While vinyl may be a retro way to enjoy music, these are banner times for vinyl LP sales. Both old-school listeners and new vinyl fans line up to purchase their favorite artists’ work on those shiny black pancakes. With this medium experiencing a musical resurgence, it is worth taking a look at the year’s best selling LPs on vinyl. This list offers a glimpse into the titles that took home the highest LP sales for the year—check it out to discover which music you should be listening to on vinyl.
1. Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp a Butterfly
Kendrick Lamar’s 16-track LP made big waves in the music industry in 2015, and vinyl sales were no exception. A hip-hop album with heavy jazz influences, To Pimp a Butterfly has been compared to epic poetry. Tracks like “The Blacker the Berry” have taken the music world by storm, and the record also features a number of guest artists ranging from Anna Wise to George Clinton.
2. Amy Winehouse, Back to Black
Originally released in 2006, Back to Black experienced a resurgence in 2015 due no doubt to the release of the documentary, Amy. Considered by many to be a mainstay of contemporary R&B, Back to Black ushered in an era of crossover artists and influenced singers like Adele and Duffy. With some of Winehouse’s biggest hits such as “Rehab” and the album’s title song, Back to Black is a staple in anyone’s vinyl library.
3. Adele, 25
After taking a brief hiatus from recording, Adele erupted on the charts again in 2015 with the much-anticipated release of 25. Her single “Hello” has given birth to countless memes and parodies, but the album itself has been heralded as a return to form for the wildly popular British artist. This soulful album will delight Adele fans and newcomers alike with ballads perfect for nursing a broken heart or musing on past loves.
4. David Bowie, Black star
The entire world was shocked when David Bowie passed away in 2015 after an undisclosed bout with liver cancer. Days before his death, Bowie nevertheless graced the music world with a final album that is widely considered to be an opus on death and dying. The title track offers a new twist on classic Bowie, with quirky lyrics and bold instrumentals; some of the other tracks are raw ruminations on death and life. Blackstar has quickly emerged as the late singer’s final gift to a grateful fan base.
5. David Bowie, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars
With David Bowie’s untimely death, his classic albums have also seen a resurgence in popularity. The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars is, by many accounts, quintessential Bowie. Tracks like “Rock ‘n Roll Suicide,” “Starman,” and “Ziggy Stardust” have come to stand in as some of Bowie’s greatest work, and this album is an undisputed classic, perfect for vinyl listening.
6. Chris Stapleton, Traveller
Chris Stapleton’s debut album has taken the artist from the background as an award-winning songwriter for country greats all the way to the forefront as a remarkable solo singer. With a combination of covers and original songs, Traveller has already amassed a number of awards from the Country Music Association, and it is poised to become a new country classic.
7. Miles Davis, Kind of Blue
Fans of jazz music are famous for their devotion to vinyl, and Kind of Blue is the kind of album that any Miles Davis fan deserves to have on his or her shelf. In just five tracks, Davis created an album that is generally considered to be one of the greatest of all time, culminating in his sublime “Flamenco Sketches.” The newly remastered version makes it a must-buy on vinyl.
8. Bob Marley and the Wailers, Legend
Another vinyl classic, Legend offers some of Marley’s best work, including “Three Little Birds,” “Redemption Song,” and “I Shot the Sheriff.” With sixteen smooth tracks, you’ll be swaying and jamming along with Marley and the Wailers in your own personal music heaven. Legend is the kind of album that you listen to from start to finish, and you’re still sorry when that last track is over.
9. The Beatles, Abbey Road
Ask a Beatles fan to name the band’s best album, and chances are good that he or she will name Abbey Road. From the iconic album cover art to songs like “Come Together” and “Here Comes the Sun,” the newly remastered vinyl LP is a must-have in anyone’s collection. Perhaps more than any other Beatles album, Abbey Road is a story-telling adventure; along the way you’ll meet Maxwell, Polythene Pam, and Mean Mr. Mustard. Making the transition firmly into rock, Abbey Road leans heavily on the blues to create a uniquely revolutionary musical sound.
10. Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon
No collection of classic rock is complete without a copy of Dark Side of the Moon. The remastered version of Pink Floyd’s musical masterpiece offers a spectacular vinyl edition that includes original posters and other packaging inserts. Whether it’s those opening bars of “Money” or the haunting “Us and Them,” Dark Side of the Moon is a classic example of classic rock.
These best-selling vinyl LPs offer a selection of music that will stand the test of time—one of the most important qualities to consider when investing in vinyl. This list contains something for everyone: jazz, classic rock, country, blues, R&B, or even hip-hop. If you are looking to add depth to your vinyl collection, any of these LPs would make a worthwhile addition.