AP Photo/John Duricka, Associated Press, AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

5 Essential Country Albums to Own on Vinyl 

These days, the options for listening to music are endless and you can take your favorite albums everywhere you go. But even with all these modern technologies, there's still nothing like putting a vinyl record on a turntable and listening to that classic sound. When considering American and international genres like classic rock, indie, reggae, hip hop and others, there are countless vinyl records that music fans should add to their record collections. Some of these greatest albums include The Beatles' Abbey Road or Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, Marvin Gaye's What's Going On and Michael Jackson's Thriller. 

Any iconic album by David Bowie, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, Led Zeppelin, The Clash, Nirvana or Miles Davis would also on the list of best vinyl albums to pick up at the record store. For the purpose of this article though, here are 5 of the best country albums of all time that you'll want to have as vinyl albums next to your record player.

1. Johnny Cash, At Folsom Prison 

Johnny Cash performs during the Grand Ole Opry's last show at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn., March 18, 1974. (AP Photo/John Duricka)

Johnny Cash made a statement when he performed at Folsom State Prison in California. The move, of course, went along with his hit song, "Folsom Prison Blues," and not only did he perform at the prison, but he recorded a live album of the show. At Folsom Prison is an album that stands the test of time. It not only features one of Cash's most famous performances, but it captures the raw energy of the inmates and freezes time in the that moment. For that reason, this is one of the best vinyl albums for a country fan to own.

2. Loretta Lynn, Don't Come Home a Drinkin' (With Lovin' on Your Mind)

Just like Cash made a statement with his Folsom Prison performance, Loretta Lynn made a stand and showcased her unique songwriting with one of her greatest hits, "Don't Come Home a Drinkin' (With Lovin' on Your Mind)." In the song, Lynn sings from the perspective of a wife who is tired of her husband coming home drunk. The song is featured as the title track on her ninth studio album, and with 11 other tracks, the project is one of Lynn's best albums to own.

Read More: Back to Country: The 10 Best Nashville Music Venues for Fans of Classic Country

3. Waylon Jennings, The Ramblin' Man 

Country music legend Waylon Jennings performs in Nashville, Tenn. in this May 1984 photo. Jennings died at his home in Arizona on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2002, after a long battle with diabetes-related health problems. He was 64. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Waylon Jennings was one of outlaw country's true pioneers, and he released his Ramblin' Man album at the height of the outlaw movement. Likely one of his best records, the project features many of Jennings' classic hits such as "I'm a Ramblin' Man," "Rainy Day Women," and "Midnight Rider." Plus, few albums can beat the iconic album cover of The Ramblin' Man, which shows the face of a young Jennings.

4. Patsy Cline, Showcase

Patsy Cline was a legendary country artist who left this earth far too soon, but she did leave behind a wealth of wonderful music for country fans to enjoy for generations. And what better way to enjoy the classic music of Cline than with a vinyl album? Showcase was released as Cline's second album in 1961, following her 1957 self-titled debut album. The LP is a great one for classic country fans to own, as it features many of Cline's most famous songs, including "Crazy," "I Fall to Pieces," "Walkin' After Midnight," and more.

5. Dolly Parton, Jolene 

American Country Music star Dolly Parton arrives at London's Heathrow Airport, May 16, 1977, on her way to Glasgow, Scotland, where she is to perform in a Royal Jubilee Television Special in front of the Queen at King's Theater. (AP Photo)

A country record collection is never complete without a Dolly Parton record, and 1974's Jolene is one of her best. Of course, the famous project features her classic tune "Jolene," but it also features her timeless hit "I Will Always Love You," and other songs. The cover art is also unforgettable, as it shows a '70s-era photo of Parton against a yellow background with vintage font. While you're picking up Jolene, you might as well pick up some other Parton records, such as her ACM Album of the Year-winning Trio album with Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt.


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