You got a cocktail party coming up and don’t know what to play? As turntables are becoming cool again and vinyl is making a comeback, here is my collection of some of the best vinyl albums to put on and let play. If you want to make annoying people leave your party, then check out this list.
1. Bags Groove – Miles Davis
I’m quite aware that many readers aren’t keen on jazz. That is until they listen to Davis’ standard, Bags Groove. This album is Davis at the apex of the Bebop movement, on heroin, making for the best ambient background music. It’s subtle, bluesy, and gets many people into jazz. This is the perfect “piano bar” music.
2. Kind of Blue – Miles Davis
Almost the same can be said about Kind of Blue – While Bags Groove is “piano bar” music, Kind of Blue, for me, is “cocktail party” ready. The beautiful thing is that this album flows like one long song.
3. It Had to Be You – The Great American Songbook – Rod Stewart
If anybody thought Stewart resorted to covers because he needed the extra cash then nothing he ever does will win their hearts over. Stewart is a virtuoso with his voice and in 2002 when this album was released, was seasoned enough to take on the crooners. Good job Rod! This is the album that your aunt and uncle will say, “this is Rod Stewart?” if they even ever heard of him.
4. A Swingin’ Affair – Frank Sinatra
Sinatra in his junior years, but at his best. His voice changes pitches subtly, and the band would be just as great without him. Sinatra in the background is time tested ice breaker. Everyone has something to say at a party from his days in the Rat Pack, his alleged mob ties, his classiness, his inspiration on Michael Buble (but who cares, right?)
After all, who doesn’t enjoy listening to Sinatra?
5. Live at the Regal – BB King
The best live album of all time comes in at number 141 on Rolling Stone’s top 500 albums of all time. Sets a good blues-rock big band thing in the mid to late evening.
6. Hot August Night – Neil Diamond
Here’s Diamond in his rock-on, substance user days, no Jazz Singer here. A Neil Diamond landmark. Great stuff! Double live album. Appeals to all ages.
7. Legend – Bob Marley and the Wailers
The undisputed best classic reggae compilation album is also the best-selling reggae album of all time. It spans Bob and the band in all periods of their career until his untimely death in 1981. From the romantic Is This Love, to the slow No Woman No Cry, to dancing to the disco reggae hit Could You Be Loved? This album will give you 50 minutes of timeless listening.
8. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – Elton John
Undoubtedly (but arguably) Elton John’s best double album. Wikipedia refers to Goodbye Yellow Brick Road as his magnus opus, as do many of his fans. GYBR is John’s first double album and if you get the 2003 30thanniversary, four bonus tracks are thrown in. Woo hoo!
9. Tuesday Night Music Club – Sheryl Crow
Three Grammies: Not bad for a debut album that was originally rejected by the record label. A kick ass debut album for Crow. A must for every cool party.
10. Unplugged – Eric Clapton
The 1992 Grammy winning album that catapulted Clapton back into the Stratosphere after suffering the terrible loss of his four year old Conor.
Please let us know what you think about our cocktail party album list.