9 of the Best Pop Vinyl Records
While pop music originated in the 1950’s, the genre itself took a significant turn and began to popularize topping the charts in the late 1980’s and moving into the early 1990’s. From boy bands, such as Backstreet Boys, to solo iconic pop stars like Britney Spears, pop music made its way to become one of the most mainstream genres very quickly. Since its popularization, the pop genre has seen decades of unwavering success and growth. With endless renowned albums, we’ve done all of the work for you and have narrowed down the top of the pops vinyl records. Keep reading to discover which nine pop vinyl records are deemed must haves when it comes to pop music and music home decor:
#1 Bad Girls - Donna Summer (1979)
The legendary Donna Summer released her seventh studio album in the late 1970s, sparking a pop revolution in the world of disco music. Bad Girls stood out from any other pop album at the time as Summer, alongside her producers, used bold sounds of sequencers and keyboards in a way which had never been done before.
The album alone collected a number of Grammy nominations and consistently topped the charts with hits such as “Hot Stuff,” “Bad Girls,” and “Dim All The Lights.” Not only did Bad Girls find success in the U.S., but the album also topped charts in a number of European countries as well.
Also known as the queen of disco, Summer sparked the era of pop music and acted as an influential figure to other monumental artists to follow in her footsteps years down the road.
#2 Thriller - Michael Jackson (1982)
Where there’s a queen, there’s also a king... and this list would not be able to exist without the king of pop himself, Michael Jackson. Selling more than 66 million copies worldwide, Thriller took the world by storm, breaking records and changing pop music and pop culture indefinitely.
With a tracklist full of hits such as “Thriller,” “Billie Jean,” and “Beat It” among numerous others, the album became 28 times platinum and to this day 38 years after its release, still remains the best selling studio album in the U.S. That said, if there is one album that is a must have from this list, you can guarantee Thriller takes the cake.
#3 Like a Virgin - Madonna (1984)
Madonna’s second studio album Like a Virgin sparked a new wave of pop music as well, which was considered to be “provocative pop.” As an album that heavily explored the theme of sexuality throughout the tracklist, its success was reached by a wide audience, in which listeners could relate to the messages embedded within each song.
Like a Virgin was the album that initiated Madonna’s success and reputation in the realm of pop music. In fact, the album itself influenced a number of artists in the following years such as Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, and Miley Cyrus among many, many more. With an upbeat composition and liberating lyricism, it is no wonder why so many artists followed in Madonna’s footsteps after the release of Like a Virgin.
#4 Spice - Spice Girls (1996)
In the mid-1990’s, after a year of recording and perfecting the tracklist, Spice Girls released their debut studio album Spice. What began as an English girl group turned into a worldwide phenomenon upon the release of Spice, leading the album to top the charts in over 17 countries upon its release. Further, Spice took the girl group’s fame and success to the next level as the girls found international success, becoming the UK’s first, and arguably most legendary, pop phenomenon.
As an album full of sass, authenticity, feminism, and endless five-part harmonies, Spice redefined the era of pop music in the 90’s. While the audience at the time was more or less directed towards tweens and teens, the album has seen unwavering amounts of critical acclaim, even today.
If you truly want to spice up your life, and your pop record collection, we definitely recommend adding a little bit of Spice.
#5 … Baby One More Time - Britney Spears (1999)
If we’re talking about iconic artists that are essential to have in your pop record collection, Britney Spears is undoubtedly one of the most influential of her time. ...Baby One More Time was released at the turn of the millennium, sparking Spears’ rise to fame and solidifying her untouchable standing in the world of pop music.
The amount of airplay that many of the singles off this record had at the time was ultimately unmatched. Additionally, with the release of ...Baby One More Time Britney took over MTV music videos with constant playage of the album. With sales that did over 25 million in copies worldwide, this album remains a classic to this day as it continues to be one of the top selling albums of all time.
#6 Millenium - Backstreet Boys (1999)
In the same year that Britney Spears released her debut album, the Backstreet Boys released their third studio album titled Millenium. While Spears found ample success in the year 1999, the Backstreet Boys were a close runner up as they released an album that ultimately helped shape and define the era as well.
Looking back at the turn of the millennium, this boy band set the tone for new century pop music, leading them to become the most successful boy band to date as demonstrated by their sales numbers and longevity. If anything speaks to the legendary presence that the Backstreet Boys made with the release of Millenium, it is that even 20+ years after its release they are still on tour performing each hit on the album itself.
#7 Songs About Jane - Maroon 5 (2002)
Moving into the early 2000s, Maroon 5 released their debut album Songs About Jane with what would include numerous top charting hits such as “This Love,” “Sunday Morning” and “She Will Be Loved” to name a few. In fact, the hit single “Sunday Morning” was the song that got Maroon 5 a new record deal with Octone Records.
This pop rock album made a name for the band both in the U.S. and internationally upon its release. So much so that Maroon 5 released a limited-edition reissue of the album for its 10 year anniversary in 2012. The reissue included original demos, along with a variety of never before seen material. Even moving into almost two decades post-release, Songs About Jane is still deemed a classic album in the realm of pop music.
#8 Born This Way - Lady Gaga (2011)
Lady Gaga’s album Born This Way is arguably one of the most monumental recordings of its time. In an era where pop music was already at a peak in the industry, Lady Gaga further elevated this genre by bringing a unique feel and dimension to the table. Not only did Gaga’s extraordinary costumes and unparalleled vocals set the bar for a new wave of pop music, but the provocative and yet meaningful lyricism brought attention to LGBTQ+ equality as well.
Some claim Born This Way to be a masterpiece in both lyrics and composition, and for good reason. The album itself found its success in Gaga’s blatant honesty and unique sound, which was appreciated by a large and diverse audience worldwide. In that, Gaga was able to transform pop culture through unapologetically breaking mainstream norms, marking her unwavering legendary presence in the music industry since.
When it comes to Gaga’s impressive track record, some may argue that her debut album The Fame Monster, released three years prior in 2009, is far superior. However, while The Fame Monster contains a number of Gaga’s top hits that brought her to fame, Born This Way is unmatched in the composition as an album start to finish.
#9 Anti - Rihanna (2016)
Lastly, this list would not be complete without Rihanna’s eighth studio album Anti. What began as an album seeking to match Rihanna’s personal growth and development quickly became an overnight bestseller upon its release. In fact, within the first 24 hours of dropping the album, Anti went platinum.
With this album, Rihanna was able to further break through the pop industry by fusing genres of pop and R&B in a way that had not been done before - at least not to the level of achievement that Rihanna was able to attain. Each track on Anti was produced with a different range of vocals and altering personas, leaving listeners with an experience rather than just an album with a tracklist. It is no wonder why this album charted for four years straight on the Billboard 200.
Collect, Play, and Dance
At the end of the day, no matter what albums you choose to collect and add to your collection, you can be sure that any album in this genre will be filled with lively, upbeat tunes. Pop music was made to make bodies move and that is exactly what each of these albums have done for listeners over the years.
When it comes to listening, the best way to appreciate all that these albums have to offer is through a record player that will pick up on the details and sound quality in a way that streaming music can’t necessarily do. Victrola record players not only provide unmatched sound quality, but come in a variety of designs and styles that match any record collection aesthetic, whether it’s filled with pop or any other genre you love to listen to!