We’ve been curating our vinyl collection for almost 20 years, but certain albums get played far more than others. Today we’re each rounding up our top 5 albums start to finish, no skips allowed!
We’ve never been shy about or love of collecting music on vinyl! Music is a huge part of our lives and barely a minute goes by in our home where tunes aren’t streaming from our turntable or our favorite Spotify playilsts. We recently laid out our recommendations on how to get started with a simple, beautiful turntable setup, and we were also asked this thoughtful question:
Every time I see your record collection, I have to know: What are your favorite albums from start to finish? Like, you don’t even think about skipping a single song?— @erin.v.stewart
It’s a question we’ve gotten more than once and one we’re excited to answer! By design, listening to entire albums (especially on vinyl) makes skipping tracks difficult, so we end up hearing the artists’ entire vision, like it or not! Listening to albums also brings us back to the days of cassettes (and CD’s to a lesser degree) when an album might spend an entire summer blasting from a walkman or your first car’s stereo system. For me, vinyl also lends itself to more focused listening. I find that if I make the effort to put on a record, I’m more likely to pay close attention to it and maybe hear things in the music that I wouldn’t notice otherwise.
So, here goes nothing. Our top 5 albums on vinyl, start to finish, no skips, and in alphabetical order.
Scott’s Top 5 Albums
- Arcade Fire | Funeral, 2004
- Kendrick Lamar | Good Kid, M.A.A.D City (Deluxe), 2012
- Robert Palmer | Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley, 1974
- Phish | The Story of the Ghost, 1998
- Sturgill Simpson | A Sailor’s Guide to Earth, 2016
Kim’s Top 5 Albums
- Aerosmith | Night in the Ruts, 1979
- Mariah Carey | Music Box, 1993
- No Doubt | Tragic Kingdom, 1995
- Queen | A Kind of Magic, 1986
- Rolling Stones | Some Girls, 1978
These 10 records offer a decent glimpse into what our vinyl collection is made of. Hip hop, classic rock, 90’s alternative and pop gems share space with Jazz, funk and (much to Kim’s dismay) a decent helping of jam band greats. It’s a mish-mash built from thrift shops, record stores, flea markets, ‘borrowing’ from our parents’ collections and purchasing new. For us, the hunt for great music is as much fun as listening to it!
So, now we’re turning the question back to all of you! What are your favorite albums, start to finish, no track skipping allowed? Aaand… Go!
Arcade Fire, The Suburbs
The National, High Violet and Trouble will Find Me
All great picks!
Two of my favourite bands!
Counting Crows – August and Everything After
Joel Plaskett Emergency – Ashtray Rock (if you haven’t heard this – you MUST check it out!)
We’ll give a listen! Thanks for the rec!
The Avett Brothers – I & Love & You, Emotionalism, and Once & Future Carpenter. So good.
Brandon Flowers The Desired Effect
Neko Case’s Middle Cyclone and Dawes’ North Hills!
Yes, Neko Anything!!!
Funeral is my favorite as well!! What about In Rainbows by Radiohead….another great start to finish album?
In Rainbows is another great one! 15 Step is among the all time great album openers and it sounds absolutely amazing on vinyl.
Pablo Honey or The Bends are my favorites!
YES! To all of the above.
Andrew Bird’s Armchair Apocrypha – I actually haven’t listened to this in a while, you’ve prompted me to revisit it!
Yes! We’ve seen him live a couple times as well. What a weird, wonderful musician!
My dad passed down his record collection to me last year, and it’s been so fun to work through them all. My husband and I probably haven’t even listed to half of them yet. So many records! Lots of Queen, Jethro Tull, The Beatles, Supertramp, Bob Dylan, Fleetwood Mac, and so so many more. My favorites so far are Billy Joel The Stranger (though I love Billy Joel, so I will happily listen to any of his albums start to finish), Electric Light Orchestra Out of the Blue, and Elton John Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. We are looking to add some CCR and Simon and Garfunkel to our collection soon!
Yes, QUEEN! Lucy is on such a Queen kick right now and my heart is soaring.
The miseducation of Lauryn Hill.
Also a fantastic album!
Neutral Milk Hotel, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
Eagles Greatest Hits and Vol 2; ZZ Top Tres Hombres; and Elton John Yellow Brick Road
Ray Charles – True to Life
Folklore/Taylor swift, continuum/John Mayer, wildflowers/Tom petty, legend (best of)/bob marley, greatest hits/bob Seger, the chronic/dr Dre, band on the run/Paul McCartney, rumors/fleetwood Mac, greatest hits/Elton John.
I could go on and on but these are the usual suspects! My dad’s old turn table will play 6 at a time. Happy weekend! ✌????
Bowie, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust ….; Wilco, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot; The Kinks, Arthur…
The top favorites that I have almost all of an artist’s portfolio (or 4+ records) on vinyl are: Brandi Carlisle, Tom Petty, Nina Simone, Valerie June, Birds of Chicago/Allison Russell, Florence + The Machine
Favorite Single Vinyl Records: The Head and the Heart; Rayna Gellert – Old Light; The Decemberists – The King is Dead; The Leftover Cuties – The Spark & The Fire; Little Bob & the Lollipops – Nobody But You
Oh, the Decemberists. Man, so lovely.
I’m sure there are others but the 1st that popped into my is head is U2’s The Joshua Tree. I’ve loved it since it came out in 1987.
YESSSS To Sturgill Simpson!!
Another one I can listen to all the way through no skips is definitely Tyler Childers – Purgatory. Ok and Live on Red Barn Radio. I love me some good Appalachian country music.
We had tickets to see Sturgill (for the second time) and Tyler (for the first time) last April when Sturgill was playing Sound + Fury start to finish most nights. Pandemic cancelled the show and Sturgill says he might not ever play those songs again. We were heartbroken!
I ALSO HAD TICKETS TO SEE THEM IN MEMPHIS and I have never been more sad about a concert being cancelled in my life.
When I’m really stressed I like to listen to Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone. It isn’t chill, but it’s beautiful and soothing.
Nirvana – Nevermind
Pink floyd – the wall
Thievery corporation – cosmic game
Yeah yeah yeahs – show your bones
The clash – london calling
Show Your Bones makes me think of driving with the windows down with an iced coffee in my cupholder. :)
This is a really fun post! Thanks!
We’re loving all these recs as well!
Sunshine on Leith, The ProclaimersTapestry, Carole KingFlood, They Might Be GiantsI Serve A Savior, Josh TurnerBuilt For Speed, Stray Cats
great post! My front to back faves are Janet Jackson/Janet and The Black Crowes/ Southern Harmony Music Companion
Scott! I was wondering which Phish album would make your top 5 (or if it would only be Phish ????)!
My eyes just rolled so far into the back of my head.????
With 5000+ records in my collection, this is difficult. But, today I would narrow it down to; Rolling Stones “Sticky Fingers”, Suede “Dog Man Star”, Spoon “Girls Can Tell”, Heart “Dreamboat Annie”, and Pulp “This is Hardcore”.
Dreamboat Annie was THISCLOSE to making my list. Ann Wilson is so badass.
Yeah, Ann is supposed to be on the WTF podcast soon. Looking forward to it. My bff and I finally got to go see Ann & Nancy play a few years ago. Lifelong dream come true, and even more glad we did now!
Pink Floyd, Dark Side Of The Moon! I never get sick of it!
This is fun! Here are some of mine that came to mind:
Stevie Wonder – Songs in the Key of Life
Fleetwood Mac – Rumors
Frightened Rabbit – Midnight Organ Fight
Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
Beatles – Revolver
Steely Dan – Aja
Tune-Yards – Whokill
Spoon – Girls Can Tell
Rolling Stones – Some Girls
The Flaming Lips – Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots
The Head and the Heart’s eponymous album
The Postal Service – Give Up
I think we listen to Aja once a week. ???? Can’t believe it didn’t make our lists!
So many good ones! But definitely Paul Simon’s Rhythm of the Saints, and Tears for Fears’ Songs from the Big Chair.
Only five is realy tough…
Patrick Watson – waves (very much a part of our lives since it’s release, that music touches the soul)
Fleetwood Mack – rumors
Kanye West – my dark twisted romance
Radiohead – ok computer
Wyclef Jean – Carnival
Oups *beautiful dark twisted fantasy haha! Always get thar wrong!
Oh Kanye! I especially love Graduation. And Wyclef! I loved that album, too.
1. Pink Floyd- Wish You Were Here
2. Brand New- The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me
3. The Killers- Hot Fuss
Maggie Rodgers – Light On, Avett Brothers – True Sadness, Tyler Childers – Pergatory
Beck’s Morning Phase is great and super chill from beginning to end. Fleet Foxes’ self titled album is amazing, Sufjan’s Stevens Illinois album or Carrie and Lowell. More recently, I have enjoyed every song on Waxahatchee’s St. Cloud album.
Most of our records are hand-me-downs and we still have never listened through all 4 bins. My husband put one on and really liked it, checked out the cover and said “Rambley? What kind of name is Rambley?” Turns out it was Ramsey Lewis Golden hits, he’s pretty well known but was new to us. Now we love listening to “Rambley??” all the way though. I also love Jimmy Buffet’s Changes in Lattitudes, Changes in Attitudes because I’m secretly an old man in a Hawaiian shirt that vacations at Margaritaville.
De La Soul any álbum, Stevie Wonder Songs in the Key of Life, Talking Heads Speaking in tongues, Prince Purple rain, and Tribe called Quest Peoples Instinctive Travels
Red Headed Stranger – Willie
Just One Night – Eric Clapton
Masseduction – St. Vincent
Sun June – Somwhere
Oooo fun! I love this question. Top albums for me are Continuum by John Mayer and Bleed American by Jimmy Eat World.
You guys just inspired me to buy a turntable, and it has not yet arrived. But I can share my first six album purchases:
1. Bruce Springsteen on Broadway
2. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Beatles)
3. Sympathique (Pink Martini)
4. Soundtrack to Something’s Gotta Give
5. Joshua Tree (U2)
6. Miles Davis and John Coltrane
The Smiths, The Queen is Dead
Two non-skippers that come to mind immediately are Stevie Ray Vaughan – Blues at Sunrise, and Miles Davis – Kind of Blue.
The Go-Go’s – Beauty and the Beat and if Greatest Hits albums are allowed… The Police Every Breath You Take the singles
In no order:Grant Lee Buffalo “Mighty Joe Moon”Outkast “Aquemini”Paul Simon “Rhythm of the Saints”David Bowie “Young Americans”Daft Punk “Homework”Otis Redding “The Best of…”15.60.75 “Jimmy Bell’s Still in Town”Steely Dan “Aja”LCD Soundsystem “This is Happening”Mos Def “Black on Both Sides”
Sorry 5 was just way too limiting, but these 10 def get very consistent rotation.
Always love a top 5 High Fidelity style.
Loudon Wainwright III – A Live One, Bon Iver – i,i (all are great just going with latest), Iron & Wine – Th Creek Drank the Cradle, Keaton Henson – Romantic Works, Vince Guaraldi Trio – A Charlie Brown Christmas (staple one month of the year).
Love these picks!!
My parents’ basement just flooded and they lost almost the entirety of my mom’s HUGE album collection (that was supposed to be my inheritence!). Heartbroken. Anyway, some of our favorites are: Random Access Memories//Daft Punk, Madvillainy//Madvillain, and My Woman//Angel Olsen
We’re big fans of Sturgill over here, so definitely looking to add that one to our collection!
So sad to hear it! Sturgill is one of the only artists whose complete discography we own! The man can barely do wrong.