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Popular Vinyl Records Every Collector Should Own

Do you love vinyl records? If so, then you’ll know that there are some records that every collector should own. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most popular vinyl records of all time. Whether you're just starting your collection or you've been collecting for years, these records are a must-have!

Let’s go back to the very beginning. The following vinyl records have certainly stood the test of time and continue to influence the world of music to this very day.

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Elton John

Released in 1973, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” is considered one of Elton John’s best albums. The double album combines John’s trademark pop/rock sound with country and gospel influences. It features some of his most popular songs, including the title track, “Bennie and the Jets,” and “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting.” If you’re a vinyl collector, this is one album you shouldn’t be without.

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Thriller, Michael Jackson

There’s no question that Michael Jackson’s Thriller is one of the most popular and well-known vinyl records ever. This album has sold over 100 million copies worldwide. The album features some of Jackson’s most iconic and well-loved songs, including “Beat It,” “Billie Jean,” and, of course, the title track “Thriller.” If you’re a fan of Jackson’s music or want to own a piece of history, then Thriller is the vinyl record for you.

The Rise & Fall Of Ziggy Stardust, David Bowie

The Rise & Fall Of Ziggy Stardust by David Bowie is a classic album praised by critics and fans alike. The album is a perfect example of Bowie’s talent as a musician and songwriter, and it is considered to be one of the most important albums of the 1970s. The album tells the story of Ziggy Stardust, a fictional rock star sent to Earth by aliens to save the world from destruction. Ziggy Stardust is a character that Bowie created for the album, and he has said that the character is based on himself. The album succeeded commercially, reaching number one in the UK and five in the US.

Legend, Bob Marley & The Wailers

Legend by Bob Marley & The Wailers was released in 1984 and is a compilation of some of Marley’s greatest hits. Songs on the album include “One Love/People Get Ready”, “I Shot the Sheriff”, and “Exodus”. If you are a fan of reggae music or Bob Marley, this is a must-have album for your collection.

The Dark Side Of The Moon, Pink Floyd

The album The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd is a masterpiece. It is a concept album that tells the story of an individual’s mental breakdown. The album is musically and lyrically brilliant. The opening track, “Speak to Me/Breathe”, sets the mood for the album with its ethereal, spacey sound. This is followed by “On the Run”, a fast-paced, psychedelic track that furthers the sense of paranoia and unease. The album closes with the epic “Us and Them”, a seven-minute track featuring a choir and an orchestra. The song lyrics are about dividing society into the haves and the have-nots.

Abbey Road, The Beatles

Released in 1969, the impact of the Beatles and this album was an instant success. Featuring some of the band’s most iconic songs, including “Come Together” and “Here Comes the Sun”, Abbey Road is a must-listen for any music fan, an absolute must in a Beatles album collection.

Rumours, Fleetwood Mac

Rumours by Fleetwood Mac was a massive commercial success, spending 31 weeks at number one on the Billboard 200 chart. Rumours was also a critical success, winning the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. The iconic white album is notable for the personal turmoil that the band members were going through at the time. It was written and recorded amid divorce and relationship problems. Rumours is considered one of Fleetwood Mac’s finest works despite the personal drama. The album features some of the band’s most iconic songs, including “Go Your Own Way,” “Dreams,” and “The Chain.”

Pet Sounds, The Beach Boys

Pet Sounds initially met with a lukewarm critical and commercial reaction in the United States. It peaked at number 10 in the Billboard 200, a significantly lower placement than the band’s preceding albums. It was received more favorably in the United Kingdom, reaching number two in the UK Top 40 Albums Chart. Pet Sounds has subsequently gathered widespread acclaim from music critics.

The Jazz Soul Of Little Stevie, Stevie Wonder

The Jazz Soul by Stevie Wonder is a masterpiece. It is full of soul and heart – a true work of art. This album has many great songs, all showcasing Stevie Wonder’s incredible talent. This is an album that any music fan should own, and it will stand the test of time. 

Purple Rain, Prince

In 1984, Prince released his album Purple Rain, accompanied by a feature film of the same name. The album was a massive success, spending 24 weeks at the top of the Billboard 200 chart and selling over 13 million copies in the United States alone. It also produced some great hit singles, including the tracks, “When Doves Cry”, and “Let’s Go Crazy”. This album introduced a new generation to Prince’s unique funk-infused rock ‘n’ roll brand. It cemented his place as one of his generation’s most innovative and exciting artists. Prince continued to push the boundaries of music and fashion throughout his career, and his impact is still felt today.

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Random Access Memories, Daft Punk

Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories was one of the most highly anticipated albums of 2013. The French duo has been responsible for some of the biggest dance hits of the past decade, and they showed no signs of slowing down with this release. Random Access Memories was a departure from Daft Punk’s previous work. The band traded in their synthesizers for a more organic sound. The album features Nile Rodgers, Pharrell Williams, and Julian Casablancas guest appearances. 

To Pimp A Butterfly, Kendrick Lamar

To Pimp a Butterfly is the third studio album by Kendrick Lamar. It will forever go down in the history of rap. The album was recorded in 2014 at many studios, including PatchWerk Recording Studios in Georgia, Encore Studios in California, and Platinum Sound Recording Studios in New York City. Lamar discusses living in California on the album. The album features guest appearances from Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Bilal, Flying Lotus, Anna Wise, and George Clinton.

Blackstar, David Bowie

Blackstar was the final studio album by English musician David Bowie. It was released in 2016 on his 69th birthday, two days before his death. The album was originally scheduled for release in 2015 but was delayed due to Bowie’s health problems. The album departs from Bowie’s previous work with a more experimental and avant-garde sound. The lyrics are cryptic and often opaque, dealing with themes of death and rebirth.

AM, Arctic Monkeys

AM features an abstract pop sound with influences in hip-hop, electronica, and psychedelic music. The album was promoted with three singles: “Do I Wanna Know?”, “R U Mine?”, and “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?”. It received positive reviews from critics and debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, selling 157,000 copies in its first week. In the United States, it debuted at number six on the Billboard 200, selling 31,000 copies in its first week.

Funeral, Arcade Fire

Despite its somber name, Arcade Fire’s debut album, Funeral, won the 2005 Juno Award for Album of the Year and was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album. Several publications ranked it as one of the best albums of the 2000s. The album’s themes revolve around death and mourning, inspired by the deaths of band members’ relatives during its recording. The tracks feature various styles, including post-punk, indie rock, and baroque pop. The band’s use of multi-instrumentation on the album led to many critics referring to them as a “collective”.

Kid A, Radiohead

Radiohead’s Kid A was released in 2000 when the world began to feel the effects of globalization, and many people felt lost and disconnected. Kid A is an album about alienation – feeling like an outsider in an increasingly uniform world. It’s an album about anxiety, about feeling like you’re constantly on the verge of falling apart. And it’s an album about hope, about finding beauty during chaos. Prepare for a mix of emotions!

For Emma, Forever Ago, Bon Iver

For Emma, Forever Ago is the debut album by American indie folk band Bon Iver. It was first self-released in July 2007 and later widely released on the Jagjaguwar label in February 2008. The album was written, recorded, and produced by singer-songwriter Justin Vernon over three months in a remote cabin in northwestern Wisconsin. For Emma, Forever Ago was conceived as a break-up album by Vernon, who hired a small team of engineers and producers to conjure his vision. The album’s lyrical content is largely concerned with heartache and loss, and its sparse instrumentation uses only acoustic guitars, drums, piano, and Vernon’s vocals.

We Will Always Love You, The Avalanches

We Will Always Love You by The Avalanches is one of the decade’s most innovative and intriguing albums. A concept album about love and loss, it features an incredibly unique blend of samples, field recordings, and original composition. Every track on the album is a journey into its own little world, resulting in an experience that is deeply moving and endlessly replayable.

Songs For The Deaf, Queens Of The Stone Age

Songs For The Deaf was the band’s first release on a major label after signing with Interscope in early 2002. The album was recorded at Rancho De La Luna Joshua Tree, California, and produced by frontman Josh Homme and engineered by Joe Barresi. Songs For The Deaf features several guest musicians, including Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters and Nirvana on drums, Mark Lanegan of Screaming Trees on vocals, and Nick Oliveri of Kyuss and Dwarves on bass. The album’s title refers to the common experience of selective hearing, or filtered listening, where one tunes out unimportant or irrelevant sounds.

The Marshall Mathers LP, Eminem

Last but by no means least, we have this must-have hip-hop vinyl. Dr. Dre and Eminem produced the Marshall Mathers LP. It was recorded over a two-month period in several studios, including Chung King Studios and Sear Sound. It produced three singles, “The Real Slim Shady”, “Stan” and “The Way I Am”. The album is regarded as one of Eminem’s best and most controversial albums. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, selling 1.76 million copies in its first week. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified the album Diamond for shipping ten million copies in the United States. The Marshall Mathers LP has been credited for helping revive hip-hop music’s popularity in the early 2000s.

How many do you own?

With so many great old-school and modern-day classics around, we’d be keen to know how many you own on vinyl. Each and every one of the records listed sounds their best on vinyl, so don’t hesitate to treat yourself at the next best opportunity!

Alex, a dedicated vinyl collector and pop culture aficionado, writes about vinyl, record players, and home music experiences for Upbeat Geek. Her musical roots run deep, influenced by a rock-loving family and early guitar playing. When not immersed in music and vinyl discoveries, Alex channels her creativity into her jewelry business, embodying her passion for the subjects she writes about vinyl, record players, and home.

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