Essential records for the vinyl enthusiast

Mike Baldus

More stories from Mike Baldus


Mike Baldus

Pictured above are some of Jon VanOss’s personal picks for essential records.

Owner of the local record shop, Off The Record, Jon VanOss, gives his educated opinion on essential records for the vinyl enthusiast. 

These selections are based on a number of factors, such as popularity, genre, recording quality, and complexity. Although not every selection is for everyone, it covers a diverse range of music that would elevate anyone’s record collection. 


The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars – David Bowie

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles

Kind of Blue – Miles Davis

Bitches Brew – Miles Davis 

Pet Sounds – The Beach Boys

Lamb Lies Down on Broadway – Genesis

It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back – Public Enemy

Midnight Marauders  – A Tribe Called Quest

The Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd  

OK Computer – Radiohead

Blue Train – John Coltrane

A Love Supreme – John Coltrane

Gold Past Life – Fruit Bats

52nd Street – Billy Joel


Although jazz might not be for everyone the albums “Kind of Blue” and “Bitches Brew” by Miles Davis have outstanding recording quality. 

The Beatles “Sergeant Pepper’s lonely hearts club band” is arguably one of the best albums of all time, but for different reasons apart from recording quality.

“The Beach Boys Pet Sounds is one of the most iconic records ever made,” VanOss states. “It belongs in every single collection, it’s one of those records that will let people know The Beach Boys are actually way more than just songs about surfing.”

These albums are available on many digital platforms like Spotify or Apple Music, but to really experience them, buy them on vinyl.