Album making processes were revamped and enhanced over the decades, but there’s no room for arguments over the following assertion – some of the finest vinyl releases were made several years back, and we’re now here to determine which ones are deserving to be deemed the best sounding vinyl albums of all time we believe any serious vinyl collector should buy.
In the current era, it feels like vinyl albums are going extinct, but they’re still intact. While listening to your favorite songs on an iPhone or mixtape on your PC is convenient, hearing your favorite music on a top-notch turntable is the perfect experience.
We’re here today to explore my favorite songs that you absolutely need to own on vinyl — whether or not you already have them in your set.
15+ Best Sounding Vinyl Records
We chose 20 of the most notable songs from a number of genres, including folk songs, pop songs, rock songs and even electronic music. When you’re trying to augment your vinyl collection or buy an album to send to a music lover, you’re sure to find something of interest.
The Beatles — “Abbey Road” album (1969)
The Beatles’ music continues to be popular decades since the band went their separate ways and each album fan owns at least one copy of the songs.
Though the Sgt Pepper’s band remix was released to great fanfare many years ago, Abbey Road is one of our favorite albums. The recently remastered 2009 edition looks terrific, but the upcoming 2019 version hopes to be a real 21st century re-master.
Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon
Pink Floyd is a major and well-known band when it comes to rock and roll, so we’re going to start things off with their greatest album. The artwork is distinctive and eye-catching, but the sound quality separates it from the competition. The Dark Side of the Moon was recorded in 1972, and it is 33 minutes long.
Highway 61 Revisited by Bob Dylan
In the 1960s, folk music really caught on, especially with people drawn to its homespun authenticity. One of the pioneering musicians at the time was Bob Dylan. Whose 1965 album Highway 61 Revisited left traditional folk fans shaking their heads in disbelief and marveling at this transformation.
Some people thought like their favorite artist had abandoned them. Now the song is commonly regarded as one of the best rock albums of all time. With synthesizers, keyboards, piano, and percussion, the record was an exciting and chaotic fusion.
There is so much going on sound-wise on the record that it cannot be fully heard without hearing the song in its original style.
AnimalCollective – MPP
Experiencing Animal Collective is an outstanding experience. The best album of the group’s collection is also most available and most specifically them for all those looking to learn more about what all of the fuss is really about.
It’s of the moment and looks fresh, but it’s also striking in its instant and friendly, and welcoming.” A complete CD with one of the most identifiable CD jewel cases in recent times.
Amy Winehouse – Back to Black
One of the best albums released in the last few years, Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black offers a real portrait of her ultimately devastating life. Released by Mark Ronson at Daptone Records in Brooklyn, this album is worth a listen.
Led Zeppelin – III
Some fans of Led Zeppelin accept that all of their records are masterpieces, but others claim that there is no best Led Zeppelin record.
Their third album is superb, but their second is, in our view, superior. It was first recorded in 1970 and published simultaneously the same year. It is similar to Dark side of the moon in this sense. You will be with us as we say that this Tangerine and Gallows Pole vinyl record may be the best sounding vinyl record ever.
Tapestry by Carole King
One of the best-selling and highest-rated vinyl records ever made, Tapestry is one of the most important recordings in audio history. This album merits true listening.
Many of us love vinyl records for their warm and richer sound than the digital formats. Unlike recording formats, vinyl records are uncompressed – so that you can hear every note just as the artist intended.
Tapestry is a serene, calming piece of music that is representative of warm spring weather. The last thing deserves a warm, rich, and articulate voice.
The album’s beat and energetic sound helped it win four Grammy Awards including album of the year. It established King as a seminal songwriter and vocalist, allowing him to achieve a long-lasting reputation.
The album isn’t quite as important as the others, but it’s a must-have for every set.
Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique
Crafted by the Dust Brothers, the Beastie Boys sophomore work is arguably their finest work, and the 20th anniversary pressing of the album is top-notch. With a triple gatefold and the best album remastering, you will be treated to one of the best hip-hop albums ever made.
The Clash – London Calling (1979)
The album’s title track is more fun than the others will have you believe, and there’s a wide range of British outsider music covered on the album. If you are going to just buy one punk song, make it this one.
Michael Jackson – Thriller
Michael Jackson‘s Thriller ushers in the 80s. Michael Jackson always seemed to elicit controversy, and he always managed to mix post-disco and dance music just right.
This album was sold in millions of copies globally, and although most people attribute this to Michael’s sheer name, audiophiles beg to disagree – namely, The Thriller sounds so ahead of its period that it could comfortably qualify as a legit quality product by today’s standards.
It was recorded and released as a single album in the months of April and November of the same year.
Rumours by Fleetwood Mac
One of the best rock ‘n’ roll dramas, Rumours are mired in passion and frustration. Fleetwood Mac wrote this album at the height of their career while going through several relationship breakups and at the height of band stress.
It is marked by deeply personal songs from the lyric-driven track, “Second Hand News,” the comforting “Don’t Stop,” and the cynical and brokenhearted “Go Your Own Way.”
Listening to songs on vinyl has the best fidelity, with no reduction of tone relative to other streaming media.
Beneath the tumultuous environment lies a platinum-certified album that was lauded for its quality and use of harmony providing a rich audio experience ideally fit for the record player.
The Beatles – Revolver
The creative and technological creativity that emerged during the 200 hours of studio time for the Fab Four is equal to the amount attained during the band’s peak.
When the group had full ownership of the songs, it was free to produce the album at its own speed without pressing record companies breathing down its neck.
“Eleanor Rigby,” features a string octet and was written by Paul McCartney. Each different member of the band contributed to the lyrics.
“Tomorrow Never Knows” foreshadows the psychedelic rock era, which shows just how far way ahead of the curve the Beatles were, not just with the use of double tracking for Lennon, but also with the use of several looped tape effects.
With Revolver, one meets the right band at the right moment with everything falling harmoniously into place and sounds as it should.
Father John Misty – God’s Favorite Customer (2018)
In spite of its unpredictable nature, God’s Favorite Consumer is one of John Misty’s best releases. Dobro looks lush on vinyl and the “Loser Edition” presents flavored wax and foil tears on the cover.
Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath, along with the notorious Ozzy Osbourne are heavy metal legends from England – we’ve all heard of them, plenty of us have seen them live, but only the very few have had the chance to listen to their “Black Sabbath” vinyl album.
There are various controversies regarding how this album was originally recorded, but most accounts say that all members of the band have entered different rooms and begun jamming out the famous riffs from The Wizzard, N.I.B, and Behind the Wall of Sleep. The audio quality of this album is not ideal, but it is simple and very beautiful to hear.
Beck – Sea Change
One of the biggest split albums of all time, Beck’s seventh studio album comes on the verge of a divorce from his fiancée (9-yr relationship) on the occasion of his 30th birthday.
Produced by Nigel Godrich, Sea Change not only features some of Beck’s finest work (his best full album in our opinion), but it also has a liveliness and purity of sound that genuinely sends shivers down both sides when listening to on vinyl.
Packing the studio with a who’s who of great musicians, the instrumentation possesses the tightness which only occurs in seasoned craftsmen applying their art to a project they feel fortunate to be a part of. Being the receiver of this album, we feel honored to be a part of it.
Television – Marquee Moon (1977)
Though not as well known as other popular bands of the late-’70s, Television’s debut album is still beloved by the music world. Minimalist and a wicked pun here and there.
Van Halen – 1984
Eddie Van Halen’s sixth studio album “1984” was released in 1984, and it was recorded at 5150 Recording Studios in California. Ted Templeman did a very good job creating and editing, but it was basically Eddie who came up with ways to let you “Jump” out of “Panama” when he was “Hot for Teacher”.
Generally, this album sounds fantastic, just a little more commercial. As the father of glam rock, you wouldn’t expect anything less.
David Bowie – The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
There isn’t a vinyl compilation capable of inclusion on this list without an album by David Bowie. Bowie’s most notable persona, Ziggy Stardust, was characterized by a rock-star mentality that interacted with extraterrestrial life-forms.
One of the most influential records of all time, the sound of the early 1970s was innovatively layered and was revolutionary for the time. The whole album is a coherent masterpiece and a must-have album for any hard-core vinyl fan.
Beirut – The Flying Club Cup
One of the greatest attributes of a band like Beirut is their desire to use conventional instruments in their music without resorting to electric guitars. Zach Condon has the potential to make an album that combines instruments in an eclectic style so that it does not sound like circus music. The second album from Beirut was influenced by a turn-of-the-century Parisian balloon festival, and each track was linked to a different French region, culminating in a musical gem that will maintain a timeless item of your vinyl music collection.
We hope you like these tips on the best sounding vinyl songs, and happy listening.