20 Albums Every Man Must Own

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Every man needs his own space. And in that space there are certain essentials every man should have — a Beatles album, a Hemingway book, a Steve McQueen movie …

As for the rest of the albums, here is an unranked list:

The Beatles, The White Album (1968)

How do you choose the correct Beatles album? The answer is you don’t. Personally, The White Album shows their effortless talent. But as long as you have any Beatles album in your collection, you’ll be fine.

Bruce Springsteen, Born in the U.S.A. (1984)

A musical montage of nothing but the best songs about the every day, blue-collar, hard-working American. “Born in the USA” is one of the best, quintessential rock anthems that every man should live by.

John Coltrane, A Love Supreme (1965)

Every man needs a little jazz to soothe his soul — and Coltrane’s A Love Supreme is about as good as it gets. It’s what makes his style so memorable.

AC/DC, Back in Black (1975)

For when you want to bang your head to some real rock-n-roll: Back in Black shells out some of the best rock anthems of all time.

Hank Williams, The Complete Hank Williams (1998)

Hank gave way to the birth to country music by singing about love, loss, religion, sacrifice, drinking, and most importantly — what could’ve been.

Nirvana, In Utero (1993)

In Utero shows the beautiful work of a tortured Cobain as he was struggling with his newfound fame. The anguish, the noise, and the anger are at the core of his legacy — the simple desire to merely connect.

Frank Sinatra, In the Wee Small Hours (1955)

Every man needs an album that knows how to respond to misery, heartache and sadness.

Grateful Dead, American Beauty (1970)

If you’re going to own a jam band album, you might as have one from the greatest jam albums of all time (without the 45-minute jams that wear you down).

Merle Haggard, Untamed Hawk: The Early Recordings of Merle Haggard (1995)

A true living legend, Merle has never lost his outlaw sensibilities when it comes to dishing out the memorable tunes. He can (still) sing and play guitar with the best of ’em.

Oasis, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? (1995)

The reason why men everywhere went out and learned the chords to “Wonderwall” — and never touched a guitar again.

The Beastie Boys, Licensed to Ill (1986)

It transformed rap music from a niche genre it was to a mainstream genre that it is today.

Johnny Cash, At Folsom Prison (1968)

The man certainly knew his audience. “Folsom Prison Blues” is where he played unvarnished songs about prison life and the social injustice of jails. The atmosphere is electric and the sounds are awesome.

Fat Boy Slim, You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby (1998)

Every man needs a party album — this is it.

Prince, Purple Rain (1984)

While this may have been Prince’s most mainstream album, it nonetheless showcased his broad musical reach — from rock to pop to soft rock. With this album Prince became a musical giant (even without his platform heels).

Bob Dylan, Blonde on Blonde, Baby (1966)

Arguably Dylan’s best album.

The Clash, London Calling (1979)

Because it’s one the original punk albums that embraces a multitude of genres — from rockabilly to reggae to jazz — in only 19, eclectic songs.

Marvin Gaye, What’s Going On (1971)

For when you want to be a ladies’ man, you’ve got to know what to play.

Willie Nelson, Red Headed Stranger (1986)

Ambitious, cool, and controlled — its chalk full of great universal songs about heroes, instrumental anthems, failed marriages, lonely nights, drugs, and sex.

The Temptations, Getting Ready (1966)

Motown at its finest.

Elvis Presley, The Essential Elvis Presley (2007)

The King — enough said.

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