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What Are The Best Vinyl Records To Add To Your Collection?

Top 25 Albums To Own On Vinyl

Tom |

We all know that record collecting is often based purely on personal preference, but how many of these must-haves do you currently have in your collection? 

If you are a seasoned professional, or if you have just started your collecting journey, you’ll want to make sure you’ve checked at least a few of these twenty five albums off your list! 

1 - Rumours - Fleetwood Mac

During the production of "Rumours" in the late 1970s, the members of Fleetwood Mac were dealing with intense interpersonal conflicts, including romantic breakups and strained relationships. These turmoils were used to add extra, emotional strain to the album.

2 - Thriller - Michael Jackson

Due to its cinematic quality and length, the Michael Jackson "Thriller" music video was actually released theatrically in some locations, becoming one of the few music videos to be screened in movie theatres.

3 - Abbey Road - The Beatles

The Abbey Road zebra crossing has become a pilgrimage site for Beatles fans. Many visitors recreate the iconic photo by crossing the street, and it has become a popular tourist attraction in London.

4 - Nevermind - Nirvana

The baby on the cover of this Nirvana album is Spencer Elden, who was only a few months old at the time the photo was taken. The photograph was captured by photographer Kirk Weddle. Elden's parents were friends with the photographer, and they were initially paid $200 for the photoshoot.

5 - London Calling - The Clash

The cover art for this album by The Clash was initially inspired by the design of Elvis Presley's debut album, and the title track's distinctive bass-line was created by accident during a rehearsal.

6 - Greatest Hits - Queen

As of August 2023, Greatest Hits by Queen has spent 1,062 weeks on the UK Albums Chart, and has been certified 23× platinum with sales of over seven million copies, making it the best-selling album of all time in the UK.

7 - Pet Sounds - Beach Boys

Released in 1966, "Pet Sounds" is a concept album that marked a significant departure from The Beach Boys' earlier surf and car-themed songs. The themes of the album instead focused on love, heartbreak, and introspection.

8 - Revolver - The Beatles

The album is renowned for its experimentation with studio techniques and sounds. The Beatles and their producer, George Martin, utilised techniques like backward recording (heard in "Tomorrow Never Knows") and the innovative use of sound effects.

9 - Kind of Blue - Miles Davis

Released in 1959, ‘Kind of Blue’ by Miles Davis was recorded in its entirety in only two sessions. The musicians involved also had limited rehearsal time for the album, and so many of the tracks were recorded in just a few takes; capturing the spontaneous and collaborative nature of the sessions.

10 - Purple Rain - Prince

The album and film of the same name (to which this album provides the title track for) are loosely based on Prince's own life experiences and struggles. The character of "The Kid" that Prince portrays in the film reflects his own journey as an artist and musician. 

11 - What's Going On - Marvin Gaye

This Marvin Gaye album's production, featuring layered vocals and intricate arrangements, pushed the boundaries of what was expected in R&B and soul music at the time, however, Motown was skeptical of how it would be received. They went on to back the project, citing its artistic and social significance as the main reason for its success.

12 - Unknown Pleasures - Joy Division

The Joy Division album cover features a series of white lines against a black background, forming a graph that depicts the radio frequency emissions of the first known pulsar, CP 1919. The graph was first discovered by astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell in 1967 and represents the pulsar's pattern of electromagnetic radiation.

13 - Random Access Memories - Daft Punk

This album is notable for its emphasis on live instrumentation, featuring collaborations with various musicians and vocalists. Daft Punk worked with musicians such as Nile Rodgers, Pharrell Williams, and Paul Williams to create a fusion of electronic and organic sounds.

14 -The Wall - Pink Floyd

"The Wall" was not only an album but also a grand multimedia project that included a live concert tour and a feature film. The Pink Floyd album's concept was designed to be experienced across multiple formats, making it one of the most ambitious artistic endeavours in music history.

15 - The Velvet Underground & Nico

A limited edition variation of this Velvet Underground album with a peelable banana sticker has become a collector's item amongst fans, making original pressings with intact peelable stickers highly sought after by music and art enthusiasts alike.

16 - Legend - Bob Marley

Releasing in 1984, "Legend" by Bob Marley spent more than 12 consecutive years on the official albums chart, making it one of the longest-charting albums in history.

17 - The Dark Side of the Moon - Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd's idea for the now-iconic artwork was to encapsulate the album's themes of life, death, and the human experience through the visual metaphor of light entering a prism and being split into its component colours, symbolising the spectrum of emotions explored in the music.

18 - Led Zeppelin (self titled)

Graphic Designer George Hardie had to elaborately alter Sam Shere’s iconic photograph of the Hindenburg disaster using a technique known as ‘mezzotint’ so that it could be used for Led Zeppelin’s seminal album without concerns of plagiarism.

19 - Kid A - Radiohead

Kid A - Radiohead

The album's title track, "Kid A," was initially written during the sessions for their previous album, "OK Computer," but it didn't fit the overall feel of that album. Instead, the song's ethereal and electronic qualities set the tone for the new direction Radiohead would take with this album.

20 - Parallel Lines - Blondie

This Blondie album was produced by Mike Chapman, known for his work with artists like The Sweet and Suzi Quatro. Chapman's involvement brought a polished and pop-oriented sound to the album, which contributed to its commercial success.

21 - The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust - David Bowie

This iconic David Bowie album was recorded in a relatively short period of time at Trident Studios in London. Bowie and his band, The Spiders from Mars, recorded the album's tracks in a little over one week!

22 - Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band - The Beatles

At the 10th Annual Grammy Awards in 1968, "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" became the first ever rock album to win the prestigious Album of the Year award. The Beatles' success at the Grammys with "Sgt. Pepper" helped pave the way for future recognition of rock as a legitimate and influential art form.

23 - Come Fly With Me - Frank Sinatra

"Come Fly with Me" by Frank Sinatra is notable for being one of the first albums to be recorded using the new stereo recording technology. This innovative approach allowed for the separation of instruments and vocals across different audio channels, creating a more immersive and dynamic listening experience for a new generation of listeners.

24 - American Pie - Don McLean

The titular song's lyrics on this Don McLean record are often interpreted as a reflection on the changing landscape of American society during the 1960s, particularly the loss of innocence and idealism following tragic events like the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. Richardson, often referred to as "The Day the Music Died”.

25 - Songs In The Key Of Life - Stevie Wonder

At the 19th Annual Grammy Awards in 1977, this album won an impressive total of four Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for "I Wish," Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for "Sir Duke," and Producer of the Year for Stevie Wonder himself.

Do you own any of these records, or is there another one that you think should've made this list?

Leave us a comment below!

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I have a few of these. My mom still has the Miles Davis mentioned from the year released. Few I would add are: Amazing Grace- Aretha Franklin, Live at The Sahara Tahoe- Issac Hayes, Eddie Harris and Les McCann Live, and Got To Be There -Michael Jackson(the start of it all).

Karen Rollins ,

I as a record store owner/operate I’ve sold Marvin Gaye $333.33 a couple years back and sold a few already ones tou mentiond

John Michael Meador,

I as a record store owner/operate I’ve sold Marvin Gaye $333.33 a couple years back and sold a few already ones tou mentiond

John Michael Meador,

Have each album showed

Sarge ,

The Broadway Album by Barbra Streisand.

Linda Abramowitz,

I have several of these albums are they worth anything

claudia Goss,

I have a collection of Appetite for Destruction unopened albums.
Also,what’s been called the Holy Grail of Appetite metal box containing rings,decals, patches,albums, CD’s, songs written but not released, etc . with a handpainted cross with GnR heads on it on front. I have several shirts that are collectibles, some not sold on the open market. All still in original packaging. What would be an outside estimate on such items?

Susan V Rutzler,

Nazareth(Hair of the dog) Styx, Areosmith

Keith Zander,

Mostly I agree , others that come to mind Duane Allman Anthology 1 & 2 , Chuck Berry London Berry Blues, The Crickets ( Buddy Holly) , Wings Over America Paul McCartney, Live Bullet Bob SEGER , Stevie Ray Vaughn Live Goodbye Yellow Brick Road Elton John , L. A. Woman The Doors , Surrealistic Pillow Jefferson Airplane .

Robert Chisholm,

Machine Head…Deep Purple
Layla and assorted….. Derek and the Dominos
All Things must pass…..George Harrison
Whos Next…….The Who
Forever Changes…….Love

Jeff Fuller,

At least 5 albums definitely missing – Allman Bros- Live at Fillmore East; Stones- Exile; CS&N – CS&N; Cream – Disraeli Gears; and Big Brother & The Holding Co – Cheap Thrills. Agree with most of the list though – might be because I saw all of these bands back in the 60’s.

Stew McElhone,

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