Looking to start your unique collection of vinyl records? 21Ninety’s got you covered with this essential collection of classics!

Music is an important art form to any generation.

A great song can speak directly to the personal struggles of any individual or connect the tribulations of a community. It can inspire a generation of powerful voices while generating light, laughter, and love. It can help bring someone from hard times into happier days with just one listen. 

Music is pure, and the way that it is listened to makes all the difference. Considered a relic of the past by some, Vinyl records, have a way of preserving the purity of R&B classics. They have a way of bringing you fully back to a simpler time before social media and advanced technology. They offer a way to unplug while still enjoying the soulful sounds of music. If you are looking to begin your vinyl collection, here are some soulful R&B classics. These have withstood the test of time and everyone should have them in their collection. 

Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough of Mike!

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First, Michael Jackson’s “Off The Wall” album is an essential addition to any vinyl collection. With smash hits, like “Rock with You” and “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” this album instantly will transport you back into the late 70s with just one listen. Michael Jackson, who was just about to turn 21, released this record a couple of months after his groundbreaking performance in The Wiz cementing his status as a solo superstar and the future King of Pop.

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Next, “Songs in the Key of Life” by Stevie Wonder is filled with the soulful sounds of the 1970s. Stevie Wonder takes listeners on a journey through the wonders of life from the happiest moments to the saddest. With the album ranking number four on Rolling Stone’s list of 500 greatest albums and featuring classics, like “Isn’t She Lovely,” “If It’s Magic,” and “Knocks Me Off My Feet,” this album is a must-have in every vinyl collection. 

R-E-S-P-E-C-T The Queen of Soul

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Can’t forget, Aretha Franklin. She is definitely a must-have vocalist in any vinyl collection. With a discography like hers, it’s almost impossible to choose one single album. That is what makes this the perfect vinyl to have in your collection. Aretha’s Gold is a limited edition vinyl that features a lot of the Queen of Soul’s greatest hits. Feel-good songs, like “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” and “Respect,” fill the 14-song tracklist making it the perfect record to start off your vinyl collection.

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If We We’re Your Girlfriend…

We would get you this. There is no way that you could have a vinyl collection without including the album that solidified Prince’s claim to superstardom. Prince and the Revolution’s Purple Rain is unlike anything that he did before. This album beautifully blends the sounds of funk and R&B with pop, rock, and heavy metal. Featuring hits, like “When Doves Cry,”  “Let’s Go Crazy,” and “Darling Nikki,” Purple Rain is one of Prince’s best creations and necessary for any start-up collection. 

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When Marvin Gaye crafted this album, he had something to say. Taking the number one spot on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, What’s Going On is an album that could be understood across generations. It spoke directly to the trials and hardships that Black America was facing at that time. The soulful sounds and deep lyrics came from personal experiences that shaped his life at the time and spoke to people on a unique level. The album, which was built around the title track,  was soul’s first album with a cinematic throughline and opened the door for Black artists to push the limits in their art. Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On is a staple that every vinyl collection should have because the lyrics still speak volumes decades later. 

The Only Thing That Matters

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Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill needs no introduction. It is one of the greatest albums of the generation. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill features hits that continue to have an impact on the world. Songs like “Lost Ones,” “Ex-Factor,” “Nothing Even Matters,” and “Everything is Everything.” It’s a love letter to self-growth, self-love and to God. It beautifully combines the best genres of Black music: hip hop, Motown-era soul and reggae. This album holds the well-deserved tenth spot ranking in Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 best albums of all time. Selling over 19 million copies worldwide, this album is a must-have classic for any vinyl collection.

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Lastly, this compilation of Bob Marleys’ greatest hits is the perfect vinyl to add to your collection. The singer, songwriter, poet, and activist used his music to not only advance humanity but spread love and unity. Legend features amazing tracks, like “Get Up, Stand Up,” “Satisfy My Soul,” “No Woman, No Cry” and “Is This Love.” It brings listeners on an experience through his unbelievable discography. From the beginning of his career to the end, he has released timeless records that inspire, uplift, and encourage, and this vinyl aims to highlight that making it a must-have record for a start-up vinyl collection. 

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