It’s no longer a question, vinyl records are back. And while modern day bands are starting to churn out vinyl records, any collector or music fans of vinyl will tell you that the real beauty of vinyl is found in the dusty groove of a classic record. Can you even call it a vinyl collection if there isn’t a classic in there? Most enthusiasts would cringe.
In which case, if you’re trying to find some “standard” classics that are must-haves for your turntable collection, look no further. Below are 8 classic vinyl records that you absolutely need to own if you’re starting a collection.
#1) In the Wee Small Hours, Frank Sinatra (1955)
C’mon, every time you hear Frank Sinatra don’t you imagine some quiet bar in the 1950s—filled with smoke—that has a couple dancing in it and a record player spinning in the corner? This album itself is, beyond a classic, a piece that creates its own atmosphere. Better yet, it’s relatively inexpensive and sold in abundance.
#2) Are You Experienced? The Jimi Hendrix Experience (1967)
Another one lost at 27 years old, whose brief career was cut way too short, Jimi Hendrix recreated the world’s perception of rock n’ roll with this album. The grainy, cut-flower sound of analog really makes Hendrix’s unorthodox guitar a unique experience. Play this album (which you can buy for roughly $15) in the living room and the house might just clean itself.
#3)The Wall, Pink Floyd (1979)
Part of what new age vinyl enthusiasts love about records is that they play from start to finish. Of course, you can jump around with a quick reposition, but that’s not why people are reintroducing vinyl into their home. And what better way to honor this than by listening to an album which is in itself a story? So much so that a movie was made to pair with the album? Pink Floyd’s legendary album The Wall is an absolute treasure to add to any vinyl collection.
#4) Revolver, The Beatles (1966)
Is a record collection complete without a Beatles record in it? Although that’s subjective, owning an album by the band that “changed the world” always seem to come recommended. And what better way to do so than by choosing the collector’s choice? Most people are going to rave about their Sgt. Pepper vinyl, but you’ll own of the least-favorite and most experimental albums The Beatles ever produced.
#5) Ready to Die, The Notorious B.I.G. (1994)
While this is just now becoming a classic, both Tupac and Biggie pioneered hip hop—and this is one of the most iconic albums from the era. One year later and not only was this album at the top of the billboards but it also made platinum status. This album is also a story, one that explains Biggie’s rise to fame and wealth, then everything in between. And while people typically associate classical music with turntables, there’s something sexy about playing hip hop on vinyl.
#6) Blood on the Tracks, Bob Dylan (1975)
While Bob Dylan is celebrated for his success in the 1960s (Blonde on Blonde, anyone?), one of the best albums he ever recorded was in 1975 and the entire process took place in—insanely—ten days. If you’re a fan, then you know that Bob Dylan’s 1975 comeback was one of the most incredible in the history of music. Blood on the Tracks is an ode to his genius, talent, and perseverance. It deserves a place in any record collection.
#7) Purple Rain, Prince (1984)
One, this album is more relevant now than ever—being that we lost this legend only two years ago. But additionally, this is simply one of the best albums ever recorded. “When Doves Cry,” “Let’s Go Crazy,” and “Purple Rain” are all featured on this masterpiece. There’s a dismal chance that you’re not an avid Prince fan and, if that tragedy is somehow your reality, then know that this album still deserves a spot in your collection. If not for just the splash it made in music.
#8) Rumours, Fleetwood Mac (1977)
If you’ve ever been to a karaoke bar—or just sang karaoke in general—you’ve probably heard the song “dreams” by Fleetwood Mac. That, “Don’t Stop” and “Go Your Own Way” are all featured on this classic album. This was their 11th studio album and the songs featured on it still hold merit today—that says something.
What You Should Own Is Up to You
Ultimately, the classic vinyl records that you should own are going to be subjective and should always boil down to your own taste and affinities. That said, the above are some iconic albums that will complement any collection and bring joy to anyone that gets to listen. Happy listening and happy collecting!
Vinyl has made a comeback. Be sure to invest in the best record player speakers, have an optimal record player speaker setup, and know how to replace a record player cartridge and clean a record needle. All of these aspects of vinyl help keep in in great condition, enable it to provide great quality audio and to give you the best listening experience with your new collection of classic vinyl.
LA Times. Why is vinyl making a comeback? ‘Nostalgia’ doesn’t quite cut it. David Sax. Jan, 2017. Retrieved from: https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-sax-analog-nostalgia-20160103-story.html
The Know, Denver Post. Fifteen Best Vinyl Records Collection. Retrieved from: https://theknow.denverpost.com/2016/12/15/fifteen-best-vinyl-records-collection/131347/