Island

Taking One Discography to a Desert Island

Last night, while listening to some music and having a beer, I tossed out a question on Twitter that I’ve always found fascinating:

Desert island game, but you have one band’s full discography only, who do you go with? I’m thinking I’d have to pick Jimmy Eat World.

What I’ve always liked about this question is that it forces you to make decisions beyond just thinking about a favorite band. If your favorite band doesn’t have a large catalog then you’re stuck for a while with only three albums. And if you are looking for diversity in music styles, or strength in numbers, then there’s another way you can go. The idea of a band’s entire body of work, and looking at it as a whole, has been a long running theme of mine. After asking the question, and getting promptly dunked on by none other than Mark Hoppus,1 the answers started coming in.

At first it was a bunch of what I expected from our little music scene. Lots of Brand New, Blink-182, Yellowcard, and Thrice. And then all of sudden the answers started to change. I’m not sure how or where it started,2 but the tweet ended up going a little viral and spreading way further than the small group of followers that know me and the kind of music I have written about on a daily basis for years. The replies started coming faster and it was way more Billie Joel, Rush, Bruce Springsteen, The Beatles, and Barbra Streisand. It was funny to watch the conversation completely change from the kind of music I’ve been listening to and writing about over the course of a few hours. And, because it’s the damn internet, that also meant I now had quite a few people that really didn’t like my pick (or some of the early replies).

Those that have read my writing for years know how much I like Jimmy Eat World. I’ve talked before about how I think they have one of the best catalogs in our little scene and they just keep putting out great music. My thought process is that I love the band, there’s a lot of music in that catalog, and there’s enough style changes so I’d have something for every mood while I’m sitting on island. Now, after getting a few snarky tweets about how could I not pick The Beatles or The Rolling Stones,3 I kinda wish I went with something even more out there: A Wilhelm Scream, Propagandhi, Strung Out? Might as well earn the snark.

All-in-all it was a pretty hilarious evening, and I’m curious to see how our community would answer this question. So, if you wanna hit the comments I’d love to see what the prevailing artist and catalog in our forums ends up being.

Oh, and if I had to make a list of artists to choose from (the whole point is that it is hard and you have to pick just one), it would probably be something like this:

  • Jimmy Eat World
  • Bad Religion
  • Blink-1824
  • Thrice
  • The Gaslight Anthem
  • Brand New
  • Paramore
  • A Wilhelm Scream
  • The Beatles
  • Michael Jackson
  • Andrew McMahon
  • Butch Walker
  • Carly Rae Jepsen
  • Yellowcard

I dunno, that’s what I’ve got off the top of my head when I think about great discographies that are “island worthy.”


  1. I need to make this tweet a mug so I can drink tea out of it.

  2. I think somehow it got passed around a few sports writer circles.

  3. Definitely sports circle.

  4. Apparently bullying works.

Jason Tate
Jason Tate Jason Tate is the founder and editor-in-chief of chorus.fm. He can also be found at @jason_tate on Twitter and on Facebook.
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