When we interviewed Richard Marx back in February, he revealed how he reluctantly embarked on a few solo shows — just him on the stage — on a dare from his agent. The resounding success of those initial shows have led him to Stories to Tell, a 3-disc set now available exclusively through Wal-Mart. The first disc is a collection of stripped-down, acoustic arrangements of some of his best songs, and the second is a new greatest hits compilation. Both discs feature different versions of his new single, “When You Loved Me,” a fantastic track that hasn’t left my head in about two weeks. You can get the digital versions at Amazon or iTunes, but you’ll want to head to Wal-Mart to grab their exclusive third disc: a live DVD from a sold-out solo gig in Shepherd’s Bush, England. I was sold on Richard Marx from his excellent live show, and if you haven’t seen him in concert, this disc will sell you on the experience.

In honor of the new release, we asked Richard to share five of his Desert Island Discs: the albums (yes,  children, albums) he’d take with him if stranded on a desert island. Take it away, Richard!

1) Peter Gabriel, So

A pivotal album in my life. I stood outside the record store the day it was released in 1986 until they opened the doors at 10 a.m. It didn’t let me down, and it still holds up today. “Red Rain” never fails to move me. If I’m honest, I’d burn a new disc and replace “Excellent Birds” with “Shock The Monkey” from Security. Otherwise…pretty perfect.

2) Earth, Wind & Fire, I Am

My favorite album all through high school. Some people called E,W & F the black Beatles. I say that’s unfair to both bands. They’re both uniquely amazing. The arrangements and production on this album still sounds fresh, and Maurice White is among my favorite singers of all time.

3) Paul Simon, Still Crazy After All These Years

This is the album that made me want to be a songwriter. My dad played it for me. I was twelve, but I still “got it.”

4) Imogen Heap, Speak For Yourself

An other-wordly talent. Lots of journeys on this disc, and all worth taking.

5) Elvis Presley, NBC TV Special (aka ’68 Comeback Special – expanded edition here)

The first album I ever bought with my own money. It’s still great, but it’s the memories of my own I associate with it that would make me want it with me…always.