There is nothing quite like the sound of vinyl.
Over the years, various new technologies have come and gone — 8-tracks, cassette tapes, CDs. Of course, today you don’t need anything more than your phone to play your favorite song on repeat.
Still, there’s just something about listening to a vinyl record — and the world seems to agree. Vinyl is making a comeback. Just a few months ago, Sony Music Entertainment announced that it would begin pressing vinyl records again, nearly 28 years after it stopped producing them.
If you’re feeling nostalgic, we consulted with some music experts to come up with 10 of the greatest albums of all time, in no particular order. Even if these don’t quite fit your taste, they’re undeniably classics that made some impact on the music industry.
As a bonus, we’ve also included some tips for storing your record collection below. When you need to free up a little extra space in your den, give the team at Closetbox a call. They’ll pick up your albums and any other belongings you want to store, transport them to a private vault and return them when you’re ready to jam out again. You won’t even have to leave the house.
1. The Jimi Hendrix Experience “Are You Experienced?”
This 1967 record is a must-have in your vinyl collection if you’re serious about rock and roll. Known for his blistering guitar solos, Hendrix teamed up with bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell to form a jammin’ trio and play songs such as “Foxy Lady” and “Manic Depression.”
2. The Beatles “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”
It’s hard to make a list of the top vinyl albums of all time without including “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” by The Beatles. This 1967 album is widely regarded as one of the best, if not the very best, albums ever made — it even topped Rolling Stones list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. The reason? It marked an artistic transition for The Beatles.
“We were fed up with being Beatles,” McCartney told his biographer of the album. “We were not boys, we were men… artists rather than performers.
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3. Peter Frampton “Frampton Comes Alive!”
This two-album record released in 1976 features some of Peter Frampton’s greatest hits, recorded live. Songs such as “Baby, I Love Your Way” and “Do You Feel Like We Do” come alive on this iconic album.
“Though it’s been over 40 years since the release, ‘Frampton Comes Alive!’ still has that feeling of a warm summer night seeing a rock concert with friends,” says entertainment writer Taylor Leddin.
4. Bruce Springsteen “Born to Run”
This 1975 album was Bruce Springsteen’s third studio album — and the one that finally launched his career. On this record you’ll find the tracks “Born to Run,” “Jungleland” and “Thunder Road.”
5. Michael Jackson “Thriller”
There are so many hits on Michael Jackson’s 1982 album “Thriller,” it’s hard to know just which one to listen to. From the album’s title track to “Billie Jean” to “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’,” you can really groove with this record in your collection. It’s reportedly one of the top-selling albums of all time, with an estimated 66 million copies sold.
6. Fleetwood Mac “Rumours”
The drama that inspired many of the tracks on this 1977 album is palpable when you listen to songs such as “Dreams” and “The Chain.” The band was going through some turbulent times — drugs, breakups, love triangles — which made for some intense material for their music. But the album features many upbeat hits, too, such as “Go Your Own Way” and “You Make Loving Fun.” It’s one you’ll want to listen to all the way through, with no stops.
7. Led Zeppelin “Led Zeppelin IV”
Though this album was technically untitled, it’s commonly referred to as “Led Zeppelin IV,” since it was the band’s fourth studio album. This 1971 album features the iconic song “Stairway to Heaven,” but it also includes other jam-worthy favorites like “Black Dog” and “When the Levee Breaks.”
8. The Beach Boys “Pet Sounds”
Released in 1966, “Pet Sounds” is often described as a masterpiece by music critics and fans alike. While the rest of the band was on tour, Brian Wilson took a break to produce and arrange this record, which includes songs like “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” and “God Only Knows.”
“You hear something new every time you listen to it,” says Jenn Sutkowski, a freelance writer and self-described music nerd.
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9. The Jacksons “Destiny”
Before Michael Jackson launched a solo career that would make him the King of Pop, there was “Destiny,” an album recorded by the Jacksons and released in 1978. Though the Jacksons were known for being cute boys from Indiana who could sing pre-pubescent and adolescent bubble-gum soul, this album showed that they had staying power, says L. Roi Boyd III, a professor of theater and speech at Virginia Commonwealth University..
“They had to be taken seriously in order to maintain their longevity,” said Boyd. “The Jacksons did it with this album and it appealed to the fans that there was renewed spark that they can grow up with their public into adulthood.”
10. Men at Work “Business As Usual”
Remember that catchy tune “Who Can It Be Now?” It’s on the 1982 record “Business As Usual” by the Australian rock group Men At Work. This debut album put Men At Work, including frontman Colin Hay, on the map — and it’s just a fun, upbeat album to add to your collection.
“The combination of Colin Hay’s quirky vocal style and infectious tunes makes this an album worth going back to once in awhile, if only to recapture the fun it brought with it upon its release,” says Garry Berman, the author of several pop-culture books.
How to store your records
While most music-lovers would say that a turntable is the best places to store your favorite record, there are some practical considerations to keep in mind when storing your record collection.
Before you give the team at Closetbox a call, here are some tips for ensuring that the beat goes on, even after you get your albums out of storage.
Be sure to wash and dry your hands before fiddling with your records, and only touch the edges when you’re handling them, suggests Cordell Miles, who owns Music Masters Worldwide, a music store selling mostly vinyl records.
“Dirt and dust are enemies to a record,” he says. “Be sure to clean them before they go to storage and keep sleeves on the records.”
Remember to pack your records standing upright, if possible, to prevent warping, he added. Your albums shouldn’t be packed together too tightly, either.
“Album jackets can be just as valuable as the records inside, so making sure the boxes and shelves storing the records don’t rub the edges is important,” he says. “Better yet, outer plastic sleeves will protect them from rubbing off on each other, or worse, sticking to each other.”