25 Albums You Should Own on Vinyl

I often get emails from people who have taken the plunge into (or back into) vinyl and want to know what records they should buy.

Let’s start with some general advice:

1.  If you’re buying new, go with the new 180 gram reissues.  The heavier, thicker vinyl is worth the extra expense.

2.  If you’re buying used, avoid edition of an album released after about 1974 and before 2000.  That was the era of thinner records that used recycled vinyl in the wake of the 70s oil crisis.  Crap material equals crap sound.  

3.  The only exceptions to Rule 2 are those records produced as “audiophile editions.”  Most of them (but not all, so beware) tended to come on thick, virgin vinyl.  Some were even mastered at half speed for additional fidelity (or so they claimed).

4.  Don’t disregard LPs from the 1960s.  Some of them sounded better than the records were were buying in the 70s, 80s and 90s.

5.  And finally, don’t bother buying any vinyl regardless of age or expense until you invest in a proper modern turntable.  And spend at least $400.

Now that we’re clear, we can talk about what albums are worth buying on modern vinyl for your modern turntable.  Start with this from Spinner of 25 records you should have.

I would add the following:

–Steely Dan, Aja:  Stunning fidelity.  Gaucho is also a good pick.

–Peter Gabriel, So:  Fantastic bass response

–Dire Straits, Love Over Gold:  Recorded at 30 inches per second.  Listen to the crispness of “Telegraph Road.”

–AC/DC, Back in Black:  Analogue awesomeness.  Listen to that kick drum!

–Paul Simon, Graceland:  Excellent definition in the vocals.

I could go on, but I want to know what you think.  What are the vinyl records that everyone should own?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

56 thoughts on “25 Albums You Should Own on Vinyl

  • March 26, 2013 at 2:19 pm
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    Genesis – Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
    John Coltrane – My Favorite Things (180g reissue)
    Bubble Puppy – Gathering of Promises

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  • March 26, 2013 at 2:22 pm
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    I'm sorry, but I just don't get this vinyl rebirth. Vinyl was a pain to use, maintain and store. Maybe it's because I'm 50 now and can't hear the difference, or maybe it's that I don't want to deal with the added expense of a $400 turntable, a pre-amp, and a all the other audiophile gear that goes with making vinyl sound it's best. But, to each his/her own, I guess. btw, do proper speaker cables still cost $150/foot? Love that audio jewelry!

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  • March 26, 2013 at 2:25 pm
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    Tame Impala Lonerism and Innerspeaker for sure

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  • March 26, 2013 at 2:38 pm
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    Sean: yes it could be your age (not being cheeky here at all….men much moreso than women lose the high end of their hearing after about age 40 at a fairly stunning rate….not uncommon to not be able to hear anything about 12Khz). Also, yes you do need to invest in at least semi decent gear like Alan mentions. Preamp is only necessary if your existing Amp doesn't have a phono input. If it does, then it will be balanced at the phono level and should be fine. if not, you can get a "phono preamp" for about 100$. Another cost I know….

    Also….I 2nd everything Alan says about the different reissues!! And I can't strress this enough: get 180g if you're able. It's incredible the difference. Bass tightness and response, high vocal sound, lack of pops and clicks….etc.

    As for other albums worth owning…the absolute classic that everyone must have on 180g is Miles Davis Kind of Blue. It might be the nicest sounding vinyl album ever. Get it off amazon it's not too expensive. Also, Sonny Rollins Saxaphone Colossus…..incredible even if you're not super into Jazz.

    Unfortunately (for me) most classical records don't sound that good unless they're more recent. The exception is the 180g version of Jacques Loussier's Play Bach album. Super nice and you can hear the tight upright bass like it's 2 feet away from you.

    Some of The National's albums have recent issued vinyl that is really nice.

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  • March 26, 2013 at 2:38 pm
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    Your #2 rule makes no sense, sure the vinyl was inferrior, however, if you exclude those LPs from 1974 to 2000, you weill be missing out on alot of awesome music! There is a volume button for a reason.

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  • March 26, 2013 at 2:39 pm
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    I'd add

    New Order – Low Life (Perfect kiss has some incredible synth sounds)
    Holly Cole – Don't smoke in bed (amazing vocals and bass on I can see clearly now)
    Belle and Sebastian – The Boy with the Arab Strap

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  • March 26, 2013 at 2:39 pm
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    Spiritualized – Ladies & Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space
    David Axelrod – Songs of Innocence (180g re-issue)
    Radiohead – OK Computer
    Marvin Gaye – What's Going On? (180g re-issue)

    AND SO MUCH MORE!

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  • March 26, 2013 at 2:47 pm
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    I own crates of vinyl. Eight at least, from when I started collecting in the mid-seventies, through my years in Radio, until they basically stopped making vinyl except at specialty shops in Toronto. I archived all those records because cd's, and then MP3's became an easier way for me to manage and carry a large music library. I've had my hearing tested recently and it's fine. My argument is that vinyl, unless listened to under very strict conditions, doesn't sound any better to me than a well ripped MP3 listen to on my top of the line Shure ES535 in-ear-monitors, with custom molded sleeves. I'd much rather look forward and invest in a better surround sound system and embrace the world of 5.1 remixes of classic albums, than drag all that crap back out of the basement. Although it would be nice to hear my FM Direct To Disc album again. Shame that didn't make anyone's must have list.
    Oh ya, finally, the albums on that list don't interest me musically. Not one. But that's my choice.

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    • April 16, 2016 at 2:32 pm
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      I wholeheartedly disagree, even the best ripped mp3s don’t sound anything like vinyl, FLAC, WAV, or CD audio, and to me vinyl sounds the best of all, that’s why I never stopped buying it… and these are 40 yrs old ears! Of course an average-decent equipment is required, any 60s to early 90s integrated amp with phono input, any decent middle class turntable (say Dual 505-3) with an average ellyptical stylus and cartridge,

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  • March 26, 2013 at 3:16 pm
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    Sean: understood about the musical interests….that's a personal thing! Also completely understand that your ears are in good shape. I would strongly disagree that Vinyl sounds the same as a nicely ripped MP3. That's just not even in the same universe in my opinion….but's it's also a technological fact: MP3's are a digital representation of an analogue series of voltage snaps. The quality of the rip (agreed that this matters a lot) is dependant on the digital optimization of the Digital to Analogue converter in the machines you use. And then when you compress to an MP3…you're losing a lot of the digital info and hence literally losing the musical fidelity that is on the vinyl.

    For 5.1 mixes of classic albums….I know they sound pretty rad (I have a couple of SACD titles that are quite interesting including Dark Side of the Moon in 5.1), but you're hearing that music differently than it was initially inteded. I can't handle that:) Of course this is all opinion as well….

    Your headphones are killer…I would love to get a pair of those!

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  • March 26, 2013 at 3:26 pm
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    It's also a matter of convenience. I don't have the luxury, or the attention span anymore, to just sit and listen to music in a dedicated setting. My stereo is my home theatre, which means the TV is on far more than the turntable would be. I do my "critical" listening with my headphones or in the car because those are the two places/times I can focus on the music. A turntable doesn't fit into those limitations, but my iPhone does. I'm really not disputing the merits of a great turntable/stereo system with (and this is paramount) 2/3rds of your budget spent on the speakers. I just don't have the means, or the desire to go that route like I did when I was in my 20's and 30's. Maybe once all the kids are finally moved out for the last time I'll get my Media room. I do try to keep that dream alive. 🙂

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  • March 26, 2013 at 3:49 pm
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    I'm really happy you included Graceland in your own picks. Absolutely beautiful record and one I had to snap up the first time I was able to find it. 🙂

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  • March 26, 2013 at 5:01 pm
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    So I was wondering… Am I defeating the purpose of buying vinyl and hearing analog and all it's glory if the album I'm listening to on vinyl was recorded digitally which may have limitations?

    Is digital the enemy or just the quality of digital the issue?

    I wish for high fidelity.

    I'm thinking of buying my music on vinyl moving forward but I'm wondering if there's a point.

    I feel like organic food records should have an organic label.

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  • March 26, 2013 at 6:37 pm
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    WARNING! Buying / collecting vinyl can be a hazard to your health and relationships. It starts up so innocently by buying that limited ED. 2 disk vinyl set with embossed cover and bonus 10 inch vinyl. The smell of fresh vinyl as it comes out of its protective wrap. I want more – just one more. Once you pass through the gate-fold there is no turning back. Many a relationship has fallen into the grooves for that just one more shelf – to hold my new vinyl. That 3 gate fold, embossed, limited " Atoms For Peace" looked so big and friendly. That one man vinyl factory, Jack White – all that sunburst, multi-coloured vinyl / no disk will ever look the same. You feel like a kid in a candy store. Thought CD jewel cases where beginning to take up too much space. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

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    • December 4, 2014 at 9:42 pm
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      Michael couldn’t have said it better my self and for all you other boners lol just kiddin if you wanna listen to so great music you probably never heard off check out

      Telegraph avenue ( 70’s Peruvian psych)
      The deviants (70’s British garage psych)
      Just let that marinate and hit me up for more or find it your selves it fun yet addictive like good old mike put it

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    • July 13, 2016 at 9:31 pm
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      I’m about to jump in, Michael. Wish me luck! 🙂

      Reply
  • March 26, 2013 at 6:43 pm
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    Too many people confuse raw digital and MP3s. MP3 is a very lossy compression and no lover of music should listen to them if it can be avoided. Raw CD digital audio, however, is as good or better than any vinyl reproduction in every objective measure. Those who prefer vinyl simply prefer the warm sound of vinyl's imperfections. To each his own, I guess.
    I prefer digital simply because it doesn't degrade. To me they both sound great on a quality system and good speakers/headphones.

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    • July 13, 2016 at 10:01 pm
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      I think there are other reasons people prefer vinyl. Certainly the tactile and visual aspects of vinyl have some advantage over digital. And the listening experience is quite different, since vinyl forces you to listen in an album-oriented way.

      But also, when you say that CDs always sound better than vinyl and that people prefer vinyl because of its “imperfections”, that’s simply not true. CDs have a greater dynamic range than vinyl does, but a lot of CDs were not mastered in a way that was conducive to the digital format. Mastering for older music was done for vinyl, period, because that was the dominant delivery vehicle for music. Things changed as CD sales rose and came to dominance themselves, but there are many older CDs that do not sound as good as their equivalent vinyl.

      As well, CDs suffer from the competition of the “loudness wars”, where engineers mix the music into a tight dynamic range that completely wastes the advantage in that area that CDs have, in order for the music to “pop” on the radio. Vinyl, meanwhile, occupies the same dynamic range it always has and does not have to worry about radio anymore (cause who uses vinyl in radio these days?).

      And we also have to give some regard to “intangibles” here. If vinyl sounds better to SOMEONE’S ears, who is to say that person is “wrong”. Science? C’mon. Science can prove a lot of things, but it can’t “prove” that one listening experience is superior to another!

      Anyways, the point is, buy what you want, listen to what you want, and try to avoid making sweeping generalizations about what is “best” for everyone. What is best is whatever you decide for yourself.

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  • March 26, 2013 at 8:57 pm
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    I like vinyl not only for the superior sound but also for the big honking pretty picture album covers. Thats art man, it should be big.
    Also having faith in guys like Neil Young and his Pono project. Combining the convience of digital formats with the fidelity of master tracks=fuck yes.

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  • March 26, 2013 at 9:33 pm
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    1. Dark Side of The Moon – Pink Floyd
    2. Crime of the Century – Supertramp
    3. Lullabies to Paralyze – QOTSA
    4. Autobahn – Kraftwerk
    5. Unknown Pleasures – Joy Division

    A quick 5, one will always suit the mood you are in.

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  • March 26, 2013 at 11:41 pm
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    Joy Division, all of it
    Patti Smith, horses
    Tom Waits, all of it
    The cure, Anything before 1990
    The Chameleons
    The Go-Betweens
    Hayden
    New Order, first album
    Kate Bush
    Stiff Little Fingers
    This Mortal Coil
    The Stranglers , Black and White
    And on and on !!

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  • March 27, 2013 at 1:44 am
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    Mike Oldfield, Tubular Bells. Definitely an experience that's better on vinyl.

    I also have these vague recollections of my dad playing a record by Manheim Steamroller (I think) that started with a steam train blowing through a thunderstorm- starts out super quiet and then gets insanely loud- at least, the way he used to play it. Used to scare the shit out of me, but kind of wish I could find it now.

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  • March 27, 2013 at 2:58 am
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    Emerson Lake & Palmer – Brain Salad Surgery
    Pink Floyd – The Wall
    Pretty much any 12" extended mix single that was ever played on CFNY in their heyday.

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  • March 27, 2013 at 3:27 am
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    Also;

    Prefab Sprout – Steve McQueen
    U2 – The Unforgettable Fire

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  • March 27, 2013 at 3:45 am
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    King Crimson. In The Court OF the Crimson King and the 12 INCH Sleepless ep

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  • April 3, 2013 at 1:10 pm
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    I would strongly disagree that people should seek out 180g vinyl over anything else, while 180g adds some additional resistance to warpage it does NOTHING for the sound. The sound comes from the mastering and production, this is why just suggesting titles on vinyl makes no sense because there are usually several different options.

    The thinner original UK vinyl of u2's The Joshua Tree runs circles around the new 180g 2LP remaster. The new remaster is a mess of nonfill (sounds like scratchy sand shifting).

    The UK 1997 original vinyl of The Verve's "Urban Hymns" runs circles around the 2008 US Capitol 180g remaster.

    The 180g Classic Records release of Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells wins in a shootout against the original 1973 UK vinyl, the 200g Classic Records pressing and the 180g Universal Back to Black pressing.

    The 180g pressing of Dave Matthews Band's "Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King" has lots of nonfill and I had to buy three copies before I found one with SIDE D dead centre, thus eliminating pitch problems during the quietest song on the album. The 180g pressing of their new album "Away from the World" was sourced from 16-bit Redbook CD files according to Ray Janos at Sterling Sound who cut the vinyl, huge disappointment.

    One of the main reasons to enjoy vinyl right now is the lack of "loudness wars" mastering. It's pretty pathetic how many albums over the last 15 years or so have been decimated with over-zealous dynamic range compression, one of the first culprits was the awful mastering job Vlado Meller did on "(What's the Story) Morning Glory" by Oasis. Vlado Meller has become synonymous with crushed recordings now like the last four Red Hot Chili Peppers CD's. Ted Jensen is another guy synonymous with aggressive dynamic range compression, Death Magnetic by Metallica is one of his worst CD's but he's crushed Soundgarden's latest CD King Animal as well. Take King Animal on vinyl and it's a much more pleasant experience, although I'd recommend the UK pressing. It really only works out to around $2~$3 sometimes to import from Amazon UK.

    Pressing House – with the exception of Jack Black's titles URP in Nashville puts out a lot of rubbish records. The little "u" in a circle in the deadwax lets you know it was pressed at United. They have lots of nonfill issues and off-centred pressing issues. Rainbo has pretty bad pressings too, it's amazing they got the recent Beatles US pressings gig from Apple, Optimal in Europe got the rest of the world pressings and they're whisper quiet great pressings, the US Beatles vinyl is not worth a penny. Which pressing plants in North America are great? 1) QRP in Salinas, KC. These guys are doing amazing work on Analogue Productions 200g 45rpm titles and regular 180g pressings too. Dead centre, virgin vinyl, whisper quiet, this is how vinyl should be done. 2) RTI in California. Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs use RTI for all their pressings, which explains why they have such a great reputation. You get consistent vinyl from RTI. Warner also use RTI quite a lot and their recent release of the newly remastered "Graceland" sounds superb. 3) A+R in Dallas, Texas. Stan Getz is the owner, the recent releases from The Flaming Lips and Smashing Pumpkins were done at A+R and are very nicely pressed on clean, quiet vinyl. If it's not coming from one of those three plants you're taking a crapshoot.

    Labels: sure, the audiophile labels are doing a good job, but don't just look for the word "audiophile". Pearl Jam's "audiophile" reissue of "Vs" paled in comparison to the original 1993 vinyl release. If it's a label like Analogue Productions, Audio Fidelity, Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs, then yes you're pretty much guaranteed consistently good vinyl. Major labels? Crapshoot. Look for where it's pressed and source information.

    Source: All analogue is obviously preferred, but done right high resolution 24-bit/96kHz and above digital sources can sound great on vinyl, see Paul McCartney's recent releases for an example, or The Beatles vinyl (EU pressings only) which was sourced from 24/44.1 and not limited.

    Known names: MOFI is a label and the mastering engineer usually isn't divulged, but if it's a major label release done by Kevin Gray like a lot of the Sony/Legacy titles (his recent remaster of Jeff Buckley's Grace while not whisper quiet is pretty amazing) you're guaranteed a good mastering. if Bernie Grundman is cutting it (or Chris Bellman @ BG Mastering) then you're getting a great mastering. If Steve Hoffman is involved you have no worries.

    So here's some of the titles I'd recommend:

    1) Red Hot Chili Peppers – Stadium Arcadium: mastered from the original 30ips analogue tapes and pressed on virgin vinyl this record sounds amazing, spread over 4LP's. There are a couple versions as it was recently repressed for Record Store Day, but any version rocks whether it's the 150g or the 180g. Compare this to the AWFUL mastering the CD got by Vlado Meller and you’ll see why just for mastering reasons alone why this title owns on vinyl.
    2) Dire Straits – Self-Titled, Communique, Making Movies and Love Over Gold, the new 180g remasters from Warner Brothers cut by Bernie Grundman from the original analogue tapes and pressed at Pallas in Germany. Whisper quiet perfectly pressed vinyl, incredibly dynamic and alive mastering, all four of the BG-cut Dire Straits titles belong in your collection. They sound great at any volume and trump all other pressings I’ve heard. While this may have been recorded analogue it does NOT mean that just buying any old pressing will give you an all analogue vinyl chain.
    3) Nat King Cole – After Midnight 3LP 45rpm mono: this one was done from the original analogue tapes by Steve Hoffman. It will put you back a fair penny, listing at $75, but it sounds magnificent and you won’t believe how visceral a 1956 recording in mono can sound, NKC’s piano sounds like it’s right there in front of you. If you have Super Audio CD playback the analogue straight to DSD mastering of the SACD sets you back a more reasonable $35 and is a good alternate option.
    4) Rage Against The Machine – Self-titled original USA pressing or the newer reissue by European label Music On Vinyl which was also pressed from the original metal plates which were mastered all analogue by Bob Ludwig. This one creams the CD which was already pretty good by itself. BEWARE – the new “XX” mastering is not all analogue and was done by Vlado Meller, it’s got loudness wars mastering. MOV have also reissues this one, make sure you’re getting catalogue# MOVLP043 and not the newer MOVLP657 which is the new 20th anniversary edition.
    5) Nick Drake – Pink Moon: this incredible album was finally reissued on vinyl last month in a regular affordable 180g release, mastered from the original 40 year old analogue tapes. It’s the first time in years that it’s been available and it’s perfect on vinyl. It came out as a box set about 9 months ago but at anywhere from $55 to $75 it’s been hard to afford, the new 180g regular edition is only around $20.
    6) Peter Gabriel – So: PG’s amazing “So” album has a number of different vinyl releases. You want to stay away from the new 25th anniversary edition. Find a copy of the 2002 Classic Records 200g pressing or if you have lots of money to spend check out the 2008 Classic Records 200g 45rpm Clarity edition, four sides of vinyl pressed only on a single side. I have the first 3 parts of the Clarity edition when “The Music” were clearing out their warehouse, it really does sound notably better than any other version I compared to including the original CD from the 80’s, the 2002 Super Audio CD and the 2002 200g Classic, but the latter is definitely you’re best second option. The Clarity box set sells for around $400, the 200g Classic can be had if you’re patient for aro
    und $75. This is why it’s worth getting these titles when they first come out before going out of print, that Clarity box set was originally $50 and $33 for the regular Classic.
    7) Led Zeppelin – III: The 200g Classic Records pressing, III has never sounded so good. The incredibly life-like reproduction of the acoustic guitar lines during “That’s The Way” will sell anyone on vinyl. Only available in the marketplace now and costs a pretty penny, but if you’re a huge Zep fan looking to treat yourself, this is the one.
    8) Alice in Chains – Jar of Flies EP: import the MOV vinyl, pressed on cool translucent orange virgin vinyl window into Layne’s tortured soul is all the more open here.
    9) Nirvana – Nevermind: Bernie Grundman recently mastered this one all analogue for Original Recordings Group pressed at Pallas in Germany. You’ve never heard Nevermind until you’ve heard THIS version, and I’ve compared it to the original vinyl, the 2008 UK pressing, the original CD and the MOFI 200g pressing. I haven’t ever heard the sibilance of Grohl’s hi-hats and cymbals resolved so clearly as this pressing, in stock at most retailers for around $25. He’s also done Unplugged, In Utero and Incesticide, the latter also available as a 2LP 45rpm edition. Hopefully someday we’ll get Nevermind like this too, I’d upgrade!
    10) Paul Simon – Graceland: pressed at RTI in California and mastered from the original tapes the sound on this record, which was already great, is now tremendous. Open, airy, dynamic, ahhh!
    11) The Stone Roses – Self-titled: 2LP 45rpm reissue in the early 90’s in the UK. Catalogue # is ORE ZLP 502. The new mastering by John Leckie was done from the original tapes but worked on at 24/48 digitally, the new CD sounds good but for vinyl seek out this 2LP set. You can get a mint copy for under $50 from places like Discogs.com if you’re patient.
    12) Tears for Fears – Songs From the Big Chair: the new “Silver Series” from MOFI means the original master tape wasn’t necessarily used but a tape copy the next best source is usually there, for this one a copy of the master tape was made for MOFI from Universal UK. MOFI vinyl is always great, this one is no exception. Consider INXS’ “Kick” from the Silver Series too.
    13) Dave Brubeck Quartet – Time Out: 2LP 45rpm edition from Quality Record Pressings, available new for $50 online. The Classic 200g pressing was already pretty amazing (you can still pick that one up for around $35) but to get the most out of this album QRP’s all analogue 200g pressing kicks amazing amounts of ass. Take Five will present you with one of the most amazingly well-recorded drum kits of all time.

    I’ve probably missed loads not sitting looking at my own collection, but those are a few titles which really show off how great vinyl can sound.

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  • April 3, 2013 at 8:26 pm
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    Sorry, that should read Salina, KS for QRP, there is no such state as KC. I've got NFL on the brain in April, help!

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  • November 5, 2013 at 8:12 pm
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    Thank you Steve Burke, that is a very thorough list and I had no idea there was so much more to consider with vinyl. I will keep learning and look forward to acquiring some of the recordings in your list.

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    • December 4, 2014 at 9:46 pm
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      BOmer dude that list mostly sucked

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    • January 26, 2018 at 11:43 am
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      You’re welcome Adam, I hope if you found any of those titles that you’ve enjoyed them.

      And Karl, what does “BOmer” mean? First time on the interwebz?

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  • March 29, 2015 at 8:29 am
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    Rule #1 and #2 are ridiculous, especially the latter considering some of the best albums and best sounding albums came out between that time. Original pressing are usually the best unless hard to find or pricey, in that case go with a reissue by a good label such as Rhino, Sundazed, etc. Use discogs to check out reviews and other people’s experiences with a specific pressing, and share your own! 180g is good, but just because a reissue has a “180g” sticker slapped on it doesn’t make it good.

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  • February 8, 2016 at 5:45 am
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    This may not be the forum but I’m loosing it over a song I cant remember. It was 1994-95 when I was introduced to Jeff Buckley by an extreme audiophile. His silver (925) speaker wire ribbon bypassed the speaker “jacks” going directly from the speaker, & soldered straight to the component board! ANYWAY, after ‘Grace’, he played a song a lyric in it went…”I know your sister don’t like me.” A female singer Music wasn’t flashy Just kinda talking/singing & it was soo tasty! Please know this song & save me. The o.c.d. is taking over. jonesjaime35@yahoo.com PLEASE!.

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  • February 13, 2016 at 10:46 am
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    From a 1956 french pariisan born on the Ile de la cité, here is a first try of 25-albums-you-should-own-on-vinyl (never mind the order but the #1)
    1) Hissing of summer lawns by Joni Mitchell
    2) Rubber soul by The Beatles
    3) Love by The Cult
    4) Crosby Stills and Nash by Crosby Stills and Nash
    5) Katy lied by Steely Dan
    6) Cosmic Thing by The B52’s
    7) Machine Head by Deep Purple
    8) One of these nights by The Eagles
    9) Who’s next by The Who
    10) Nevermind by Nirvana
    11) Especially for you by The Smithereens
    12) Fire by Electric 6
    13 Simple things by Zero 7
    14) Second helping by Lynyrd Skynyrd
    15) Bloodshot by the J Geils Band
    16) On your feet or on your knees by Blue Öyster Cult
    17) English settlement by XTC
    18) Fresh fruit in foreign places by Kid Creole and the Coconuts
    19) Maggot brain by Funkadelic
    20) Music emporium by Music Emporium
    21) Rio Grande mud by ZZ Top
    22) New traditionnalists by Devo
    23) The big heat by Stan Ridgway
    24) Toys in the attic by Aerosmith
    25) Suzy Quatro by Suzy Quatro
    What a shame for the others, the forgotten, for the ranks (according to a instant first try).
    Best regards,
    Kornhelius

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    • February 13, 2016 at 1:09 pm
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      Fascinating choices! Thanks for sharing. (Oh, and I love that you chose Who’s Next. Brilliant.)

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    • May 13, 2018 at 4:28 pm
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      Bravo Konhelius! The Hissing Of Summer Lawns is a stunning album by Joni Mitchell. I think the album has never received the praise and recognition due.

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    • July 11, 2020 at 2:41 pm
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      I must add at less Caravansarail by Santana, a curious oversight, before some other adds to come in the years coming. Best regards from France & keep on rocking. Stéphane aka Kornhelius

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  • May 30, 2016 at 9:05 am
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    The only rules that really make any practical sense are 4 and 5. Heavy 180-gram LPs are not necessarily better than thinner LPs, as there are all kinds of variables that go into how a pressing sounds. I have some great sounding 180 LPs and some terrible ones. More important to consider is the source mastering. I have many, many great sounding LPs from between 1974 and 2000; there are many treasures from this period.

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  • July 10, 2016 at 2:27 am
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    Your number one shows you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about go back under your rock you shill – 180 g does not mean a damn thing or could mean something but to tell people to definitely get 180 as if it’s going to be better or worth 2x the money is a lie

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    • July 10, 2016 at 9:00 am
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      Thank you for your considered, informative reply. You were very helpful to me and every other reader.

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      • July 11, 2016 at 1:57 pm
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        I totally agree with Shaun. 180 gm vinyl does NOT mean that it’s going to sound great. It all depends on the master used. The only advantage of a 180/200 gm vinyl is that it doesn’t warp that easily. No other advantage! Please stop spreading such myths. Moreover I have a LOT of LPs from 80s and 90s that sound breathtaking. Such generalization is totally wrong!

        Reply
        • January 26, 2018 at 11:41 am
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          If you “totally agree with Shaun” then you’re agreeing with the manner in which he posted too, I tottaly think Shaun is a fucking douchehat for talking that way and the point could have been made in a constructive manner.

          Reply
  • July 17, 2016 at 1:48 pm
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    ha ha, this is the most uninformed article I have read in a long time. “spend $400. on a turntable”, ha ha . I have a Pioneer from 1970, paid $180. from a guy on Ebay tow years ago, and it is the nicest turntable you would ever need…and the 1974-2000 record comment is off the chart bad advice…o
    ne record comes to mind: OK Computer 1997

    Reply
    • July 17, 2016 at 8:45 pm
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      I should have been more specific: $400 for a brand new turntable. And as someone with close to 10,000 records–most from 1980-2000–I think I’d qualify as reasonably informed.

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      • January 26, 2018 at 11:42 am
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        I thought it was pretty obvious you were referring to a new turntable and the $400 target is right on the money, that’s always the budget I recommend as a minimum for someone who wants to get into vinyl providing the reason they want to get into it is for sound quality.

        Reply
  • October 2, 2016 at 8:31 pm
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    Great thread! Anyone want to take a try at the nicest 10-inch records to have?

    Reply
  • October 21, 2016 at 2:53 am
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    The writer of this article should have tried even harder to sound like a complete douche bag. This article offers no real advice but that’s to those in the comments that do.

    Reply
  • November 21, 2016 at 3:04 pm
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    Hello
    I am a hifi freak a vinyl freak a vintage hifi freak etc!!! i have learned the hard way how to enjoy other!!! peoples choices and regret for all the time and money i wasted before i try to go my own way. First you must spend all your money in a gut set of speakers a pair of speakers that you font find often in second hand listings a pair of speakers that is big with a big sound! Then buy just an old vintage amplifiet or receiver or a black box from the 80s and never pay more than 200 or max 300 Eur or dollars.Next find a nice vintage turntable invest some time and money to learn how to set it up, and then buy two cartridges an MM and an MC see what sound you prefer more and not somebody else! and then if you like both sounds on diferent recordings buy a second turntable ( most old receivers offer two phono inputs ) Hi Fi dealers are like psychologists they understund how deep is your pocket and then try to sell you crap for them an entry system 2channel stereo starts from 3.000 the next upgrade is 5.000.the 10.000 then 30.000 and finally 70.000+ please stay away from the upgrades and stick to your vinyl collection . Now lets talk about vinyl there are two ways to go 1st educate yourselfs in discogs internet page and find out what is the global community collecting. Try their top 500 most colected or most wanted lists, you will find some great records and some crap ones but at least your vinyl will have a resale value. 2nd buy music by instinct, a nice covet an obscure label a quick preview on mobile ytube and then go home and fall on love with obselete music that only you can understund, a 2$ vinyl record from let.say the 80s but with a fantastic production and nice music. New vinyl vs old vinyl is an never ending argument i surely prefer old vinyl but i can see the merits of new vinyl reissues, again buy your all time favorite album on both formats and decide what you like. People there are no rules in your hobby and love for music dont listen to people with there top bla bla rules or recomendations.The only rule for me is buy large LARGE speakers because the music journey is long and you will need a nice and comfortable ride.

    Reply
  • November 27, 2016 at 4:51 pm
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    Hi
    its strange how many of your albums are top on my list too..
    Graceland
    Love over gold
    Crime of the century
    Nick drake
    Joni any

    Here a few more
    U2 the Joshua tree
    Robbie Robertson
    Traffic in the canteen
    Steve Harley cockney rebel the human menagerie
    Rush signals
    Pat Metheny all , more jazz as I get older lol
    Brubeck 1966 time ….still plays as new
    Tangs pheadra
    Sabbath first 4 vertigos
    Jade warrior also on Vertigos
    Jerry Goodman and Jan hammer like children

    All cleaned with a polymer n lubricant
    Mostly 1st pressings played on
    Linn sondek and top naim setup, stax electrostatic headphones

    Thnx for the list n info..
    JW

    Reply
    • May 13, 2018 at 12:42 pm
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      Hi Jade Wrrior- I love Traffic! In addition to Canteen I love The Low Spark Of High heeled Boys.

      Reply
  • November 28, 2016 at 12:05 am
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    Here’s a rule. DON’T EVER BUY ANYTHING PUT OUT BY “PLAIN RECORDINGS” They put out nothing but garbage pressings. Just look up their reviews on their Discogs page. They are a sub company of RUNT. Which is also related to 4 Men With Beards. Which people also claim are crap pressings. But from my experience with both labels. Its like comparing dog shit to dog shit coated in gold. I don’t know how one main company can put out sloppy pressings (plain) and then crank out high end looking pressings (4MWB) but are cd sourced. Now that while cd sourced vinyl that people complain about. So what? What is the chain before the cd? Was it a DAT tape? Was it recorded digitally? But I do like their argument about sourcing info should be on the packaging. Much like how cd’s were labeled AAD. ADD. DDD. So when it comes to buying new vinyl. I am really picky about who did it. Other then the high end labels, which they have a long time reputation to upload. It should be no issues. Like the new 200 gram pressing of Roger Waters Amused To Death. I only wish all vinyl sounded this good. But even the new Pink Floyd reissues sound amazing. As good as the UK Beatles remasters. But then you switch gears and pick (in my case) a small label like Kill Rock Stars. And wow, was I excited to get Bratmobile’s Pottymouth on pink vinyl. Only to open it and find a big pit on side 1. They send me another, with the exact sane defect. Turns out, they all had this defect. So they sent me a test pressing. No defect. And what do you know. Pressed by Rainbow. They let me know that they don’t get their stuff from them now. Which explains how awful my RSD copy of Heavens To Betsey’s Calculated looked. Surface scuffs galore. But new vinyl really sucks now. It seems like they just crank them out faster to get them out. I also haven’t had any luck with these Epic represses of the AC/DC albums as well. All 3 of them have issues. DDDDC. LTBR. HV. Pretty sure United presses them. Which explains alot. No wonder. So, what I don’t get. Why are bands allowing shitty pressings to be pressed with their names on it? Its not a crapshoot. Its just pointless. I stopped buying albums because of how much of the decline, or no quality control is being done. Which leaves albums that I will buy because I know there are no issues with it as soon as I open it. I understand there might be the odd one that gets missed, but if there is no control over it. Then we will start seeing records collect dust on shelves from now on.

    Piss Poor Planning, Produces Piss Poor Production.

    I would recommend opening your brand new albums before you leave the store. Nothing sucks worst then driving 2 hours back home from a record store to find your brand new record is trashed.

    Reply
    • May 13, 2018 at 12:38 pm
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      Hi Dave. That’s where having a wonderful independent record store ,(Vertigo Recfords in Ottawa),is crucial to buying great vinyl. Not only do I open it but I can take it for a test spin.

      Reply
  • November 28, 2016 at 12:24 am
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    Albums I would recommend

    Peter Gabriel – Car / Scratch / Melt / Security
    double album 45 rpm, half speed masters

    Genesis – 1st Box Set (the green one)
    180 gram. Half speed mastered. But remixed. I didn’t notice until I got to The Lamb. Still sounds great, but the background vocals stick out more. Could annoy some people. But chances are you won’t find thus box set anymore. Came in 200 gram as well.

    Weezer – Blue (the MFSL pressing)
    need I say more. Got repressed again in the past month or so on blue vinyl. Mine is the black one. I got a few other MFSL’s. So no worries about anything they put out.

    Tragically Hip – Road Apples
    turns out the cheaper new pressings are made from the more expensive Music On Vinyl stampers. This one has MOV808 in the dead wax.

    Queen – any of the new Virgin pressings.
    I never heard Innuendo sound as good as this ever. Plus, its not that single LP crap edit version. Make sure you get the double album pressing. Just as good are News Of The World & A Night At The Opera.

    Pink Floyd – again. any of the new pressings.
    I got 6 of them so far and they sound amazing. Nothing worse then a crunchy Floyd album.

    Frank Zappa – well…Sheik Yerbouti for sure. But I don’t know for sure. But if they have the Pressed At Palles sticker on them. Then you are good to go. Unless you are concerned about sources. At least they are listed on the back in the copyright info. I would imagine they (Zappa Family Trust) don’t want to put out shitty pressings. Only issue I have had so far was with Uncle Meat. It had those burnt out looking grooves. Easy to spot when you angle it in the light. Got a replacement with no issues. So far, the 7 I got are great (other then that Meat issue)

    Reply
    • May 13, 2018 at 12:29 pm
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      Hi Dave- I still have the first Mothers of Invention LP that I received for Christmas when it was first released. I think I was twelve years of age when I got it. Because a lot of people detest it and I’m the main person listening to it, it’s still in great shape.

      Reply
  • April 12, 2018 at 11:09 pm
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    I recently sold 2,600 of my 2,700 record collection collected over a span of 45 years and I often miss having them for sentimental reasons. I had a lot of Alternative and experimental stuff.
    But I finally sold them because I couldn’t bear the thought of moving 32 boxes yet again. My back could not take it.

    The Who “The Who Sell Out” “Quadrophenia” “Live at Leeds”
    Bowie “Station to Station” “Low” “Heros”
    Joy Divison “Closer”
    The Cure “Seventeen Seconds”

    Reply
    • May 13, 2018 at 12:22 pm
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      Hi Scott- I have COPD and am afraid after my 10 years are up my vinyl collection will be given to a thrift store. My youngest sister said she wants it and she has similar tastes in music but will she even look let alone listen to my extensive Marc Bolan collection? How do I find a younger fan to give it to? I’m not a completist so I don’t have 100 copies of the same album with different cover graphics but even still there’s a fair amount of vinyl. I share your concern over your back. Vinyl records are really heavy. (I’m talking physical weight and not musical genre,) When we moved I bought used steel office shelving for my vinyl collection and once in place it’s never been moved just because of it’s immense weight. You know those home decorating shows, “just try new things with your furniture placement”, not an option –but I never expected to own this many LPs that I love. And yes I have to like the record in order for it to have a place in the collection. Some music that some people think is a “must” is absent because I don’t like the lead singer. But I love the covers, posters, photos etc that are distributed with vinyl. Sometimes late at night when I can’t play music because it’s too loud I’m contented just to pull out some LPs and just look at the covers and inserts.

      Reply
  • May 13, 2018 at 11:59 am
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    Everyone should have a vinyl copy of Electric Warrior by T.Rex/ Marc Bolan. I love all his musical output in particular his album Tanx but EW is a must.

    Reply

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