When it comes to recording formats, the music industry has never been content to sit still. From the earliest experimental recordings on wax, to the first successful mass-production of recorded music on vinyl albums, to magnetic cassette tapes, CDs and now the ubiquity of digital music and streaming, we've come a long way in the past century. There's no denying that—but there's still plenty of debate as to whether the newest formats are automatically the best. And as with so many other things in the world of music, there isn't a clear answer.
For all the convenience of portable digital music, there's a certain quality it just can't replicate when compared to playing vinyl over an analog signal path. No wonder so many baby boomers are jealously guarding their old vinyl records... and why turntables are making a comeback with the millennial generation. It's not about the decorative value of a shelf filled with LP records; it's because of the way they sound. Classic albums from the golden age of vinyl were mixed and recorded with the medium in mind, and as a result, it's still the one on which they sound the best. There are also some modern recordings on vinyl in this section, giving you the opportunity to hear a newer album in "vinyl-ized" form.
Short of picking up the sheet music and playing the songs live, these vinyl records could be called the purest way of enjoying the material. Combined with the right stereo equipment, they give you pure analog sound: no digital compression, and a rich soundscape with full dynamic range. There are lots of classics from the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Van Halen, Led Zeppelin and The Beatles, plus a variety of newer music such as Nirvana, Ed Sheeran, Weezer and Coldplay... and of course, no shortage of artists that topped the charts in the decades in between. If you're a vinyl enthusiast, you've come to the right place.