A record player

Albums I’d buy on vinyl if I had a record player

Note: I’ve only written about the first three albums. This post will be continually updated.

Here are the top 5 albums I’d buy on vinyl and why (in no particular order).

  • Natalie Merchat’s “Ophelia”
  • Sam Fender’s “Seventeen Going Under”
  • Paul Simon’s “Graceland”
  • Fiona Apple’s “Tidal”
  • Andrew Bird’s “Are You Serious”


Natalie Merchant is more well known for her time with 10,000 maniacs in the ’80s and her debut album “Tigerlily” back in the 90s. Although those are wonderful, her 1998 “Ophelia” album beautifully croons from Shakespeare’s one and only to ballads like “When They Ring Them Golden Bells.” My favorite song on this album is “My Skin” The piano and violin bridge truly make the album.

While it is one of the album’s sadder songs, it balances the album well: Not being too sad to bring the whole album down. I brag about the instrumentation on this album but the stripped-down piano, drums, and violin suit this song perfectly. Other highlights on “Ophelia” are “Kind & Generous,” “Thick as Thieves,” “Effigy” (featuring Tibetan singer Yungchen Lhamo), and “Frozen Charlotte.” I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the sick-ass twang of the guitar riff on “Thick as Thieves.”

Seventeen Going Under

I would call this album a protest rally-must-play (if that’s a thing). Sam Fender is even more politically forward with his songs than Merchant. In “Aye” he sings “We watched kids go to Epstein’s bed.”

Fender’s album is typical rock and roll, with a smattering of saxophone solos. The lyrics make this album a standout while the variance in guitar sounds and overall upbeat vibe of Fender makes it a solid record. Fender has a few slower songs on here, which he can do well, but he really shines with his high-powered rock hits.


How can you not include Graceland on any list of top records to buy? It’s a cardinal sin. God will not let you into heaven unless you’ve listened to at least one song other than “Graceland” on that album.

Image Credits: Savara.

One response to “Albums I’d buy on vinyl if I had a record player”

  1. […] Despite multiple listens, I still catch a new meaning in each song, and the orchestration is just phenomenal. Merchant wrote the majority of the album during the COVID-19 lockdown, so the orchestrations were all recorded separately and layered onto the tracks. For when the slower, more somber tunes on this album get you down, the impeccable horn arrangments by Steve Davis on later tracks bring you back up. I highly recommend this album, and it’s going on my “Vinyl Record List.” […]

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