Outstanding Music you Must Hear on Vinyl. 20 Best Vinyl Records Ever.

Below we have complied a list of the 50 must own vinyl records. This list isn’t in any particular order. We have taken into consideration: production, sound quality, album artwork and extra features to come up with the best albums to own on vinyl.

Seeing as this is a best vinyl album list, we need to distinguish this from merely a best album list. This can be a hard thing to nail down, and most Best Record albums albums on this list would easily fit onto a best albums ever list. We have tried to pick out the best ones that are truly great vinyl albums.

A great vinyl record needs to have a top record player to play it on. We love the Pioneer PLX-1000 turntable and would recommend that. But any of these albums will sound great on vinyl.

This list is of course very subjective and we can only give you our own opinion. Let us know what you would add or take away from this list? How many of the best vinyl record

Enjoy.

 

Pink Floyd- Wish You Were Here

Number of Records – 2

Originally Released – 1975

Pink Floyd Vinyl

Wish You Were Here is a vinyl album that needs to listen from start to finish.
Any other way just doesn’t give Pink Floyd’s masterpiece, the power and justice it deserves. David Gilmour’s perfectly timed opening guitar notes on “Shine on you Crazy Diamond” chime out like a cathedral bell calling you to mass. A tribute to the fallen former band member Syd Barret, who would mysterious turn up at the recording, after not been seen for months.
The absolute classic track Wish You Were Here, which almost every guitar player learns from here to Timbuktu, is haunting and majestic. An album that will never grow old and hasn’t aged at all since 1975, which is a true testament to how far ahead Pink Floyd were.
This is perfect album to own on vinyl, no other format gives you the depth and precision of each guitar note and lyrical melody in beautiful sound. You need this in your collection.
Neil Young – Harvest

Number of records – 1

Originally Released:  1972

Neil Young vinyl record

There are few singers who can rival Neil Young for pure artistry and song writing ability. Young’s 1972 classics sound’s just as good today as it did 40 years ago. From the bouncing opener “out on the weekend” to the melancholy closing track “words”, all 37 minutes are a delight to listen to. Arguably the albums most famous track “ heart of gold” astonishingly is Neil Young’s only American Number  1 single.

The original Vinyl had a beautiful soft jacket and came with a lyric sheet. That first pressing is hard to get hold of but many others have been printed since. It doesn’t matter which one you get, all that matters is that you get it.

Super Furry Animals – Mwng

Number of Records – 2

Originally Released 2000

Super furry animals LP

Hailing from the land of Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey and Richard Burton Super Furry Animals’s best Record Mwng, which means mane (as in lion’s mane) is the biggest selling Welsh Language album of all time. The album was recorded live, in different studios, and you really feel the atmosphere and tension of a band right at their peak. SFA might be unknown to many but they have a plethora of amazing albums Rings around the World is a truly great album, and one well worth seeking out.

The Welsh language is beautiful and lyrical in song and the album is just as good if you have no idea what Gryff Rhys (lead singer) is saying. The original gatefold vinyl pressing came with a lovely clear jacket and stickers to pin on the fridge. There was a releases last year. Give it a go.

Interpol – Turn On the Bright Lights

Number of records 1 (Reissue has 2)

Originally Released 2002

Interpol vinyl records

Turn on the bright lights is an album that captures the true essence of a city and a genre in one 49 minute album. Hailing from New York, the band sailed on the buzz around, fellow big applians the strokes, who had released their master piece “is this it” a year before. Interpol had a different sound to the strokes, and were less mainstrea. From the opening track “untitled” the band set the dark and brooding tone of a true 90s classic.  Original vinyl pressing was a released in 2002, but in 2012 they put out a re-mastered edition with tons of bonus tracks, demo recording and un-released material.

David Bowie – Next Day

Number of records – 2

Originally Released:  2013

David Bowie vinyl

Bowie sprung this album on the world in 2013 with no prior warning. It was announced on his 66th birthday through his website and soon after the single “where are we now” was released. It went straight to number 1 and was his first in the UK since “black tie white noise” in 1993.

Not Bowies best album, that accolade goes to either “Low” or “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the spiders from mars” depending on my mood. But the vinyl pressing of “Next day” is beautiful. Its 180g and comes with two discs. The front cover is a play on his 70s classic album “Hero’s”, the original photo has been covered by a white sticker and the word hero’s marked out with a pen, a brilliant and simple idea. The record’s worthy of any collection.

A note to add is that Blackstar David Bowie last album before he sadly past away is the biggest selling vinyl record of 2016 so far. A great testament to the great man. Get Blackstar here

Bob Dylan – Highway 61 Revisited

Number of Records – 1

Originally Released 1965

Bob dylan vinyl

When highway 61 was released in 1965 there was a backlash from the diehard folk fans, because Dylan had sold out his acoustic roots and gone electric. Dylan had won the hearts of the folkies, from his early gigs around Greenwich village to the concerts at Newport. But he had seen the time’s a changing (pun intended) and devised one of the greatest albums of all time in Highway 61 Revisited. From the opening track “like a rolling stone” to the last “desolation row” (which is 11 minutes long) it takes you on ride of some of best song writing you’re likely to hear EVER.

The vinyl cover is plain and simple, with Dylan staring at us with a strange multi coloured coat on. He sits with a confidence and assurance that can only be achieved after making an album of this quality.

Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes

Number of Records – 2

Originally Released 2008

Fleet Foxes VINYL

The self titled album from the Fleet foxes was an almost instant success. The beautiful harmonies created by the lead singer Robin Pecknold, seemed fresh and just what the music world was waiting for. The album feels like a wonderful walk through the woods or village 300 hundred years ago. A striking front cover by the Dutch master painter Pieter Bruegel the elder fits perfectly with the music created by the band.

Fleet Foxes vinyl comes with a bonus LP Sun Giant, which was the bands first EP releases, and on that is Mykonos, possibly the bands best song. A perfect vinyl for any collection.

The Beatles – Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Number of Records – 2

Originally Released 1967

Beatles vinyl records

Is this the most famous album of all time? The most recognisable artwork ever? Its hard to argue against these points. Sgt Pepper was a truely groundbreaking album and transformed popular music forever. It was on the “Revolver” album where the Beatles had changed the sound of things to come, but it was on Sgt pepper where the world listened.

One of the first ever concept albums, where the Beatles pretended to be a different band was revolutionary at the time. The first ever gatefold record and a LP that has no real clear tracks, where one track runs into the next.
The album artwork had people talking for years. How many people could you name. The idea for the cover was that all the famous people were members of the lonely hearts club. If you don’t own this, then well what can we say..

Beach House –  Bloom

Number of Records – 2

Originally Released – 2012

beach house bloom vinyl

The third album from the dream pop duo. Beach House burst on the scene with their second album “teen dream” which was on many end of year top album lists. Bloom builds on their previous harmonies and lyrical themes. Listening to this album is like floating along in the ocean, like a dream. It is beautifully crafted and some of the melodies will break your heart.

The opening track “Myth” with the ringing cow bell chime, just builds and builds until a crescendo of pure bliss. Heartbreaking and fragile in equal measure. An album to love and cherish.

The artwork is simple but don’t stare at it too long while listing to the album, you could be whisked off anywhere your imagine takes you.

Rolling Stones – Exile on Main Street.

Number of Records – 2

Originally Released – 1972

Rolling stones vinyl

Exile on Main street is everything you want from a vinyl album, it encompasses the whole blues-rock genre that the Rolling Stones had been perfecting ever since they met in London in the 60s. The bonus edition vinyl has a staggering 18 tracks which was released in 2010. The album was inspired by all the old bluesmen of the old america. Keith Richards and the band obsessed over the grooves and hooks created by these masters, and would practice for weeks trying to perfect the sound of Buddy guy and BB king.There are few albums that sum up an entire genre of music as “Exile on main street” does. Every new listen brings a new perspective and something new to the listener.

 

The National – High Violet

Number of Records – 2

Originally Released – 2010

The national vinyl

The national have been gaining a steady fan base, ever since their self titled debut album, way back in 2001. But it was with High Violet where they went from a  good band to a great one. The band hail from Cincinnati, Ohio and now live in Brooklyn, New York

The vinyl pressing is a 180g heavy vinyl. The artwork is beautiful printed on a paper cover. A 2 disc item that will have playing it again and again. A expanded edition of High Violet was released through the 4AD label, and  includes the original 11 tracks, but also a bonus disc, which features the unreleased tracks “You Were a Kindness” and “Wake Up Your Saints” and also new songs B sides, and other live recordings.

Radiohead – Kid A

Number of Records – 1

Originally Released – 2000

Radiohead kid a vinyl

After the mega success of 1997’s Ok computer radiohead returned in 2000 with a complex and mind boggling album. Kid A was an album far beyond its time. Incorporating elements of jazz, krautrock and techno it stands today as a genre defining brilliant piece of music making by a band at the top of their game. We could have picked almost any album from Radiohead’s back catalogue and it wouldn’t be out of place on the list of best vinyl albums ever. Kid A was chosen because it was revolutionary in its sound. Listening to this on vinyl,gives you a sense of just how amazing this format is. The sounds of every instrument bob and weave and Thom Yorke’s voice is like a trance slowly taking you to another place.

The Cure – Disintegration

Number of Records – 2

Originally Released – 1989

the cure records

The Vinyl sleeve of Disintegration tells the listener to “Play This Music Loud” this is ideally what you should do. A tour deforce of music making, the shock you get when the windchimes of opening track Plainsong fade and the song kicks in proper is truly an experience worth having. I wish i could go back and listen to this for the first time again.

Despite The Cure’s reputation for loud heavy rock songs, the album is surprisingly slow and atmospheric. Each track is perfectly intertwined with each other as the band take us on a music gloom trip through our deepest adolescent minds.

Portishead – Dummy

Number of Records – 1

Originally Released – 1994

portishead dummy vinyl

The Portishead sound has been described as trip-hop, which is dark and magnificently despairing at times. The band draws the listener in with the sweet sound of Beth Gibbons’s voice, and a mix of jazz and subtle electronica. Dummy is the perfect album to listen to on vinyl, it transports you makes you listen harder. A noir album that is best listened to late at night, alone, left with your own thoughts as the band paints musical landscapes.

One of the joys of vinyl, is that the album artwork is much bigger and easier to see. Dummy has a simple front cover, but seems to fit perfectly with the music evoked by the band.

The Smiths – The Queen is Dead

Number of Records – 1

Originally Released – 1989

The smiths vinyl records

Some albums you can just listen to, over and over again without getting tired, albums that make you feel that the songs are actually written about your life, they explain exactly how you felt at a particular time in your life. The queen is dead is one such album. A soundtrack to every teenagers life, a yearning to fit in a desire to be liked and to be understood. Morrissey’s voice perfectly compliments Johnny Marr’s jangly guitar, and a band and album that you’ll want to listen to over and over and over.

The queen is dead is an album that has heartbreaking moments “I know it’s over” and surprisingly funny ones “Frankly Mr Shankly” a masterpiece that never gets tiring.

Elton John – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

Number of Records – 2

Originally Released – 1973

Elton John Vinyl

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road successfully manages to encompass every facet of Elton’s musical styles in a double album package that is sharp and bright in tone with enough variety to never seem boring. Versatility is the key to the greatness of ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ whether musically, lyrically and also in Elton’s vocal performance. In fact it’s refreshing to hear what a really fine and versitile voice Elton had in his younger days.

The 40th Anniversary edition of Yellow Brick Road has been beautifully remastered and comes with a glorious hardback book. It also comes with a  covers bonus feature, with other bands and artists playing the album songs.

Van Morrison – Astral Weeks

Number of Records – 1

Originally Released – 1968

van Morrison vinyl records

Van Morrison recorded this 1968 masterpiece over a couple of days, with jazz musicians and other session players. After the phenomenal success of brown eyed girl,they left him to his own devises and what they got back was Astral Weeks. Warner Brothers had no idea how to market or promote it, nothing like it had been heard before, no one bought the record initially as promotion was no-existent. It started getting attention from reviewers and critics and over the next 45 years gets labeled as one of the greatest albums ever.

Astral Weeks is a delight to listen to, the uneven guitar parts and Morrison’s unuasal singing style make for a heady mix of un-categorisable music. A perfect vinyl to listen to on a lazy sunday afternoon, as the rain falls outsides and your thoughts drift to a smoke cyprus avenue in a strange land.

Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness

Number of Records – 3

Originally Released – 1995

Smashing pumpkins vinyl albums

The greatest thing about Mellon Collie and the infinite Sadness is the sheer scope of sounds and genres it covers. It firmly established the Smashing Pumpkins as a world famous band. The artwork and track names set the tone for what is a melodrama in musical form. The songs on Mellon Collie deal with love, despair and anger in equal measures, whilst there are enough life affirming moments (“you’re not same you’re different tonight/and you can make it last forever”) to ensure that you don’t feel too sad.

The new vinyl release is outstanding, comes with 4 discs of music and includes a massive booklet and CDs and lots of other great features.

Led Zeppelin – II

Number of Records – 1

Originally Released – 1969

Led Zeppelin 2 Vinyl

The greatest rock and roll band ever? Don’t think many could argue against that statement. Powerful, alluring and damn sexy. Zeppelin are like a fright train coming right at you. When the band recorder Led Zeppelin II they were at the height to their power. The energy of the music and the singing is just intoxicating. Jimmy page offers incredible solos, and Robert Plants vocal range, makes this a perfect album to have on vinyl. From the first moment you press play and “whole lotta love” comes on, you’ll be hooked.

The new deluxe edition comes with 2 vinyl records and lots of demo and live tracks, that will keep even the most avid Zep fan happy.

Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground and Nico

Number of Records – 1

Originally Released – 1967

Velvet underground and nico vinyl

One of the most famous things about “The Velvet Underground and Nico” album is the artwork. Famously designed by the flambouant Andy Warhol and donned on millions of posters and t-shirts. But it was the music that captured peoples imaginations and sky rocketed the underground to stardom. A band that were little known in their early years, it wasn’t until much later that they gained critical and financial success.

The thing that stands out most on this vinyl record is just how original and fresh the sound is today. Lou Reed and Nico’s voice are a beautiful mix of light and shade and John Cales guitar brings down moments of bewilderment and joy. The pitch black and street scary tone of “Heroin” and “I’m Waiting For My Man” have no equal in music today.
A perfect to have on a best LP record list.

 

This is our list of best vinyl records to own.Let us know what you think? What would you have on this list? For a list of the best albums ever, check out Rolling Stones list of the best 500

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