Eight music records I would take to a desert island

Back in 1989, I joined Sue Lawley on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs to talk about my family, Virgin, my adventures, and of course, the hypothetical pleasures and perils of being a castaway on a desert island. You can listen to the interview here. What a throwback!

richard branson in virgin records studio.jpg

Following the iconic programme’s simple format, I also chose eight music records that I would take to a desert island. If you’re wondering what they were, here’s a list of the tracks…

1. Summer Holiday, by Cliff Richard & The Shadows

2. Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?, by Culture Club

3. You're A Lady, by Peter Skellern

4. Tubular Bells, by Mike Oldfield

Richard Branson with Mike Oldfield at Virgin Records

5. Fever, by Peggy Lee

6. In The Air Tonight, by Phil Collins

7. Goodness Gracious Me, by Peter Sellers

8. She's A Mystery To Me, by Roy Orbison


1989 was a hugely exciting time for Virgin and for music. It was also the year that I married the love of my life, Joan. A great year all round! Sadly, just three years after I did this interview, we had to sell Virgin Records (although we still help where we can) to keep Virgin Atlantic in the air. But to this day, music remains at the heart of the Virgin Group – and these tracks are still firm favourites on Necker Island’s record player.

What eight tracks would you take to a desert island? I’d like to hear about them in the comments below.


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