The Most Expensive Vinyl Records In The World
Have you ever wondered what the most expensive vinyl records in the world are? In case you are curious, we’ve compiled a list of the twenty most valuable records and how much they are worth. We partnered with an expert to bring you this list as well as a set of guidelines for prospective vinyl investors.
The 20 most valuable vinyl records in the world are as follows:
1. ‘White Album’ by The Beatles originally owned by Ringo Starr - £730,876.
Ringo Starr sold his copy of the ‘White Album’, last year at auction for $910,000, which was the first ever to be created - the other Beatles members had the second, third,and fourth pressings..
2. “That’ll Be The Day/In Spite Of All The Danger” by The Quarrymen - £100,000
The 1958 original is the only known copy of the pre-Beatles disc recorded at a local electrical shop by McCartney, Lennon and Harrison with drummer Colin Hanton and pianist John Duff Lowe.
3. "Love Me Do" by The Beatles - £80,500.
There is only one known pressing of the one-sided acetate, unedited version with count-in hence the huge price tag.
4. “Music For Supermarkets” by Jean Michel Jarre - £10,000 - £30,000.
In 1983 Jarre made 1 copy of this album and then destroyed the master tapes, which is why the price is so high for this record.
5. “Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) by Frank Wilson - £25,000.
Only 2 originals have ever surfaced on the Motown label offshoot Soul.
6. “God Save The Queen” by Sex Pistols - £12,000.
Before they were kicked off the A&M label about 300 of these were pressed making this record very rare.
7. “Would You Believe” by Billy Nicholls - £10,000.
Only 100 copies of this 60's psych/folk/rock album, pressed in its original guise, were manufactured.
8. “Please Please Me” by The Beatles - £7,500
It’s important when buying Beatles albums to check the matrix numbers that are cut into the run off groove. These numbers will allow you to work out which pressing you have. As Beatles albums were made by the million it is often these numbers that make the difference between a £10 vinyl and a £1000 treasure
9. “Kind Hearted Woman Blues” by Robert Johnson - £7,000.
Only two photographs of him exist and his 78's records are just as rare, especially those released on the Vocalion label.
10. “Bohemian Rhapsody/I’m In Love With My Car” by Queen - £5,000.
The EMI special edition of the single was also an invite to a company event. For this reason, the 7” record came with matches, a pen, a ticket, a menu, an outer card sleeve, a scarf and an EMI goblet. If you have a complete collection with all of the different items, then this is extremely valuable.
11. “Pride” by U2 - £5,000.
It was originally pressed in Australia on clear vinyl, coloured vinyl is extremely collectible especially when only 5 copies were made, like with this U2 album.
12. “Midsummer Night’s Scene/Sara Crazy Child” by John’s Children - £4,000.
The single was pressed on 7” vinyl but for some reason was never released.
13. “Latch On/Only A Daydream” by Ron Hargrave - £3,000.
There are only six UK copies known to exist hence the high valuation.
14. Led Zeppelin’s 1969 first album - £3,000.
Led Zeppelin’s first vinyl album is very common, however the initial pressing had turquoise lettering of the band’s name on the front cover. It was swiftly replaced with the now familiar orange lettering.
15. “Love Me Do/PS I Love You” by The Beatles - £3,000
250 demo copies of this 1962 7” single contained the misspelling, ‘McArtney’.
16. “Space Oddity/Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud” by David Bowie - £3,000
Only a couple of copies of the 7” single with an unreleased picture sleeve are known to exist.
17. “Tinkerbells Fairydust LP” by Tinkerbells Fairydust - £3,000
A slightly obscure British pop group, Tinkerbells Fairydust recorded this bubblegum psych album for Decca, but it was never released. It had extremely unusual packaging and a laminated front sleeve with a mono stereo ‘peephole’ on the back.
18. “Erotica” by Madonna - £2,000.
Picture discs are also very collectible and when Madonna released this album in 1992, it was quickly withdrawn from sale because the toe-sucking image on the cover coincided with similar stories involving Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York. Consequently not many were sold so it’s a rare find.
19. “Love is Strange” by Wings - £1,500-£2,000.
“Love is Strange” was due to be released as a 7” from the Wildlife album, however, Paul McCartney changed his mind at the last minute, however a few copies leaked out onto the market and are now valuable records.
20. “Tudor Lodge” by Tudors Lodges - £1200.
This is their one and only album and was released on the legendary Vertigo label.
Our vinyl expert and owner of Sister Ray Records, Phil Barton, has given a set of guidelines to help anybody who is thinking about investing in vinyl:
1. Always check that the vinyl and the sleeve match up. We’ve seen it hundreds of times where the record doesn’t match the cover so make sure that you’re buying what you think you’re buying!
2. Check whether an album has the lyric sheet, poster, stickers, or other extras. From our experience, anything missing will devalue the record.
3. Condition is everything. Collectors are constantly upgrading their vinyl with ones that are in better condition and are always on the lookout. A mint record is one where both the sleeve and record look as though they have just arrived from the factory. If there is anything amiss, the record will not be graded as mint and therefore will not command a top price. Other grades include: Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor. Buying poor/fair records is pointless because they will not play or look good and consequently will not go up in value.
4. Look for a good clean sheen on the vinyl. Any marks should be obvious. Use a good cleaner, we recommend Near Mint or lighter fluid. Apply both with a soft, lint-free cloth. Also, make sure that the edge of the sleeve hasn't been clipped, unscrupulous sellers will often cut a ragged edge clean with a guillotine or sharp knife to make records look more presentable.
5. We recommend that you should store your vinyl upright in a cool dry place. Avoid exposure to direct sunlight as this will cause the covers to fade and the vinyl to warp. Buying PVC sleeves and poly-lined inner sleeves are both good long term investments and will keep your vinyl in tip top condition.
6. If a sleeve has been signed check its provenance carefully. From our experience, a fully signed Beatles sleeve is incredibly rare and extremely valuable but needs accompanying paperwork. Certain artists sign lots of products and others rarely. It’s very important to research your market, a fully signed Sex Pistols sleeve with a Sid Vicious signature is worth much more than with a Glen Matlock signature.
7. We’re going to say it again, the condition is EVERYTHING!
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Will Thomas our managing director said:
“I think it is quite amazing to see just what kind of obscure and quirky things people want. It always seems to be the weird and wacky stuff that is worth the most money to collectors, and I think this list proves that that is the case for vinyls as well. It’s clear the
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