Inside Denon

Gifting Made Easy: The Nostalgic Albums Your Parents Will Appreciate

Shopping for your family members can be tough — keeping the conversation neutral during dinnertime tougher still. One of the best, universally adored presents for our baby boomer parents is something transportive, sentimental and a good time for all — music. Here’s our hand-picked list of albums that your parents will enjoy.

Denon Staff

Carefully curated compilations

Many believe that the 1960s and 1970s were the heyday of the album as an artistic format, but if you want to give your parents 100 ccs of nostalgia straight to the heart, a compilation album may be the way to go. From best-ofs and greatest hits, to movie soundtracks and more, these albums condense some of the best tunes of the era. They fit in those bands that released iconic singles, but never got around to creating a signature album.

  • Queen: Greatest Hits
  • The Big Chill Soundtrack
  • Forrest Gump Soundtrack
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd: Skynyrd's Innyrds
  • ELO: All Over the World: The Very Best of ELO
  • The Temptations: Greatest Hits
  • Sam Cooke: The Best of Sam Cooke

Folk tracks, protest anthems & flower child misfits

The baby boomer generation took part in some of the most momentous social causes of the 20th Century, from the Civil Rights movement to the Vietnam War protests. That counterculture was often driven by music ranging from explicitly political songs to mellow folk tracks. Indulge their former activist lives by spinning the records that represent the best protest, hippie and folk music of the era.

  • Bob Dylan: The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan
  • Jimi Hendrix: Are You Experienced?
  • The Byrds: The Notorious Byrd Brothers
  • Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young: Deja Vu
  • Joni Mitchell: Blue
  • Arlo Guthrie: Alice's Restaurant

R&B, doo-wop & soulful tunes

With both Motown and Stax churning out indelible songs at an incredible rate, baby boomers grew up during the golden age of soul and R&B. There are so many great songs and artists to choose from, but these selected albums represent some of the very best of their era.

  • The Supremes: Where Did Our Love Go?
  • Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life
  • Marvin Gaye: What's Going On?
  • Aretha Franklin: Lady Soul
  • Otis Redding: Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul

British invasion rockers

Whether your parents got swept up in Beatlemania or threw their support behind Mick, Keith and the rest of the Stones, it's a pretty safe bet that they have a soft spot for at least one or two British Invasion bands. From Delta blues-inspired rock 'n' roll to experimental baroque pop, these bands released some of the most influential music of all time.

  • The Beatles: Rubber Soul
  • The Rolling Stones: Let It Bleed
  • The Kinks: Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire)
  • The Zombies: Odessey & Oracle

Assorted classic rock essentials

The generation that so many of our parents belong to produced tons of great music, including arena-rock classics, glam stompers and mind-expanding psychedelia. To round out our list, take a look at these bona fide classic albums:

  • David Bowie: The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars
  • The Beach Boys: Pet Sounds
  • Led Zeppelin: Led Zeppelin II
  • Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon

You really can't go wrong with any of these records; they've all stood the test of time. But to really evoke that sense of nostalgia, you need to pair the right album with a premium-quality vinyl turntable, like the Denon DP-450USB. For all your other audio equipment needs, including AV receivers, speakers and headphones, visit

Products featured in this article