While some people love to pop in their headphones and listen to endless amounts of music digitally, others are turning back the clock and opting to listen to their favorite artists on vinyl records. It’s clear that vinyls are gaining a ton of popularity in today’s society because record sales have consistently been on the rise over the past few years.
People love vinyl records because they produce a lot of nostalgia for a time when great music was being produced left and right. Additionally, music purists will argue that vinyl records have a richer, more well-rounded sound than other media formats and we’re inclined to agree. There’s nothing better than hearing the swell of your favorite songs as they play over the record player.
If you’re new to the vinyl world, you should absolutely create a collection of records that include a mixture of newer albums and classic hits. Beginning a record collection is very personal, but we want to give you a little bit of insight into what albums are universally loved so you have somewhere to start. Check out our picks for the best vinyl records we think you should add to your collection below!
Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd
If you’re starting a record collection, you need to include Dark Side of the Moon. This iconic album is a staple in many record collections and has one of the most recognizable covers of any record ever created. It also has some of Pink Floyd’s best songs like “Brain Damage” and “Time”.
Thriller – Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson is known as the King of Pop, and we think that this album is what gave him this title. With hits like “Thriller”, “Billie Jean”, and “P.Y.T (Pretty Young Thing)”, it’s the perfect vinyl to put on when you want to have a dance party.
Rumours – Fleetwood Mac
Even though this album was created during a time of personal turmoil for the band, Rumours shot Fleetwood Mac into stardom, earning them a Grammy for Album of the Year in 1978. The record is packed with many their top hits, and features beautiful melodies, harmonies, and lyrics that make the album shine.
Blonde on Blonde – Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan is one of the best poets and lyricists of our time, so we would be remiss to leave him off this list. Blonde on Blonde boasts incredible classics like “Visions of Johanna,” so if you get this album, you’ll have some of Dylan’s greatest masterpieces in the palm of your hand.
Born in the U.S.A – Bruce Springsteen
Is there anyone more synomous with 1980s America than Bruce Springsteen? We don’t think so, which means he has to make the list. Born in the U.S.A is one of the most successful albums ever created and with good reason. These 12 songs are strokes of genius.
Purple Rain – Prince and the Revolution
Prince is beloved by millions because he was always unadulteratedly himself until the very end and produced amazing music along the way. While we love all of his albums, Purple Rain is truly something special. When the first chords of the record’s title song play on the record player, it creates magic.
Kind of Blue – Miles Davis
We had to include Miles Davis on this list for all of the jazz lovers. Kind of Blue is not only one of the best jazz albums ever, it was named one of the best albums of all time by Rolling Stone magazine. It features Davis’ amazing trumpeting abilities along with collaborations with other music greats such as John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley. If you’re looking for a heavy-hitter of a record, this is it.
At Folsom Prison – Johnny Cash
We couldn’t have a list of the best vinyl records of all time without giving a nod to Johnny Cash. After all, he revolutionized country music and made it what it is today. We love this album because you can hear how passionate Cash was about his music and this particular performance. After all, who wouldn’t want to sing “Folsom Prison Blues” at Folsom Prison?
Led Zeppelin IV – Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin recorded their fourth studio album after spending three months alone in a 19th-century Victorian house. That alone makes this album great, but luckily, it also includes some of the most famous songs ever recorded, like “Stairway to Heaven” and “Going to California.”
Paul’s Boutique – Beastie Boys
We love the Beastie Boys because they are a ragtag group of guys who created hip-hop on their own terms. Paul’s Boutique is completely made up of samples, so it brought many musical genres together to create one masterpiece. It’s a great album to listen to over vinyl and a perfect addition to any record collection.
Abbey Road – The Beatles
The Beatles have tons of albums to choose from, but Abbey Road is definitely a fan favorite. The band impacted music in the a way that is still seen today, and many of the songs found on this album were the tools they used to change the music industry. With this record, you’ll get great hits like “Here Comes the Sun” and “Come Together”. What’s not to love?
Did we miss any of your favorite vinyl records? If so, let us know by tagging us on Instagram @joybird and show us what you think the best vinyl records are!