Tonight in Seattle:  

Which albums must be heard on vinyl to fully appreciate?

Our imaginary household has recently acquired a kickass turntable and a decent pair of speakers, so we've spent many the evening geeking out with our (very small) pile of records. So many albums sound SO MUCH more extraordinary when spun on vinyl than via any other format.

Needless to say, this means my fella and I have spent loads of time persuing record aisles to grow our collection. So far we've acquired a bit of the old, a bit of the new... pretty much, whatever our neighborhood Sonic Boom Records in Ballard has had in stock that has tickled our fancy. Some faves include:

  • The Pogues, If I Should Fall From Grace With God
  • Amy Winehouse, Back to Black
  • The Smiths, Louder Than Bombs
  • Okkervil River, Black Sheep Boy
  • U2, The Unforgetable Fire
  • New Pornographers, Challengers
  • The Postal Service, Give Up

But now we're hooked, and clearly, we need waaaaay more vinyl! David's next must buy is Miles Davis' Kind of Blue and mine is Nick Cave's Let Love In. I'm also coveting the whole Long Winters vinyl boxset Sonic Boom currently has in stock (purr! purr!).

My question for all of you, dear readers and bloggers: What are your essential "Must Owns" on vinyl? Which albums simply must be heard on vinyl to fully appreciate them?

Both Mezzanine & Blue Lines - Massive Attack

Minor Threat - Minor Threat

AC/DC - Back in Black


How about "Purple Rain"? And Coltrane's "A Love Supreme" would be sublime.

Any album sounds better on wax. Just a few...

Slint - Spiderland (they even tell you this on the cover)
Anything on Sarah Records
Red House Painters - Rollercoaster
Tindersticks - II

Ooh, these are great suggestions!! Keep 'em coming... Am considering a run to the Sonic Boom record store annex after going to meet Peter Bjorn and John at the General Store

Steve Albini would concur with #5, and tell you to get Shellac's entire catalog on vinyl - if you're going to get it at all, that is. Most of the albums come with a CD version rattling around in the sleeve as well. The packaging on the LP of Excellent Italian Greyhound is superb.

Shellac and Fugazi are the two bands I always buy on vinyl.

I would say Whipped Cream and Other Delights

Now you're going to start raiding Bop Street! What am I going to do? All the cool stuff will be taken!

Oh hell yes on the Herb Alpert. Good call, Rick. I listen to that one all the time and should've informed igDana :)

As far as new stuff, anything Godspeed You Black Emporer! and, strangely, I didn't truly fall in love with Thom Yorke's Eraser album until I heard it on vinyl.

ooooooh and if you're going older, Scott Walker. That's pure magic.

Modest Mouse on vinyl is truely an experience. The little pops and clicks make it that much more raw

Marvin Gaye's What's Going On and any Clientele record, though I'm partial to the newest one.

Rolling Stones, "Exile On Mainstreet."

Otis Redding.

Lou Reed "Take No Prisoners."

Is that U2 on your list, Dana??

Anything by the Beatles..

Anything originally released on vinyl, as that was their intended venue. The Beatles, Zeppelin, Miles, and Allman Brothers in particular.

My personal preference is that all electronic music (or quasi-electronic) sounds better on vinyl, as it adds a physical aspect to a sound that's often too clean digitally. Favorites in this category:

Amon Tobin's "Bricolage" and "Foley Room"
Sigur Ros
Radiohead's "Kid A" and "Ok Computer"

And: The Faint's "Danse Macabre" sounds amazing on vinyl.

I love my Math and Physics Club LP! I've played it over and over!

Dan, you're right -- "Take No Prisoners" sounds like shit on CD. Actually all the 70s "binaural" stuff Reed was experimenting with after "Metal Machine Music" till he signed to Arista is necessary on vinyl.

I would really recommend anyone who likes hardcore punk or party funk to always go with the vinyl. The early EPs by Gang of Four (yellow jacket, between the first two albums), Rip Rig and Panic, Battalion of Saints, or the Dead Kennedys all sound insanely good with fat spread out grooves, as does "Street Songs" by Rick James and anything by or near the P-Funk tribe obviously.

Elliot Smith Either/Or just the right amount of scratchiness....

Yes. The MAPC LP on vinyl is the best!

Ooh, I just thought of XTC Skylarking! That would sound SO GOOD on vinyl, right now!!

Oooh. You may want to check out Golden Oldies for XTC. I think a huge XTC fan must have passed on recently because they've got a load of the stuff. Skylarking included.

Vinyl just sounds so buttery, most albums sound better on it, but here are just a few that I did not appreciate before hearing them on vinyl.

Steely Dan - Aja
Justice - [Cross]
Franz Ferdinand (sorry) - You Could Have it So Much Better
Kinks - Any of the 80's albums are likable on Vinyl, which is weird because they totally sucked on cassette and CD.
The National - Boxer, and Alligator which was just reissued.

Tom Waits is magic on vinyl. Elvis Costello sounds great as well.

Ill second Joseph Riippi's thoughts re: classic albums and electronic music being extra kick-ass on vinyl.

Silent Shout by The Knife is killer on wax!
I just picked up the new Minus The Bear record (on transparent vinyl) - I think its going to be glorious...

My wife bought me a record player a few years back purely for the purpose of listening to certain artists on vinyl, particularaly:

Others I realized are much better on vinyl:
Springsteen's "Born to Run"
White Stripes' "White Blood Cells"
Black Keys' "Rubber Factory"
MJ's "Thriller"
and, my recent addition, MIA's new album sounds GREAT on record.
So there ya go.

One more to add: Blondie's "Parallel Lines." I also just picked up Herb Alpert's Christmas album on vinyl, today. I can't wait for December! (Christmas may come early in our household just for an excuse to hear those jolly horns.)

One more to add: Blondie's "Parallel Lines." I also just picked up Herb Alpert's Christmas album on vinyl, today. I can't wait for December! (Christmas may come early in our household just for an excuse to hear those jolly horns.)

Talking Heads....yes yes yes.

Bob Dylan is always best on vinyl, especially "Planet Waves."

dylan's "new morning" is great on vinyl as well. so is yo la tengo's "i can feel the heart..." and cat power's "greatest"

Sinatra and Rolling Stones......

I was just gifted these on vinyl and its just SOOOOOOOO cool....

I also treasure my 'Do They Know It's Christmas' 12" and an Eurythmics live EP called 'Rough and Tough at the Roxy'.

Ooh, and Grace Jones.....

and....and....and....don't get me started on vinyl....

Fleetwod Mac - Tusk

Slint - all three releases

The Stooges - first three albums - as they are unlistenable to me on CD, plus the original mix of Raw Power is no longer in print on CD

Any of the post punk classics probably.

and I suspect Talk Talk are excellent on vinyl.

Slint FO SHO. King Tubby... um.... Dirty Three!

Congratulations, Mary! Sinatra and the Stones sound great on vinyl for sure. Actually, I just played albums by them this week ... and it was from my rather small-medium vinyl collection, not all the CDs I have. Interesting to note. (For the record, the records were 'Only the Lonely,' 'Trilogy,' 'Between the Buttons,' 'Emotional Rescue,' 'Let It Bleed,' and 'Some Girls.')

Also got out this week:

Peggy Lee, "Is That All There Is?"
"NIck Lowe, "Jesus of Cool"

Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation
Burial - Untrue
Mum - Finally We Are No One

These sounded so good I transfered them at an ungodly bit-rate and put them on my iPod as well.

Maybe this is an obvious choice, but Beach Boys "Pet Sounds"

My buddy bought me Brian Wilson's "Smile" on vinyl, but haven't got a chance to hear it on a decent stereo yet. I presume that would be good, too.

My faves: White Stripes - De Stijl Pearl Jam - Ten Jimi Hendrix - Are you Experienced? Tom Petty - Wildflowers and a few I intend to pick up shortly: Black Keys - Big Come Up Black Rebel Motocycle Club - Howl Rolling Stones - Let it Bleed Fleetwood Mac - Rumours
Wishbone Ash- Argus Actually this album sounds good regardless. But I definitely prefer my vinyl copy(just got it today hahahaha)
FLEET FOXES and BON IVER on vinyl... so good. listening to vinyL is just a whole experience in itself. The perfect remedy for a chilly seattle night: drop a record and sip some tea. its just that simple.
Boards of Canada!
i would have to say a child with the blues from the eve's bayou soundtrack (or the whole soundtrack)...but i can't find it anywhere otis redding and marvin gaye anything sade any miles davis and duke ellington baduism-erykah badu rockferry-duffy tighten up- the black keys (i have the single) charlie parker
Is This It? by The Strokes was made to be listened to on vinyl.
gotta go classical and say anything by Chopin or Pachelbel. Led Zeppelin IV Neutral Milk Hotel City And Colour GUCCI MANE (totally joking.) Say Anything Jackson Browne
i suggest electronic music on vinyl as well. dub records such as mad professor or scientist or even slighty more traditional roots like lee scratch perry or augustus pablo. buddy miles - live evil i guess is real good and uhm hmm, i recently got vanilla fudge's the beat goes on. try that one too
Aphrodite's Child- 666; "Four Horsemen" sounds amazing
The Strokes - IS THIS IT... greatest album ever made.. on vinyl.. greatest work of art ever made
Why is no one saying Pink Floyd? Dark Side of the Moon can't be beat.
Neutral Milk Hotel!!
Portishead - Dummy Radiohead - In Rainbows Bob Marley - Legend Roy Harper - Stormcock
Hell yes on the Aphrodite's Child. Listening to my copy of Bowie's 'Lets Dance' as I throw together this list: Art Pepper Meets the Rhythym Section Roxy Music- Country Life Yes- The Yes Album Elvis Costello- My Aim is True Genesis- Selling England by the Pound...or anything else from their Peter Gabriel era Ramsey Lewis- The "In" Crowd If you are into jazz Coleman Hawkins has a lot of great records, and they are usually pretty cheap because he is not a huge name (like Miles or Herbie Hancock or something)...or if you want to go in a more contemporary direction I just picked up Violent Femmes self titled on vinyl, that was a pretty good buy....
Beck - mellow gold Beatles - Revolver Roxy Music - Self-titled or For Your Pleasure Miles Davis - Sketches in Spain Brian Eno - Another Green World Neil Young - After the Gold Rush, Harvest, Rust Never Sleep, On the Beach

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
Type the characters you see in this picture. (verify using audio)
Type the characters you see in the picture above; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.