If you are old enough to remember the times before people could stream and download music, and even before CDs and cassette tapes, then you will have fond memories of the primitive but incredible vinyl record. You do not need to be a boomer to have an appreciation for this kind of music type, however, as having a record player is such a special and enjoyable way of valuing music. There are plenty of bands today that continue to use vinyl records as special releases of their albums and EPs. But there are some more historic bands and solo artists that have some incredibly rare and expensive vinyl to their name, which we would like to walk you through today. If you are an experienced record collector, then you could have a few of these wonders in your collection!
Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin (1969
Led Zeppelin would flourish during 1969. This would be the year where blues would take the forefront of their experimental style. They would then begin infusing their music with the emotive genre’s special touches, with their titular release being among their greatest work. Many felt that the rock band was being too indulgent with this release, however, such as Rolling Stone magazine. Despite the criticism, the album was a massive success. If you happen to own it today, you could easily sell it for $1,000.
Miles Davis, Kind of Blue (1959)
Few jazz artists did more for the wild genre than Miles Davis. He more or less modernized jazz into what we know it as today. The 1959 release of Kind of Blue was a tremendous effort that involved a small army of Davis’s fellow jazz greats, such as Jimmy Cobb, Cannonball Adderley, John Coltrane, and Paul Chambers. If you want to get into the moody genre, this is a fantastic starting point. If you are a big jazz record fan, on the other hand, and happen to have a copy of this iconic vinyl, its resale value is around $1,000.
The Who, The Who Sell Out (1967)
Here we have a vinyl that is almost impossible to track down in your run-of-the-mill record store. The Who was adamant that just 1,000 prints of The Who Sell Out should be produced. In the record game, rarity often leads to lucrativeness, and this particular vinyl is a hotly desired wonder among collectors. You would definitely remember buying this vinyl, given its psychedelic butterfly on the cover. Those that use eBay could list this record at about $1,100.
Nirvana, Bleach (1989)
While Nevermind might be Nirvana’s most popular album, the Bleach record will earn the dedicated grunge fan the most money. Nirvana copied The Who’s marketing tactics with this record’s release by limiting its production to 1,000 copies, with a single sale going for $2,500. The initial production of the album had a blank cover. The blue 7” and white 12” third round of this record’s release saw just 500 prints. These are all now worth about $1,100 each.
XTX – Science Friction (1977)
New wave as a pop subgenre relied on pioneers like XTC to bring it into popularity throughout the 1970s in the English music scene. Science Friction first came out in a 12” format prior to its 7” shrinking. The smaller edition will make you a lot of money, as this miniature goes for around $2,000 today. There are only 50 prints of this record in circulation, the same amount that was originally produced! Only the true new wave fanatics could have a copy of this elusive record.
David Bowie – The Prettiest Star (1973)
David Bowie was the kind of pop sensation that brought plenty of his individuality and eccentric spunk into his music and persona. The Prettiest Star would quickly be recognized as one of the androgynous superstar’s greatest songs. It was produced with a particular woman in mind, called Angela Barnett, to who Bowie was formerly married. Bowie once rang Barnett up and gave her a live rendition of the sensational number. Interestingly, Bowie’s soon-to-be rival Mark Bolan recorded the guitar for this record. As for your involvement, you could earn $2,000 off its sale!
ABBA – Hova’s Vittne (1981)
Best known for their disco masterpieces, the Swedish supergroup ABBA once dedicated some of their industrious time in the studio to recording and producing Hova’s Vittne (Hova’s Witness in English). This was a sentimental present for Stig Anderson, the band’s manager, on his 50th birthday. Seeing as this vinyl was recorded as a private gesture rather than for public sale, only several copies were created. You can then expect to sell a special print for around $3,500.
The Quarrymen – That’ll Be the Day (1981)
The Beatles would appreciate this The Quarrymen track called That’ll Be the Day so much that they would end up recirculating the 1958 hit in 1981. Paul McCartney would be the Beatle responsible for its reproduction, but he only created 50 copies. The combination of The Beatles’ seal of approval and its incredible rarity made this vinyl exceedingly expensive. If you hopped on this limited bandwagon and bought a copy of the 1981 That’ll Be the Day vinyl, you could sell it today for $3,500.
Cherry Five – Cherry Five (1975)
Only historic horror movie aficionados will truly appreciate how amazing Cherry Five were, given that the band’s music was used in 20th-century horror classics such as Suspiria, Dawn of the Dead, and Deep Red. While Cherry Five enjoyed an incredibly productive association with Hollywood’s spookier side, their eponymous record is the most lucrative one. If you happened to be a vintage horror collector, you might just have a copy, which you could list for $3,500.
David Bowie – Diamond Dogs (1974)
Coming back to David Bowie we have another phenomenal record from the zany pop lord with Diamond Dogs. What makes this record so special is that its cover, which featured some strange-looking dogs, also showed their naughty bits on the back. You can bet that the business people involved in its production and distribution were deeply disturbed to learn that such obscenity had been released under their label. Such childish hilarity will easily be sold for around $3,550.
The Beatles – Abbey Road (1969)
For some unexplainable reason, Abbey Road did not enjoy much critical praise when it was first released. Its true worth would only be appreciated far into the future. We would like to turn your attention to the 1969 English exported edition, which features a catalog number of PPCS 7088, a Parlophone Records label, as well as a golden sticker on the sleeve’s back. Does your copy fulfill these criteria? If so, you are sitting on something worth about $4,000.
Elvis Presley – That’s All Right (1954)
The artist recognized as The King of Rock ‘n Roll finished recording That’s All Right during a stale period in his music career. It was thanks to his cover of That’s All Right Mama by Arthur Crudup in 1954 that his record producer, Sam Phillips, finally had some gold to mint. The B-side features Blue Moon of Kentucky, which is widely considered to be the first true rock ‘n roll record. This legendary album now sells for about $4,000.
The Thirteenth Floor Elevators – Reverberation (Doubt) (1966)
The 1960s was a time when many phenomenal bands came to the fore, such as The Thirteenth Floor Elevators. If you love psychedelic rock, then you must have at least heard of this group. While this wild band would not last very long, given the lead guitarist’s severe mental health issues, Reverberation (Doubt) would become a legendary release due to the ‘Elevators’ sadly short presence. This makes a copy of the said record worth about $4,000.
The Beatles – Please Please Me (1963)
Few bands employed a more industrious working style than The Beatles. The iconic band released hit after hit thanks to how hard they worked at their craft. Something like Please Please Me only took a day to be recorded and produced, with the band’s part only taking about 10 hours. This resulted in a highly successful vinyl that is worth about $4,200 today in its mono version. The stereo edition is worth much more, if you happen to have the record in that recording format.
Depeche Mode – Music for the Masses
Music for the Masses by Depeche Mode has launched into novel intrigue thanks to its cover, which has a dramatic sunrise framing a red speakerphone set, complete with an orange border. After Depeche Mode’s label realized that it had distributed the record, it soon stopped its short-lived production. Fans of the band can now capitalize on this mistake, as this vinyl goes for around $4,600 today. What was a blunder for the record label became a major success for dedicated record collectors.
Misfits – Legacy of Brutality (1985)
Seeing as there are just 16 prints of this Misfits record in existence, you will need to pay a hefty sum if you want to add it to your punk rock record collection. So, why are there just over one dozen copies of Legacy of Brutality in the world? It was thanks to the band’s former lead singer’s lawsuit. Glen Danzig rapidly ordered a halt to this album’s production after he discovered that it had been distributed free of his blessing. Speaking of blessings, you could earn $5,000 if you managed to snag one of these obscure records.
Elvis Presley – Speedway (1968)
We now return to the King’s fabulous career, which included plenty of time spent acting in mediocre Hollywood films. A film like Speedway was one of the least critically appreciated Elvis films, but its soundtrack was obviously amazing thanks to Elvis’s contribution. The film did not enjoy much appreciation, as did its accompanying soundtrack record, as only 300 copies were reportedly released. This makes the Speedway soundtrack phenomenally expensive, at $5,000 a pop. You might appreciate this film a lot more after learning this!
Brute Force – King of Fuh (1969)
Brute Force was quite the controversial outfit back in the day. Their songs contained plenty of profanity and disturbing themes for the time, making an album like King of Fuh a difficult pitch to label executives. Brute Force then decided to rework this record into something more palatable and user-friendly. Their efforts would only see the light of day in 2010, amazingly, and its futuristic release came with a $5,000 price tag. This piece of musical history is well worth the investment.
Elton John – I’ve Been Loving You (1968)
While most people know who Elton John is, few are aware that Bernie Taupin provided much of the pop sensation’s musical content. This was a man who stood up for Elton time and time again, but it would only be years after I’ve Been Loving You was released that Bernie and Elton confessed that it was the latter who had created the song alone. There was an especially rare Portuguese release of this record which super fans will know of, and those that actually possess a copy of will be able to sell it for $5,000!
Bruce Springsteen – Spirit in the Night (1973)
While Springsteen may have had a phenomenally rich musical career, there are a few of his records that are difficult to locate, the promotional edition of Spirit in the Night being one of them. Just one of these prints will set you back about $5,000. You may not believe it, but Springsteen’s meteoric success was only achieved after Born to Ride came out, which was his third album. Spirit of the Night is a very special song that is always explosively received by crowds whenever the legend performs it.
21st Century Symphony Orchestra – Waltzes by Johann Strauss, Jr.
Some records are not made special by the music in them, but rather the art that covers them. This 21st Century Symphony Orchestra release had its slip designed by none other than Andy Warhol, an artist that was, at the time, relatively unknown. He would soon become a global sensation, of course, and the 7 surviving prints of this Johann Strauss, Jr. record would go on to become monumentally valued. The Andy Warhol Museum proudly displays a copy, with another print having been auctioned for $5,500 in 2012.
Max Steiner – The Caine Mutiny
When you use another person’s work to create a record, you might want to inform said individual just how much content you plan on borrowing. When Herman Wouk had his novel, The Caine Mutiny, virtually plagiarized for this Max Steiner record, he aggravatedly told the studio in question that they were not to continue using his works if they released this vinyl. The Columbia label then had no other option but to destroy this record’s production, save for several copies that were salvaged. In 2007, one of these survivors went for $6,700.
The Sex Pistols – God Save the Queen (1977)
Punk rock fans worship The Sex Pistols thanks to their rebellious attitude, one which made the people over at A&M’s lives incredibly difficult. Let’s just say that The Sex Pistols raised heck in the A&M studios! Their destructive treatment of the label’s property caused them to retaliate by eradicating their God Save the Queen record from existence. A small number of these records survived the purge, which can today be purchased for more than $8,600.
U2 – Pride (In The Name Of Love) (1984)
U2 experts reported that only 50 prints of the band’s hit single, In The Name Of Love, were created. If you consult the Rolling Stones list of ‘greatest songs ever made’, this one comes in 388th. Incredibly, U2’s lead singer and frontman, Bono, shirks off such praise, as he did not appreciate the released track. The emotive song describes the tragic and horrifying murder of Martin Luther King and the efforts of the Civil Rights Movement in general. One print goes for $9,000 today.
Olivia Newton-John and Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), Xanadu (1980)
Xanadu was a laughably terrible film, we are sad to say, but its soundtrack was quite enjoyable. Olivia Newton-John’s part was invaluable in making such a memorable record, as was Electric Light Orchestra. Sadly, Olivia was unimpressed with her likeness on the record’s slip, and it was pulled off the market. Below 30 prints escaped her destruction, and it is the superstar’s disliked presence on the slip that makes this novel record’s price so high: $9,100!
Hank Mobley – Blue Notes 1568 (1957)
While Hank Mobley may not have enjoyed as much time in the limelight that his pals like Miles Davis and John Coltrane did, he remains a favorite for classic jazz lovers. The Blue Notes 1568 record might be one of his biggest successes, but it seemed like fate wished for it to fail, given that labels ran out incredibly quickly while the record was being printed. You then either purchased a cover that has “47 West 63rd NYC” or “47 West 63rd New York 23” attached. Regardless of which version you have, you can be assured an $11,162 selling price!
Robert Johnson – Me and the Devil Blues (1938)
Robert Johnson is undeniably the godfather of blues, having started the occult practice of selling one’s soul to the devil to be able to perform the style of music properly (or so he stated). Me and the Devil Blues is a song describing this spooky process, one which you will need to pay a hefty sum to learn more about. You might not need to sell your soul to the devil to be able to pay the blues, but you will certainly need to do so if you want to have enough money to buy this legendary record.
The White Stripes – Lafayette Blues (1998)
In 1998, artist Dave Buick teamed up with The White Stripes to create this creative marketing event for this Lafayette Blues edition. Buick painted fifteen amazing prints of this record. He also founded Italy Records. This record is a must-have memento for those that were lucky enough to attend the accompanying concert for this sensational release. But those who actually picked up a version at the time would only have paid $6, which they would today be able to resell for $12,700!
Stonewall – Stonewall
Here we have another psychedelic rock legend called Stonewall, one that would refuse flat out to cooperate with record labels and any kind of business. This meant that physical recordings of their music are incredibly difficult to locate. Stonewall would only ever record a single album, one which they did not want to be released. It thankfully was, however, albeit to a crushingly short shelf time, making this band’s name rather ironic. Just one record goes for $14,000 today!
Royksopp – Melody A.M. (2001)
As for Royksopp, on the other hand, this electro outfit was pleasingly agreeable to work with in the studio and their Melody A.M. production and release went forward without a hitch. It was an amazing success, with more than one million copies being sold. One hundred of these one million copies had their slips hand-painted by the legendary Banksy, making them incredibly desirable works of art that are individually worth $14,204. Something like this record belongs in a museum!
The Beatles – Yesterday and Today (1966)
In a bizarre move, The Beatles agreed that a disturbingly odd cover befitted their 1966 release of Yesterday and Today. They sat about in butcher attire, coated in meat and clutching dolls in their hands. The public did not appreciate this creative direction, leading to a costly blunder that resulted in Capitol Records reclaiming around one million previously released copies. This set the label back $250,000, and they did not manage to collect every copy, one of which can be sold for $15,000 today.
The Rolling Stones – Street Fighting Man (1968)
Street Fighting Man is another example of a popular record with a controversial cover. The Rolling Stones decided to feature a disturbing and violent scene on the record’s slip showing an altercation between policemen and a protestor. The image was taken from the 1968 Democratic National Convention protest. The band’s label took the record out of circulation and only 18 slipped through their fingers. A 2011 auction saw a copy sold for $17,000, and the rest have yet to be accounted for.
The Five Sharps – Stormy Weather (1952)
This is definitely the rarest vinyl that we have discussed as of yet: the 1952 release of Stormy Weather by The Five Sharps. Sadly, this release by the 50s band performed terribly commercially, to the point that its members had to start purchasing the collection themselves. The three copies that the failed musicians missed out on would then ironically become enormously valued thanks to this strange buyback process. You can now purchase one for $20,000!
The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967)
Here we have the holy grail of punk rock, The Velvet Underground’s infamous 1967 release. Back in the 60s, this release caused something of a scandal thanks to its offensive content. The label was then forced to begin clearing the records out of stores, but not before 30,000 copies were sold. There was once a Canadian record aficionado who found a surviving copy in a local flea market, which he took off its former owner for a few cents. Its true resale value? Try $25,200 out for size!
Frank Wilson – Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)
Frank Wilson is best known for tracks like ‘Do I Love You’ and ‘Sweeter As the Days Go By’, both of which are on this vinyl. The pioneer of Motown, Berry Gordy, concluded that it would be best if this record did not see the light of day and commenced repossessing all the Do I Love You copies on sale. Only two were saved from Gordy’s grasp thanks to a particularly dedicated record store, which has one print, and another that sold for $34,000 during a 2009 auction.
Bob Dylan – The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (1963)
While most people will know The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan record that had its tracklist amended, there are a few copies that were released with the original lineup. These include “Gamblin’ Willie’s Dead Man’s Hand,” “Rocks and Gravel,” “Talkin’ John Birch Blues,” and “Let Me Die In My Footsteps.” There should also be a -1A label somewhere on the slip. This was how the record was originally intended to be released, and if you happen to have a copy, you could sell it for $35,000!
Tommy Johnson – Alcohol and Jake Blues (1930)
You can be sure that records that were released in the 30s will only have a few surviving copies left, with Alcohol and Jake Blues by Tommy Johnson only having 2 copies left in existence, or so we believe. Either way, the North Carolinian record enthusiast who stumbled upon one of these vinyl records could never have dreamed of the overwhelming reaction that his eBay listing would receive. John Tefteller would win the lucrative disc for $37,000.
Prince – The Black Album
Those that knew Prince personally always spoke of him as a highly mystical individual, as well as a superstitious one. The Black Album would be one record by the late musician that he would deem as cursed, and he ordered it to be destroyed in its entirety. The craftier music fans of the time managed to lift the record’s contents before it was too late, however. It was only in 1994 that Prince had a change of mind (and spirit) when he deemed ‘The Funk Bible’ to have been cleansed. An unopened vinyl goes for about $42,300, and an unsealed print of The Black Album will fetch close to $27,500, as seen in various sales.
Aphex Twin AKA Caustic Window – Caustic Window
Aphex Twin is also known as Caustic Window in some circles, and this eponymous release under his alter-ego has a strange history. He decided that just 5 prints of the record were all that warranted release! It would only be in 2017 that Caustic Window would reappear on Discogs, an online music auction. The bidding started at a hefty $13,500 and ended at $46,300 with Markus Persson, the man behind the supremely popular video game, Minecraft.
The Beatles – The Beatles (The White Album) (1968)
Are you shocked to see so many Beatles entries on this list? Even we were amazed to discover how many of their separate records are so rare. The White Album is not a particularly expensive or lauded release in terms of resale value, however, unless you happen to possess the very first print with A0000001 as the serial number! It was said that John Lennon had this initial copy, but Ringo Starr was outed as the actual owner. It would then be stashed safely within a bank vault for 35 years before its $790,000 charity auction debut!
Steel City Connection – Dansation/Steel City Disco (1978)
When Steel City Connection’s titular release hit record stores in 1978, people were buying copies for a pocket change. Today, a print goes for around $900! Steel City Connection fans largely agree that this album was their best, and it was objectively their best-performing release. This also happens to be a rather uncommonly seen record today, which makes it a costly addition to anyone’s collection. Whether you are a fan of the band, or are an investor, we highly recommend this one.
Thrillers/Delta Cats, Last Dance/Unworthy Baby (1968)
This record is a joining of the Thrillers’ Last Dance and Delta Cars’ Unworthy Baby. It came out in 1986 after the British bands began their international debut. This record put them on the map and earned them a global following. Those that remember how amazing that time was will know that this considerably awesome record will easily go for $1,000. The 80s was a wonderful time for English music, when all manner of talented and original bands and artists were excelling.
Terea – Terea (1977)
The titular Terea record was not much more expensive than any other vinyl when it was first released in 1977. Many years later, record collectors began shelling out for a copy, which was a wild contrast to its original worth. This band would only release two albums, and this one was their last one. They did manage to establish a dedicated fanbase, however, which is still going strong today, with members who probably would not mind paying $1,700 for this record.
Nirvana – Love Buzz/Big Cheese (1988)
Few bands, in general, will ever achieve the legendary status that Nirvana did. Despite there being a fair amount of music to enjoy from the band, they do have their rare releases, Love Buzz/Big Cheese being one of them. If you want to really get into the deep levels of the grunge masters’ obscurer content, then this record is an incredible start. That is if you have $3,000 spare! If not, then you might be able to find a digital version…
World’s Experience Orchestra – The Beginning Of A New Birth (1975)
Historically, artists would lay down lengthy songs on their vinyl, as did World’s Experience Orchestra in 1975 with The Beginning Of A New Birth. The two tracks on this vinyl are made up of a 22-minute song and a 14 minute one. In total, the listener gets 36 minutes of soul-jazz magic, all for the neat price of $3,500. If you want to enjoy the best work by the experimental and expressive World’s Experience Orchestra.
Tudor Lodge – Tudor Lodge (1971)
Those that cannot go a day without enjoying the soothing and jolly melodies of British folk music need to tune into the feel-good tones of Tudor Lodge. This self-titled 1971 vinyl is difficult to find, even in English village flea markets where one would expect to locate a gem like this. Just one copy of this Tudor Lodge record is worth more than most flea market stalls at a humble $3,540. Think carefully before you pay this much money for anything!
The Smiths – Hand In Glove/Handsome Devil (1984)
If you want to properly define The Smiths’ musical genre, then you should ensure that you put ‘jangle’ into the brackets. The 1983 production of Hand In Glove/Handsome Devil would not see the light of day until 1984. The Smiths must be one of the most well-respected rock bands to come out of England, with something of an incredible cult following. The devotees with $3,500 to spare may happily pay the price for this rare addition to their discography.
Pink Floyd – The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn (1967)
From their astonishing musical film, The Wall, to their extensive experimental discography, Pink Floyd is one of the most important bands to come out of England. Their 1967 recording of The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn was another example of their incredibly efficient recording style, with the album having been completed in just three months. They also had an incredible production team working with them over at the London EMI studio, that finished mastering the album speedily, too.
Nicholas Greenwood – Cold Cuts (1972)
Nicholas Greenwood commenced his musical career by forming a band called The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, which he would end up abandoning in 1969 with an individual performance in mind. He then outshone his old band by a long shot when he released albums like Cold Cuts in 1972. This was a highly experimental and pioneering musical effort that had listeners on tenterhooks. You can bet that such a lauded work of art will cost a fair penny, with the Cold Cuts record fetching over $3,500 per copy.
Charlie Parker – Bird Blows The Blues (1949)
Charlie Parker redefined jazz as a genre with the release of Bird Blows The Blues when jazz was still in its foundational phase. The thirteen tracks on this record brought a boppy jazz delight to beatniks that was unheard of at the time. If you are looking to fill out your understanding of jazz and its many different styles, then this record is a fantastic start. You will need to pay a fair amount for this education, however: $3,540.
U2 – Three (1979)
It was in 1978 that U2 would return to their iconic Windmill Lane Studios in Dublin for an August recording session that would go down in history. The month-long effort produced Three, a fifteen minutes-long record that would go down as one of the band’s most acclaimed works. If you would like to purchase this piece of Irish musical history then you will need to set $3,500 aside. This is quite a lot of money, but a worthy investment, nonetheless.
Sun Ra – Supersonic Jazz (1956)
Here we have a gentleman who was a few decades ahead of the other musicians in his class. Sun Ra brought wonderful records like the 1956 Supersonic Jazz to life with aplomb after spending an impressively short time at the RCA Studios in Chicago. Saturn Records, Sun Ra’s very own label, would foot the bill for this 12-track vinyl in collaboration with Alton Abraham. Ra would work incredibly hard during the 50s to pump out three records, Supersonic Jazz being the most successful. Bask in Sun Ra’s rays for a cool $4,425.
Madonna – Erotica (1992)
Moving toward the end of the 20th century we now have a Madonna entry with her 1992 Erotica record. This was a sumptuous and stimulating release, as its name suggests, that was filled with sensual tracks that would set the mood for any late-night date. If you want to really impress any potential partner that you bring home on a fine evening, you will need to pay $4,425 for this moody vinyl. Madonna has plenty more sensational records for vinyl fans to enjoy!
Michael Garrick Trio – Moonscape (1964)
Michael Garrick Trio’s 1964 release of Moonscape was only treated to 99 prints, and not for the usual promotional reasons that so many other bands use. Rather, there was a strange tax implication in keeping the production of Moonscape under 100 prints. Many English jazz experts consider Moonscape to be the rarest and most sought-after record in the genre. If you are not convinced, then maybe you should consider its $5,310 price tag! Only a truly uncommon gem would cost this much.
Genesis – The Silent Sun/That’s Me! (1980)
We finally bring Genesis to our list with their 1980 release of The Silent Sun/That’s Me! This is the unofficial ‘Greatest Hits’ album of the band, at least according to fans, who adore the 11 tracks on this record above all others. Simply put, this record compiled all the most inspiring songs that Genesis recorded and is considered the fairest balance of their multi-genre efforts. You will need to pay Phil Collins and company $5,300 to check it out, however!
John Lennon & Yoko Ono – Double Fantasy
Yes, yes, we know that Yoko Ono ‘broke up The Beatles’. But before you get angry at us for featuring Ono in our list, you should know that there is a copy of Double Fantasy that was signed by Lennon in the hours leading up to his tragic assassination. This special signed copy was acquired for $150,000 in 1999 at an auction. The husband-and-wife duo would sadly only have a short amount of time to make music together.
The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
If John Lennon’s signature makes a record worth an incredible amount, then how much do you think all the Beatles’ signatures on one sleeve would make a record worth? The lucky owners of this exceptional copy of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band were hoping for $30,000 when they put the signed record up for auction. The bidding war went crazy incredibly quickly, soon reaching the winning bid of $290,000! This is a true piece of history for Beatles fans and record collectors alike.
Elvis Presley – My Happiness
Elvis Presley’s My Happiness was the initial record that The King would release in a long and monumental musical career. This first release from the rock ‘n roll legend himself would certainly fetch an astronomical price, one that Jack White of The White Stripes was happy to pay. A December 2015 auction saw many eager (and wealthy) bidders competing against each other for the musical relic, but White would end up winning it thanks to his $300,000 offer.
Wu-Tang Clan – Once Upon a Time in Shaolin
You might not think that any record could be more expensive than the previously discussed one, and certainly not a hip-hop vinyl from a relatively modern outfit, but Wu-Tang Clan’s unique Once Upon a Time in Shaolin release is an exceptionally bizarre case. This was a once-off release that could only be bought with a strict rule attached that would prohibit its resale for a minimum of 100 years! Its auctioning ended with a two-million dollars winning bid.
Long Cleve Reed & Little Harvey Hill, Original Stack O’Lee Blues 78 Rpm In Plain Sleeve
What a mouthful! This Long Cleve Reed & Little Harvey Hill vinyl was purchased by Joe Bussard (one of the biggest names in the record collecting game) for $70,000. There was only a single copy in existence, and Bussard had to have it. This record was recorded with the incredible 78 rpm format, which was a pioneering effort for the time. It was also one of the first records to be recorded with electronic recording machines.
Jean-Michel Jarre – Music for Supermarkets
The year is 1983 and Parisian artists are putting together a colorful exhibition celebrating and simultaneously critiquing consumerism and the age of the supermarket. When Jean-Michel Jarre was approached to provide his own contribution, he excitedly agreed to put something together, namely a record named Music for Supermarkets. This record was his work of art for the exhibition, and it was purchased for $14,000 ($33,500 when adjusted for modern inflation). Jarre would make sure that no trace of the record’s production remained, and so this is the sole physical copy of the album.
Ferris Wheel – Supernatural Girl
While there might not be that many ‘stoner-folk’ fans around compared to the more popular types of music discussed in this list, Ferris Wheel is one of the substance-fueled movement’s biggest contributors. Their Supernatural Girl record is worth $15,000, provided that the original sleeve contains the vinyl and that the copyright label saying ‘blakeyburch’ is still attached. The sleeve should also be pitch black, and its opening should be at the top instead of on the right side.
Darrell Banks – Open The Door To Your Heart/Our Love (Is In The Pocket)
The passing of Darrell Banks was a terrible tragedy, especially considering how young he was at just 32 years of age. Open the Door to Your Heart was the single greatest work that he would manage to release before his passing, combined with Our Love (Is in The Pocket). A 2014 auction for this sentimentally appreciated record (and the only copy in existence) ended with a $26,550 winning bid. We really wish that Banks could have lived a long and full life, but at least we have this wonderful record to enjoy.
Dark – Dark Round The Edges
Dark Round The Edges by Dark was another record that was only printed a few dozen times with only 64 copies. With so few prints available to the band, its members went ahead and distributed most of them to family members and friends. Any lucky recipients of these limited records could sell them today for about $17,700. If you happen to own a copy of this record and just found out how much it is worth, you might have a moral dilemma on your hands!
Junior McCants – Try Me For Your New Love/She Wrote It I Read It
Like Darrell Banks, Junior McCants dies far too young, but he was almost ten years younger than Banks when he passed at 24 years of age. Those involved with his legacy then set about rapidly preserving his works. Cancer took Junior’s life less than a month prior to his Try Me For Your New Love/She Wrote It I Read release in 1967. It would not be long after its release that execs decided that this record should be taken off the market. Those that were purchased before the reclaiming process can be sold for anything between $7,500 and $15,000.