The 16 Greatest Songs About the Joys of Records

Record Store Day is coming up next month, but it’s never too early to celebrate.  Here’s a list of songs that celebrate the joys of vinyl records.


16.  Dead or Alive, “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)”

I remember having a full on WTF attack when I first saw this clip featuring Pete Byrne in 1984.  It was the era of the gentle Boy George and I couldn’t quite figure out what was happening here.  And what’s with the eye patch?  Still, it’s a classic.


15.  Pearl Jam, “Spin the Black Circle”

This Stone Gossard composition was the first single released from Vitalogy in November 1994.  It was originally envisioned as being much slower but Eddie insisted that it be sped up.


14.  AeroSmith, “Big Ten Inch Record”

Why would Aerosmith write a song about 78 RPM records?  If Steven Tyler was going to sing about records, shouldn’t he be talking about 12-inch LPs?  Or is there some kind of play on words g–oh, I get it.


13.  Kathy Mattea, “33, 45, 78”

A country ode to the various formats that appears on a 1992 album entitled Lonesome Standard Time.


12.  Ian Hunter, “Old Records Never Die”

Lovely song from Hunter’s 1981 album, Short Back ‘n’ Sides.


11.  Todd Snider, “Vinyl Records”

If you’ve ever sat amongst a pile of records on the floor, you’ll understand this song completely.


10.  Kevin Devine, “Guys With Record Collections”

Here’s a live version of a sad High Fidelity-like song originally from a 2002 album entitled Circle Gets the Square.  If you’re a dude who has ever sought solace in his record collection after a bad break-up, then this is for you.


9.  Corinne Bailey Rae, “Put Your Records On”

Sweet track from her self-titled album from 2006.  As bad as the Kevin Devine song may make you feel, this one makes you feel really, really good.  Suddenly, I want to go for a bike ride.  If you feel you need an Alvin and the Chipmunks version of the song, go here.


8.  The Alarm, “45 RPM”

Never forget that the 7-inch single is heart and soul of rock’n’roll.


7.  Tom Tall, “Stack-A-Records”

Fabulous rockabilly track from 1957.


6.  Glenn Miller Orchestra, “Juke Box Saturday Night”

This is what was known as a “soundie,” an early ancestor of the modern music video.


5.  Joe Diffie, “Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox If I Die”

How many times has this song been played at a funeral?


4.  Ben Lee, “My Turntable”

Obscurity from an EP called Away with the Pixies.


3.  Marah, “Why Independent Record Stores Fails”

B-side to a single called “Point Breeze” that appeared on a 2000 album entitled Kids in Philly.  Fittingly, it’s not available on CD or iTunes.


2.  Chuck Berry, “Roll Over Beethoven”

A kid calls a radio station demanding that a new RnB record gets played.  


1.  The Tweeds, “I Need That Record”

My all-time favourite song about looking for that elusive awesome record.  A true gem from 1980.  This screams out to be covered by a modern-day band for Record Store Day.


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.

6 thoughts on “The 16 Greatest Songs About the Joys of Records

  • March 11, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Nice list Alan. I'd like to toss "Old Dan's Records" by Gordon Lightfoot into this mix.

  • March 11, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    Honorable mention should go to Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds's "(I Wanna Live a Dream In My) Record Machine"

  • March 11, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    How about Rubber Ring by the Smiths? Maybe not a classic song like a few you've listed, but a great song nonetheless. When will they ever do a reunion tour? You need to convince Morrissey the next time you see him!

  • March 12, 2012 at 1:04 am

    "Put Me On" by Styx from their album Crystal Ball is one tfat always comes to mind for me.

  • March 12, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Great list. How about Toronto's best band (Canada's best band?) Fucked Up and their song "Black Albino Bones"… extolling, in order, the joys of records, sex and pot.

    Pink Eyes, the singer/lyricist, is a huge (figuratively and literally) vinyl collector and enthusiast:

    "Try to capture the name as it spins in your mind,
    Follow it with our eyes,
    The dizzy epiphany discovered an artifact of my own,
    It's the little things that get us through life."

  • March 12, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    "Big Ten Inch Record" is actually a cover of a song by Bull Moose Jackson. Steven Tyler heard the original on the Dr. Demento show, which is why he gets a "thanks" on the Toys in the Attic album.


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