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Top Ten Vinyl Records to Buy this Christmas
Find the perfect gift for the avid vinyl fan in your life this festive season with our Top Ten guide for Christmas 2021.
Join SHS as we step into Christmas and reveal our top ten vinyl recordS for gift ideas
Fads and fashions come and go, so whatever the experts and retailers tell you is this year's must-have gift, chances are it'll be promptly forgotten and collect dust in a cupboard by the time Christmas 2022 comes around - we have pulled together at Smart Home Sounds our Top Ten Vinyl Records choices to give you some perfect gift ideas
But with vinyl, the gift of music is the gift that keeps on giving: vinyl sales are at an all-time high, with a wealth of new pressings and re-releases available to please vinyl newbies and avid record fans alike.
So if you're unsure on what to gift the vinyl-lover in your life, then this handy guide features our top ten vinyl records - our picks for 2021, helping you to make a sound choice this Christmas.
Despite the restrictions and limitations we've all endured together, one thing that we have still been able to enjoy is the flood of new music released in 2021. Here are four of our must-have vinyl albums from this year.
Ed Sheeran - =
|✓ Single black vinyl record available, or...
|✓ Limited Edition run on red-coloured, recycled vinyl
Ever since being spotted in London dressed as a zombie for an upcoming music video, Sheeran left us all guessing that new material was on its way. And sure enough, he didn't disappoint when Bad Habits was released on 25th June and soared straight to number one, where it stayed for eleven consecutive weeks.
Followed up by Shivers, Sheeran's fifth studio album = (Equals) officially released in the UK on 29th October and features a pop-inspired sound that was born out of Sheeran's desire to make a fun record to beat the blues of the pandemic.
Quick Fact: Selling more than 139,000 copies just in its first week, = is one of the fastest-selling releases of 2021!
Dave - We're All Alone In this Together
|✓ Limited edition red vinyl pressing
|✓ 74,000 copies (all formats) sold in WAAITT's first week of release
Multi-award-winning rapper Dave enjoyed a hugely-successful 2019 with his debut album Psychodrama. But with big boots to fill, we're pleased to report the highly-anticipated follow up album for 2021 is just as promising, with NME stating that "...Dave has struck gold again".
Featuring collaborations with Stormzy, James Blunt and Wizkid, WAAITT's strong narrative and edgy feel is complemented by its raw sound on vinyl, making it a great gift option to consider for true hip hop fans. However, its very limited number run on vinyl makes it a more expensive choice.
Quick Fact: Dave's 2019 album Psychodrama won both the Mercury Music Prize and the Brit Award for the Album of the Year.
Adele - 30
|✓ A great listen for powerful vocals
|✓ Limited edition clear edition available
It's been 6-years since Adele released 25 in 2015, and whilst she hasn't been away from the public eye completely, we were very excited by the release of her new album, 30. And we're not alone, with Adele fans breaking Apple Music's records for being the most pre-added album of all time.
But things have been far from easy for Adele! Not only with the emotional turmoil she endured - which she draws inspiration from for the songs on her record - but during the release of 30 itself. Due to be released sooner than it actually was, PVC shortages at vinyl pressing plants during the pandemic meant it was ultimately pushed back to November instead.
Adele's vocals always make for a great reference point to test out your audio set-up, and so 30 looks a great gift option, thanks to it being a double gatefold album.
Quick Fact: Take It Easy on Me was highlighted as Spotify's most-streamed single in a day.
ABBA - Voyage
|✓ A landmark album in ABBA's history
|✓ Plenty of alternative cover art and vinyl colour options are available
If you feel that new music from Adele was long overdue, then you'll be even more pleased that the Scandinavian kings and queens of pop have released Voyage: ABBA's first studio album in almost 40-years. What Top Ten Vinyl record list would be complete without ABBA...!
Following demand from their loyal fanbase to end their hiatus and release new music, Voyage amassed 80,000 pre-orders within the three days of sales opening.
After all these years, ABBA's unique sound formula remains evident throughout Voyage, yet modern recording technology makes for an even more engaging listen, especially on vinyl.
Quick Fact: Voyage is the UK's fastest-selling vinyl release of the Century, according to the Official UK Charts.
Coldplay - Music of The Spheres
|✓ Pressed on 140-gram coloured and recycled vinyl. Every copy finish colour is slightly different, making each pressing truly unique.
|✓ 28-Page booklet, lyric sheet and additional artwork make for an impressive-looking (and sounding) Christmas gift.
Taking us on a voyage through an imaginary solar system, Coldplay's Music of the Spheres rocketed straight to number one on the UK album charts when it launched on 15th October, and you will see why it is one Smart Home Sounds Top Ten Vinyl records
Heading in a different direction from Coldplay's past releases, this is their first record produced by Max Martin: the Swedish mastermind behind hits from Britney Spears, Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande. Along with ABBA's Voyage, perhaps this guide acts as proof that the Swedes have the Midas touch when it comes to perfect pop production!
Catchy, memorable and hugely entertaining - with collaborations featuring BTS and Selena Gomez - Music of the Spheres has an incredible euphoric sound that is just as immersive playing on our award-winning Rega Planar 1 Plus turntable as we would imagine it to be when played live in a stadium!
Quick Fact: According to Coldplay's Chris Martin, Music of the Spheres' themes were inspired by the Star Wars movie franchise.
Despite the strain of low PVC supplies to record factories this year, it can't be denied that 2021 has been an exciting time for new music on vinyl. And whilst we're sure there's a new vinyl album for everyone to enjoy at Xmas, this section is dedicated solely to those classic albums on re-released as new vinyl pressings.
Fleetwood Mac - Rumours
|✓ Remastered on heavyweight vinyl for top sound quality and durability
|✓ Exclusive and rare, gold-coloured release available on vinyl
Gaining its title from the number of diaries each band member was keeping on their rocky relationships going on behind the scenes, Rumours was released in 1977 and became one of their most successful albums of all time - a classic
Raw with emotion from the band's inner turmoil surrounding addiction, jealousy and failed love affairs, this all fuelled the fire behind Fleetwood Mac's songwriting talents, resulting in 40-million (and counting) sales of Rumours worldwide. Newly remastered on heavyweight vinyl in 2020, Rumours has never sounded so good!
Quick Fact: Fleetwood Mac's Rumours remains the third-best-selling vinyl LP of 2021.
|✓ Available on a choice of regular vinyl or a half-speed mastered anniversary version
|✓ Picture disc version also available from some retailers
A prised compilation album when initially released in 1984, Legend features fourteen of Marley's most successful recordings of all time. Although re-issued on vinyl back in 2009, Legend was subsequently re-released in 2020 to mark what would have been Marley's 75th birthday.
Enhanced further by using half-speed mastering techniques at Abbey Road, resulting in superb sound quality, Legend on vinyl benefits from an even greater stereo image and cleaner treble than ever before!
Quick Fact: According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Legend is the best-selling Reggae record to date, with 28-million sales recorded globally.
The Killers - Hot Fuss
|✓ Available on 180-gram vinyl
|✓ A staple record for any indy lover or Killers fan.
Released as their debut album in 2004, Hot Fuss became an instant success and dominated album charts across the globe before achieving multi-platinum status.
Lower the needle, turn up the volume and enjoy one of the most defining albums of the early 2000s, which Rolling Stone magazine aptly described as "...all Killers, no fillers".
|Quick Fact: The lead single, Mr Brightside, has never left the UK charts since its release, and refuses to go below the top 100.
Although we've established there's a wide choice of excellent records to gift this Christmas, what Top ten vinyl records list would be complete without some festive treats on vinyl?
Michael Bublé - Christmas
|✓ Single, black vinyl is commonly available
|✓ Limited Edition 10th Anniversary box set with green vinyl also available
Marking ten years since its release in 2011, little did Michael Buble know that Christmas would become his best selling album of all time, selling more than 12-million copies and counting.
Covering popular Christmas songs of all ages - along with star-studded duets featuring fellow Canadian Shania Twain and The Puppini Sisters - Christmas has a beautiful warm sound that is even greater on vinyl. Fun, friendly and festive, Buble is a firm SHS favourite and he comes out to defrost each year without fail, even if a little too early sometimes!
Quick Fact: Christmas has surfaced in the UK's Top Ten album chart every year since its release, apart from in 2015 when it reached No. 12 instead.
|✓ A staple Christmas song collection
|✓ Single, black vinyl
What Top Ten Vinyl Records list would be complete without a Christmas album! The Christmas Album was initially released in 1984, then re-released amidst the vinyl resurgence in 2016, albeit with a reimagined sleeve and a slightly updated tracklist. Perhaps listing a compilation album as one of our Xmas vinyl must-haves is cheating, but this record has twelve of the greatest old-school Christmas classics we know and love.
With festive favourites from Wham!, Band-Aid, Slade, Wizzard and more, this album features some of the best seasonal songs to date, with even older classics from Dean Martin, Brenda Lee and (most importantly) Bing Crosby!
Quick Fact: Originally released in 1985, the Now Christmas Album reached No.1 in the UK album chart, where it stayed for two consecutive weeks, before being knocked off by Now That's What I Call Music 6.
We hope you've enjoyed this guide to our favourite records to gift this Christmas, but if you're still unsure on which of our Top Ten Vinyl record to gift, or if your intended recipient already has the album you had in mind, then a Hama anti-static record cleaning brush is always a safe bet and makes for a great stocking filler!
However, if either you or your loved one are entirely new to vinyl this Christmas, and you're considering gifting a turntable instead, feel free to check out our additional guides listed below where we tell you all that there is to know.
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