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Albums That Every Music Collection Should Have?


Gold Member
Jun 7, 2007
Over the past few weeks at work we’ve been debating which albums belong in a list we’re calling “The Essential Album Collection”

So we set up the following rules for it:

One album per band/singer/group
Only 3 greatest hits albums are allowed and count towards that band/singer/group entry

Only 3 soundtrack albums allowed, and this is by an artist, not a compilation album.

Only 3 live albums (same rule as greatest hits)

All genres allowed

Solo work by an artist from a group can count as a separate entry. For example, you can have Queen’s Greatest Hits 1 and a Freddie Mercury solo album.

So here’s the list we have so far:

A Tribe Called Quest - Midnight Marauders
ABBA - Gold
AC/DC - Back In Black
Aerosmith - Toys In The Attic
Air - Moon Safari
Alabama Shakes - Sound & Color
Alan Parsons Project - Eye In The Sky
Alice in Chains - Dirt
Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavillion
Arcade Fire - Funeral
Arctic Monkeys - AM
Avalanches, The - Since I Left You
Beach Boys, The - Pet Sounds
Beatles, The - Abbey Road
Bill Evans - Moonbeams
Billy Joel - An Innocent Man
Black Sabbath - Master Of Reality
Blondie - Parallel Lines
Blur - Parklife
Bob Dylan - Blonde On Blonde
Bon Jovi - Slipper When Wet
Bruce Springsteen - Born To Run
Bryan Adams - Reckless
Can - Ege Bamyasi
Charles Mingus - Roots and Blues
Chic - Risqué
Clash, The - London Calling
Cream - wheels of fire
Daft Punk - Discovery
David Bowie - The Rise & Fall Of Ziggy Stardust
Deafheaven - Sunbather
Dean Friedmarn - “Well, Well” Said The Rocking Chair
Deep Purple - Made in Japan
Dire Straits - Love Over Gold
Don Edwards - Goin Back To Texas
Doors, The - Strange Days
Eagles - Hotel California
Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Elvis Costello - This Year's Model
Faithless - Reverence
Fleetwood Mac - Rumours
Flock Of Seagulls - Flock Of Seagulls
Foo Fighters - One By One
Frank Sinatra - Sings For Only The Lonely
Fugees, The - The Score
Future Sound of London - Accelerator
Guns N’ Roses - Appetite For Destruction
Hank Mobley - Soul Station
Iron Maiden - Number Of The Beast
Janet Jackson - Velvet Rope
Jay-Z - The Blueprint
Jeff Beck - Blow by Blow
Jimi Hendrix - Are you Experienced?
Jimmy Hendrix - Electric Ladyland
Joe Satriani - Surfing with the Alien
John Coltrane - A Love Supreme
John Lennon - Imagine
Johnny Cash - American IV: The Man Comes Around
Journey - Escape
Joy Division - Unknown Pleasures
Judas Priest - Screaming For Vengeance
Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
King Crimson - In the Court of the Crimson
Kinks, The - Something Else
LCD Soundsystem - Sound Of Silver
Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin IV
Leonard Cohen - I’m Your Man
Lionel Richie - Can’t Slow Down
Luther Vandross - Never Too Much
Madonna - Like A Virgin
Mark Knopfler - Golden Heart
Marvin Gaye - What’s Going On?
Megadeth - Countdown To Extinction
Metallica - Master Of Puppets
Michael Jackson - Off The Wall
Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells
Miles Davis - Bitches Brew
Mobb Deep - Hell on Earth
Moby - Play
Mogwai - Mr. Beast
Mos Def - Black on Both Sides
Muddy Waters - Hard Again
My Bloody Valentine - Loveless
Mylo - Destroy Rock and Roll
Neil Young - Harvest
Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
New Order - Power, Corruption and Lies
Nine In Nails - The Downward Spiral
Nirvana - MTV Unplugged In New York
Oasis - Definitely Maybe
Oliver Nelson - The Blues and The Abstract Truth
Ozzy - Blizzard of Ozz
Pantera - Cowboys From hell
Paul Simon - Graceland
Peral Jam - Ten
Peter Frampton - Frampton Comes Alive!
Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
Pixies - Doolittle
Police, The - Synchronicity
Pulp - Different Class
Queen - A Night At The Opera
Queens of the Stone Age - Songs for the Deaf
Radiohead - OK Computer
Raekwon - Only Builty 4 Cuban Linx
Rage Against The Machine - Rage Against The Machine
Replacements, The - Let it Be or Tim
Rob Zombie - Hellbilly Deluxe
Rodriguez- Searching For Sugar Man
Rolling Stones - Exile On Main Street
Rush - Moving Pictures
Simon & Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water
Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dreams
Soul Asylum - Grave Dancers Union
Soundgarden - Superunknown
St Etienne - Foxbase Alpha
Steely Dan - Aja
Stevie Wonder - Hotter Than July
Strokes, The - Is This It
Styx - The Grand Illusion
Suede - Coming Up
Supergrass - I Should Coco
Survivor - Eye of the tiger
Talking Heads - Remain In Light
Tom Petty and Heartbreakers - Damn the Torpedoes
Tool - Aenima
Toto - Toto IV
U2 - Joshua Tree
UFO - Phenomenon
Weeknd, The - House Of Balloons
White Stripes - Elephant
Wu Tang - Enter the 36 Chambers
Yes - Fragile
Last edited:
Nov 5, 2016
One Big Room, Full Of Bad Bitches
Stone Temple Pilots - Core
Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly
The Black Keys - Brothers
Band of Horses - Cease to Begin

I have so many problems with your list. White Blood Cells over Elephant, for sure. Kid A over OK Computer FOR SURE. Any other Kanye album than that one FOR SURE.
I could keep going but I gotta stop myself
Last edited:
May 22, 2018
  • LOL
Reactions: highrider


Mar 30, 2015
Too many to list, but here are some I still keep in rotation.I can listen to these start to finish no problem.

Last edited:
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May 10, 2018
Montreal, Canada
Adding for now, will edit if i think of more in the next few minutes

Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique
Beyoncé - Beyoncé
Gorillaz - Plastic Beach
Lana Del Rey - Honeymoon
Nas - Illmatic
R.E.M. - Automatic for the People / Murmur (I prefer Automatic but the general consensus seems to be murmur)
Slowdive - Souvlaki
The Smiths - The Queen is Dead
The streets - A grand don't come for free

Would also like to argue about changing Ok computer to Kid A, but still an amazing choice
Last edited:


Mar 6, 2018
How many albums did you want people to list, anyhow? Only three greatest hits albums is a very different type of limitation if someone is posting a list of 10, and someone is posting a list of 100.

Personally, I wouldn't even count compilation albums in the first place, but to each their own.


Sep 26, 2009
St. Louis
The Who - Quadrophenia
Messiah - 21st Century Jesus
Boston - Boston
Blue Oyster Cult - Fire of Unknown Origin
Diamond Head - Lightning to the Nations
Space - Magic Fly
The Moody Blues - To Our Children's Children's Children
Chicane - Far From the Maddening Crowds
BT - Ima
Faith No More - The Real Thing
Robert Plant - Now and Zen
My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult - Confessions of a Knife
Ministry - The Land of Rape & Honey


Gold Member
Jun 7, 2007
How many albums did you want people to list, anyhow? Only three greatest hits albums is a very different type of limitation if someone is posting a list of 10, and someone is posting a list of 100.

Personally, I wouldn't even count compilation albums in the first place, but to each their own.

The only reason we allowed a greatest hits album was so that we could include ABBA Gold, as it’s the one ABBA album that everyone on this side of the pond has.


Aug 18, 2018
Pearl Jam: No Code
Radiohead: The Bends
Liz Phair: Exile In Guyville
Nirvana: MTV Unplugged
David Bowie: Blackstar
The Beatles: Eponymous or better known as the White Album.
NIN: The Fragile
Amy Winehouse: Back to Black
Neil Young: Harvest
Sleater Kinney: One Beat
And that is only if I could recommend 10 albums.. I have a few hundred on my mind that are just as worthy. Those ten came to me first.
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