If you had to go away for awhile and you could only take five of your favorite albums with you, which ones would you choose? Yes, we know it isn’t a fair question, but that hasn’t stopped us from asking music fans who happen to be recording artists in their own right. This edition of Desert Island Discs comes courtesy of Sugar Free Allstars, whose latest LP, All on a Saturday Afternoon, arrives June 12. You can preview the first video from the album below — after reading their Desert Island picks, of course!
Dr. Rock’s Picks:
Brian Wilson Presents Smile
I love this nearly lost classic album. It’s three sides on vinyl of playful, intense, and amazing songwriting. I find it very engaging and love the complex harmonies and rhythms that tell a great story all the way through. Sounds like the best Beach Boys you ever heard.
Led Zeppelin, Houses of the Holy
It’s Zeppelin — what can I say? I could probably pick any of their albums as I find them all equally good, but for a serious hi-fi rock out, this is the one for me. These are the albums we all learned from, and the musicianship is out of this world all the way around. It always feels to me this record was made at a peak of songwriting and recording technique for the band. Doesn’t disappoint to this day.
Devo, New Traditionalist
It’s no secret how huge of a Devo fan I am, and this is one of many of their albums I could pick. This was the first of their highly synthesized albums which continue to this day. The songs are flat out anthems to me and I will keep singing them long after the record is over. Super catchy if not maybe a bit dark without realizing it. And really the only other thing I have to say is: synthesizer explosions.
The Beatles, Abbey Road
I have always always always loved the Beatles (did I mention always?). When I was in fifth grade I saved up my money so I could buy the 1962-1966 compilation on cassette and pretty much wore it out, following it up with the 1967-1970 compilation. Then I found Abbey Road on vinyl (in terrible shape) at a garage sale and couldn’t get enough of it. I especially loved (and still love) the way they merged so many song snippets together to form one long song on side two. This album also has one of Ringo’s greatest compositions, “Octopus’ Garden.”
Dr. John, Gumbo
This is the album that really got me into New Orleans music. Before I heard it the main styles of NOLA music I was familiar with were Zydeco, Jazz and Dixieland, but this record really opened me up to the city’s Rhythm and Blues and Second Line Street Parade sounds that have become a huge influence on my writing and our musical style as a band. And on top of that, we’re huge Dr. John fans!
Little Richard’s Greatest Songs
There are several reasons I like this 10 song greatest hits compilation. First of all, it’s Little Richard, one of the true pioneers of rock and roll. He was/is such a great singer and piano player with a personality that is, to put it mildly, over the top. Secondly, I love every song on the album and feel it should be required listening for anyone wanting to be a musician (it has one of my favorite songs ever, a not-quite-as-overplayed tune called “Lucille” that gets me excited no matter how many times I’ve heard it). And finally, it influenced us to only put 10 songs on our albums. I ALWAYS listen to all the songs on this album, and usually will start it over again. “Leave ‘em wanting more…”