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"Desert Island Disks" Topic

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466 hits since 11 Jan 2016
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Last Hussar11 Jan 2016 6:26 p.m. PST

For many decades now BBC radio 4 has run a show called Desert Island Disks. A person, usually famous for a reasonable amount of time, or politician or other member of the Great and The Good is interviewed about their song choices- this being a framing device for them to talk about their life.

(As an aside, a former Admiral and First Sea Lord, said he was rather pleased to find out on an official trip to Japan that his title translated as Shogun of the Sea. The head of the Army was less impressed, and wished he had a impressive title, at which point the Admiral pointed out First Landlord didn't sound that great)

Anyway, the idea is you are washed up on a desert island. Somehow some other flotsam and jetsam that has washed up includes a record player and your 8 favourite songs.

What are these songs for you? You may pick 8 only.

Also on the island are the complete works of Shakespeare, the Bible (or other appropriate religious work) and a luxury. Your luxury is just that – it can't be useful, so no emergency beacon.

Also if you had to pick just ONE of those records, which would it be?

Andrew Preziosi Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2016 6:46 p.m. PST

You equate songs and records; which is it?

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian11 Jan 2016 9:17 p.m. PST

What's a record player?

napthyme Sponsoring Member of TMP11 Jan 2016 11:21 p.m. PST

The 8 records would be the first 8 Jethro Tull albums. Any 8 songs from those is fine.

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2016 6:20 a.m. PST

You equate songs and records; which is it?

It's songs – or piece of music – but not an album of songs.

So, you could have "A day in the life" but not the whole of the Sgt Pepper album.

But – if you choose, say Mahler Symphony Number 3 then you get the whole Symphony (but they only play a snippet of it on the program). You can't pick "the complete works of Haydn".

Years ago pretty much everyone picked 8 pieces of classical music, not they mostly pick 6 or 7 songs and one piece of classical music. Unless it's a Violin player or similar.

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2016 6:29 a.m. PST

Interestingly it's been running so long that some few people have done it more than once.

Stewart Granger, for example, did Desert Island Discs in 1945 and again in 1981.

It can be an interesting insight into people, our current Prime Minister for example picked Benny Hill's "Ernie the fastest Milk Man in the West" as one of his all time favourite songs. Ummm.

Old Wolfman12 Jan 2016 7:51 a.m. PST

Provided you had a reliable power source for the old turntable,unless it was an old crank-up model.I'd likely pick 1/3rd classical,the rest a mix of rock,country,comedy,jazz.

RavenscraftCybernetics Inactive Member12 Jan 2016 9:37 a.m. PST

So if you were on a deserted island and had only one Dave Mathews album to listen to…
How would you kill yourself?

Red358412 Jan 2016 11:56 a.m. PST

If you need inspiration the archive of broadcasts is here..


(Not sure if the link will work everywhere)

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2016 1:06 p.m. PST

@Old Wolfman : i think the conceit of the show is that there is a hand-cracked record player (so no useful power source for elsewhere) and that, by great good fortune, the exact records you want have washed up as 78rpms.

You're ship may have sunk, stranding you on the desert island, but in this one respect you've got lucky grin

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2016 1:07 p.m. PST

Anyway, now we know the rules, maybe we should try and answer the OP's question ! evil grin

Wargamers, eh? They love to haggle over the rules! wink

Last Hussar12 Jan 2016 1:49 p.m. PST

To be clear…1 pick, 1 piece of music. This started in the time of 78s (ask the OFM).


Last Hussar13 Jan 2016 5:18 p.m. PST

Pachebel's canon in D
Life on Mars – David Bowie
Don't stop me now – Queen
Romeo and Juliet – Dire Straits
Tainted Love – Soft Cell
Love Cats – The Cure
Mack the Knife
The Ship Song – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

As I probably wouldn't be allowed a book on survival, the book being more a luxury item, Nightwatch by Terry Pratchett

Luxury – A supply of stationery so I could write.

Joppyuk Inactive Member14 Jan 2016 1:59 p.m. PST

I forget who it was now, but some opera singer chose eight songs, al of her singing them!

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