Choosing 10 albums to listen to for the rest of our lives | Our desert island thought experiment

We reveal our choices

The Sonic Collective is entering our tenth year, and we thought it would be fun to start 2024 off with something a bit different… a thought experiment! Feel free to play along! Don’t think too hard about this setup – it’s meant to be an absurd scenario…

Here goes:

You find yourself on a sinking ship. Maybe it hit an iceberg, maybe pirates have boarded and sabotaged the hull. The only thing that matters is that you’ve gotta get yourself off the boat alive and over to the desert island that is a short swim away. Oh, and while you’re at it, you have room to bring TEN albums (and presumably the means to play them). Why were you travelling with all the music in the world? Who knows… Just choose ten albums to take with you!

That’s it. Simple, right?

Actually, no.

Who knows how long you’ll be stuck on this hypothetical island. Maybe for the rest of your life! These 10 albums had better be good, and your choices better be strategic. Will you lean into nostalgic music from your youth? Music that sparks joy? Music that offers enough complexity that you won’t tire of it? What about music that you just started getting to know? Are you taking the thought experiment literally and bringing beach music? These are the questions we faced when the four of us spent over a month pondering which ten albums we’d bring. And as expected, it generated a very interesting conversation between ourselves.

Our desert island albums:

Click on our names to see our album choices and some notable songs, or just go for a long scroll. All albums are linked on Spotify, if you wanna hear our choices for yourself.

Scott G’s albums  Darren’s albums  Scott C’s albums  Alain’s albums


Scott G

The Tragically hipDay For Night
Notable songs:

  • Grace, Too
  • So Hard Done By
  • Nautical Disaster

Bruce SpringsteenBorn in the U.S.A
Notable songs:

  • Dancing in the Dark
  • Born in the U.S.A.
  • I’m on Fire

Bryan AdamsReckless
Notable songs:

  • Run to You
  • Heaven
  • Summer of 69

Veruca SaltEight Arms to Hold You
Notable songs:

  • Volcano Girls
  • Benjamin
  • With David Bowie

RoxetteLook Sharp!
Notable songs:

  • The Look
  • Dressed for Success
  • Listen to your heart

Guns N’ RosesUse Your Illusion II
Notable songs:

  • Knockin’ on Heave’s Door
  • Civil War
  • You Could Be Mine

U2The Joshua Tree
Notable songs:

  • With or Without You
  • Where the Streets Have No Name
  • Bullet the Blue Sky

Tom PettyFull Moon Fever
Notable songs:

  • I Won’t Back Down
  • Free Fallin’
  • Runnin’ Down a Dream

Pet Shop BoysActually
Notable songs:

  • It’s a Sin
  • What Have I Done to Deserve This?
  • Rent

HeartHeart
Notable songs:

  • What About Love
  • If Looks Could Kill
  • NEver

Darren

SadeStronger Than Pride
Notable songs:

  • Love is Stronger Than Pride
  • Paradise
  • Nothing Can Come Between Us

The PoliceSynchronicity
Notable songs:

  • Every Breath You Take
  • King of Pain
  • Synchronicity II

Bob MarleyLegend
Notable songs:

  • One Love / People Get Ready
  • Redemption Song
  • No Woman, No Cry

The BeatlesRevolver
Notable songs:

  • Eleanor Rigby
  • Tomorrow NEver Knows
  • And Your Bird Can Sing

Talking HeadsStop Making Sense
Notable songs:

  • Burning Down the House
  • Once in a Lifetime
  • This Must Be The Place

A Tribe Called QuestMidnight Marauders
Notable songs:

  • Award Tour
  • Electric Relaxation
  • Oh My God

Billy IdolRebel Yell
Notable songs:

  • Rebel Yell
  • Eyes Without a Face
  • Flesh For Fantasy

Miles DavisKind of Blue
Notable songs:

  • So What
  • Freddie Freeloader
  • Blue in Green

Tom PettyWildflowers & All The Rest
Notable songs:

  • Wildflowers
  • You Don’t Know How it Feels
  • It’s Good to be King

NirvanaNevermind
Notable songs:

  • Polly
  • Something in the Way
  • Smells Like Teen Spirit

Scott C

PrincePurple Rain
Notable songs:

  • Let’s Go Crazy
  • When Doves Cry
  • Purple Rain

Pink FloydDark Side of the Moon
Notable songs:

  • Us and Them
  • Breathe
  • The Great Gig in the Sky

U2The Joshua Tree
Notable songs:

  • Where the Streets Have No Name
  • With or Without You
  • Running to Stand Still

Foo FightersThe Color and the Shape
Notable songs:

  • Monkey Wrench
  • My Hero
  • Everlong

Van Halen1984
Notable songs:

  • Jump
  • Panama
  • Drop Dead Legs

Herb Alpert and the Tijuana BrassGreatest Hits 1
Notable songs:

  • Tijuana Taxi
  • Lonely Bull
  • Spanish Flea

Phil ThorntonTibetan Meditation
Notable songs:

  • Meditation
  • Welcome Return
  • Mandala: Ascent

ACDCBack in Black
Notable songs:

  • Back in Black
  • What Do You Do For Money Honey
  • You Shook Me All Night Long

The Rolling StonesExile on Main Street
Notable songs:

  • Tumbling Dice
  • Shine a Light
  • Happy

Led ZeppelinLed Zeppelin 2
Notable songs:

  • Ramble On
  • Lemon Song
  • Heartbreaker

Alain

Marianas TrenchMasterpiece Theatre
Notable songs:

  • Celebrity Status
  • Acadia
  • Masterpiece Theatre 3

I Mother EarthScenery and Fish
Notable songs:

  • One More Astronaut
  • Another Sunday
  • Like a Girl

Oh, SleeperSon of the Morning
Notable songs:

  • Son of the Morning
  • World Without a Sun
  • Reveries of Flight

Limp BizkitSignificant Other
Notable songs:

  • Nookie
  • Break Stuff
  • N 2 Gether Now

ToolAenima
Notable songs:

  • Stinkfist
  • Forty Six & 2
  • H.

OdeszaThe Last Goodbye
Notable songs:

  • The LAst Goodbye
  • Better Now
  • Equal

DeftonesAround the Fur
Notable songs:

  • My Own Summer (Shove it)
  • Be Quiet and Drive
  • Around the Fur

Marianas TrenchEver After
Notable songs:

  • Fallout
  • Stutter
  • No Place Like Home

GunshipDark All Day
Notable songs:

  • Dark All Day
  • Drone Racing League
  • Time after Time

NirvanaIn Utero
Notable songs:

  • Rape Me
  • Pennyroyal Tea
  • Heart Shaped Box

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