I got my record player during Christmas 2010. I had been going to flea markets for about a year and a half and had started to develop an interest in vinyl records. My dad raised my brother and I on 70s rock – Fleetwood Mac, ACDC, Journey, The Doobie Brothers and Boston to be brief. When I realized I could own their albums on vinyl my initial reaction was…YES. I started wondering if the sound and experience of the albums would open up an entire new realm of music for me. Once I actually got my record player (after much research on just the right model) the hunt for records soon became a favorite past time of mine.
I would head out to the flea markets early on Sunday mornings and give my Dad a call on the drive. He would give me a few album titles to be on the look out for that week and I would revel in the phone calls after the flea market when I would get to tell him, “I FOUND IT!” I now have a little red console that holds my record player and all of my records. I tried to count how many I currently have but honestly it is too many, just know it is a LOT. I decided to break down my favorites into two groups – oldies and modern. Even just choosing these felt like choosing between my children. I tried to narrow it down even more but just couldn’t so this is what you’re going to get. My personal favorite flea markets to scour for vinyl are the Rose Bowl Flea (2nd Sunday of every month) and the Pasadena City College Flea Market (1st Sunday of every month).
- Fleetwood Mac – Fleetwood Mac Live // Fleetwood Mac is my favorite band of all time. Live albums are my favorite kind of albums. These two things mean that this album is a no brainer for this list. I’ve listened to this album a ridiculous number of times and don’t think I’ll ever stop. “Sara” tops the list as my favorite on this live album. There is something incredible about hearing Stevie sing this one live.
- Stevie Nicks – Bella Donna // My obsession with everything Stevie was at a fever pitch a few years back when I was just starting to collect. By no means is it gone, instead it has merely cooled down to a more manageable level. Bella Donna is famous for “Edge of Seventeen” but I also love “Leather and Lace” and “Stop Draggin My Heart Around.”
- Fleetwood Mac – Rumours // This particular vinyl has such a special place in my heart because I found it on my 20th birthday. To celebrate that year, all I wanted to do was drive into LA to flea market hunt and there the album was as if Stevie herself had planted it there for me. If you don’t know Rumours I don’t know where the hell you’ve been for the past 40 years. My favorites are “Dreams,” “Songbird” and “Go Your Own Way.”
- Beach Boys – Beach Boys Concert // Another live album to fawn over. The Beach Boys definitely got more than their fair share of screams and this album literally makes you feel like you’re at the show. Favorites include the classics “Little Deuce Coupe” and “I Get Around.”
- ABBA – Greatest Hits // ABBA is the perfect let the HELL loose kind of music. This greatest hits compilation has their best of the best but my all time favorites are the iconic “Mamma Mia” and “Waterloo.”
- Bruce Springsteen – Born To Run // The Boss has to many albums to even count. This one holds a dear place in my heart for the legendary “Born To Run” and “She’s The One.”
- Carly Simon – No Secrets // Carly is a damn icon and I will fight anyone who says otherwise. No Secrets is home to one of the best songs of all time, “You’re So Vain” and for that reason alone I bought this album. Also her hair in the album artwork is to DIE FOR.
- Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers // The one that started it all. TP&TH self titled debut holds one of my personal top five songs of all time – “American Girl” and I have blasted this more times than I can ever count.
- Pat Benetar – Crimes of Passion // “HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT.” The end.
- Eagles – Eagles Live // SHOCKER, yet another live album. Eagles are the ultimate California roadtrip music. Though most people love “Hotel California,” my favorite favorite FAVORITE is “Heartbreak Tonight” for a good intense jumping around dance party.
- Beatles – Abbey Road // This doesn’t even need an intro. One of the best and most iconic albums of all time, how could I NOT put it in here. It also seems fitting to end the oldies section on “Here Comes The Sun.”
- John Mayer – Continuum // I love me some John Mayer, specifically some John Mayer guitar solos. Continuum was (and still is) Mayer’s biggest album churning out hit after hit. My personal favorites are “Vultures,” “Stop This Train” and “I Don’t Trust Myself (With Loving You).”
- Florence & The Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful // I was lucky enough to see Florence’s most recent tour that showcased this album and I can honestly say that she sounds EXACTLY the same live as she does on the recording. The album itself is fantastic but nothing beats cranking up “Delilah” and “Third Eye” on the record player.
- Adele – 25 // I’M SEEING ADELE TOMORROW. I CANNOT WAIT TO EXPERIENCE THIS ALBUM LIVE. Favorites are “Water Under the Bridge” and “All I Ask.”
- Amy Winehouse – Back to Black // I adore this album. Amy’s voice is unlike anything else and hearing it on vinyl adds an entire new level to it. Favorites are “Love is a Losing Game” and “Tears Dry on Their Own.”
- Melody Gardot – My One and Only Thrill // I saved Melody for last because I feel like she is the one artist most people may not know about. Her story of how she became a singer/songwriter is FASCINATING and I highly recommend reading it. I found Melody in my early college years and continually used her music to help with anxiety and stress. Her voice is so smooth and calming and I could honestly listen to it for the rest of my life. My favorites on MOAOT are “Baby I’m a Fool,” “If The Stars Were Mine,” and “My One and Only Thrill.”