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Kevin Crossman’s Desert Island Discs

The discs that I’d take with me on a desert island. My criteria: No compilations/greatest hits albums and each disc must be a great disc from start to finish. The revised 2004 criteria doesn’t penalize an album with ten great tracks just because there is one so-so one (i.e. Good For Your Soul).

2004
Rank
2003
Rank
1999
Rank
Artist
Album
Year
Notes
1
13
Oingo Boingo Good for Your Soul
1983
I never really appreciated this album until recently and it was probably the creative peak for the band. More polished than Nothing to Fear but not as polished as Dead Man’s Party, this was the last “underground” Boingo album and also their best.
2
1
1
Oingo Boingo Nothing to Fear
1982
The studio version of “Grey Matter” was never equaled in the live versions on later Boingo compilations. A great mix of styles on this album.
3
2
2
Pet Shop Boys “It’s a Sin” CD single
1987
Also features “You Know Where You Went Wrong.” Probably the best two songs ever produced by PSB. It was hard to make this choice since, as a singles band, the PSB compilations are excellent. But I did have that criteria…
4
3
3
Martin Denny Exotica
1957
Probably not the best Exotica record (that honor would go to Robert Drasnin’s “Voodoo!”), but certainly the blueprint for all that came afterwards. The Mono version is superior to the stereo version and also features Arthur Lyman on vibes.  The fine folks at Scamp Records have packaged this album with “Exotica II” which is pretty great too.
5
4
5
Dread Zeppelin Un-Led-Ed
1990
Probably the greatest album from a band most people have never heard of. Their mix of Led Zeppelin’s “Heartbreaker” with Elvis’ “Heartbreak Hotel”, “Heartbreaker Hotel” has got to stand as one of the greatest songs of all time.
6
5
6
The Cure Mixed Up
1989
I know I said no compilations, but rules are made to be broken. The key for this album is not that there are a great list of songs (which there are), but that the remixes create such a cool vibe that lasts throughout the album.
7
7
Pink Floyd The Division Bell
1994
A big F-U to Roger Waters on this amazing album. I’ve always preferred Gilmour’s songs and voice anyway. Very good replay value for this album and great to mellow out to. If this is the last Floyd album then “High Hopes” is a great coda.
8
6
7
Basil Poledouris “Conan the Barbarian Soundtrack”
1982
I got into movie scores with stuff from Tangerine Dream and Danny Elfman, but the Conan soundtrack is the best. You can listen to the entire thing with no visuals and be mesmerized.
9
10
Men at Work Cargo (remastered)
1983
The remastered version includes several bonus tracks including “The Longest Night” recorded in Berkeley. That was the first concert I ever wanted to go to, but sadly didn’t make it. A much stronger album thanBusiness as Usual.
10
8
The Donnas Spend the Night
2002
After getting this album I got three previous Donnas albums within a month! Musically, this is hard rock ala AC/DC or High’n Dry era Def Leppard — but with punk rather than blues influences. Lyrically, think Bon Scott reincarnated as a 22 year old click from Palo Alto.
11
9
8
Alice in Chains Dirt
1992
“What’s my drug of choice? Well, what have you got?” Still a great record from beginning to end, though the with the death of Layne Staley the album is certainly a bittersweet listen.
12
11
No Doubt Rock Steady
2001
Effective use of keyboards makes their sound even more New Wavey. You know how when you first hear a song in concert it never sounds good until you buy the album? Well, I first heard “Hella Good” in concert when No Doubt opened for U2 — and loved it!
13
14
Nirvana Nevermind
1991
The album that changed the music industry ought to end up here somewhere. I really, really liked Nirvana back in the day. Incesticide is another good album but is sort of a compilation so it can’t make the list.
14
15
Robert Drasnin Voodoo!
1959?
The lost materpiece of exotica! Fabulous percussion and the album that got me interested in exotica music (thank you Wired for reviewing this album).
15
17
Garbage Garbage
1995
Though BeautifulGarbage is another great album, few debut albums can match this one. Love the mix of guitar and electronic parts. Shirley Manson can sing a little, too.
16
18
The Police Ghost in the Machine
1981
The first album I ever listened to over and over again. I used to only listen to half of this album (first half of side one, last half of side two) because it was on cassette. Now, with compact disc, I’ve grown to appreciate the other parts of the album.
17
19
Les Baxter The Ritual of the Savage
1951
The Godfather of exotica creates the blueprint for Martin Denny and dozens of others with this classic album. Featuring “Quiet Village,” “Love Dance,” and “Stone God.”
18
12
9
Sisters of Mercy Vision Thing
1990
You know how you hear albums playing in the record store and it is either some album you’ve heard a billion times before or some new piece of garbage? I heard this album playing at Tower a couple years after its release. Heard something like two songs and I bought it that day. Another great album that holds your interest the entire way.
19
Berlin Pleasure Victim e.p.
1981
Do we penalize this one because there are only seven tracks, even if they are seven great tracks? Well, we don’t anymore. Features a layered sound and vocals that are in perfect sync with the lyrics.
20
20
4
David Gilmour About Face
1984
Didn’t hold up as well as I thought, but still a great album. One song, “Cruise”, always takes away my stress.

A bunch of albums almost made it including those by AC/DC (Back in Black), B-52’s (B-52’s and Wild Planet), The Cars (The Cars), The Cure (Boys Don’t Cry and Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me), Def Leppard (Hysteria), The Eagles (Hotel California), Evanescence (Fallen), Men at Work (Business as Usual), Metallica (Ride the Lightning, Black Album, and Re-Load), No Doubt (Tragic Kingdom), Pet Shop Boys (Please, Actually), Pink Floyd (Wish You Were Here, The Wall), and Spinal Tap (This is Spinal Tap Soundtrack).

Kevin Crossman’s Desert Island Vids

2006
Rank
2004
Rank
Album
Year
Notes
1
1
Citizen Kane
1941
Still a great piece of movie-making on so many levels.  Anyone who says this isn’t one of the greatest films of all time is just wrong, wrong, wrong!
2
2
Bridge on the River Kwai
1959
Another fave from film class. Wonderful acting, great cinematography, and an explosive finale!
3
3
The Terminator
1984
Probably the first movie where I totally geeked out and watched it over and over again on video. T2 and T3 were pretty good, too, but this movie has a lot more character.
4
5
That Thing You Do!
1996
I’m a big Tom Hanks fan (he’s brilliant, as usual, in the movie by the way).  Great soundtrack and a wonderfully nostalgic look back at an earlier time. Best scene: when the Oneders hear their song on the radio for the first time.  Hanks did a great job writing and directing this one.
5
18
Notting Hill
1999
A romantic comedy that isn’t a “chick flick.” Very funny and includes some excellent musical sequences. I simply cannot turn this off when it shows up on television. Pretty close to a perfect movie
6
Zoolander
2001
Essentially the first Frat Pack film. I love Will Ferrell’s performance best, but Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson are outstanding as well. Great 80’s sensibility.
7
4
Pulp Fiction
1994
Because bacon tastes good. Great dialogue and acting. And funny, funny, funny.
8
Old School
2003
Great performances by Vince Vaughn and Will Ferrell, but Luke Wilson hold this movie together. Love the quirkly little moments and the move definitely spoke to the late 30’s man in me…
9
6
The Getaway
1994
The Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger remake. Good acting and an exciting story, but the finale in the hotel is just a great scene.
10
7
Basic Instinct
1992
Just plain love this movie. The soundtrack is excellent too. Two words: “Obsession, obsession.”
11
9
Conan the Barbarian
1982
The aforementioned soundtrack is excellent, but the cinematography and action scenes are great. Arnold was perfectly cast in this move.
12
11
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
1982
Khan! Anytime someone says William Shatner can’t act, just laugh and pop this one in. Exciting cat and mouse game and that’s really Ricardo Montalban’s real chest.
13
12
Star Wars
1977
Episode 4 for those of you born in the Nineties. This one gets the nod because it was the first movie I saw over and over in the theatres. The best Han Solo movie, too.
14
13
Planet of the Apes
1968
I thought the remake was cool but nothing tops the original. One of the best surprise endings ever!
15
8
This is Spinal Tap
1984
If you can’t quote a half-dozen key lines from this movie then there is something wrong with you. Remember, there is a fine line between stupid and clever!
16
14
Animal House
1978
The first R rated movie I saw. Yeah, the rest were pretty much downhill after this classic.
17
16
Raiders of the Lost Ark
1981
A nearly perfect movie, from the fabulous prologue to the final resting place of the Ark.
18
17
Die Hard
1988
Probably one of the most influental movies on this list. For ten years every action movie that came out was “Die Hard on a …” Bruce Willis was perfect in this movie.
19
19
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
1983
Absolutely hilarious, but also surprisingly touching.
20
Anchorman: the Legend of Ron Burgundy
2004
I defy anyone to point to a better scene in the history of cinema than the “Anchorman Rumble.”  Great ensemble and Will Ferrell is in fine form.