It’s time to get out your duster and take a trip to the attic. Don’t forget to check if you have any of the albums on the following list!
Miles Davis, Kind of Blue
A record that critics claim changed the face of music and is known as the jazz album even non-jazz fans should own, Kind of Blue is the epitome of cool. Miles Davis reinvented the jazz genre on more than one occasion and that is undeniably clear on this album which stands the test of time.
Davis, one of the most influential figures in jazz and music in general, was a trumpeter and a composer. He recorded Kind of Blue alongside incredibly talented musicians, John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley on saxophone, Bill Evans and Wynton Kelly on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and Jimmy Cobb on the drums. The album is widely regarded as his best work and is the top-selling jazz album in history. You’d have to shell out up to $1,000 to get your hands on one of the original iconic records.
Depeche Mode, Music for the Masses
What makes this version of the record so valuable is that it features the original cover. The album cover in the UK was designed at first with a graphic of a white speaker emitting soundwaves, in front of a bright orange background. That design was then thrown out and replaced with the now-famous photo of a loudspeaker in the middle of the desert. Before the change was made, however, some of the albums were printed with the original cover.
When the label decided to re-release the album in the 1990s, they accidentally sent out some of the old records to stores. For obvious reasons, these particular copies are extremely hard to track down, making them collector gold. Alan Wilder, who used to play keyboards for Depeche Mode, sold one of them in 2011 for $4,600.
Wham!, Last Christmas
We know, we know, just reading the title has given you a Christmas-y earworm. This record has been dubbed a"high watermark of mid-80s British synthpop songcraft." Now that's incredibly high praise for a pop Christmas album! Even Santa would agree.
Funnily enough, even though the record was released in 1984, it only managed to reach number 1 status in 2021 on the charts. The record has evolved into a Christmas staple and has spawned various covers, remixes, and parodies. The record is particularly poignant and special in light of George Michael's passing on none other than Christmas day in 2016.
The album Nevermind is the one that really catapulted the Seattle band into superstardom, but it is the band’s less known first album Bleach, released by legendary indie label Sub Pop, that is an expensive collectible. Two specific versions of the album are out there that are particularly rare and in demand.
The first vinyl pressing included only 1,000 records that are easily recognized by their white color. These have been known to go for as much as $2,500. 500 more copies were created in the third pressing, those have a red and white 12” and a blue 7” vinyl included. You may be able to pick up one of those bad boys for as much as $1,100. It seems like a good time to put on some plaid and go clean out the basement.
Olivia Newton-John and Electric Light Orchestra, Xanadu
Despite famously being known as one of the worst movies ever made, Xanadu’s title song recording is astonishingly valuable. The promotional disc with singing by Olivia Newton-John and music by the Electric Light Orchestra is actually one of the most coveted albums in the history of music.
Apparently, Olivia Newton-John hated her picture on the cover of the picture disc so much, that she demanded that the record company stop the pressing. Only 20 to 30 records that were already given out are still around, so if you have one stashed away somewhere, it is possible that you can sell it for up to $9,100.
The Who, The Who Sell Out
The first run of the Who’s third album, which was half-pressed in stereo and half in mono, only included 1,000 copies. The lucky few who purchased these also received a psychedelic butterfly poster to look at while enjoying the music. Whoever had the foresight to hang on to the album and the poster, can now sell them for roughly $1,100.
The cover, which pokes fun at the band’s success and their transition from rebellious rockers to sell-outs, takes on an ironic twist when it was revealed that the band’s co-manager, Chris Stamp, asked the brands shown on the cover for endorsement money. Seems like the sponsors didn’t find it funny, because the band was sued for royalties by deodorant brand Odorono and PAMS Productions, the marketing company that recorded many of the jingles used on the album.
Cherry Five, Cherry Five
This Italian progressive rock band should be well known to classic horror movie lovers, especially after they changed their name and became Goblin. The band is famous for its soundtrack work on the original Suspiria, Dawn of the Dead, and Deep Red. Very few copies of the record were made, and it is extremely hard to find. No wonder an original pressing can set you back roughly $3,500.
The band became a success with their new name, which became even more fitting when they began collaborating with iconic Italian film director Dario Argento on Proffondo Rosso (Deep Red). The movie’s main theme was a surprising hit. Re-releases of their soundtracks have done well, especially in Japan and Germany for some reason.
The Rolling Stones, Street Fighting Man
Rock and roll and controversy go hand in hand, so it's no wonder that the Rolling Stones picked a cover for their album that was supposed to make waves. The record company, however, had a different idea. The original cover featured a black and white photograph of an injured protestor lying in the street, with police standing over him in an indifferent and maybe even aggressive stance. The only other thing on the cover was the single title above and the band’s name below.
However, not long before the release of the album, the 1968 riot at the Democratic National Convention took place. In an act of self-censorship and in an attempt to not create any controversy, the record label pulled the plug on the record and ordered all the copies destroyed. Only 18 records remained and one of them was sold in 2011 for an impressive $17,000.
David Bowie, Diamond Dogs
When artist Guy Peellaert did the artwork for the Diamond Dogs album cover, he had no idea that his painting of Bowie as a hybrid of man and dog would make the record’s worth skyrocket. The truth is, the full version of the painting was not even supposed to be released to the public. RCA Records apparently got cold feet when they discovered that the back cover revealed Bowie’s lower half exposing some of his private parts.
They decided to airbrush anything which could be considered offensive prior to the release. Some quick-thinking employees managed to sneak off with some of the original copies. Seems like they had the right idea because one of them was sold on eBay in 2003 for $3,550. Bowie’s passing has only increased the value of the uncensored albums and their price would certainly be even higher today.
Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568
Only 300 to 1,000 copies of this classic jazz record were printed in 1957, but only some of those have a tiny printing variation that makes them worth a whole lot more. According to the story, the Blue Note, the legendary jazz label, was printing the record when they suddenly ran out of labels.
A few of the records feature the Blue Note’s regular label with their address shown as “47 West 63rd NYC,” and some list the address as “47 West 63rd New York 23.” In this case, both versions are worth quite a bit of money. An album with the regular label was sold on eBay in 2015 for $11,162. It is assumed that the value of the second version would be even higher.
The Quarrymen, That’ll Be the Day
If you are up on your Beatles trivia, then you are sure to know that The Quarrymen was the name of that famous band’s first incarnation, albeit without Ringo Starr. The band put out an amateur recording in 1958 of a Buddy Holly cover of That’ll Be the Day and In Spite of All the Danger, an original song written by Paul McCartney and George Harrison.
The album was reprinted by Paul McCartney and has become extremely valuable over the years. Rumor has it, that he only had 50 copies made to share with family and friends. Experts believe that the value of the original acetate record will be the highest of any album ever sold, but that will only become known if and when the famous Beatle decides to sell it. Don’t worry if you only have a reprint though, it is still worth about $3,500.
The Beatles, The Beatles (aka The White Album)
The number one on this list is clearly one of the best albums of all time, and although millions of copies were made, there can only be one record that is considered the very first White Album ever pressed. The album, marked with serial number A0000001 was believed to have gone to the late John Lennon, but it was later revealed that the first copy actually went to Ringo Starr.
The record was kept safe in a bank vault for over three decades and was eventually sold as part of a charity auction for a record-breaking $79,000. Starr said that the record was not in pristine condition because he used to play it, a lot. The money was used for his very own charity – the Lotus Foundation. Don’t worry if you don’t have the very first copy, albums in the low double digits are still worth quite a lot. The album with serial number A0000023 sold in 2012 for a very respectable $13,750.
Prince, The Black Album
After Prince finished all the work on The Black Album nicknamed “The Funk Bible” and had 500,000 copies pressed, the singer had a sudden change of heart and decided to pay the record label to recall all of the records. He apparently ingested too many strange substances and reached the conclusion that the record was “evil”. By the time he came up with that strange notion, a few promotional copies were already distributed.
Bootleg copies were created, and the album even got some serious radio play, although Prince was unhappy about it. The singer seems to have had another change of heart, though, the album was released in CD form in 1994. His indecision made for some very valuable copies — an American vinyl pressing in the original packaging was sold in 2018 for $42,300 and a Canadian copy that had been opened was sold for $27,500.
XTC, Science Friction
Cult British punk band XTC released She’s So Square and Science Friction as a 45 RPM Single. According to the rumors, only 50 copies were made before the band decided to release the songs as a 12-inch. If you or your parents, or even grandparents were into the new wave and have managed to hang on to one of the original 7-inch records, you could be holding on to a lot of money.
This album was the real start of their career, after which XTC stayed together and released a whopping 14 full-length albums. They weren’t very successful at the time but have since been recognized as a major influence on the Brit-pop wave of the 1990s. This hard-to-find album is currently worth $2,000.
Röyksopp, Melody A.M.
The debut album by electronic music duo Röyksopp was released by Wall of Sound and was a hit with both fans and critics. The record sold almost one million copies, mostly in the UK. The band became known in America when their song, Remind Me, appeared in one of Geico’s popular Caveman commercials.
Although the album is great in its own right — included in the list 1000 Albums to Hear Before You Die by The Guardian — there is one pressing that is worth more than just your time. It features a stenciled version of the jacket made by the mysterious and extremely well-known artist Banksy. Just 100 spray-painted limited-edition copies were created by the artist by hand. There were even different colors used for different covers. The hard work seems to have been appreciated, because whoever has one of these records lying around, is holding on to as much as $14,204, according to Discogs.
Bruce Springsteen, Spirit in the Night
This single is from when Springsteen was just starting out and it is incredibly rare. It is his first single for Columbia records and even promotional copies are worth hundreds of dollars. However, the original pressing is what collectors are really after, and they are willing to pay $5,000 for a copy that is in good condition. Seems like it might be time to hit the garage sales.
The Boss recorded the song Spirit in the Night as part of his debut full-length album Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. The album was a hit with the critics but not so much with music fans, at least at first. The real success came for Springsteen only after his third album Born to Run. Spirit in the Night was not forgotten though — it has become a real crowd favorite, often played by Springsteen at live concerts to thunderous applause.
The Thirteenth Floor Elevators, Reverberation
This three-man band from Austin Texas was only active together for four years in the 60s, but they were extremely influential in the psychedelic rock genre. One of them was even credited with coining the term! They released a four-song recording early in their career featuring the songs Reverberation (Doubt), You’re Gonna Miss Me, Fire Engine, and Tried to Hide. A true fan or collector would be willing to part with up to $4,000 to get their hands on a copy of it.
Although the band was quite influential, they only recorded four full-length albums in the studio together. Sadly, the group’s singer and guitarist, Roky Erickson, was struggling with mental health issues which had a big impact on his career. He ultimately received lasting treatment and the band reunited in 2015, over four decades after they broke up. Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019.
Fleetwood Mac, Man of the World
It's not only this record's pink exterior that packs a punch. While Fleetwood Mac's interpersonal drama behind the scenes could at times eclipse the band's music, this record rose above the noise. Man of the World is regarded as one of the band's greatest hits of all time.
What makes this record all the more treasurable is that Immediate Records (rather ironically) almost immediately shut down after the song was released. That means it's the only Fleetwood Mac record to be released under the ill-fated label, which makes it all the rarer!
ABBA, Hova’s Vittne
This album was a special recording made in honor of the band’s manager Stig Anderson’s 50th birthday. The song’s name, Hova’s Witness, refers to his hometown, and the lyrics are filled with jokes about his character. Only 200 copies of the record were printed, and they were never sold, only given away to record company employees. The B-side included an instrumental version of one of Anderson’s compositions titled Tivedshambo.
ABBA is still considered one of the most successful bands in the history of music. The musical Swedish foursome was made up of two married couples: Fältskog and Ulvaeus, and Lyngstad and Andersson. Eventually, the stress brought on by their enormous success caused both the band and sadly the marriages to fall apart. The silver lining for fans and collectors may be that a copy of Hova’s Vittne is currently worth roughly $3,500.
Elvis Presley, Speedway
Elvis Presley’s acting career was already in decline when he starred in the movie Speedway and it was his last truly musical picture. The film was neither a hit at the box office nor with the critics. Although the film was a flop, the soundtrack has become surprisingly valuable. Maybe due to the fact that only 300 copies were reportedly created.
The film features Elvis as a race car driver with a heart of gold, who is too generous for his own good and gets taken advantage of by his manager. The IRS gets involved in the form of a beautiful agent, played by actress Nancy Sinatra, and the gorgeous pair promptly falls head over heels in love. The plot may be a bit farfetched, but Elvis sure does look good in his racing uniform, especially that jacket. Whoever has managed to keep this hard-to-find record in pristine condition, is looking at a possible payout of up to $5,000.
The Beatles, Yesterday and Today
When the Beatles’ ninth studio album was released, the cover featured a photograph of the four band members dressed like butchers, with headless dolls in their arms, and slabs of raw meat on their laps. The band claimed that the image was meant as a protest against the Vietnam war, and apparently, Paul McCartney insisted that the image be used. Seems like someone should have convinced him otherwise. It is hardly surprising that the cover was deemed inappropriate right from the start.
Vendors complained and Capitol Records were forced to spend $250,000 to repurchase the 750,000 records that had been printed and shipped overseas to the U.S. and Canada. No recall is perfect, and a few copies can still be found. If you are one of the lucky people who hung on to a copy, you could be looking at a $15,300 payday.
Bob Dylan, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan
A tiny mistake or imperfection can actually make an item much more valuable. That is what happened with this record, which is already valuable in its regular version. The plan was for some tracks to be replaced before release time, but the pressing plant somehow did not receive the information in time, leading to the pressing of a number of copies with the wrong songs.
A copy with a serial number ending in -1A that features the four following tracks: Rocks and Gravel, Let Me Die in My Footsteps, Gamblin’ Willie’s Dead Man’s Hand, and Talkin’ John Birch Blues, may be worth as much as $35,000. You will have to play the album to make sure the songs are there because the tracks are not labeled properly. Allegedly, there are less than 20 mono copies of this record and only two stereo copies.
Max Steiner, The Caine Mutiny
The strange soundtrack for the award-winning movie based on the best-selling book featured songs on one side and an audio recording on the other. Herman Wouk, who wrote the novel, told studio executives that if they released the album, he would never let them make any more adaptations of his work. The author felt that the B-side of the album, which was basically a reading of the pivotal courtroom scene, was a theft of his intellectual property and would hurt ticket sales for his Broadway play.
Columbia decided to concede and not release the album and destroy all copies that were already made. Before the job was done, some employees took home a few copies and that is why about a dozen or so are still around. One copy was famously sold in 2007 for $6,700. A soundtrack for the film was finally released in 2017.
Iggy Pop, Party
Much like an actual party, Iggy Pop's Party record certainly has some highs and lows. Despite its mixed critical reception, Iggy's record is ingrained as a classic 80's album with songs like Bang-Bang and Pleasure.
Something would certainly be amiss if this album wasn't on any Iggy Pop fan's shelf. If you don't consider yourself an Iggy fan, then the funky album artwork alone deserves a spot in your collection!
David Bowie, The Prettiest Star
This single was Bowie’s follow-up to the extremely successful Space Oddity. The 45 RPM single version is incredibly rare and is one of Bowie’s most iconic images. The song was written for his girlfriend at the time Angela Barnett and Bowie sang it to her on the phone while proposing marriage. They did end up getting married and were together for ten years before divorcing.
The guitar on this track is played by Marc Bolan, who was also a singer and songwriter. In the following years, the two went on to “compete” in the public eye for their title as The King of Glam Rock. During this recording Bolan’s wife reportedly stoked the fire in Bowie by saying, “Marc is too good for you, to be playing on this record!” Seems like Bowie won in the long run though, because this record now has an estimated value of $2,000.
Brute Force, King of Fuh
Stephen Friedland, aka Brute Force, is an American singer and songwriter. His record King of Fuh was admired by John Lennon and George Harrison. When they found out that it was not going to be released by Capitol or EMI due to its unusual sound and use of an obscene word in the lyrics, they decided to release it on Apple Recording, the Beatles’ label. Harrison even did an overdub of philharmonic strings on the album.
The song received virtually no airplay at the time and was only given a proper release in 2010, over fifty years later as part of a compilation of the best of Apple Recordings. But the real money can be found in the original pressing, which consisted of 1,000 copies, which are now worth around $5,000.
Queen, News of the World
There's a 99% chance that when we say "rock anthem" either We Will Rock You or We Are the Champions will start playing in your head. The iconic band, with its equally iconic late lead singer Freddie Mercury, had millions of people worldwide singing, stomping, and clapping in unison.
Since it features some of the most celebrated rock anthems of all time, the record is now regarded as one of Queen's best pieces of work. Pair this record with the band's famous Live Aid performance and you're all set!
Frank Wilson, Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)
Not long after recording the songs Do I Love You and Sweeter as the Days Go By, Frank Wilson, who was both a songwriter and producer at Motown records, unhappily agreed to focus more on behind the scenes. Motown’s founder Berry Gordy felt that he would be better at helping to create hits for major artists such as The Temptations and Supremes.
Gordy decided to get rid of the pressings and it is believed that only between two and five copies have survived. One copy spent ten years in Motown’s vault and was then found by vinyl dealer Simon Soussan. He proceeded to make illegal copies of the album and released them with Eddie Foster credited on the music. The record was an enormous success. Another copy of the original album was auctioned off in 2009 for almost $34,000.
Misfits, Legacy of Brutality
Lead singer of the cult punk rock band the Misfits, Glen Danzig, created the album Legacy of Brutality after he had already quit the band. He did all the work on the record himself, including producing, overdubbing, and the actual pressing. He went so far as to overdub the instrumental parts played by other band members so he wouldn’t have to pay them any royalties and after all that trouble he only created 16 copies of the compilation album.
The album featured previously unreleased tracks and was not cleared with the other bandmates. Therefore, it is not exactly surprising that an intense legal battle ensued, lasting several months. If you are one of the lucky few who have somehow come into the possession of this precious second pressing, which was pressed on light pink vinyl, you may be able to unload it for as much as $5,000. If it is still in good condition, that is.
What do you get when you drop a band of native New Yorkers into Los Angeles for two months? A musical masterpiece! While the New York Natives were at first hesitant to record the album in the sunny city, the change of scenery inspired a change of musical direction for the band.
Autoamerican was an automatic success for Blondie. With hits like The Tide is High and Rapture, it's a verified must-have vinyl to add to your collection.
The Velvet Underground, The Velvet Underground & Nico
Although the experts claim that punk rock came to be in the 1970s, no one can deny the impact The Velvet Underground’s first album had on the genre. The record was banned from being played at almost every single radio station but still managed to sell 30,000 copies. That may not sound like much but as said best by Brain Eno, "everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band."
The first pressings in mono are listed on Discogs for as much as $2,799, but that is nothing compared to this special version. A Canadian record collector found a version that did not feature Andy Warhol’s artwork on the cover at a flea market for 75 cents and it turned out to be quite special. The record was a test pressing with early versions of the band’s songs. Only two known copies exist and one of them is owned by the band’s former drummer, Moe Tucker. The lucky collector put the record up for sale on eBay and walked away with $25,200 in his pocket.
The White Stripes, Lafayette Blues
Only 15 copies were pressed of this rare record, and each one’s cover art was hand-painted by the founder of Italy records, Dave Buick. The single contains the track Lafayette Blues on side A, and Sugar Never Tasted So Good on side B.
The single was made for the band’s record release show in Detroit in 1998, not long before the band broke through and became international superstars. People who were there and recognized the potential could have picked one of these records up for a measly $6. If they managed to keep it safe, they could now be the proud owners of a record worth $12,700.
The Beatles, Abbey Road
The most famous crosswalk in the world appears on this album cover from the Fab Four. This was the first time ever that an album was released without its name or the band’s name on the front, but we’re pretty sure people knew what they were getting. There is an especially rare version of this album around, which can be worth as much as $4,000. It’s a UK export and features a yellow and black Parlophone Records label. The catalog number is PPCS 7088 and don’t forget to check the back for a gold sticker, making it even more valuable.
The Beatles’ 11th studio album, Abbey Road, got mixed reviews when it first came out and some even called it gimmicky. Still, the album has stood the test of time and is currently considered one of their best by many critics. Rolling Stone even ranked it 14th on their list of the “500 Greatest Records of All Time.”
Elvis Presley, That’s All Right
The King of Rock and Roll recorded this album while he was in the studio working on a different track. Elvis was on a break and started playing the Arthur Crudup number That’s All Right, Mama with bassist Bill Black. Guitarist Scotti Moore soon jumped in and joined them.
The collaboration did not go unnoticed by producer Sam Phillips, who promptly hit the record button. The next day they added a B-side of Blue Moon of Kentucky and what some consider the first real rock-n-roll record was accidentally created. It doesn’t matter if you don’t agree, and many don’t, there is no arguing with the fact that a pristine version of this album is currently worth $4,000.
Aphex Twin (aka Caustic Window), Caustic Window
Richard D. James is a techno/drum and bass producer who is also known as Aphex Twin. He recorded this self-titled album under the name Caustic Window. He was known as a bit odd and someone who kept to himself and made the decision to drop the project after only five copies were pressed. One copy must have gotten out somehow because it appeared on Discogs in 2014 for $13,500.
The sudden appearance prompted Rephlex Records, James, and Doctors Without Borders to buy the album and launch a Kickstarter campaign to release it digitally. They managed to raise $47,000 and split the money between James and Doctors Without Borders. The original vinyl version was purchased on eBay by Minecraft creator Markus Persson for $46,300.
The Beatles, Please Please Me
The Beatles' first full-length studio album is famous for having been recorded in a rush. The band had only four songs done but needed ten more for the traditional seven songs on each side, which was acceptable at the time. That meant they had to record ten songs all in that day. The session lasted 9 hours and 45 minutes and Twist and Shout was recorded last because John Lennon had a bad cold and they didn’t want him to lose his voice due to a throat-shredding performance. Some believe the cold actually made the song sound better.
The very first pressings of the Beatles’ debut album feature the band’s name in gold lettering on a black Parlophone label. These are extremely hard to find and can go for as much as $4,200. Although the mono version is valuable, the stereo version is much more so — worth four times as much!
A caravanserai is a Persian word that refers to a place where one could rest from the day's travels. However, the making of Santana's album of the same name didn't quite fit the description.
Despite the tumultuous manner in which it was made, this record was monumental for Santana. It marked the band's pivot towards more instrumental and jazz-inspired tracks. The move was met with praise and criticism both from within and outside Santana.
Sex Pistols, God Save the Queen
Although 25,000 copies of this single were pressed, almost all of them were destroyed by A&M and it is believed that only 10 are still around. The Sex Pistols famously treated their label so badly that they dropped them only six days after signing the contract in a grand ceremony in front of Buckingham Palace.
According to punk rock legends, musicians Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious took things a little too far with unacceptable behavior. The label decided they’d had enough, dropped the band, and got rid of all of the copies they had made of the single. Almost. Some quick-fingered employees snagged a few copies before they were all gone. Now those copies, with the A&M label printed on the center, have been known to sell for as much as $8,600.
Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin
This legendary band’s self-titled debut album included both original material and blues song covers. The album also featured a special version of the song Dazed and Confused which was originally written and recorded by Jake Holmes and also covered by Jimmy Page’s previous band the Yardbirds. Although the record is considered a classic these days, it actually came out to mixed reviews with Rolling Stone famously describing Robert Plant as a “foppish as Rod Stewart, but nowhere near so exciting.”
That review notwithstanding, the album was an enormous hit, and time has undoubtedly made Rolling Stones reconsider their harsh words. In 2003, the magazine rated Led Zeppelin as the 29th greatest album of all time. The album cover, which featured the most famous zeppelin in history, the Hindenburg, was released in the UK with the band’s name in turquoise lettering. Only about 2,000 covers of this kind were printed, and all following releases featured the name in orange. The rareness of the original version means an album kept in good condition can be worth over $1,000.
U2, Pride (In the Name of Love)
The Australian version of this single, pressed on translucent vinyl, is extremely rare and it is reported that only 50 were ever made and only a few have turned up since its release. Although the song is ranked 388th on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list, Bono has often expressed how unhappy he is with the song’s lyrics.
Pride was expressed about the death of Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement, but Bono believes that the words needed to be fleshed out more. He claims that the Edge and producers Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois convinced him to leave the lyrics vague so that they would resonate better with the audience, especially those who did not speak English. No matter what you think of the song, if you have one of these collectible 12-inch singles, hang onto it. They are worth around $9,000.
Madonna, True Blue
If you're a true Madonna fan, then there's no doubt that True Blue is one of your favorites. With its classical undertones and tribute to her husband at the time, Sean Penn, the record is bursting with emotion.
If Madonna's swooning voice and the romance of it all isn't enough to make this album iconic, then the cover art surely is. The striking photograph of Madonna, taken by famed photographer Herb Ritts, holds a firm place in the pop culture zeitgeist and remains to this day as one of the most recognizable images of the star.
Van Morrison, Astral Weeks
Regarded as one of the most important and impactful rock albums of all time, Van Morrison's Astral Weeks remains a critical and fan darling to this day. Released in 1968, the record was seen as a move away from Morrison's previous albums as it featured jazz, blues, and folk undertones.
Morrison has not only been commended for the album's intricate song arrangements but also for the universality of the emotional themes and lyrics that the album features. Morrison has also famously dismissed the high praise that Astral Weeks received.
Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, I Love Rock 'n Roll
Dubbed the Queen of Rock 'n Roll, it's undeniable that any Joan Jett record is automatically iconic. After her rollercoaster run with The Runaways, Joan Jett formed the band Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. With rock royalty like I Love Rock 'n Roll and Crimson and Clover, it's no wonder that this record was her most commercially successful.
Not to mention the cover art! The image of Jett decked out in a pink blazer and her iconic black shaggy doo is considered to be an emblematic image in the rock 'n roll universe.
Carly Simon, No Secrets
It's no secret that You're So Vain is one of the greatest songs of all time. Don't just take our word for it, Billboard and the Recording Industry of America have awarded the song with the same accolades. This record also led to Carly Simon's induction into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2004.
Even though the album was released in 1972, it's safe to say that generations to come will be dreaming about clouds in their coffee. If you don't get that reference, pop No Secrets into your record player now!
Nina Simone, High Priestess of Soul
As a titan and icon of the music industry, Nina Simone needs no introduction. Interestingly, Nina was never completely comfortable with the moniker "The High priestess of Soul" that this record bestowed on her. This was due to the worry that the title would box her into one genre. In spite of this, Nina went on to successfully expand her music into varying genres following this album.
This record brilliantly combines African American gospel and folk music as well as featuring famous pop songs like Don't You Pay Them No Mind. This vinyl is undoubtedly an iconic piece of musical history to have in any record collection.
The Smiths, The Queen Is Dead
The Queen Is Dead is a rather macabre title for the fittingly melodic yet melancholic record created by The Smiths. It's the third album in the English rock band's repertoire, and one of their most notable and highly praised records. "Rolling Stone" even included the album in its list of Greatest Albums of All Time.
It's no wonder that this album is adored by fans and critics alike. With lyrics like, "To die by your side is such a heavenly way to die" the record pulls even the coldest of heartstrings and cements itself as a musical mainstay.
Ray Charles, Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music
Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music is an unequivocally important record in music history. The record, which was a significant departure from Charles's previous blues and rhythm work, included Western folk and country styles and undertones.
This shift helped to propel Charles even further into the mainstream pop scene. Along with being a critical and commercial smash, the album is considered to have "transfigured pop, prefigured soul, and defined modern country & western music."
Dolly Parton, Jolene
We apologize in advance, after reading this you will have Jolene stuck in your head. Actually, scratch that! No apologies are necessary. Having Dolly's angelic voice in your noggin is guaranteed to make your day sunnier. Jolene is Dolly's thirteenth album. Yes, thirteenth! She sure wasn't joking when she sang about working from nine to five.
The record also includes the heartbreaking ballad I Will Always Love You which Dolly wrote after a professional breakup with a former business partner. The song would later sky-rocket into the musical zeitgeist after Whitney Houston covered the track. Jolene is just one of many examples of Dolly's pure talent and impact on the music industry.
Imagine, John Lennon
Along with being both a critical and commercial triumph, the record has had an undeniably powerful impact on music and pop culture as a whole. The record's namesake track, Imagine, and its anti-materialism, anti-discrimination, and pro-peace lyrics and themes have become intrinsically tied to the late John Lennon.
The song holds many accolades including being considered one of the "Songs of the Century" and "Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll." We can't imagine that a record collection could possibly be complete without it.