Nat King Cole Albums Ranked

Nathaniel Adams Coles (March 17, 1919 – February 15, 1965), known professionally as Nat King Cole, was an American singer, jazz pianist, and actor. He recorded over 100 songs that became hits on the pop charts. His trio was the model for small jazz ensembles that followed. Cole also acted in films and on television and performed on Broadway. He was the first African-American man to host an American television series. He was the father of singer-songwriter Natalie Cole (1950–2015). Here are all of Nat King Cole’s albums ranked.

Don’t miss out on the music of Nat King Cole. Click below and experience one of the greatest musicians of all time.

10. Vol. 2 (1946)

King Cole Trio: Vol. 2 : Nat King Cole : Free Download, Borrow, and  Streaming : Internet Archive

“JAZZ COLLECTOR EDITION * NAT KING COLE Vol. 2 continues an exploration of the MacGregor Studio archives begun on the first offering of this 5 disc series. Additionally, several V-DISC sides are included. Two non-vocal versions of “The Man I Love” are presented– both performances are quite similar; the only difference being a voice-over announcer on the second track. The King Cole Trio’s superb musicianship is evident on all of these great sounding transcriptions from 1943. A real treat for any Nat Cole fan, or lover of elegant jazz.”

9. The Nat King Cole Story (1961)

COLE, NAT KING - Nat King Cole Story - Music

“These Nat King Cole “hit songs” were recorded again after Les Paul created multi track recording. Ralph Carmichael took the original charts, added a few more strings, (thank God) and brought these vintage Nat King Cole hits back to life at Capital Records Studio. Probably recorded in 3 track, Nat’s voice was isolated, so the newer “duets” with Natalee are possible. Long live the creative gifts & amazing voice of Nat King Cole.”

8. Nat King Cole Sings For Two In Love (1953)

Sings For Two In Love - Album by Nat King Cole | Spotify

“A collection of love songs that aren’t available on most Cole compilations. His vocals, as always, are silky smooth and impeccably phrased. An excellent listen for a romantic night in, or just as background for a book and glass of wine.”

See more: Ray Charles Albums Ranked

7. Nat King Cole At The Piano (1950)

Nat King Cole, Jazz Pianist

“This is a pensive, introspective Cole breaking new ground, exploring a new kind of dialog with the piano and the orchestra. During the hight of his vocal career few realized the quality of his musicianship and piano playing. This isn’t background music: you cannot anticipate the next note, so you wind up listening closely to his playing, ‘feeling’ his fingers on the keys. This is a musician’s album, best appreciated by musicians and astute listeners, but a pleasure at all times.”

6. The Very Thought Of You (1958)

COLE, NAT KING - The Very Thought of You - Music

“It’s one of these moments when I miss a sixth star” as the five-star rating seems too low. “The Very Thought of You” is womderful and I like it even more than the “Love is the Thing” SACD from the same label. It’s the first time in years I took my remote to a better light to find the “repeat” key. Have been listening to it for hours, never getting bored. The final track “There is no greater love” is magical…. Outstanding sound quality!!!”

5. Penthouse Serenade (1952)

Penthouse Serenade | Light In The Attic Records

“Nat King Cole had a great voice and was an accomplished pianist, this cd is good by any stretch of the imagination, with the first 13 tracks on the piano and the remaining tracks displaying the Cole singing voice in all its glory. The opening track and title of the cd is great the quality of the recording beggars belief going back over thirty years and the clarity and sound stage is awesome. Quality is the bye word here and if our modern engineers could get some of this onto modern cd’s well it would change the face of music. This cd is very well recommended.”

4. Love Is The Thing (1957)

Nat "King" Cole – Love Is The Thing (Vinyl) - Discogs

“Nat King Cole died too early. He started playing jazz piano and then started to vocalize. He is the “master”. Some of his early albums are being transferred to disks. I purchased this master piece on cassette. Still have a cassette player as this album is not available on a cd. He is the ultimate when it comes to romantic vocalizations. He is assisted with the orchestra of Gordon Jenkins. The songs include: When I Fall in Love, Stardust, love Letters, End of a Love Affair, At Last, it’s All in the Game and my ultimate favorite, When Sunny Gets Blue. He is the “king” when it comes to romantic Ballads. Very recommended.”

3. The King Cole Trio (1944)

Capitol Woodgrained Series | musiceureka

“The album immediately became incredibly popular. When Billboard launched its first dedicated album chart six months after its release, it immediately skyrocketed to number one and stayed at the top for nearly three months. The recognition of the masses in this case should not be alarming – despite the external lightness, this is one of the most innovative and skillful works of its time, and the first truly outstanding jazz album.”

2. Unforgettable (1952)

NAT KING COLE : LP Unforgettable

“Unforgettable is comprised of many of Nat’s biggest hits at the time of its release, however; even in its day it could not have qualified as a complete “Greatest Hits” package as a multitude were not present. After its release, Nat continued to crank out an infinite stream of chart-toppers up until his life was cut short a near decade later.”

1. After Midnight (1957)

Nat King Cole - After Midnight Sessions - Music

“It’s said that Nat recorded this fine album as proof that he hadn’t ‘sold out’ from the jazz scene, despite his enormous popularity in ‘easy listening’ charts (ie. pop music). This warm & mellow wonder runs for almost 65 minutes, and features selections from 4 recording sessions with his jazz trio, and invited soloists,(trumpet, sax, trombone congas/bongos & violin) across some 18 tracks. There’s nothing very long here, as tracks run for 3-4 minutes overall, but there’s still time for instrumental passages & some lovely keyboard work, as well as Nat’s rich & silky delivery.”