While physical music sales of CD's continue to slide and give way to streaming, one form of music continues to enjoy a revival. Vinyl. Record sales continue to go up every year. I got into collecting records several years ago and it has developed into a passion. While I don't have hundreds, I continue to carefully build my collection. Saturday is National Record Store Day. A day for vinyl lovers and a day to recognize the great record stores out there that give us our vinyl fix.

The Newbo district in Cedar Rapids is home to Analog Vault. While only in existence for a couple of years, the store has grown into a record lovers paradise. If you're in search of anything from rock, pop, jazz and even country, chances are they have it. Heck, even the guys from Midland had to stop in and check them out when they were here for their Cedar Rapids concert!

You can check out other great record stores and find out what special releases they might have for National Record Store Day HERE. In honor of the day, I took a look at the ten records I have in my collection that I love the most. Check out my list and go spin some vinyl this weekend!


  • Ryan Brainard

    Legend: The Best of Bob Marley and The Wailers

    This album is regarded as one of the finest collections of Bob Marley music. He is the king of reggae, and sometimes the laid-back vibe of his songs is just what you need to unwind. Get Up, Stand Up, I Shot the Sheriff, and Redemption Song are just a few of his classics.

  • Ryan Brainard

    Hotel California

    First of all, I love The Eagles. The passing of Glenn Fry crushed me. Hotel California might just have been the peak of their creative powers. The 1976 album is filled with gems. Hotel California, Life in the Fast Lane, Wasted Time, Pretty Maids All In a Row, and my favorite Eagles tune of all time, New Kid in Town. Sure radio overplayed the hits. But it's because they're great. And great never gets old!

  • Ryan Brainard

    Glen Campbell's Greatest Hits

    Glen Campbell is country music royalty. He is my favorite classic country artist of all time, and I listen to his music all the time. Picking one album was tough, so I went with his greatest hits. They're all there. Galveston, By The Time I Get To Phoenix, Gentle on My Mind, and my favorite country song ever, Wichita Lineman. His music is timeless.

  • Ryan Brainard

    Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

    Picking a favorite Beatles album is liking choosing a favorite child. It's nearly impossible. Sgt. Pepper is mine not only for its music, but for the way that it changed the way artists made albums. And is there a better album closer than A Day in The Life? I don't think so!

  • Ryan Brainard

    Faith by George Michael

    Faith is one of the biggest albums of the 80's. And that was the decade that helped form many of my musical tastes to this day. The title track is great, but Father Figure is the song that hooked me on George Michael. An unmistakable voice that is truly missed.

  • Ryan Brainard

    Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys

    Pictured, is my 1966 copy of Pet Sounds. I found it at a garage sale, and is the most I've ever paid for a record. It was worth it!  Back then, it wasn't a huge commercial success. Now it is regarded as one of the most important albums of all time. Composed by Brian Wilson, the album is full of songs and sounds that will take you by surprise. From the opening of Wouldn't It Be Nice all the way through Caroline No, it's a symphony for the senses. One of my favorite albums of all time.

  • Ryan Brainard

    The Best of The Best of Merle Haggard

    When Merle Haggard passed away several years ago, I was ashamed to admit I wasn't as familiar with his song catalog as I should've been. But after finding this album on vinyl and playing it that day, I was a changed man. The Hag's voice was sublime. From anthems like Okie From Muskogee and Fightin' Side of Me, to his tender side in songs like Hungry Eyes, the Hag could do it all.  Truly, country royalty.

  • Ryan Brainard

    Some Girls by The Rolling Stones

    Another group I didn't get until later in life is The Rolling Stones. Man, was I missing out! Picking out a favorite from The Stones is tough too, but I love Some Girls. The cover is hilarious and the songs are all killer. Miss You, Beast of Burden, and Shattered just to name a few. Mick and the crew can do it all, from rock, to country, and of course, the blues. This album has it all.

  • Ryan Brainard


    One of the albums of my youth. One of the best of all time. There was a time I considered Off The Wall to be better. I was a fool. Thriller has no weak links. No filler. It has iconic songs like Beat It, Billie Jean, and Thriller. But my favorite? The criminally underrated Human Nature. Call him weird, or whatever you want. MJ was a musical genius and Thriller is his masterpiece.

  • Ryan Brainard

    Rumours by Fleetwood Mac

    Simply put, Rumours is one of the best pop albums of all time. The harmonies are flawless. Speaking of groups at the peak of their powers! How about Dreams, Don't Stop, Go Your Own Way, The Chain, and Gold Dust Woman on one album! This one never gets old.