Essential Vinyl Albums To Have

Essential Vinyl Albums To Have

When it comes to vinyl records, you need to be careful about the differences between the “vinyl” aspect and a great albums list. It’s not a simple endeavour as many passionate vinyl enthusiasts can attest to. That being said, we’ve put together a list of some of what we think are essential vinyl records to have in your collection.

Coincidentally these albums would be definitely considered in a best albums list. That being said, we’ve also considered qualities and characteristics of these vinyl albums that make them stand out above the rest.

Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique

Top of our list is an album put together by the Beastie Boys. Made by the Dust Brothers, this album is the follow-up to Licensed to III. This album is arguably better for a variety of reasons. The big reason is the 20th anniversary pressing was stellar work. Aside from the music being good, the triple gatefold and beautiful album art sets it apart. Combine all of this with dramatically improved remastering process means not only are you getting one of the best looking albums, but you are also walking away with one of the best sounding ones too.

The Beatles – Revolver

You may be asking why is Revolver one of the best Beatles album to have as a vinyl record. The answer is simple: Revolver is the best Beatles album. We’re not biased here.

The amount of work (both artistic and technical) that went into the 300 hours of studio time is astonishing. To this day it has yet to be matched. Not only that but the album was made during the time when the band was in their prime. Paired up with the fact that the band had as much time as they wanted to put the album together, you get this album.

In essence this is the record that came out with the right band at the proper time with everything falling perfectly into place at the time. This is a must have, no exceptions.

Beirut – The Flying Club Cup

The second last vinyl album you must have is by Beirut. This makes our list because of what attracts people to this band. One of the biggest draws is the fact the band makes great music through instruments you don’t normally find in typical bands. It provides a unique experience to listeners who can hear instruments like trumpets, ukuleles, accordions, trombones, tubas, flugelhorns and more. Best of all, the vast array of instruments are played in a way so it doesn’t sound like it’s all circus music either.

As for background info on this album, this second album was primarily inspired by a Parisian ball festival. Each track in the album is attributed to a different French city which results in a musical masterpiece. It’s a truly timeless piece to have in any vinyl record collection.

The Black Keys – Thickfreakness

The second album assembled by The Black Keys, they explain that the songs were “recorded and mixed in December 2002 by Patrick Carney in Akron Ohio at studio 45. Carney’s patented recording technique ‘medium fidelity’ was used.”

While that all sounds like technical jargon, if you do some digging, one will find the term “medium fidelity” was a tongue-and-cheek reference to old analog recording equipment. To be specific it was a 1980’s Tascam 388 8-track recorder. Also their “studio” was Patrick Carney’s basement. In there, the duo recorded a 14-hour straight session of garage-rock blues that fans can drool over.

Pop Music in the 1970’s and 1980’s

Pop music has been around since the 1950’s and is still going very strong today. There is no end in sight for pop music and let’s look at a couple of bigger decades when it comes to that music genre of the 1970’s and 1980’s and how they impacted the generations that lived and breathed the sounds and soul the artists infused into their lives.

The 1970s


There are various genres of pop music that emerged from the late 1960’s and when the 1970’s roiled around they seemed to get a little harder. There was the new power-pop, which was a blend of punk and harder rock and roll with pop and just a couple of groups that embodied that sound were the Cars and Cheap Trick. In the 1970’s came country pop as well where country artists wanted a more mainstream audience. Pop and melodies from pop music with a slower drawl of country music were popular in the decade just like they are now.

The biggest pop music of the 1970’s has to the emergence of the pop-rock sound with the likes of Queen, Elton John, and the Jackson 5 to name just a few. It was at this time Elton John was the king of the pop-rock sound and with his many hits in the decade, such as Bennie and the Jets and Rocket man, made him one of the biggest pop stars of all time. No matter what the genre of music was in the 1970’s it was blended with pop to make it more radio friendly. There was arena rock of the 70’s and Styx and Rush were big in that venue and big in the decade as well with their many arena pop hits that are still classics today.

The 1980s


Can you really think of 1980’s music and not think of pop? There were more synthesizers and electronic sounds in the music and dance pop was born. Some of the biggest artists of all time were HUGE in the 80’s such as Michael Jackson, Prince, and Madonna. In the 80’s you had to dance to pop and can you think of better music to dance to than the artists named? Techno came from this time as well with bands such as Depeche Mode using the sound and funk was also big later in the decade with Prince being at the forefront of that adding it to a pop sound.

Michael Jackson is the King of Pop and with good reason since his Thriller album is still the best-selling album of all time. The 80’s saw a resurgence of pop in a big way and many consider it the best pop decade of all time. The emergence of women in pop was also very prevalent in the decade with artists such as Madonna, Whitney Houston, and Cindi Lauper. Pop was so big in the 80’s that there was a ton of music out there to fill the genre, which is why there are so many one-hit wonders in the decade such as Take on Me from Ah Ha and Relax from Frankie Goes to Hollywood.