4

040: Lennie Tristano Quintet, ‘317 East 32nd’ (Live in Toronto 1952)

Desert Island music. Ice also burns.

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1

157: Nilsson, ‘One’

Nilsson, Part II–the many gems he made in the short time before he embarked on self-destruction.
“I’m sure he influenced the Beatles as much as the Beatles influenced him.”–Al Kooper

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156: Nilsson, ‘Without Her’

Nilsson’s first album is virtually unknown, but John Lennon listened to it for 36 hours straight. Try listening only this song just once – a bass, a cello, and one magical, gravity-defying voice. You can’t do that.

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153: Pete Christlieb & Warne Marsh, ‘Magna-Tism’

Pete Christlieb (Steely Dan/Tonight Show ) teams up with the legendary Warne Marsh, 1978. Listen to two tenor saxophonists set the studio on fire.

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3

155: Buddy Holly, ‘It Doesn’t Matter Anymore’

When the weather’s right, this song can still make me cry.

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2

152: Sam Cooke, ‘A Change is Gonna Come’

Sam Cooke wrote ‘A Change is Gonna Come’ as a black response to ‘Blowing in the Wind’. It was only released a week after he was killed by a motel manager, and has become the unofficial anthem of the Civil Rights movement. Second in a series of three death-premonition songs.

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151: Otis Redding, ‘(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay’

You might not think that “Spookily Existential Posthumous Hits” is a genre unto itself, but here’s the first of three which are memorable, moving and eerily prophetic. Otis recorded this song two months before he died, aged 26.

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149: Antony & the Johnsons: ‘Epilepsy is Dancing’

Antony Hegarty, an artist of questionable sexuality but undeniable gravity, flinches at nothing: he explains how the world menstruates, writes lyrics like ‘Cut me in quadrants/Leave me in the corner’, creates the profoundly unsettling video of “Cut the World”. Artists break conventions. Antony is a gentle, tortured, spiritual queer who leaves no convention or preconception unbroken. And nobody’s laughing.

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