Musical tastes vary widely from person to person but there can be no argument that vinyl delivers the best sound quality and the nearest approximation to how the music was meant to sound.
For anyone into vinyl records, there are some absolute essentials that will help keep their collection in prime conditions and heighten their listening experience.
The ultimate way records clean, with this record cleaning system.
The pape sleeves that records come with can be extremely low quality. Over the years of removing records from their sleeves, this can cause considerable wear to the records. These sleeves are extremely high quality and will prolong the life of your records.
Compiling a list of the “best” vinyl albums is (and always will be) a matter of personal choice but there are certain records that simply must be listened to on vinyl to get the maximum effect.
In no particular order these classic vinyl records include:
Now of pensionable age, the Stones continue to roll but in 1972 they were at their rocking best. The double album “Exile on Main Street” was probably the band’s finest work and packed full of classic rock and blues songs that really captured what the Stones were all about. Simply a great rock’n’roll band with great songs! Vinyl really captures the raw sound of the band more than a CD ever could which can be clearly heard on the classics “Rocks Off” and “Tumbling Dice”. The cover artwork alone makes this album a worthy addition to any collection.
No self-respecting vinyl collection would be complete without at least one Beatles album. The problem is there are so many great albums to choose from that it is nearly impossible to select just one. In terms of the best vinyl album, “Revolver” just about shades the verdict not just for the songs but for the experimental sound effects used by the Fab Four. The string section used on “Eleanor Rigby” is a perfect example of how much sharper vinyl reproduces sound when compared to a CD. About as diverse as a Beatles’ album can be, “Revolver” is a magic mix of ballads, pop, love songs and experimental psychedelic funk and a perfect introduction to the greatest band of all time.
Love him or loathe him (and there are some people who do), Bob Dylan has written some of the greatest songs of the last fifty years. The 1966 double album release “Blonde on Blonde” has more than stood the test of time and is still regarded by fans as the best Dylan album ever. The best sound engineers in the world would be hard-pressed to improve Dylan’s famous nasal style of singing but if ever a voice was designed for vinyl it has to be that of Robert Zimmerman. Featuring classics such as “Rainy Day Women”, “Visions of Johanna”, “I Want You” and “Memphis Blues Again” it is on the 11 minute long “Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands” that Dylan’s voice shows why it should be listened to on vinyl.
David Bowie went through so many transformations over the decades that it is impossible to categorize his music. However, with the release of his fifth album “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust” in 1972, Bowie was firmly in the Glam Rock camp with the emphasis on Rock. All eleven tracks on “Ziggy Stardust” have since become Bowie standards and listening to the songs on vinyl evokes the sound and energy of the time. Over five decades later, “Ziggy Stardust” still sounds as fresh as the day it was released and particularly so when listened to in its original format.
There can’t be many people on the planet who aren’t familiar with Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” album but listening to the worldwide best seller on vinyl is a new experience. The vocal harmonies and subtle musical intonations can only be truly appreciated in vinyl form and nowhere is this more apparent than when listening to the outstanding “Never Going Back Again”. Fleetwood Mac people on the planet who aren’t familiar with Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” album but listening to the worldwide best seller on vinyl is a new experience. The vocal harmonies and subtle musical intonations can only be truly appreciated in vinyl form and nowhere is this more apparent than when listening to the outstanding “Never Going Back Again”. Fleetwood Mac are always worth listening to in any format but vinyl takes the experience to a whole new level. Every song is a classic and every one better for hearing it on vinyl.
The Pink Floyd classic album “Dark Side of the Moon” simply has to be in any listing of the best vinyl records of all time. From the iconic prism cover to the lyrics printed on the insert, this album is pure class and simply has to be heard in the original vinyl format to do it justice. Just listen to the cash register opening of “Money” and the haunting “Great Gig in the Sky” and you will know that nothing comes to close to the quality of sound reproduction of vinyl. If ever there was a “best” or “must have” album then “Dark Side of the Moon” must surely be the one.
Some bands just naturally sound far better on vinyl and that is certainly true of Dire Straits. The distinctive voice and guitar style of Mark Knopfler make Dire Straits sound so sharp and clear on a vinyl copy of “Love Over Gold” that a CD just cannot compare. There may be only five tracks on the album but each one is a gem and seemingly perfectly crafted to take full advantage of the crisper vinyl sound.