cheers & onya Colin for this topic and thread

  22. PB, great selection taking Isbell. Best songwriter going around.
    Colin is being marooned on a pissant little island, whereas I’m going somewhere better. Therefore I have room for two albums, and will be taking Jason Isbell’s Southeastern and Sticky Fingers. Because, you know, Sway, Wild Horses, Can’t You Hear Me Knockin, Moonlight Mile…

  23. PS On my new and improved island you’re allowed to take two live albums as well.
    Ya Yas packs itself. But the other is J Geils Band Full House, from the early seventies when that band was the best live act on the planet, before all that Angel is the Centrefold crap.
    My island will be upwind of Colin’s and every now and then through the whining boilerplate of Bobness, when the sea is calm and the moon full, he will be able to hear that on my island we actually rock.

  24. “Rubber Soul ” The Beatles

  25. Hi Rick, i used to have “Changed the Locks ” as a single. I dispensed with all my vinyl 5, or so, years back but still have 3 Lucinda Cd’s. “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road” is the fave.


  26. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Great concept Col.
    Tough choice, but if I had to take one it would be Lou Reed’s ‘New York’ . One of the few albums I can listen to without jumping a track. Foretold much of what the world faces today including the rise of identity politics, Trump, racism and corrupt officials in politics and religion.

  27. I reckon I could take anything by the Stones circa 68-72, or better still a compilation of their best from those years.  Just killer riffs and grooves and Mick singing vowels.
    Btw, you hear a lot about favourite albums, songs, bands, etc. but what about favourite moments in a song? i.e. a part of a song that takes you to another place i.e. chord change, opening riff, solo, drum roll, middle 8, etc.  I could name a few but I reckon the one that always gets me is Madame George by Van Morrison at about the 4:30 to 5:30 mark.  It just takes you to another stratosphere with all those violins, flutes and Van the man singing something about a glove.  Just beautiful.  And this is coming from Van Morrison, the biggest arsehole on the planet.

  28. DB- I’m also interested in moments within songs. Here a piece with some rather obvious choices, but I’m considering another piece looking at different songs.

    Regarding Van- did you read the recent piece on him in the Guardian? Confirms what you’re saying, but what a singer!

  29. Colin Ritchie says

    Great idea Damian. reading your post immediately the Hammond organ solo in “Whiter Shade off Pale” mid way in came to mind, just sends shivers down my spine. Volume on full. The other one that comes to mind is “Desolation Row” towards the when Bob goes into his harmonica solo, the acoustic guitars are really thumping the beat, and again, shivers down my spine. Might set up a post later in the week to follow up your idea unless you are thinking of doing it. Cheers.

  30. Luke Reynolds says

    Very tough Col.

    My favourite album of all time is Together Alone by Crowded House. A perfectly crafted masterpiece suited to island life. So I’m taking that. Not far behind is Time & Tide by Split Enz and Physical Graffiti by Led Zeppelin.

    But, could happily live on said island with just Spotify for company.

  31. Mickey/Colin, it’s a great idea for a post / study – little moments within songs. Colin I reckon that word you use “shivers” is a good way to describe it. Mickey, I think you’re onto something with that previous post. It’s a project that I reckon a non-musician should undertake, and then it should be reviewed by a musician, who might identify certain musical patterns that appeal to the listener. We’re all wired differently, I am sucker for melodic stuff, doo-wop, ice cream chord changes, etc. Maybe cos I grew up watching & loving Happy Days. I still get the shivers when I hear a lot of McCartney’s melodies, but especially ‘Here, There & Everywhere’ which to me is the pinnacle of songmaking, also the key change in ‘Flame Trees’ (Do you remember nothing stopped us on the field?), the choruses of ‘Waltzing Matilda’ (if done right) and ‘Up There Cazaly’ and the chord change in ‘Danny Boy’ when it goes ‘But come ye back when summer’s in the meadow’. I am sucker for that sort of stuff.

  32. Agreed DB. It’s like when McLeod sold the dummy or Marlion did the backspin. Sport and music most captivating when it takes you places you didn’t expect.

  33. Great conversation starter. Hope we all end up on the same island so the communal collection gives us plenty to listen to.

    I could agonise over this for months, the first thing that popped into my head was John Coltrane – ‘A Love Supreme’

  34. Great call DB and so many moments.

    Bruce hitting the A chord to start Born to Run, such a freeing sound and an announcement for what is about to come.
    Likewise, on Backstreets when Bruce reaches the pinnacle of the story (and I hated him and I hated you when you went away) he lets loose a howl so frightening, filled with anger, fear, desperation, loss and hollowness. It’s the best “lyric” of the song.

    And of course who doesn’t turn into a quasi opera singer tryingto hit the high notes attempting to sing along to Marty Robbins El Paso! Wild as the west Texas win,in,in,in, ind

  35. A wonderful lyric is when, in Fairytale of New York, Shane Macgowan wistfully intones “I could have been someone…” To which Kirsty McColl sarcastically replies “Well, so could anyone…”

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