7 Best Vinyl Album Albums To Own, According To Audiophiles

Vinyl records have made a significant comeback in recent years, with music enthusiasts and audiophiles alike rediscovering the unique sound and experience that only vinyl can provide. As collectors continue to build their record collections, certain albums have stood the test of time and are considered must-haves for any vinyl enthusiast. From classic rock to hip-hop to jazz, these albums have not only shaped the music industry but have also become iconic pieces of art in their own right. This is why today we are taking a closer look at some of the best vinyl albums of all time to own.

While vinyl records are available for modern music artists, the appeal of listening to records mostly holds true for more classical music. Many people enjoy the warm, nostalgic sound quality that vinyl records provide, especially when listening to older jazz, blues, or rock and roll albums. The crackling noise and imperfections in the sound can add a sense of authenticity and charm to the music, making the listening experience more intimate and engaging. Whether you’re just getting into the ritual of enjoying music in a more vintage way or it has been your go-to method for years, listening to vinyl can provide a unique and immersive listening experience. We at StudyFinds have researched across 10 expert sources to bring you today’s ranking of the best vinyl albums to own. Don’t agree with our list or feel we missed out on a great record? We would love to hear from you in the comments down below. Now, onto the list!

➡️ How Our “Best Of The Best” Lists Are Created

StudyFinds’ “Best of the Best” articles are put together with the idea of taking the work out of common consumer research. Ever find yourself searching for a product or service on Google and reading multiple reviews to find items listed across many of them? Our Best of the Best lists are created with that process in mind, with each item ranked by how frequently it appears on expert reviews or lists. With Best of the Best, you are getting consensus picks — making them truly the best of the best!

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The List: Best Vinyl Albums To Own, Per Collectors

1. “Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd (1973)

Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" (1973)
Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” (1973)

The first album to grace our list is Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon.” Described as a “classic rock essential” by RadioX, this album is a masterpiece that has stood the test of time. With its haunting lyrics, intricate instrumentals, and iconic album cover, it has solidified its place in music history. 

Selling a notable “45 million copies” this is one of the best-selling albums of all time. The record continues to resonate with listeners of all ages, proving its timeless appeal and enduring impact on the music industry. With its thought-provoking lyrics, “Dark Side of the Moon” remains a work of art that will be celebrated for years to come (Your Sound Matters).

Lakeside Entertainment Group event explains that the record spent 937 weeks on the Billboard 200, which is more than any other release in history. “Dark Side of the Moon” has timeless themes and innovative sound that has been impossible to recreate since, making it a must-listen for music lovers of all generations. 

2. “Kind of Blue” by Miles Davis (1959)

Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue" (1959)
Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue” (1959)

Next up is the iconic jazz album by the incomparable Miles Davis, “Kind of Blue.” Described as “outstanding” by Your Sound Matters, the album is also recommended for new-time jazz listeners. The smooth and cool tones of the music make it perfect for relaxing evenings or background music while entertaining guests. With its innovative approach to modal jazz, “Kind of Blue” continues to be a timeless classic that transcends generations.

Higher HZ raves about how this album is an “immersive composition” and is simply Miles Davis’ masterpiece. “Kind of Blue” has continued to stand the test of time, influencing countless musicians and reshaping the landscape of jazz music. Its impact can still be felt today as new listeners discover and appreciate the brilliance of “Kind of Blue.”

Noted as one of the most “influential jazz musicians of the 20th century,” by Vinyl Bro, Miles Davis set the tone for cool jazz with this collection of amazing hits. Davis’ use of improvisation and his talented band members created a masterpiece that has inspired so many. “Kind of Blue” remains a must-listen for any jazz enthusiast looking to experience the genius of Miles Davis on vinyl. 

3.“Abbey Road” by The Beatles (1969)

"Abbey Road" by The Beatles (1969)
“Abbey Road” by The Beatles (1969)

Of course, a Beatles album was going to make the list; enter “Abbey Road.” Described as “a triumph” when it comes to “cutting-edge audio production” by Higher HZ, the band’s creativity shines on this record. From the iconic cover art to the harmonious blend of rock and pop, the album’s innovative sound engineering and intricate songwriting have solidified its place as one of the greatest albums of all time.

Including one of the most famous album covers ever taken, featuring The Fab Four crossing a street in London, explains Vinyl Bro, “Abbey Roads” cover art is a reason to buy it alone. Not even mentioning iconic songs like “Come Together” and “Here Comes the Sun,” this album is a must-have for any music lover. The harmonies, the instrumentals, and the overall production of this album are unmatched in the history of rock music

CNet adds that the 50th anniversary remix of “Abbey Road” is truly a treat for the ears. The remastered tracks sound crisp and clear, allowing listeners to hear every nuance and detail of the iconic album. Fans of the Beatles will appreciate the care and attention to detail that went into this new version of the classic record

4. “Thriller” by Michael Jackson (1982)

Michael Jackson's "Thriller"
Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”

An MJ classic takes the next spot on our list with 1982’s “Thriller.” Noted as “the best-selling album of all time” by Lakeside Entertainment Group, the album continues to captivate audiences with its iconic tracks and groundbreaking music video. Michael Jackson’s unparalleled talent and innovative sound solidify this album as a timeless masterpiece in the music industry, setting a tone for musicians who followed. 

Atlas Records goes on to speak about the iconic video that came with the “Thriller” album and how, due to its length and cinematic quality, it was “released theatrically in some locations.” The video was an amazing production that showcased Michael Jackson’s incredible dance moves and storytelling ability. 

Your Sound Matters describes the album as cementing Michael Jackson as a “pop icon.” With songs like “Billie Jean” and, of course, “Thriller,” Jackson solidified his status as a music legend with this record. The album not only showcased his incredible vocal range but also his ability to push the boundaries of the pop genre. It remains a timeless classic that continues to inspire artists across generations.

5. “Rumours” by Fleetwood Mac (1977)

"Rumours" by Fleetwood Mac (1977)
“Rumours” by Fleetwood Mac (1977)

The coveted number five spot on today’s list goes to the album with the most drama behind it, “Rumours” by Fleetwood Mac. Atlas Records describes the history behind the album as the band members dealt with “romantic breakups” and “strained relationships.” These intense feelings, however, only fueled the greatness that the album became. 

Your Sound Matters explains how this classic “suits vinyl down to the ground.” Between the 1970s drum and Lindsey Buckingham’s fingerpicking, the warm and rich tones of the record truly come to life on vinyl. The crackles and pops only enhance the nostalgic feel of listening to this classic album in its purest form. The depth and detail of each musician who contributed to this album are showcased in their most raw and vulnerable ways. Stevie Nicks’ haunting vocals sound even more haunting on vinyl, drawing the listener in even closer to the emotion of the music. 

Considered a “standard” by Vinyl Bro, it is an absolute must in every collection. Between crying over Christina McVie’s “Songbird” or twirling to Stevie Nicks’ “Dreams,” Fleetwood Mac’s album “Rumours” has something for every mood. The iconic harmonies and raw emotion in each track make it a timeless classic that never gets old. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or just discovering their music, the album is sure to become a staple in your music library.

6. “Purple Rain” by Prince and The Revolution (1984)

"Purple Rain" by Prince and The Revolution (1984)
“Purple Rain” by Prince and The Revolution (1984)

For our next album, we will be speaking of the artist formerly known as “Prince,” and his iconic album “Purple Rain.” Devoted To Vinyl says, when it comes to this album, “come for the style and stay for the blistering guitar solos,” and we couldn’t agree more. Prince truly pushed the boundaries of funk, rock, and pop music with “Purple Rain,” creating a timeless masterpiece that stands the test of time.

“‘When Doves Cry’ played endlessly on MTV,” notes American Songwriter, and with “Purple Rain,” Prince changed the American fabric. Prince’s boundary-pushing lyrics and innovative sound set him apart from his peers, solidifying his place in music history as one of the greatest artists of all time. And don’t even get us started on his guitar playing. Let’s just say it’s out of this world. 

“Purple Rain” was the first of Prince’s albums to reach number one on the Billboard 200, writes Lakeside Entertainment Group. It is also one of those albums where the cover is just as appealing as the inside, promising you an epic journey with Prince. The iconic album cover features Prince in a striking pose, donning his signature purple attire and exuding an air of confidence. This visual representation perfectly captures the essence of the music within, solidifying Prince’s status as a musical genius. 

7. “Pet Sounds” by The Beach Boys (1966)

"Pet Sounds" by The Beach Boys (1966)
“Pet Sounds” by The Beach Boys (1966)

Last, but certainly not least, is “Pet Sounds” by The Beach Boys. Regarded as the record that advanced the field of music production by Lakeside Entertainment Group, this iconic album showcases the genius of Brian Wilson and his ability to push the boundaries of what was thought possible in popular music

According to Atlas Records, this record was released as “a concept album,” which showed a different path for The Beach Boys. It was a departure from their earlier surf rock sound. The album featured intricate arrangements, innovative production techniques, and introspective lyrics. “Pet Sounds” is now considered a landmark in the history of popular music and has influenced countless artists across various genres.

There’s just something about “Pet Sounds” that keeps everyone smiling, says Victrola. No matter where or when you decide to put it on, the harmonious melodies never fail to lift your spirits. The timeless quality of the album truly makes it a classic that resonates with listeners of all generations. It’s no wonder that “Pet Sounds” is considered one of the greatest albums of all time.


Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links in which we receive a commission if you make a purchase.

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About the Author

Jilly Hite

New York raised and Florida-based Jilly Hite studied screenwriting and theatre at The Lee Strasberg Institute before becoming a full time content creator and podcaster. She loves old movies, musical theatre, and her pup Ted.

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  1. I think there are 3 albums missing here. Out of The Blue by the Electric Light Orchestra, Bat out of Hell by Meat Loaf, and Dave Brubeck Take Five.

    1. Meat Loaf wow okay, I always consider that just a silly act, just like Kiss… Very theatrical to my ears but I just heard the single, will give it another listen. Cheers

    2. I agree with ELO and Brubeck. I would round those out with the Allman Brothers Live at Fillmore East

  2. My 1948 version of Handels Messiah 11 discs from original 19 beats all these.
    Malcolm Sargent etc. Still to found on YouTube

  3. Aja by Steely Dan has near perfect levels of hi- end production.
    Every track features some of the best session musicians ever assembled on one recording. It’s a masterpiece that sounds fresh to this day.

    1. Best they did.never played by any of the “young so called DJs.who wernt around.so much music never played.paul

  4. I’m surprised they picked Princes ‘Purple Rain’ over ‘Sign O The Times’. SOTT is so much more interesting for audiophiles…

  5. What happened to Kansas’ Leftoverture or Styx’s Equinox or Grand Illusion. I find those 3 recordings quite amazing and they represent an era when music was good. Top 10 is where they belong.

  6. I feel that a few are missing here. Most notably Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and Songs In The Of Life.

  7. How did Stevie Wonder not make the cut like anything it’s just someone’s opinion like you know the rest of that statement

  8. I have over 350 albums most still have original shrink wrap. 99% pristine with no scratches or pops.
    Nothing but clean beautiful sound.
    Started collecting in 1967 and most cost 2 bucks.

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