From Publishers Weekly
Marcus's 1979 cult classic Stranded gets an update in this anthology from editor and author Freeman (Running the Voodoo Down). Following Marcus's lead, Freeman gives 20 of today's young, high-profile music critics creative latitude to tackle a title in any genre they'd choose as their one and only. The result is a collection of essays extolling the virtues of Sonny Rollins' A Night at the Village Vanguard, Dio's Anthology, Dionne Warwick's Legends and History of Our World Part 1: Breakbeat and Jungle Ultramix by DJ DB, among others. While some authors are guilty of over-indulgent rock critic cleverness--Seattle Weekly scribe Dave Queen, for one, writing about Scorpions' Virgin Killer-others offer intriguingly off-beat interpretations of the desert-island concept. Freelancer Lainia Dawes creates a narrative while clinging to Skunk Anansie's Stoosh, heavy-metal historian Ian Christe builds a survival tale around Iron Maiden's Killers and Village Voice music editor Rob Harvilla focuses almost exclusively on the first 60 seconds of "Just What I Needed" from The Cars' self-titled debut. Summing up this fine collection of very personal opinions, All Music Guide writer Ned Raggett (picking My Bloody Valentine's Loveless) reminds readers and artists that "all that matters about a song or a group or anything artistic is how you yourself react to it."
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Updating Stranded (1979), in which Olympian rock critics like Dave Marsh, Lester Bangs, and Robert Christgau touted the records they'd want with them on a desert isle, Freeman asked younger evaluators their choices. The consequent recommendations include old stuff (Miles Davis' Bitches Brew, Steven Stills' Manassas); hard stuff (Motorhead's No Remorse); soft stuff (Elton John's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road); the scintillating oddment (Sonny Rollins' A Night at the Village Vanguard); and much more. John Darneille celebrates Dionne Warwick's 52-track Legends, saying "There are many roads to the grave, and this one is mine," and Simon Reynolds puffs John Martyn's delightful Solid Air, despite the fact that it doesn't include Martyn's legendary collaboration with reggae legend Lee Scratch Perry (that's on Big Muff). "Martyn moves through the music like a shark," Reynolds raps, his "musky rasp" contributing to an "oceanic arcadia" reminiscent of vintage Jimi Hendrix. Phew! Other choices? The Scorpions' Virgin Killer. Alice Coltrane's Journey in Satchidananda. The Cars' The Cars. Hey! They can't all be obscure and forgotten chefs d'ouevre. Tribby, Mike