Must Have Albums When Building a Classic Record Collection

The scratchy sound of an old record, even connected to today’s hi-fi stereos, has a soothing and nostalgic quality to it.  There’s an intangible sense of satisfaction that comes from the record playing ritual:  pulling the vinyl from its paper sleeve, slowly flipping the record as you lightly blow the dust off both sides, placing it gently onto the turntable, then watching the need drop… ready for the magic to begin.

Whether you’re a new age audiophile or an LP junkie, vinyl is making a comeback – and here are a few suggestions of must-have albums when building a classic record collection.

Where to Start When Building a Classic Record Collection 

Jazz:  Miles Davis – Kind of Blue (1959)

Never felt the need to listen to music released before the year 2000? Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue” is guaranteed to change your mind and make you a vintage believer.  As the best-selling jazz record of all time, this haunting and slowly mesmerizing compilation of songs is a must have for any collection. Sunday morning listening is recommended.  Song Suggestion: Blue in Green

Soul: Aretha Franklin – I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You (1967)

With Aretha Franklin’s career beginning as a gospel singer at her father’s church, then growing up on R&B and jazz, it’s no wonder her powerful vocals earned her the title of The Queen of Soul by the end of the 1960’s. While personal and professional troubles would follow her throughout her life, this album definitely earns her a little RESPECT.   Song Suggestion:  The title track,  I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You

Classic Country:  Willie Nelson – Red Headed Stranger (1975)

Willie Nelson’s switch to Columbia Records gave him creative control of his work, and his release of “The Red Headed Stranger” launched him into the success of the growing Outlaw movement in country music.  His continued story-telling staying power has made him one of country music’s best-selling stars.  Warning, listening to this record may inspire you to buy a pair of cowboy boots and learn a slow boot scoot’n two step.  Song suggestion: Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain  

The Original Heavy Metal:  Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin IV (1971)

The untitled fourth studio album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin is commonly referred to as Led Zeppelin IV.  This innovative and diverse set of songs is one of rock’s greatest albums and led the band to basically owning the 1970’s rock scene.  Song suggestion:  With many of the band’s most well-known songs on this album, be sure play this one the whole way through.

Pop / Rock:  Michael Jackson – Thriller (1982). 

No impromptu dance party would be complete without the best-selling album of all time.  Why? ‘Cuz this is Thriller.  Song Suggestion: P.Y.T (Pretty Young Thing)

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