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My Year in Vinyl: Counting Down My Top 5 Records with Most Spins in 2022

2022 Year in Vinyl

Today I want to take a look back at 2022 and recap my year in vinyl. First I’ll share some general stats before doing a quick countdown of the 5 albums not released in 2022 that I played. Why am I excluding records released this year? Because they track pretty closely to my Best Albums of 2022 countdown.

Let’s get started with some general stats.

I am the level of record collector nerd that tracks my spins. I started doing this in 2020, so it doesn’t cover the scope of plays back to my first record purchase in 1998, but but it includes a fair share of plays. 

Format irrelevant—meaning vinyl, CD, and cassette—I have 2,735 albums and singles in my collection. Since tracking began, I have played records 5,893 times. In 2021, I played items in my collection 1,152 times. In 2022, I topped that by playing items 1,356 times. 

Note that this does not include plays by any items that I eventually sold on Discogs this year to make room in my collection, so actual numbers are likely a tiny bit higher. For reference, I sold 39 items on the Discogs marketplace in 2022.

Let’s do the countdown of the 5 records I listened to most. But first, here’s the video of the countdown if you’d rather watch:

Kevin Morby Sundowner Vinyl

Kevin Morby | Sundowner

Starting the list and in at #5 is my favorite album from 2020: Sundowner by Kevin Morby. A conceptual, contemplative album about mortality, released in the year the world locked down and pretty much everyone lost someone they knew, the album was an odd comfort amidst the isolation. And, two years later, as I’m now quite cemented in middle age at 42, I continue to welcome Morby’s exploration of mortality with open arms.

You can hear “Campfire” off Sundowner below:

While my label exclusive pressing on Sunburst Opaque vinyl is long out of print, copies are available on Discogs in the $30-40 range.

The Radio Dept Lesser Matters Vinyl

The Radio Dept. | Lesser Matters

Next is The Radio Dept. To this day, Lesser Matters by The Radio Dept. remains my favorite album by the band. It’s nostalgic for me; I put it up there with Up Against The Legends by The Legends as one of the albums that really got me obsessed with fuzzed out indie pop. It was their debut LP, released in 2003, and includes an all time favorite from the band: “Where Damage Isn’t Already Done.”

My copy is the 2011 reissue on 180 gram wax from Labrador Records. Pricing is steep, and closing in on $200 on Discogs.

Built to Spill Perfect From Now On Vinyl

Build to Spill | Perfect From Now On

Given the domination of Build to Spill’s 2022 album When the Wind Forgets Your Name this year and it’s placement as #3 on my top albums of 2022 list, I dove deep into my collection of Built to Spill records. And the one that had the most impact and influence on my desire to discover new music was their 1996 LP Perfect From Now On. Again, not a surprise here. 

But, it also kind of goes beyond that. 2022 was a year where I looked back to my teenage years, picked up a few additional influential albums from that time, including LPs by The Smashing Pumpkins and Mazzy Star. While Soundgarden never got added, I came close a few times. 

Here’s “Randy Described Eternity” off Perfect From Now On:

My copy is from 2007, and that’s currently the least expensive on the market. It’ll still set you back over $40 US on Discogs.

Low | Hey What

This is no surprise for two reasons. First, it was my #1 album of 2021. Second, I went on a few Low binges this year. One earlier in 2022 when I pulled it out and gave it a few spins, along with a few other LPs I have of theirs. Second, after Mimi Parker passed away in the fall. 

I’d still love to add Double Negative from 2018 and Ones And Sixes from 2015 to my collection. I wouldn’t be surprised if reissues or at least represses are in the works. “More” is one of my favorite tracks from 2021, too:

At this time, LOSER editions of Hey What are still reasonably priced on Discogs, but if you don’t mind a black vinyl version, you can snag one right now on Amazon for less than $20.

Blonde Redhead | 23

I remember being blown away by 23 when Blonde Redhead released the album in 2008, and again when I saw them perform at The Showbox in Seattle that same year with The New Pornographers. Back then I noted that it was rare that a band released an album that I didn’t feel had a weak point, and that statement still holds true today, 16 years later. 

23 was a bit different for Blonde Redhead. The band dipped further into the dreamy, shoegaze-y sounds they had always flirted with but never really committed to. As an aside: their 2000 LP Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons came pretty damn close to joining this list as well.

While not nearly as rare as, say, Lesser Matters by The Radio Dept., a copy of 23 on vinyl will still set you back around $50 on Discogs.


There it is: my top 5 vinyl records played in 2022 that weren’t released that year. I’d love to know what some of your top spins were last year. Let me know in the comments below!

hand-picked vinyl recommendations

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