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The Best Vinyl Records

Last updated on April 27, 2023

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Our Picks For The Top Vinyl Records

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Top Pick

Bob Marley Legend

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Bob Marley

Legend

Featuring top hits by Bob Marley, this record is a special release designed to showcase his multiple artistic styles in one place. A few of its 21 songs include "Redemption Song," "Could You Be Loved" and "One Love."

Overall Take

Plenty of VarietyReggae fans will enjoy this hit compilation with 21 tunes that show off Bob Marley's unique styles.

 Runner Up

Pink Floyd The Dark Side Of The Moon

Pink Floyd

The Dark Side Of The Moon

This record is remastered from the original hit rock album released in 1973. This iconic concept album contains 10 of the British band's tracks, including the singles "Us and Them" and "Money."

Overall Take

Iconic British RockThe deep themes and iconic artwork make this record a great choice for 1970s British rock fans.

 We Also Like

AC/DC Back In Black

AC/DC

Back In Black

This remastered record features the 10 songs from this Australian band's 1980 original release. Along with the title track, you'll find other hard rock songs such as "Shoot to Thrill" and "You Shook Me All Night Long."

Overall Take

For Heavy Music FansIf you like heavy music from the 1980s, this classic album is sure to please and has been a worldwide hit.

 Strong Contender

Fleetwood Mac Rumours

Fleetwood Mac

Rumours

Inspired by personal events happening with the band members, this album is considered the British-American band's most influential. A few highlights from the 16 songs include "Don't Stop," "Go Your Own Way" and "Dreams."

Overall Take

Soft Rock HitFleetwood Mac fans should find this reissue of the band's 1977 hit record inspirational and enjoyable.

Buying Guide

In a time when digital music has become extremely common and fewer people even buy CDs, vinyl records have actually surged in popularity. Not only can playing a record make you feel nostalgic for old times, but the music also has a warm sound that is enjoyable and grabs your attention. It also helps that vinyl records often have cool album art that makes them nice to look at and display. 

When shopping for new vinyl records, you’ll notice they usually cost more than alternatives like CDs and digital downloads. They also take up more space wherever you decide to store them. Therefore, it’s important to choose which records to add to your collection carefully to fit your budget and space needs.

Whether you’d like vinyls of classic albums or modern hits, you’re in luck. You can find records from classics such as Michael Jackson, the Beatles and Pink Floyd alongside modern artists such as Billie Eilish, Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar. You’ll typically find the widest selection of vinyls for albums released in the 1960s through 1980s when the format was especially popular. Also, be aware that vinyl releases of newer albums often lag behind a bit.

Vinyl records come in different sizes with tracks on both sides. For example, 12-inch LPs are very popular for featuring a full album tracklist while 10-inch EPs feature fewer songs. You can find 7-inch and 10-inch singles for some artists. Vinyl records also come in different weights affecting their durability and sound quality, where a 180-gram weight is common for LPs.

In addition, you’ll come across some different terms when you look at vinyl records. If you see something saying the record is a repress, it’s just like the original’s source material, while a reissued one may differ a bit. Remastered records, on the other hand, have an enhanced sound, so they’re not just like the original.

What to Look For

  • If you don’t already have a record player, make sure you buy one that plays at the speeds you need, is durable, fits your budget and is easy to use. You might also look into a player with features such as a USB port so you can export your music digitally.
  • Use the right technique for removing your vinyl from its inner sleeve so that you don’t touch the playing surface. You can put a few fingers in the center and hold the edge with your thumb to pull it out safely.
  • Once you have the record out of its sleeve, handle it properly at all times to keep it from getting scratched or oily. It’s usually safest to gently hold on to the edges of the record. Plus, make sure your hands don’t have dirt or grease on them.
  • To prevent issues such as warping, keep your vinyl records in a place that isn’t too humid, hot, cold or sunny.  Stacking your vinyl records could lead to damage due to the weight, so avoid this too.
  • Keep your vinyl record in its outer and inner sleeves when you’re not playing it. If you’d like more protection, you can purchase a clear outer sleeve to protect the artwork or a third-party inner sleeve that is more durable than what your record came with.
  • Feel free to get creative in how you show off your vinyl record collection at home. You can always keep it simple and display them on a shelf or keep them in a bookcase, but options such as ledges, record stands and even record frames exist. If you care more about storage than display, you might opt for solutions such as flight cases, cabinets and crates.
  • If you’d like a larger variety of vinyl records to pick from, extend your search to used ones. Just be sure to check how the seller has graded the record, look for potential damage and ensure it plays properly. Don’t forget to consider any compatibility issues with modern record players too.
  • You can use a record cleaning brush or microfiber cloth to remove dust from your vinyl record. Soap and water or a record cleaning fluid are good for a more thorough cleaning, but be gentle so you don’t end up scratching the record. Make sure you fully dry the record before you play it or return it to its sleeve.

More to Explore

You might be surprised to learn how long records and record players have existed. While Thomas Edison gets the credit for creating the phonograph in 1877, Edouard-Leon Scott worked on the technology behind the device earlier in 1857. Thanks to Emile Berliner, a real record player called the gramophone would debut in 1887 and use 7-inch disks made of rubber.

A record player that worked with shellac records would come out in 1901, and this material remained popular for records for a few decades longer. It would take until the 1940s when records made of actual vinyl would become popular. Demand for vinyl records would eventually see a decline when CDs came out in the 1980s, but the format has since started to beat CDs in sales.

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