Here is a complete listing of Nat's principal original album releases, with dates, track listings, and in many cases, other information as well, such as covers and reviews.
The following are Nat's original themed, or "concept" albums:
The following are Nat's original compilations:
and four notable original Trio compilations:
More than a word about the criteria for this list:
Nat had already enjoyed some years of conspicuous success before an album of music recordings became a sight on record shelves. Billboard seems to have had its first album category marked out for early 1945 and Nat was right there (on top). At the beginning eras of the album, we may find classical works, some soundtracks and in the cases of popular music, albums which can be quite ambiguous as to whether we might today consider them to be original albums or compilations. Certainly in the popular musics, an album would be the exception for many years to come even for the most popular of artists. But Nat continued to produce albums into the maturity of the format, even producing some of the earliest entries among the entity known today as the "concept album."
An album, to the compiler of this list, resembles a photo album, in that it presents a packaging of a number of individual pieces having some coincidental or deliberate commonality or theme. The artists and/or producers intent should be considered as most important, but that can prove difficult to discern in the absence of any word from those involved. The list therefore involves speculation and objective opinion. What I feel to be "proper" albums are listed seperately from what I feel are compilations, such as the 1954 LP of Unforgettable or 10th Anniversary. I'd also like to thank my fellow Nat enthusiasts Ian, Dale, Jordan and Ben for offering their opinion as to what constitutes his core albums.
Format was not a criteria; there are 78 rpm shellac record sets as well as 33 1/3 rpm long play vinyl records of both 10" and 12" forms.
On a specific note, it is assumed the 10" release of Top Pops was issued before Harvest of Hits but I haven't confirmed that.