Jim's Desert Island Discs

These are all songs that have *already* stood the test of time for me, I still can't get enough even after years and years of listening to them. It just so happens that some of them are very long too, so I'm getting my money's worth. Here they are, in no particular order.

  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • Performer: Queen
  • Composer: Freddie Mercury
  • CD: A Night at the Opera (1975)

A little Bohemian Rhapsody gentlemen? Good call!

'Nuff said.

  • Paradise by the Dashboard Light
  • Performer: Meatloaf
  • Composer: Jim Steinman
  • CD: Bat Out Of Hell (1977)

To be honest, I'd be happy with any track off the original Bat Out Of Hell album. I think this one beats Bat Out Of Hell (the song) by a whisker. It's a bit of a cheat really because it's 3 songs in one but hey, I can't help it if I like epics. Meat Loaf reminds me of my teenage years and our little biker gang, tearing around the country lanes on Friday evenings in the summer. Shame I wouldn't have a woman on the island to sing the duet with, but at least I could pretend.

  • Toccata and Fugue, for organ in D minor (The Dracula theme)
  • Performer: -
  • Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
  • CD: ~1708

I think a lot of classical music as you listen to it just blurs into the background and makes you glassy-eyed. No danger of that here, this pumps you full of adrenaline right from the shocking intro - I hope there's a church on the island for listening to this in its full glory. Scary!

  • Shock Me
  • Performer: Kiss
  • Composer: Ace Frehley
  • CD: Love Gun (1977)

Kiss rocks and any song would do, with one notable exception - Crazy Crazy Nights drives me up the wall, bloody awful. Anyway, this track is not one of their best known ones and I think that's one of the reasons I like it so much. Air guitar music, what a riff.

  • Doctor Rock
  • Performer: Motörhead
  • Composer: Würzel, Campbell, Gill, Lemmy
  • CD: Orgazmatron (1986)

For me, this is what put the 'roll' in rock n roll. It has a sort of hypnotic, pulsating beat that rumbles along like juggernaut. Headbanging music.

  • Pretty Vacant
  • Performer: Sex Pistols
  • Composer: Sex Pistols
  • CD: Never Mind The Bollocks Here's The Sex Pistols (1977)

When the boredom and drudgery on the island gets too much, this is just the right kind of wild, crazy stuff to get it all out of your system. Yelling music.

  • Wish You Were Here
  • Performer: Pink Floyd
  • Composer: Gilmour/Waters
  • CD: Wish You Were Here (1975)

How's that for a fitting title on a desert island?

I was introduced to Floyd 20 years ago by a lad called James who I was on the kibbutz in Israel with. He'd just (according to him) failed all his A levels at Eton and was there to escape the horror. He used to have drunken escapades like waking up to find his bed on fire, and walking around with one side of his hair shaved off (in his sleep) without realising it. He used to listen to this song on his walkman and sing "we're just two lost souls living in a fishbowl year after year" which was about the strangest lyric I ever heard. This is still my favourite Floyd track (Comfortably Numb comes a close 2nd). This would be escapist music, I get so absorbed in it that everything else gets blocked out.

  • Personal Jesus
  • Performer: Depeche Mode
  • Composer: Martin L. Gore
  • CD: Violator (1990)

I picked it because I just like the song, but the lyrics are appropriate if you're all alone and thinking of topping yourself.


  • Book: Battlefield Earth
  • Author: L. Ron Hubbard

I would probably take something substantial like the encyclopaedia but if it had to be a novel it would definitely be Battlefield Earth by L. Ron Hubbard... yes, the scientology nutter but don't let that put you off, this is science fiction at its best. If you've seen the movie don't let that put you off either, it seems like they just plucked a couple of bits of storyline out of the book and made a movie out of that - the way they jumped into fighter jets and flew them was just stupid. I thought Travolta played Terl well though. It's the only book I've ever read more than once.

  • Luxury Item: A comfy bed. After all, you spend a third of your life asleep.



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