Yesterday, my dad sent me an e-mail about Frank Sinatra: The Man, The Music, The Legend, an anthology of essays about Ol’ Blue Eyes brought together at a 1998 conference held at Hofstra University. After reading the briefing by Benjamin Schwartz, literary and national editor of the Atlantic, I began to think of how much I enjoy Sinatra, although I hardly mention him on Five Best. From there, my thoughts drifted towards if I could only hear five bands or artists for the rest of my life, who would they be? Here’s what I came up with, in no particular order:
-If you’ve read my blog even once, you know how much I love Dylan. Plus, he’s got a long discography of fifty plus albums—and how could I go the rest of my life without hearing my two favorite albums, Blood on the Tracks and Blonde on Blonde.
-Lots of albums, lots of different emotions he can stir up, amazing voice…need I continue?
-Although they didn’t release as many albums as Dylan or Sinatra, they’re the freakin’ Beatles! Of course I’d include them.
And here’s where it gets tough. Those three choices I thought of without even really, well, thinking, but for my final two, I’m left wondering whether I should choose two rock bands. Or maybe some jazz? Can I go the rest of my life without hearing Once More, With Feeling again? So, after much thought, here are my final two:
-When I asked my dad who he’d have on his list, he included Louis (along with Dylan, Sinatra, Paul Desmond and either Bill Evans or Ben Webster) and I didn’t. In an e-mail I sent back to him after getting his choices, I mentioned that I’d probably pick Monk or Coltrane over Louis but upon second thought, I would choose Louis for one main reason: vocals. Although I might listen to Monk and ‘Trane more, I don’t think I could go the rest of my life without hearing his work with Ella Fitzgerald.
For the last slot, I thought about Richard Thompson, Miles Davis, the Kinks, the Ramones, Neil Young, the Velvet Underground, the Rolling Stones, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke and David Bowie, but my choice inevitably came down to two: The Clash or Tom Waits. And my last artist is:
-I may actually like the Clash more than Waits, but it simply comes down to the amount of albums and how good they are. The Clash has two masterpiece albums (The Clash and London Calling) while Waits only has one (Rain Dogs), but there aren’t that many other Clash albums (I mean, I could go the rest of my life without Super Black Market Clash, and I wouldn’t too upset). As for Waits, he doesn’t have a bad album on his résumé, and has a lot more of them as well.
So here they are:
Who would be in your group?