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.