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Beyond the Basics: 9 Great Records for Your Vinyl Collection

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There's an endless amount of articles telling you which records you absolutely need to start your vinyl collection. But once you've bought the basics, what's next? Here's a completely subjective list of excellent records which sound even better when experienced on vinyl.

1. Charles Mingus - Mingus Ah Um

Every vinyl collection needs a few jazz staples like Kind of Blue by Miles Davis or Chet Baker Sings. Every list of essential records will tell you that. Once you've gotten those, give bassist and composer Charles Mingus a try. 

2. Sun Ra - Nubians of Plutonia

Sun Ra and various incarnations of his Arkestra have released over 100 experimental yet strangely accessible albums since the 1950s. Even without Ra, who died in 1993, the band's eclectic space age performances are not to be missed live but possessing this album on vinyl is the next best thing.  

3. Shuggie Otis - Inspiration Information

If you love Jimi Hendrix, you're gonna love Shuggie too-one of the most underappreciated guitarists of the late '60s and early '70s. A performer since the tender age of 11, Otis recorded the forgotten but now classic album Inspiration Information when he was only 16 years old. Thanks to Talking Heads' David Byrne a wider audience was introduced to soulful stunners like Aht Uh Mi Hed and Strawberry Letter in the early 2000s. 

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4. Jackie Mittoo - The Keyboard King At Studio One

As much as we love Bob Marley's Legend, his greatest hits have already received plenty of exposure in college dorms and beach bars worldwide. Time to give another reggae artist a spin, and Jackie Mittoo's sweet keyboard jams are perfect for any vinyl collection.

 

5. Madlib - Shades of Blue

If you prefer your jazz collection to be sophisticated but party friendly, Madlib's reinterpretation of Blue Note classics should be present in your record crate. Dug up from the legendary label's archives, old school hip hop lovers will recognize quite a few of the samples used by Madlib.

6. J Dilla - Donuts

A classic release by Stones Throw Records, Donuts is an excellent sample-heavy, instrumental hip hop album that shouldn't be missing from your vinyl collection, especially if you already have done your due diligence by stocking up on DJ Shadow and RJD2 releases.

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7. The Avalanches - Wildflower

The Australian band's single Because I'm Me transports you to a mythical non-gentrified version of Brooklyn, while soulful disco standouts Subways and Going Home extend your stay in this nostalgia-tinged version of NYC. The excellent Frankie Sinatra is another highlight. And that's just the A-side. 

 

8. Beach House - Teen Dream

If prolonged exposure to My Bloody Valentine has made you a bit hard of hearing, Baltimore-based Beach House's third-and some say best-dream pop album may be exactly what you need in your life.

9. Pavement - Wowee Zowee

Stephen Malkmus and cohorts' indie masterpiece has been called their best record and should have a prominent place in any serious record collection, especially if you agree that Grounded is their best song ever.  

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Christopher Puhm
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