Armchair Adventures | The Best Outdoor Adventure Albums

As lovers of the outdoors, we can all agree that this period of lockdown is a challenging time. But we love a challenge, and with adventures on hold for the foreseeable future, we’ve decided to put our heads together and compile a list of our favourite books, films, games and music for those with an adventurous spirit. In this blog post, we’ve created a playlist of the best albums to listen to during an otherwise quiet time.

Whether you’re off work and chipping away at a list of jobs around the house, or you’re working from home and finally have total control of the speaker, this collection will have you reminiscing about past adventures and planning some more for the future.


Joshua Tree album cover

The Joshua Tree – U2 (1987)

Must-listen song: Where The Streets Have No Name

You can’t help but picture yourself on an open road with the wind blowing in your hair when you listen to this album. The song ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’ epitomises the adventurer’s spirit and you get the sense that it could have been written from self-isolation with fitting lyrics like ‘I want to tear down the walls that hold me inside” and “I want to feel the sunlight on my face”. So do we, Bono… So do we.


Bob Dylan album cover

The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan – Bob Dylan (1963)

Must-listen song: Blowin’ in the Wind

This is arguably the most legendary album by one of the most legendary musicians of all time. The song ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ is centred around the freedom of nature and became one of the biggest anthems of the ‘swinging sixties’, a decade defined by rebellion and adventure.


Into the Wild Soundtrack album cover

Into the Wild (Soundtrack) – Eddie Vedder (2007)

Must-listen song: Rise

We’ve already waxed lyrical about the film ‘Into the Wild’ in our 10 Best Adventure Films blog. If you haven’t seen it – scribble out whatever is at the top of your to-do-list and grab the popcorn. If you have – stick on the soundtrack, close your eyes and go to your happy place, whichever crag or mountain that may be.


Fleetwood Mac Rumours album cover

Rumours – Fleetwood Mac (1977)

Must-listen song: The Chain

The rise and fall of the tempo and intensity of ‘The Chain’ could be said to reflect the peaks of a jagged mountain range. Okay... reading that back suggests that we may have spent too much time indoors recently. But it can definitely be said that Rumours is one of the best albums ever made. The Chain was The BBC’s theme song for their Formula One coverage, and listening to it gives a newfound sense of optimism that it won’t be long until we’re all listening to the wind blow and watching the sun rise again.


Fleet Foxes album cover

Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes (2008)

Must-listen song: White Winter Hymnal

Fleet Foxes’ self-titled debut album quickly became one of the biggest and best albums of 2008. Despite being American, the band are heavily inspired by all things English and the standout song, White Winter Hymnal has definite repeat-after-me, camp song vibes. A word to the wise, this album might make you want to pitch your tent in your back garden and roast marshmallows over an open flame.


Sound of Music Soundtrack album cover

The Sound of Music Soundtrack (1965)

Must-listen song: The Sound of Music

All right, we admit this is a curveball, but hear us out. There are few better ways to shake off a self-isolation-induced malaise than to sing along to the jolly sounds of Julie Andrews and The Sound of Music. It will leave you feeling a whole lot better and, while you can’t ‘Climb Ev’ry Mountain’ at the minute, you’ll be ticking those household chores off with a smile on your face.


Born to Run album cover

Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen (1975)

Must-listen song: Born to Run

Suggesting that you listen to ‘Born to Run’ whilst being stuck indoors might sound like a bit like mental torture, but that’s not why it’s on here. Promise. The album is a work of art and will have you reaching for your computer and planning future adventures. Born to Run is the standout piece, but Jungleland and Backstreets also come highly commended.


City and Colour album cover

Sometimes – City and Colour (2005)

Must-listen song: Comin’ Home

City and Colour is the recording name of one of Canada’s greatest living musicians, Dallas Green. His soothing voice and masterful acoustic guitar playing are accompanied by his fantastic ability to write songs that connect emotions with nature and the outdoors. He’s travelled all over the world with music and prefers the term ‘road trip’ to ‘tour’. Comin’ Home is a beautiful homage to both travel and the importance of spending time at home. 


New Wild Everywhere album cover

New Wild Everywhere (Commentary) – Great Lake Swimmers (2003)

Must-listen song: New Wild Everywhere

New Wild Everywhere is a masterpiece courtesy of Canadian folk-rock band, Great Lake Swimmers. The title track brilliantly summarises the feeling you get when nature pauses before a storm. The commentary version of the album preludes each track with a short explanation of what the song is about and where the inspiration came from, giving you a deeper understanding of the record as a whole.


Joy Division Unknown Pleasures album cover

Unknown Pleasures – Joy Division (1979)

Must-listen song: Wilderness

Few albums have rocked the British music scene to its core like Joy Division’s debut release. The artwork is now a cultural symbol and features on t-shirts and posters all over the world, but opinion is divided on what it represents. Some say radio signals from a pulsar. We prefer to see a mountain range. But what is generally accepted as true is that the music from this album is genius. We chose Wilderness as the must-listen song, but in truth, it’s unfair to put any one of them above the rest.


We hope you enjoy listening to some of our favourite albums. Make sure to read our other Armchair Adventure guides on the best books to read, films to watch and video games to play to keep your outdoor dreams flowing freely.

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Adam is a lover of the outdoors who’s recently moved back to rural Lancashire after living in the urban confines of Leeds for the past few years. His favourite pastimes include cooking, playing countless sports to a barely acceptable standard and exploring the local countryside with his dog, Chip.

When the weather gets in the way, Adam can be found at home watching films & TV and listening to music. If he’s not there, he’ll be in the pub down the road.  

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