Here at the b5media music channel, we’ve been chatting about the albums we’d take if we were stranded on a desert island. Sure this list isn’t entirely practical. After all, we rarely get to take the things we want when we’re stranded, and when we get there the batteries in our discman probably won’t last very long.
Honestly, the only purpose such a list does serve is to clue our readers into some of our favourite albums around. They may not be the coolest, or the most critically acclaimed, but each recording means something to us. My Aussie-flavoured list is below. When you finish reading it, make sure you check out some of the other desert island must-haves around the music channel today!
East by Cold Chisel
This classic album from Cold Chisel is almost like a best of recording, with songs like “Choir Girl,” “Rising Sun,” “Ita” and “Cheap Wine.” It’s the perfect showcase of Don Walker’s lyrical genius, Mossy’s guitar prowess, and Barnesy’s trademark rock rasp.
Standout track: “Cheap Wine”
White Monkey by Danielle Spencer
She’s better known as Mrs Russell Crowe these days, but in the early part of this decade Danielle Spencer was making some brilliant music. White Monkey features ethereal vocals, lyrics steeped in fairy-tale allusions, electronic melodies, and a whole lot of feminine angst.
Standout track: “White Monkey”
Polyserena by George
Vocalists Katie and Tyrone Noonan help make this album one of surprising diversity. Her songs feature soaring sweet vocals, while his are darker and moodier. There’s a reason why this album won as many awards as it did.
Standout track: “Special Ones”
Torch the Moon by The Whitlams
This album had to make the list for its variety, with tracks ranging from raucous pop songs to plaintive ballads. While many regard Eternal Nightcap as The Whitlams crowning glory, this disc wins by a nose for me. Tim Freedman is in fine form here, living up to his reputation as one of Australia’s great lyrical poets.
Standout track: “Royal in the Afternoon”
Affirmation by Savage Garden
I wasn’t sure whether to include Savage Garden’s debut here instead, but in the end their second album won out. My love of “Two Beds and a Coffee Machine” made the decision for me, but there’s much more to this album than this standout track. It’s unashamedly pop, with some surprisingly moving moments.
Standout track: “Two Beds and a Coffee Machine”
Counting Down by Human Nature
The lads from Human Nature have been the butt of many jokes for years, but the truth is they’re very good at what they do. They proved it on their second album, Counting Down. It was a dramatic departure from the bubblegum pop of their debut, combining elements of funk and blue-eyed soul. I may not be a teenage girl anymore, but I still love this.
Standout track: “Counting Down”
Flesh and Wood by Jimmy Barnes
Flesh and Wood was also a bit of a departure for Jimmy Barnes. Everyone’s favourite Aussie rocker is better known for screaming his guts out than really singing, but that’s exactly what he does here. Friends like Diesel, Joe Cocker, The Badloves, and Tommy Emmanuel also lend a hand. This is one of those discs I rediscover every now and then, and it always blows me away.
Standout track: “Guilty”
… And The Horse You Rode In On! by James Reyne
Australians all know the songs on this album, tracks made famous by Australian Crawl and James Reyne. But … And The Horse You Rode In On! is more than a best of collection. This album takes these familiar tracks and gives them an acoustic twist, allowing them a new lease of life. I love the simplicity of these raw recordings, which why this makes the list.
Standout track: “Errol”
3000 Feet High by Paul Mac
I’d never thought much of techno king Paul Mac’s early work, but when he released 3000 Feet High I stood up and took notice. He maintains his electronic sensibilities but creates songs that resonate beyond the dance floor. The guest vocals by Peta Morris, Abby Dobson, Tex Perkins, and Jacqui Hunt are outstanding. If I feel like grooving on the desert island, I’ll slip this in.
Standout track: “Just the Thing”
World Gone Crazy by The Screaming Jets
If I’m stranded on a desert island, I’ll want to hear something that reminds me of home. As a proud Novacastrian, that something is the sounds of The Screaming Jets. This is pub rock served straight up. While World Gone Crazy didn’t have big singles like “Better” or “Helping Hand,” I think it’s their most consistent body of work.
Standout track: “Elvis (I Remember)”