Top 10 Best Albums to Own on Vinyl From Iconic 60s Bands and Rock Legends

  • Grace Angelique
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  • June 28, 2024
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  • 5 minute read
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Top 10 Best Albums to Own on Vinyl From Iconic 60s Bands and Rock Legends

The 1960s was a fantastic time for music, with many influential and highly-rated albums.

Here are some of the best vinyl records from iconic 60s bands and rock legends that defined an era and continue to inspire and influence music artists and lovers today.

Key Takeaways
  • The 1960s produced some of music history's most influential and innovative albums.
  • This era saw a wide range of musical styles, from the experimental rock of The Velvet Underground to the spiritual jazz of John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme.
  • The music of the 1960s continues to inspire modern artists and music lovers.

1. The Beatles – “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” (1967)

Often hailed as one of the greatest albums of all time, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles is a hallmark of the 1960s.

The album broke new ground in terms of production, songwriting, and its overall artistic vision.

Songs like “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and “A Day in the Life” showcased the band’s innovative use of studio technology and eclectic influences, ranging from classical to Indian music.

This album captured the spirit of the 60s and encouraged other artists to explore the possibilities of the long-playing format.

2. Bob Dylan – “Highway 61 Revisited” (1965)

Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited is a landmark album that represents a shift in Dylan’s music from folk to electric rock.

Known for its cutting lyrics and groundbreaking sound, the album features iconic tracks like “Like a Rolling Stone” and “Desolation Row.”

The album’s blend of blues, rock, and poetic lyrics was revolutionary and continues influencing musicians across genres​.

3. The Beach Boys – “Pet Sounds” (1966)

Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys is another quintessential 60s album.

It was a departure from the band’s earlier surf music, produced by Brian Wilson, incorporating lush orchestral arrangements and complex harmonies.

Songs like “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” and “God Only Knows” reflect Wilson’s genius in creating deeply emotional and sonically sophisticated music.

The album is often credited with inspiring The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper​.

4. The Rolling Stones – “Let It Bleed” (1969)

The Rolling Stones’ Let It Bleed is a darker, more mature album that includes classics such as “Gimme Shelter” and “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”.

The album reflects the tumultuous end of the 60s, with its themes of upheaval and disillusionment.

The Stones’ ability to blend rock with blues and country influences made Let It Bleed a seminal album in their discography.

5. The Velvet Underground – “The Velvet Underground & Nico” (1967)

This album is often hailed as one of the most influential in rock history.

With its raw sound and candid lyrics about taboo subjects, The Velvet Underground & Nico was ahead of its time.

Tracks like “Heroin” and “Venus in Furs” pushed musical boundaries and influenced countless artists in the following decades.

Despite its initial commercial failure, the album’s reputation has grown significantly over time​.

6. John Coltrane – “A Love Supreme” (1965)

In the realm of jazz, John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme stands out as a spiritual and musical masterpiece.

The album is a four-part suite that represents Coltrane’s deep religious devotion and his improvisational prowess.

It remains a touchstone in jazz and is revered for its emotional depth and technical brilliance.

7. The Jimi Hendrix Experience – “Electric Ladyland” (1968)

Electric Ladyland was the third and final studio album by The Jimi Hendrix Experience.

This album is known for its expansive and experimental sound, and it includes hits like “All Along the Watchtower” and “Voodoo Child (Slight Return).”

Hendrix’s innovative guitar work and the album’s eclectic mix of rock, blues, and psychedelia have cemented its place in rock history.

8. Led Zeppelin – “Led Zeppelin II” (1969)

Led Zeppelin’s second album, Led Zeppelin II, is often hailed as one of the greatest rock albums ever.

Featuring heavy, blues-influenced tracks like “Whole Lotta Love” and “Ramble On,” the album showcased the band’s powerful sound and set the stage for their future success.

Its impact on the development of hard rock and heavy metal is undeniable​.

9. Aretha Franklin – “I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You” (1967)

Aretha Franklin’s breakthrough album, I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You, includes the iconic track “Respect.”

This album marked Franklin’s ascent to the “Queen of Soul” title and features a powerful blend of gospel, blues, and R&B.

This album’s emotional intensity and vocal prowess have made it a timeless classic.

10. Pink Floyd – “A Saucerful of Secrets” (1968)

Pink Floyd’s A Saucerful of Secrets marked the transition from their early psychedelic sound to the more progressive rock style that would define their later work.

The album includes tracks like “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun,” showcasing the band’s experimental approach and laying the groundwork for future masterpieces like “The Dark Side of the Moon.”

Add These Classic 1960s Albums to Your Vinyl Collection!

The 1960s brought us some of the most influential music albums of all time. Whether you’re a long-time vinyl collector, just starting out, or looking for some classics to jam out to, these records are essential for any music lover.

You can find these classic albums at local record stores, online vinyl shops, or even second-hand stores.

Don’t miss out on owning a piece of music history. Start or expand your vinyl collection with these legendary albums from the 1960s. Happy listening!

Grace Angelique

Grace Angelique

An accomplished Art News Journalist with a decade of experience, Grace has covered global art events, exhibitions, and emerging trends. Her work has graced major publications, offering readers a fresh perspective on contemporary art and its evolving landscape.

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