Six Songs For A Desert Isle

Categories: Music

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Here's audio I could listen to through eternity ... or at least until a hawk swoops down and pecks my eardrums out.


(6) "Losing My Religion by R.E.M.

Don't tell me what it means! Don't even tell me they broke up! Just tell me I can have this on constant rotation!

Its propulsive guitars and angsty vocals always fill me with a rush of simultaneous shame and empowerment. Consider this: I love this song. Whatever it means!


(5) "Oh Me, Oh My" by Lulu

Lulu is my favorite white R&B singer of the '60s, and much as I worship her classic bit of mentor appreciation, "To Sir, With Love," I really favor this under-touted gem of love -- a legato torcher in which she starts out sultry ("To make you laugh, I'll play the fool for you ..."), then rocks out with crazed love mania ("Oh me, oh my, I'm a fool for you, baby"), going back and forth between those modes with stylistic aplomb.

It was too schizo to be a hit on any chart except my own one for the desert isle. Give it to me!


(4) "Young Americans" by David Bowie

Again, I have no idea what the fuck it means except that it's a scathing indictment of just about everything, but Bowie's slinky vocals backed by screaming saxes and Luther Vandross on backup make for a long and winding story song with swoops and surprises. This was an exciting musical turn for Bowie to take, and it certainly paid off; I want to hear it till I die.


(3) "You Oughta Know" by Alanis Morissette

Some righteous anger is needed for a desert-isle catharsis, so this where-are-my-meds rant should probably be medleyed with Twisted Sister's "We Ain't Gonna Take It" as a palate cleanser before one goes back to one's Debbie Boone.


(2) "Son of a Preacher Man" by Dusty Springfield

So raw and sultry I always wondered how they allowed this thing on the radio. I was thrilled, mind you. It always filled me with a hormonal surge -- and Dusty's whiskey-soaked vocals are a cure for all ills. I never paid attention during sex education. I'd already learned everything from Dusty and Billy Joe.


(1) "He Touched Me" by Barbra Streisand

Babs's rendition of this otherwise obscure Broadway show tune is so creamy, dramatic, and intimate, I find it the most romantic thing ever recorded. I love the bit about how "He's real and the world is alive and shining ..." She makes you see him, believe him, and even feel him. With her full-throttle emotion and immediacy, La Streisand convinces you that a casual brush of the hand was bigger than WWII.


There's no way I'm heading to any island alone without those six songs! Try and stop me!

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18 comments
Tamsky2
Tamsky2

right on, young americans is a killer

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig

Whenever I hear "He Touched Me", I'm reminded that the lyrics were written by Ira Levin ("Rosemary's Baby","The Stepford Wives").

Jelly
Jelly

Was it originally "She touched Me" from the show Drat The Cat! Maybe Elliot Gould was in that and that's why Babs recorded it? 

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig

You're right, Jelly. Elliot was in that show. It only ran for 8 performances but, thanks to Barbra, that song will live forever.

Ruthminter
Ruthminter

I can't believe it, but I actually saw that show on Broadway for one of those 8 shows!The only thing I remember about it was the song that Eliot Gould sang that BarbraStreisand changed from "She Touched Me" to "He Touched Me".......loved both.Music Lover

Muscato
Muscato

Brit DJ/Megastar Sonique's "I'm Alive"Alison Jiear's "I Just Wanna Dance" (from the Jerry Springer Opera!)Madeline Peyroux's "Dance Me to the End of Love"Eartha singing "Here's to Life"Judy singing almost anything, but especially "Smile"...Guiltiest Pleasure:  Miss Ross, "Chain Reaction"*

*in the immortal words of Noel Coward, "amazing how potent cheap music can be!"

Jelly
Jelly

Up The Ladder to the Roof--Supremes (without Diana)

Ynnocence
Ynnocence

Dusty sang about Billy-Ray - as written; I think Billy Joe belonged to another song, by another singer. Great choices, except you could maybe "extend" the Lulu with To Sir with Love and Best of Both Worlds. And ... oh dear, no Motowns, or Bacharach-era Dionne Warwick (whom even the great Dusty and Barbra covered more than once)? At least add Dionne's Any Old Time of the Day, so you'll have a luckier seven.

Jonster
Jonster

Hmmm. 

1.  Land of Make Believe - Esther Satterfield & Chuck Mangione2.  The Look of Love - Dusty Springfield3.  Keep Your Hands to Yourself - Georgia Satellites4.  Son of a Preacher Man - Joan Osborne5.  Second Chance - 38 Special (sighhhhhh)6.  Silent Lucidity - Queensryche

Musto
Musto

I love Joan Osborne's version of "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted?"

Swirloff
Swirloff

I will look up the Lulu song. Thank you for the recommendation.

Lost Weekend
Lost Weekend

Another rule:  It cannot have been butchered on "Glee."  (I hope you haven't given Ryan Murphy any ideas for more bad arrangements.... or, as they call them these days, "mash-ups")

Shazizzle
Shazizzle

Glee's ratings have gone down since they started focusing so much on showtunes. That might be bad for "Smash," the show about showtunes!

mousetomato
mousetomato

Totally agree with you on Dusty - possibly the greatest match-up of song and singer ever - my others would probably be: Mambo Italiano ( Rosemary Clooney), Angelina (Louis Prima), An Everlasting Love ((Natalie Cole), How Glad I Am (Nancy Wilson), and The Folks Who Live on the Hill (Jo Stafford).

Sanders
Sanders

What a Difference A Day Makes

Rolling in the Deep

Abel
Abel

Ditto on Babs and Dusty.  The others, not so much.  But I'm of an OLDER generation.

Parka
Parka

Anything by Olivia Newton John and I am serious!!

Peekskill
Peekskill

Great choices--except for Alanis.

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