There are some albums everyone needs to own on vinyl. Whether you’re just about to start a record collection, or if you’ve been collecting vinyl for years, it can be overwhelming trying to decide what albums to pick up. Here, then, are ten albums you must own on vinyl.
10: Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly
Kendrick Lamar released his third studio album, To Pimp A Butterfly, in March 2015. With incredible production and truly spellbinding lyricism it immediately solidified itself as one of the most iconic hip-hop records of all time. With tracks like The Blacker The Berry and i, Lamar merged jazz and hip-hop to create an album that explored the struggles of racial inequality in America, while Alright took on even greater significance, being adopted as an anthem of the Black Lives Matter movement in the mid-2010s. Not just a must-have album on vinyl, To Pimp A Butterfly is one of the most essential albums of all times.
9: David Bowie: The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars
Released in 1972, The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars is one of the late David Bowie’s most influential album. Based around a loose concept that tells the story of Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust alter-ego, every track on this massive album oozes Bowie’s eccentric energy. As if Bowie’s androgynous alien rock-star persona weren’t enough, the album also features essential cuts in Bowie’s catalogue, among them Moonage Daydream, Starman, Suffragette City and the Ziggy Stardust track itself. The artwork’s back cover included the note “To be played at maximum value” – which means that owning the album on vinyl is essential to experiencing the album at its fullest.
8: Amy Winehouse: Back To Black
When Amy Winehouse released her second studio album, Back To Black, the world didn’t know it would be the final record she would release before her tragic death in 2011. The heartbreaking album demonstrates Winehouse’s impeccable songwriting skills as she traverses the emotions of her troubled relationships. Produced by the equally immensely talented Mark Ronson, Back To Black is packed with elements of jazz, blues, soul and R&B, all held together with Amy’s incredible singing. An instant classic, Back To Black great for dinner parties, or those chilled nights alone, as you soak in the sheer brilliance of Winehouse’s abilities.
7: Queen: Greatest Hits
Some record collectors are purists: they prefer to own an artist’s entire discography, rather than compilation albums that cherry-pick highlights. With a band like Queen, however, you’ll break the bank if you start collecting all 15 of their studio albums. That’s why Greatest Hits, first released in 1981, is the Queen album you need to own on vinyl. Collecting all the Queen tracks you know and love, side one of the LP opens with the six-minute epic Bohemian Rhapsody. If that doesn’t tell you all you need to know about what the album has in store, it also includes Another One Bites The Dust’s addictive bassline and Don’t Stop Me Now’s energising guitar solo, before ending with the anthemic We Are the Champions. You won’t be able to resist the urge to sing your heart out and unleash your inner Freddie Mercury every time you spin this record.
6: Miles Davis: Kind Of Blue
Often cited as the greatest jazz album of all time, Miles Davis’ Kind Of Blue is a must in any vinyl collection, whether you consider yourself a jazz fan or are just trying to broaden your music taste. Over the course of 45 minutes, the iconic trumpeter demonstrates his incredibly skilful playing, with musical support from other jazz legends like John Coltrane, on tenor saxophone, Bill Evans, on piano, and Jimmy Cobb on the drums. A brilliant record from start to finish.
5: Bob Marley And The Wailers: Legend
Legend was first released in 1984, three years after the tragic death of reggae legend Bob Marley. The compilation album has all of Marley’s chart hits, including Is This Love, Buffalo Soldier and No Woman, No Cry. Marley’s music is timeless and you’ll struggle not to sing along to these iconic reggae hits – there’s a reason Legend has spent over 600 weeks in the US album chart, and over 900 weeks in the UK on. Not just worthy addition to your record collection, it is also great introduction to the world of reggae.
4: Marvin Gaye: What’s Going On
Everyone needs a bit of Marvin Gaye in their record collection, and his 1971 album, What’s Going On, sounds so good on vinyl. After dropping the needle, you’ll notice how most of the tracks flow perfectly from one to the other, making for a smooth listen. The album was released in the middle of the Vietnam War, and Gaye’s lyrics touch on a number of serious topics that continue to resonate today, such as depression and substance abuse, all explored through the beautifully soulful tones of his amazing voice. An essential album to own on vinyl.
3: ABBA: Gold: Greatest Hits
It’s rare for a band’s best-known album to be a compilation, but listening to Gold: Greatest Hits proves why it has the level of acclaim it does – and why it’s a must-have on vinyl. The double-LP collection is made up of 19 singles from the Swedish pop group’s eight studio albums, and is full of brilliantly fun and catchy Europop from start to finish. Opening with the iconic disco track Dancing Queen, before taking listeners on a journey through ABBA’s biggest hits – Mamma Mia, Money, Money, Money and SOS among them – before ending with the group’s Eurovision-winning single, Waterloo. Cheesy, loveable, fun pop music – in short, an essential record to chuck on at your next throwback party!
2: Pink Floyd: The Dark Side Of The Moon
Simply put, The Dark Side Of The Moon is one of the best albums of all time: one of those records that you can just stick on your record player and get lost in. You’ll be mesmerised by the beautiful melodies and futuristic synths woven among the classic rock elements you’d expect from a group like Pink Floyd. Above all, it’s perfectly sequenced – before you know it, you’ll be rushing to flip the record over in order to continue your journey through this near-flawless album. And that iconic cover is another reason this is an essential album to own on vinyl.
1: Fleetwood Mac: Rumours
The 11th studio album by British-American rock group Fleetwood Mac is an iconic record and an essential album to own on vinyl. Rumours has sold over 45 million copies worldwide – and you can tell why! Over the two sides of the record, listeners are given an insight into the rocky relationships and love lives of the group’s members through iconic hits like Don’t Stop, The Chain and Go Your Own Way. Musically, Rumours is a perfect mix of 70s rock with pop undertones, making for a great listening experience on wax.
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