In honor of Record Store Day 2019, we thought it would be fun to ask some of our contributors to share their top three desert island albums. For some, the selection process was nearly instantaneous as though the names of their favorite albums rest in some easily accessible file cabinet in the cerebrum. For others, their lists took some serious consideration and required footnotes, honorable mentions and indications that “Should you ask me next week, my list is bound to be different."
Regardless, we're pretty sure you'll agree, and disagree, with some of their selections below.
Frank R. Hermans, Publisher
Van Halen “Van Halen" – Because at 15 I could scream like David Lee Roth and wanted to be him. “Runnin' with the Devil" and “Jamie's Cryin'" are classics!
Elvis Presley “ELV1S: 30 No. 1 Hits" – I perform every song on this album and it inspired me to learn "A Little Less Conversation."
Wham! “Make It Big" – My favorite all-time singer is George Michael (don't hate me). I love every song on this album; to this day I hear “Wake Me
up Before You Go-Go," I take my clothes off.
Mike Eserkaln, Lunch Notes
The Beatles "The White Album"– They're at their peak of creativity, and at the same time growing as individual artists. It's like four separate artists working on their own songs, each with the best back-up band in the world.
Tom Waits “Rain Dogs"– So many different styles. Each song tells a vivid story. I've listened to this album so many times I've created a plot line for it, like it's a musical.
David Bowie “Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars" – This one is a concept album with some sort of story-line, but the lyrics are so wonderfully odd that I can re-interpret what it's about multiple times.
Kasey Schumacher, Social Cues
Eagles “Hotel California" – The individual voices, the harmonies, the rhythms. I can't get enough of this album.
“Hamilton" (Original Broadway Cast Recording) – I come from a musical theater background and while I have a ton of favorite musical albums, I'm still on the Hamilton train. I hear something new each time I listen and I've had it on repeat for years now.
The Goo Goo Dolls “Dizzy Up the Girl" – I stumbled upon this album right around the time I learned how to drive. It reminds me of being 16-years-old and always puts me in a good mood.
Davies Wakefield, Wine Uncorked
The Band “The Band" – This album with Robbie Robertson, Levon Helm, Rick Danko, Richard Emanuel and Garth Hudson gets played all the time at our house.
Backup band for Bob Dylan fused rock with country and had an overarching effect on music during the 1960s and into the '70s evoking old-time rural America with “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" and “King Harvest (Has Surely Come)."
Van Morrison “Pay the Devil" – This 2007 Van Morrison album is a tribute to country and western music. Who knew that a red-haired Northern Irishman who is famously known for “Brown Eyed Girl" could wow the Austin City Limits crowd with great C&W tunes like “Back Street Affair," “There Stands The Glass" and “Once a Day."
Puccini “Tosca" – Not just any recording but the RCA Victrola recording with coloratura soprano Zinka Milanov, Swedish tenor Jussi Bjoerling and Bronx baritone Leonard Warren. Erich Leinsdorf is conducting the Rome Opera House Orchestra.
Warren's portrayal of chief of police Baron Scarpia is a mesmerizing portrayal of lust and vengeance when he joins the church chorus in the Te Deum.
Denis Gullickson, A Take on Titletown
Tears for Fears "Elemental" – Never put it away, the album that my buddy Chris Dame and I clicked on.
Joni Mitchell "The Hissing of Summer Lawns" – I love everything by Joni, have literally grown up with everything by Joni and been absolutely in sync with her despite whatever the critics said.)
David Sylvian "Secrets of the Beehive" – The very best album I have to listen to when I get to the cottage up north and have no one to bother me or answer to. I have fallen into glorious rest many a night there listening to this album gifted me by a very dear friend.
Tom Smith, Make Green Bay Weird
Ramones “Too Tough to Die" – The first Ramones is my favorite by them but this album is very special to me and never fails to put me in a great mood. I think this is their most underrated album.
Beastie Boys “Paul's Boutique" – Their best album and the genius of the sampling on this album will inspire me to find a way off the island.
Redd Kross “Neurotica" – This album for me contains magical properties, and it also never fails to fire me up with great vibes and is the most underrated album of all time. Period.
Andrew Kruse-Ross, Editor
Kurt Atterberg Symphony No. 3 – Quite simply the most beautifully constructed piece of music I've ever heard. It is a masterpiece in any and all ways. It sets the bar as to what mankind can create in his finest hour. Inspiring.
Christopher Cross “Christopher Cross" – Not a trendy pick by any means, but this was and still is a wonderful collection of summery pop songs. Sentimentality has it in my Top 3 as my very earliest childhood memories involve this album and my father's '71 Chevy Nova. Personnel included guitar greats Larry Carlton and Eric Johnson and vocals by Don Henley and Michael McDonald.
Depeche Mode “Violator" – I was in middle school when I first saw the music video for “Enjoy the Silence," directed by the great Anton Corbijn. As David Gahan – dressed as king – trekked across picturesque landscapes while toting a deck chair the words “This is the coolest thing I have ever seen" may have slipped my lips. This moment opened the door to countless electronic explorations.
Record Store Day 2019 is April 13. Enjoy extended hours, discounted merchandise and a selection of releases from the RSD list of more than 400 new and/or exclusive and limited releases hitting shelves for this historic day of 'digging the bins.' Both Green Bay's Exclusive Company, 423 Dousman St., and Rock N' Roll Land, 504 S. Military Ave., are participating Record Store Day locations. Please find their respective ads in this issue for details.