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If I stranded on a desert island and had to choose which musical albums could help me survive, these would be my favorites. If you click on the covers, you will get more info and be able to preview the music at Amazon.com. I makes musical discoveries often, and the list below may change or have new additions from time to time. Below are my personal comments to each album. Music is totally subjective and most often connected to a special occasion or situation in our lives. Simple put: no music is better - or worse - than I feel that it is. - If you are a record collector or just are looking for a CD or LP out of print, check the yellow banner to one of the biggest sites for record collectors in the world at the bottom of this page!
     
Blood On The Tracks - Bob Dylan
This is one of the greatest collections of great poems about love and hate - sung by a man frustrated by himself and by life. The way Dylan spits out his feelings, touches me every time I listen to this record. The music is so simple, acoustic guitar, bass, simple drums, harmonica - and above all the most human voice in rock music, the voice of Bob Dylan. - This CD is a combined Audio CD and SACD, for an ordinary price :) Listen
   
Hard Nose The Highway - Van Morrison
Dylan once said: "I can't sing. Van Morrison can sing." This beautiful album is full of mystery and poetry. The original LP sleeve reflects this. Hey, I miss the old LP covers! - We can hear the jazz inspiration creeping into Van Morrison's music here, and the last part of the album is slow, dreamy and beautiful. Listen
   

What's Going On - Marvin Gaye
In the early 70's, I used to work night shifts. I listened to this album every night for more than two years, and the music was growing all the time. This classic soul album set the standard for all other soul albums. It was years ahead of it's time, too. This is also one of the most religious pop album ever made, without getting sentimental or polished. I also recommend the Deluxe edition of this CD. Listen

   
Talking Book - Stevie Wonder
After releasing his first solo album "Music of My Mind" in 1970, Stevie Wonder started working on what would be his famous album trilogy. The first, "Talking Book" was nothing but a master piece, where pop and soul were mixed in a way nobody had heard before. From his ultra funky "Superstition" to the beautiful ballads like "You are the sunshine of my life", "Blame it on the sun" and my favorite (for it's innovative use of synthesizers) "You've got it bad girl". If you are after the highest possible audio quality, check out the Japanese version! Listen
   
Captain Beyond - Captain Beyond
The magical year of 1972. Progressive rock was growing, the studios made better and better recordings, the inspiration was everywhere. The great guitarist Rhino (ex Iron Butterfly) made this excellent piece of rock music with Ron Evans (ex Deep Purple) and Johnny Winter Band's exceptional drummer Bobby Caldwell. Great songs, brilliant performance, a true 70's classic! Listen
   
Seed of Memory - Terry Reid
This is one of the most beautiful albums i own. I first discovered the British extremely talented singer in 1973 when he released his "River" album. Shortly after came "Seed of Memory", a poetic album of personal songs. It's produced by Graham Nash, and among the musicians on the album is another favorite of mine, Daniel Lanois. Terry Reid never received the recognition he deserves, and for a mystical reason, he only made a couple of (not so good) albums after this one. Listen
   
Herbie Hancock - The Joni Letters
Both Herbie Hancock (the jazz fusion innovator) and Wayne Shorter (the sax poet) have worked with Joni Mitchell before, but on this very special CD, Mr. Hancock interprets the songs of Joni Mitchell. Guest singers like Norah Jones, Corinne Bailey Rae and the fabulous Tina Turner are responsible for making this one of the very best albums of 2007. Tina Turner is the beauty queen of this fabulous album! Listen 
   

Sharing - Bugge Wesseltoft
This is the second album in the New Conception Of Jazz series by the Norwegian jazz composer and artist Bugge Wesseltoft. The music is simply brilliant, with ultra cool electronic and acoustic loops mixed with piano and other jazz instruments. Bugge is a pioneer in melting electronic music and true jazz together in a poetic and groovy way, and he has a great following in France, Germany and other European countries. You may also purchase this album (and his other albums) as digital downloads (with high resolution and no DRM) from his web shop gubemusic.com. Listen

   
Inner Mounting Flame - The Mahavishnu Orchestra
John McLaughlin was playing with Miles in the late sixties, and he knew what was blowing in the wind: fusion. He bought a double necked electric guitar, convinced jazz drummer Billy Cobham, keyboard player Jan Hammer, bassist Rick Laird and rock violinist Jerry Goodman to enter his new spaceship, and off they flew. Rock, funk and jazz melted together, beautiful, heavy, fast and poetic at the same time. Listen
   
Vespertine - Bjørk
I have just recently (April 2004) discovered this enormously fascinating album by Bjørk. After the first hearing, I thought that only a couple of the songs were worth listening to again. After the second and third hearing, I was completely hooked by the whole album. Also available as a DVD-Audio CD.  Listen
   
Solid Air - John Martyn
The British folk/rock artist John Martyn has the kind of voice that will touch you, shake you and make your life richer. This is one of his best albums, with a bunch of great songs performed with style. Acoustic guitar, vibraphone, acoustic bass, drums, simply beautiful! Listen
   
Trio - Trio
The Polish jazz trumpeter and composer Tomasz Stanko gathered a trio of young, gifted musicians for several of his CD releases. Here is a great release by the trio, without Stanko. Pianist Marcin Wasilewski is the primary writer, composing a third of the set. His pieces range from the perky "K.T.C." to the nice "Shine." In addition to a handful of group improvisations, they also cover Stanko's "Green Sky," Wayne Shorter's "Plaza Real," and, in a surprise move, a gorgeous version of Björk's "Hyperballad." I just love Macin Wasilewski's poetic piano playing! Listen
   
Music Of My Mind - Stevie Wonder
In 1970, pop star little Stevie locked himself in a room full of instruments (among them some great analogue synths). He demanded that his record company let him make an album of original music coming from only one source: his own mind. The songs are great, the singing excellent, and the music is pure soul ahead of its time. Amazing! Listen
   
Litany - Arvo Part
Arvo Part is an Estonian composer of new music. He is a minimalist, and his strength is harmony. When I first heard "Litany", I discovered harmonies I had never heard before. The Hillard Ensemble, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir paint musical landscapes both beautiful and new! Listen
   
A Handful of Beauty - Shakti
The first time I heard this album, I couldn't believe my ears. John McLaughlin plays acoustic guitars with some of the best musicians from India. The violin of L. Shankar is full of emotions, melody and beauty. McLaughlin himself has been a fan of Indian music since the sixties, and with Shakti he has created so much excellent music. I think this is Shakti's masterpiece. Listen
   
The Hissing of Summer Lawns - Joni Mitchell
1971-72 was a great year for music lovers. Recording studios were equipped with high quality multi track, the best microphones, experienced sound engineers - and musicians still played acoustic drums, real guitars and heavy keys. Joni Mitchell recorded this masterpiece of surrealistic songs and colorful music in a near perfect, technical production. Listen
   
Infidels - Bob Dylan
This is Dylan from the middle of the 80's, with Mark Knopfler on guitar. All of the songs are brilliant, and the phrasing of Dylan is just unbelievable. I read in one of Dylan's biographies that the plan was that Knopfler should return back to the States in order to mix the songs before release. But when he arrived, Dylan had already finished the record. Knopfler was mad, but we have reasons to believe that Dylan knew exactly what he did ;) Listen
   
Blue - Joni Mitchell
One of the finest records ever recorded..Joni Mitchell is 100% acoustic, personal, vulnerable, beautiful. This classic album is released as a SACD in the spring of 2003 and will be a must for any serious CD collector. Listen
   
Blonde on Blonde - Bob Dylan
Many of the songs on this double album was written while Dylan was preparing for recording with his hand picked session musicians in the studio. Fabulous songs played by brilliant musicians, and the atmosphere is full of laughter, irony, joy of playing - and Dylan sharing his observations and thoughts like no one else has done before and after. Listen
   
St. Dominic's Preview - Van Morrison
A true poet with a beating heart. Listen to his voice, full of emotion and anger, in one moment whispering, in the next almost spitting. And his acoustic guitar which blends with the acoustic bass. Listen to the Lion and be transported to a different world. I find this album Morrison's finest work to date, and it always creates magic inside me. Listen
   
After the Gold Rush - Neil Young
This album was recorded when Young and his friends were at their peak musically (and perhaps smoking a little grass...). After the Gold Rush is about America, and the dream, the poor, loneliness - and love. Neil Young's voice is fragile and amazing to listen to, and he is a genius at creating melodies. Only love can break your heart - and Neil Young. Listen
   
Bootleg Series Vol. 1-3 - Bob Dylan
When an artist can put out this three CD collection of unreleased songs - and not disappoint on a single track, one have to be amazed! Many songs never heard before, and some versions of songs we already know - but here played and sung in completely new ways. Listen
   
Astral Weeks - Van Morrison
In 1968 Van Morrison went solo after the success with his band "Them", and after recording the socalled "Bang Sessions", he created one of the most mystical albums of rock, "Astral Weeks". His vocals are poetic, angry, frustrated, beautiful and ugly as he cries out about such '60s themes as cultural oppression and social unjustice. The instruments are all acoustic, and the melodies are strong and the song structures timeless. Here is an interesting article about Van Morrison'a lyrics: "Astral Weeks and the Troubles". Listen
   
Alegria - Wayne Shorter
I first discovered Wayne Shorter when he played with Weather Report in the 70' and 80's. His saxophone sounded so poetic and vulnerable, yet strong and powerful. I rediscovered him much later, when I heard one of his tunes on "Alegria". Herbie Hancock has said that Wayne Shorter is one of the greatest composers alive today, and that explains why I find his compositions so inspiring! Listen
   
Suspended Night - Tomasz Stanko Quartet
Tomasz Stanko is a mighty trumpeter, composer and band leader. And what a band he has on this great CD from 2004: Marcin Wasilewski on piano, Slawomir Kurkiewicz on bass and Michal Miskiewicz on drums. These players really set the table for the right moods and atmospheres for Stanko. Wasilewski is one of the most sensitive and lyrical pianists I have ever heard! Listen
   
Caravanserai - Santana
Carlos Santana with his best musical team, ever. So inspired, so full of life, so exotic and Latin sounding. An on top of all this, the most beautiful guitar solo ever recorded: "Song of the wind". The whole atmosphere of this album is great, mysterious and so alive. Listen
   
Who's Next - The Who
When Glyn Johns sat down in the studio to produce the Who when they recorded this album, he found out that there wasn't much need for him. Pete Townshend had already made excellent demos of his songs in his home studio, and the band was so tight and inspired that the music sounded perfect at once. Keith Moon's drumming is brilliant, and so is John Entwhistle's bass, Roger Daltrey's singing and of course Townshend guitar playing. Listen
   
Weld - Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Some years ago, I was driving along in Oslo looking for a new apartment in the summer afternoons. In my cassette player Neil Young and Crazy Horse was playing. I got so inspired by this live music that I finally bought my own electric guitar and a Fender amp. I think Neil Young's solo on "Cortez the killer" is a masterful demonstration in simplicity combined with expressiveness. Listen
   
Close to the Edge - Yes
I remember lying in my bed listening to Kid Jenssens Dimensions at Radio Lux in 1972 - when "And you and I" poured out of the radio. I was half asleep, and the beautiful music touched me so much. The crispy, acoustic guitar of Steve Howe, the singing of Jon Anderson and those simple, Moog effects by Rick Wakeman. Listen
   
Republic - New Order
I never liked the early New Order albums, but when I put a cassette with this album in my car player - I was hooked. I listened to it every single day for more than a year, and the songs were growing all the time! This is one of the best pop records ever made, in my ears. Very modern for its time, too. Listen
   
Songs In The Key of Life - Stevie Wonder
This is Stevie Wonder at the peak of his career as a composer and performer. All the songs on this double CD are full of soul, funk, jazz, melody and life. We hear a commercial tendency in "Isn't she lovely", but most other tracks are both original and fresh, some of them unbelievable funky! Listen
   
Humans - Bruce Cockburn
The Canadian singer/songwriter Bruce Cockburn has recorded a lot of albums since he started off in the seventies. This one is one of his finest, with beautiful songs like "You get bigger as you go", "How I spent my fall vacation" and "The rose above the sky". Listen
   
Kind of Blue - Miles Davis
What happens when you melt bebop jazz with blues? You get one of the most beautiful jazz record ever recorded. Miles asked his friends John Coltrane (sax), Bill Evans (piano), Paul Chambers (bass) and James Cobb (drums) to join him in the studio, and they created musical poetry which will live forever. - This album is also available in the high definition SACD format. Listen
   
Talking Heads - Remain In Light (Dual Disc)
This is simply an invention of pure pop, New Wave, Early Electronic and Dance-Rock which sounds as good today (2006) as it did when it was released in 1980. David Byrne's witty lyrics are food for the soul, and Brian Eno's production is pure gold. This re-release (2006) is on a dual disc with a great 5.1 multichannel audio mix in additon to the original stereo mix. Listen
   
Rain Tree Crow - Rain Tree Crow
This is a wonderfull hybrid of the experimental styles of David Sylvian, Karn, Jansen and Barbieri (ex "Japan"). I have read that the album was written as a result of group improvisations, with no pre-rehearsals. That explains why the musicians are so clearly listening more than performing, creating more than repeating. Pure class! Listen
   
For Everyman - Jackson Browne
Jackson Browne is one of the finest voices in rock music, and also one of the finest song writers. This is his second album, from 1973, full of small songs with big melodies and excellent playing. The songs glide into each other like the spring evolves into summer. Listen
   
Alone Together - Dave Mason
A true classic from the early seventies, by one of the finest voices and guitarists in progressive rock music. This collection of vulnerable songs is a pleasure to listen to. Great session musicians play like gods, too. A warm and beautiful album. Listen
   
Judee Sill - Judee Sill
This album is a true classic, and not very many music fans know about it. Judee Sill released this - her first album in 1971, and it contains great songs with excellent performance. Her followup "Heart Food" (-73) had the same quality, and the songs were even more personal. Judee Sill died (from an overdose) too young, but she left us two music jewels. The two albums with several bonus songs, were released as "Complete Asylum Recordings" in 2006 and is great value for money. Listen
   
Lifeforms - The future sound of London
I like ambient music, and this double CD masterpiece from The future sound of London is a journey through sound and musical images. The music creates pictures in your mind, and clouds of colors drift above imaginary landscapes of controlled noise. Listen
   

 

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