33 Albums Every Kid Should Hear Before They Turn 13

This what your teen years will sound like.

Recently we asked BuzzFeed Community members which albums they think every kid should hear before they turn 13. These are some of their responses.

1. Any Beatles Album


“The songs haven’t lost anything in 50 years and they have always been popular with children. You can’t imagine Coldplay doing a kids’ song, but the Beatles did quite a few, such as ‘Yellow Submarine.’ At the same time there’s a real raw power to the rocking songs and a melodic beauty to the later stuff.”
—Submitted by Patrick Smith (Facebook)

2. Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin


—Submitted by Giliana P. García Acevedo (Facebook)

3. The Wall, Pink Floyd


“That’ll help them get through their teenage years. Did me.”
—Submitted by Matthew McVeagh (Facebook)

4. Tragic Kingdom, No Doubt

Trauma Records

—Submitted by Jorge Gòmez Geho (Facebook)

5. The Very Best of Otis Redding, Vol 1, Otis Redding


“Everything you’ll need to know about falling in love, breaking up, having fun, and following your dreams can be found in that album.”
—Submitted by April Jones (Facebook)

6. Dookie, Green Day


—Submitted by Maureen Clark (Facebook)

7. Rumours, Fleetwood Mac

Warner Bros.

“Real, adult love isn’t the syrupy crush kind presented by One Direction, or even the hot-and-cold puppy love Taylor Swift sings about. It’s the kind where everyone in your band is dating and breaking up and things are messy as hell and everyone hates each other while simultaneously wanting to bang each other. Get ready, kids!”
—Submitted by Jessica Misener (BuzzFeed)

8. Ten, Pearl Jam


—Submitted by Catherine Patat (Facebook)

9. Is This It, The Strokes


—Submitted by Cristine Salas (Facebook)

10. Nevermind, Nirvana


“I will never forget the first time I heard…’Smells Like Teen Spirit.’ I didn’t know music like that existed.”
—Submitted by destructogirl (BuzzFeed)

11. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Lauryn Hill


—Submitted by Krystie Yandoli (BuzzFeed)

12. Jagged Little Pill, Alanis Morissette

Tusk Music

—Submitted by Kris Truelove (Facebook)

13. Pinkerton, Weezer


—Submitted by Dian Idris (Facebook)

14. Tapestry, Carole King


“She’s a songwriter who never holds back and who beautifully captures the human experience. Her songs made me feel things I never knew existed and really helped me figure out who I was as a person. ‘Way Over Yonder’ and ‘Will You Love Me Tomorrow’ really did that for me as an early teen. This album is ESSENTIAL.”
—Submitted by Kayla Yandoli (BuzzFeed)

15. Homogenic, Björk

One Little Indian

—Submitted by moviescrouse (BuzzFeed)

16. Straight Outta Compton, N.W.A.

Ruthless Records

“Kids need to be prepared for the gangster life.”
—Submitted by Gladwin Sy (Facebook)

17. Ramones, Ramones


“So that they know all the words when they turn 13 and they become essential.”
—Submitted by John Stanton (BuzzFeed)

18. Blonde on Blonde, Bob Dylan


—Submitted by Kate Miller (Facebook)

19. Purple Rain, Prince

Warner Bros.

—Submitted by Eddie Moore (Facebook)

20. Pure Heroine, Lorde


“It’s a wonderful album, and draws from so many different musical styles and sensibilities. This is what pop music should be!”
—Submitted by GuavaGirl (BuzzFeed)

21. Workingman’s Dead, Grateful Dead

Warner Bros.

“Because the sooner a kid starts to expand his mind (musically), the better…”
—Submitted by Austin Hunt (BuzzFeed)

22. Aquemini, Outkast

LaFace Records

—Submitted by Naomi Zeichner (BuzzFeed)

23. Thriller, Michael Jackson


“Every 13-year-old should experience the pure boogie-woogie thrill of listening to Thriller all the way through.”
—Submitted by Alexis Nedd (BuzzFeed)

24. Horses, Patti Smith


“You can feel all the urgency and the spirit of a young soul no matter what the music style is. There is poetry, anguish, romanticism, rebellion.”
—Submitted by Manuel Alejandro (Facebook)

25. The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, David Bowie


“That album seriously blew my mind when I first heard it. It was like I’d never heard proper music before. It was also a gateway to lots of other amazing bands I’d never thought to listen to, as I’d never been exposed to that genre of music before.”
—Submitted by Ashleigh Summerskill (Facebook)

26. A Night at the Opera, Queen


—Submitted by devinj4ba1035c2 (BuzzFeed)

27. Blondie, Blondie

Private Stock

Blondie by Blondie is a great starting point, and when it comes to strong female lead singers, Debbie Harry is one of the best!”
—Submitted by Susan Mayo (Facebook)

28. Dude Ranch, Blink-182


“A must for every teen/pre-teen who feels out of place.”
—Submitted by Ian Carlos Crawford (BuzzFeed)

29. Bridge Over Troubled Water, Simon & Garfunkel


“I was never super into music as a kid, and I just couldn’t really connect to music the same way other people I knew could, but then I listened to this album and I understood fully the power that music can have. Bookends is another one of their masterpieces.”
—Submitted by Georgia Findlay (Facebook)

30. Channel Orange, Frank Ocean

Def Jam

—Submitted by Tacooooooos (BuzzFeed)

31. Hot Fuss, The Killers

Lizard King

“It’s the album of a generation :D”
—Submitted by megs475ef5f55 (BuzzFeed)

32. Pet Sounds, The Beach Boys


—Submitted by GuavaGirl (BuzzFeed)

33. London Calling, The Clash


—Submitted by Charlemagne (BuzzFeed)

Check out more articles on!

  Your Reaction?


    Now Buzzing