Record Store Day is April 21st, and in preparation for this, we've decided to put together a list of the records you should definitely have in your collection. Whether you're just starting one or your collection has a room in your house dedicated to it, this is part one of the list of what we think are the staple rock and metal albums which deserve a place in your collection, in no particular order.
1. Appetite For Destruction - Guns N' Roses
There's a reason that this album is not only the highest selling debut album of all time, but it's also insanely deserving of its spot as one of the greatest albums ever (and that's not just a huge GNR fan saying that, other people agree). Guns N' Roses were lauded as the last true rock band before the era of grunge was ushered in, and nobody has come even close to putting out a rock album of this calibre since. An absolute classic, it sounds even more phenomenal on a record player and is an absolute must have. I'd list the highlight tracks, but to be honest, they're all highlights.
Bonus: if you can get your mitts onto a copy of the vinyl with the ORIGINAL artwork of the metal avenger inspired by Robert Williams' painting Appetite For Destruction before they had to change direction and put the now iconic cross artwork as the cover to avoid controversy, definitely snatch it up.
2. Master of Puppets - Metallica
Whether you love them or you spend your spare time thinking up jokes about Lars' drumming (or both), there's no denying the impact Master of Puppets had on metal. Released over 3 decades ago, it's still a mainstay for many a metal heads album collection, and for good reason. With it's brilliantly written and explosive songs, it's been widely regarded as the album that propelled thrash metal into the mainstream, really opening up the entire genre for a whole slew of acts and sub-genres to come after them. Responsible for tracks such as 'Master of Puppets', 'Battery', and 'DIsposable Heroes', the album was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" enough to be one of only 450 recordings preserved in the National Recording Registry by the US Library of Congress in 2016 (the first metal album to be included). Definitely a must have for a metal lovers collection
3. Reign In Blood - Slayer
Short, fast, and flawless, Reign In Blood is the best thrash metal album around. While it's not a particularly lengthy album, it's intensity and heaviness has seen it become lauded by critics and fans alike as one of the best and heaviest albums to have ever come out of metal, its influence has been so far reaching that it's even featured prominently on a South Park episode. Gifting the metal community with such tracks as 'Angel of Death', 'Jesus Saves', and 'Raining Blood', there are no songs on the album where you can get bored - it's just brilliant track after brilliant track.
4. Faith No More - Angel Dust
Faith No More's second album with vocalist Mike Patton, Angel Dust, has always been regarded as their career defining, most successful release to date. With a sound so different to their previous releases (which many put down to the fact that Patton had a much greater input into this album than The Real Thing), it was the album that really broke them through the pack and put them on the road to becoming the phenomonal band we all know and love. One of the numerous reasons it's so loved is due to how eclectic the songs are, from the heavy 'Malpractice' to the sultry cover of 'Easy', the album is unexpected, tight, and a brilliant listen.
5. Black Sabbath - Paranoid
The second studio LP from the British metal band, it contains three of their best known songs, 'Paranoid', 'War Pigs', and 'Iron Man'. One of the most influential albums in heavy metal's history, it has inspired many metal and rock bands over the years. Fun fact about the album is that the title track was actually written as an afterthought because the band didn't have enough songs to fill the album, with the entirety of the track being written in less than 25 minutes. A lot of these songs actually have strange beginnings, with many of the tracks coming into existence from onstage improvisational jams. The album has not only left a positive legacy, but has also created controversy, nearly getting mistakenly blamed for a nurse's suicide in the early 1970s and constantly being touted as a 'satanic' release, even though that isn't exactly the point of the album. It's an absolute classic and deserves a spot in any collection.
6. Pink Floyd - The Dark Side of the Moon
It's the album stoners think matches up with The Wizard Of Oz and one of the most important rock releases. Selling an estimated 45 million copies, earning it's spot as Pink Floyd's most commercially successful release, as well as one of the most successful albums of all time, The Dark Side of the Moon is a frequent release on 'greatest albums of all times' lists. With singles 'Money' and 'Us and Them', it's a constant fan favourite and the epitome of psychedelic rock. A little known fact is that some of the profits collected from the sale of the album went toward funding Monty Python and the Holy Grail. This album is an important milestone in rock music, and considering how many acts it's influenced since it's inception, it's worthy of a place in any vinyl collection.
7. Megadeth - Rust In Peace
After he left Metallica in 1983, guitarist/vocalist Dave Mustaine formed the thrash metal quartet Megadeth. Though Megadeth followed the basic blueprint of Metallica's relentless attack, Mustaine's group distinguished themselves from his earlier band by lessening the progressive rock influences, adding an emphasis on instrumental skills, speeding the tempo up slightly, and making the instrumental attack harsher. Rust in Peace is a thrash classic, and easily Megadeth's best album. It features Megadeth at their best, with technical riffing, very impressive shredding and soloing, and some nice bass work. Heavy, fast, technical, Rust in Peace has it all, and is widely considered to be one of thrash metal's finest albums.
8. The Rolling Stones - Sticky Fingers
This one was a tricky one to narrow down, and really, any of the Stones' albums deserve a place here, especially Exile On Main Street, Some Girls, Beggars Banquet and Tattoo You, but it's hard to deny just how wildly successful this release was. The first album to not feature any contributions from founding guitarist Brian Jones, the album isn't one of their most innovative, but it is one of their most consistently brilliant. From the slow and raunchy cover of 'You Gotta Move', the pure rock 'n' roll sounds of 'Can't You Hear Me Knocking' and 'Brown Sugar', or the tenderness of 'Wild Horses', it's true rock at it's finest from beginning to end. Interestingly, this album was the first one to use the now famous tongue and lips logo associated with the band. Get yourself a copy and listen to the swagger filled 'Bitch' how it's meant to be heard.
9. Opeth - Blackwater Park
Opeth, as most metal fans know, have become infamous in their scene. They've achieved a status that most bands would never even dream of, and they're still going strong to this day. This is a record that everyone must own. Every generation and every country should adore an album like this, as one like Blackwater Park rarely makes itself known. This album is very memorable and you'll be listening to it for a very long time. Even after you've listened to it a lot, you won't get bored of it and you'll find yourself coming back for yet another listen. If you like music and consider it art, this is a must. You don't even have to enjoy this album if you're a metal fan. I know plenty of people who don't listen to metal and love Opeth for their clean sections. If you have to pick out one Opeth album to listen to, this is the one. It will blow your mind.
10. Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin IV
Almost everybody has heard of Led Zeppelin. They might not have heard their music, but they'll know the name and probably the name of a certain song (you know the one). This is because Led Zeppelin are singly one of the most influential, groundbreaking, and iconic musical ensembles of all time, and have had a lasting impact on the development of rock, hard Rock, and metal. Led Zeppelin IV is a true, timeless classic. An album that all must have, young or old. Each and every track is one to be remembered, and solidifies the fact that Led Zeppelin is atop the tyrants of classic rock, and the structure for most of the music we have today. By far Zeppelins most popular album and rightfully so, it is the highlight of their career. Blending folk rock with hard rock, IV is a very diverse album which is all pulled together by Robert Plants wailing vocals, and John Bonhams insanity on the drum kit.
Check back tomorrow to see the second half of our list of must have records for your vinyl collection.
To find a vinyl store participating in Record Store Day (April 22nd 2017) close to you, check out: http://www.recordstoreday.com.au/stores/.