19 Aug Countdown of the top 10 most expensive vinyl records to ever be sold
Wondered what were the most expensive vinyl records ever sold and why? Vinyl record sales have always been essential in defining the success of a single or a musician. The number of reissues and new editions of vinyl have been contributing to the legacy of these artists. It allows more people to get into the lifestyle of collecting vinyl records and also leading veteran collectors to search and spend a fortune on seriously expensive records. To put things into perspective, some records are more expensive than a house.
So what makes a vinyl copy this expensive? It isn’t just about the quality of the music, but in fact, it’s about how rare it is. Records that have a limited number can be worth thousands of dollars and the value can keep increasing depending on how unique it is. Meticulous details like a rare album cover, a handwritten note, and even the serial number can have a strong influence on the final price of the record.
Here is a list of the top 10 most expensive vinyl records that have ever been sold, and one that you can still buy. You can view the list and check it out down below.
10. Frank Wilson is an American producer and singer that only released 250 copies of his single Do I Love You (Indeed I Do). That itself is enough to make any copy of this record valuable. Berry Gordy, who was a director at Motown, destroyed most of them. Apparently, Gordy did not like the idea of Frank Wilson trying to become a singer, and thus he destroyed it. Only five copies survived, and it became one of the rarest albums and a precious item for collectors around the world. In 2009 one of the copies was sold for over $30,000.
9. Alcohol and Jake Blues was released by Tommy Johnson in 1930. He would have never imagined it would become one of the most expensive vinyl records ever sold.
The 78rpm record was sold on eBay for $37,100 in 2013. There are only two copies in the world, which makes it extremely valuable. Johson released five albums with the Paramount label and all are considered collector items. So if you own a copy, it might be worth thousands of dollars.
8. In 1994 Aphex Twin attempted to release the album Caustic Window. The project didn’t take off and there are only five copies of the album. That is precisely what makes it so valuable.
In 2006, Markus ‘Notch’ Persson, founder of Minecraft, bought the album in an auction for $46,300. Aphex believes that he didn’t release the album because “there were so many releases happening at the same time too, under different guises,” He also shared that “It could also be that classic loss of confidence any successful artist feels releasing something into the market after such acclaim!” in an interview.
7. There was once someone once found a copy of The Beatles’ ‘Till There Was You in an attic. It was sold at an auction in 2016. People expected it to be worth around twelve thousand, but someone paid £77,500 (nearly $90,000) for it.
This copy is described as the “holy grail” amongst the fans because it brings some unique features, which include the handwriting of Brian Epstein, The Beatles manager.
$90,000 may seem like an unbelievable price for a vinyl record, but there’s another Beatles album that ranks even higher.
6. The Beatles released the album Yesterday & Today in 1966, which was commercialized just in the U.S. Later the records were released in Japan and also the United Kingdom. The first albums of this copy are rare and valuable.
But why so? what makes it so unique? When the album was released, the cover was a picture of the musicians dressed as butchers, with pieces of meat and dolls without arms, legs, and heads. Due to whatever reason, they changed the official cover for something more traditional in later copies.
In 2013 someone bought a copy with the original cover for $125,000.
5. If you have any Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band that was released in 1967, you probably have a small fortune on your hands. The most valuable is the mono edition with a black Parlophone on it.
During an auction in 2013, someone bought a copy of the album for $290,000. Everyone was taken aback by surprise as the estimated price was $30,000. The identity of the buyer was not revealed.
4. In 1953, Elvis Presley recorded his first-ever song “My Happiness”. My Happiness was sold in 2015 at an auction. The musician Jack White paid $300,000 for it. White is a vintage collector and has other rare vinyl albums. However, My Happiness is the most expensive item in his collection.
3. The ninth album of The Beatles is known as “The White Album” because the cover is entirely blank, except for a serial number printed on it.
The first four pressings of the LP were all in possession of The Beatles. Ringo Star had the album’s first copy, No. 0000001, one of the most desirable items among fans. Considered as the ultimate rock’n’roll souvenir. In 2015 it was sold for $790,000. It is the highest amount paid on a commercial record.
Other serial numbers are still valuable, and if you have this album, there’s a chance you can still sell it for a good amount of money.
2. John Lennon and Yoko Ono released Double Fantasy in 1980, their 5th album together. In an auction in 1990, someone paid $150,000 for a copy. The identity of the person who bought it is still unknown. The man, a Beatles fan, kept it under his bed for 18 years then decided to sell it, for £1.2million pounds.
Why pay so much for this album? Well, because the album sold was signed by John Lennon for his killer Mark Chapman hours before he was shot dead outside his home. It is probably the last autograph of the musician. Eerily the cover and dust jacket still contains forensically enhanced fingerprints of Chapman.
This item is the only item on the list that is still listed for sale. If you are interested in having a piece of history that intertwines itself as forensic evidence, look it up.
1. In 2015 Martin Shkreli bought the only copy of Wu-Tang Clan’s Once Upon a Time in Shaolin. He paid the huge sum of 2 million dollars, the highest price ever spent on a vinyl record.
In 2017, Shkreli put the single LP back on eBay. The bids started at $1 and the final price was over 1 million dollars. It is about half the price he bought it for but still quite a considerable amount of money.