If you were born after the 2000’s, you may not know very much about the days of CDs, cassettes and vinyls. These were the earliest ways for music to be produced and distributed, and each medium came with its own share of benefits and downsides at the time of its popularity. Although all three of these methods have been replaced by streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music and Deezer these days, there are still many record collectors who have their old collection of vinyls on hand for a rainy day when they need a bit of money. Some of these old vinyls are so incredibly rare that they could fetch anywhere from five to six figures today. If you happen to have any of the vinyls on our list here, you may be in for a big surprise when you see how much it is worth now.
Led Zeppelin — Led Zeppelin (1969)
Led Zeppelin isn’t known as one of the best rock bands of all time for no reason. Towards the end of the 1960’s they were experimenting heavily with their sound, ushering in a new era of bands incorporating elements of other genres into their conventional sound. The result is a self-titled album that went down in history as one of the best they ever released. An original vinyl for this record would earn any collector upwards of a thousand dollars at auction.
Miles Davis — Kind of Blue (1959)
A man who paved the way for jazz as we know it these days, Miles Davis is a name that won’t soon be forgotten from the pages of history. When he released ‘Kind of Blue’ in 1959, fans everywhere noted that musically, it was a masterpiece. The individual performances of the members of the band were even praised. Jazz fans would scramble to get their hands on this record today, which would easily sell for anywhere from $1000 to $1500 with the right buyer.
The Who — The Who Sell Out (1967)
One band who knew how to sell out a stadium was The Who. Something that few people understood was their decision to release an album claiming that they had sold out in 1967, to a limited release of only a thousand vinyls. Naturally, this has meant that the record is increasingly rare these days, and if you’ve managed to hang on to your copy of this mysterious record, it could earn you upwards of $1100 on any popular auction website.
Nirvana — Bleach (1989)
Although most millennials recall ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ as the most prolific Nirvana album, the band had a long history of great releases before they became as commercially successful as they did in the later stages of the nineties. ‘Bleach’ was released on vinyl with a limited amount of total copies, which naturally meant that fans had to clammer their way through the masses to get their hands on it. Those who did, can earn a cool $1200 today, if they’ve still got it in working condition.
XTC — Science Friction (1977)
Never has there been a cooler album title than ‘Science Friction’ from XTC, which was released back in 1977. The band might have been little known across the pond in the United States, but in England they were massively popular, with their vinyls selling by the thousands. This particular record was shrunk to nearly half the size of an original vinyl, which has made it a lucrative collectible worth over $2000 in today’s terms. On top of that, only fifty copies were ever released to the public.
David Bowie — The Prettiest Star (1973)
David Bowie is one of the most recognizable names, voices and faces of the music industry, and his legacy remains even after his death in 2016. “The Prettiest Star” was a hit single from his ‘Aladdin Sane’ album, which was released in April of 1973. In one of the most romantic gestures of his entire career, he performed it in tribute of his wife at the time. If you have this single in your collection, you could earn a cool $2000 for your troubles.
ABBA — Hovas Vittne (1981)
Money, money, money, must be funny, in a rich man’s world. $3500 is a pretty penny for an original vinyl of ‘Hovas Vittne’, the hit record from Swedish sensations ABBA, which was released back in the early eighties. The album was produced as a 50th birthday gift to member Stig Anderson, and as a result, it never saw a commercial release like their other projects. That of course means that it is worth a pretty penny these days, if you managed to scoop it up somehow forty years ago.
The Quarrymen — That’ll Be The Day (1985)
The Quarrymen had a special relationship with The Beatles and Buddy Holly, which is why they decided to put a cover version of the 1950’s hit “That’ll Be The Day” on a documentary they were making in the mid-eighties. As a result of its popularity, the Beatles brought their trackback into circulation, with Paul McCartney creating fifty additional units at his own expense. If you have a copy of this, you could have a payday of up to $4000 at the auction these days.
Cherry Five — Cherry Five (1975)
Rock band Cherry Five was well known for their music being used in horror films back in the day. There are countless movies that have used their dynamic sound to scare the living daylights out of an audience, which is perhaps why the band has achieved somewhat of a cult status in certain circles. Their self-titled album from 1975 is incredibly hard to track down, but if it’s gathering dust in your attic, it might be worth anywhere from $3000 to $3500 now.
David Bowie — Diamond Dogs (1974)
David Bowie makes a couple of entries on the list, as he is a prolific icon that has more than a fair share of collectibles to his name. In 1974 he released ‘Diamond Dogs’, an album that drew a lot of attention (and criticism) for its controversial cover. You only have to Google the original back cover of the album to know why his label didn’t want to release it to begin with. If you have a copy somehow, you would be due a payday of up to $3600 for keeping it all these years.
The Beatles — Abbey Road (1969)
Some pieces of art are simply priceless. Just like the Mona Lisa, ‘Abbey Road’ is a timeless, iconic release from the biggest boy band to have ever graced the world stage. Although the album struggled to convince critics at first, the public lapped up every single track. Although all versions of the vinyl are not equally valuable, if you have a UK export with a specific catalog number and gold sticker, you could be in the running for a payment of $4000 now.
Elvis Presley — That’s All Right (1954)
The King of Rock and Roll also has his fair share of collectible merchandise out there in the world, and his ‘That’s All Right’ album from 1954 is one that any collector can bank on will produce a significant financial return at auction these days. Many critics cite this album as the true “birth” of a new genre of music, which naturally makes collectors everywhere gaga to get their hands on a copy in good to great condition. If so, $4000 could be waiting in the wings.
The Thirteenth Floor Elevators — Reverberation (Doubt) (1966)
We’re taking things way back now to the 1960’s. It was an era that saw an explosion of bands and genres, and in particular the rise of lucrative touring agreements for bands to perform all over the world. For The Thirteenth Floor Elevators, this was at the height of their fame, and ‘Reverberation (Doubt)’ was an album that put them on the world map. Unfortunately, they called it quits shortly after, which is potentially why the vinyl is worth upwards of $4000 today.
The Beatles — Please Please Me (1963)
It’s impossible to listen to ‘Please Please Me’ without getting some of its terrific songs stuck in your head. Released in 1963, the album solidified The Beatles as a powerhouse group that was showing no signs of slowing down. Their fame and popularity kept growing from this album, which was actually recorded and finished on a single day. A mono copy of this vinyl can fetch between $4000 and $5000 at auction today. Stereo? Now we’re talking double the value.
Depeche Mode — Music For The Masses (1987)
Depeche Mode’s ‘Music For The Masses’ gained mainstream appeal as a result of its cover, rather than the actual songs on the album. Although die-hard fans might disagree, the fact that the right edition of the vinyl is worth over $4500 might just say otherwise. The kicker? There was an incorrect version of the album distributed for a short period, much to the dismay of the band. If you have a copy of the version with the small error, a big payday awaits.
Misfits — Legacy of Brutality (1985)
Has there ever been a better band name than Misfits? I think many of us can relate. As it turns out, these guys only released sixteen copies of their ‘Legacy of Brutality’ album back in the mid-eighties. At the time, ex-lead singer Glen Danzig found out that the album was being released without his consent, so production was halted and all produced copies were destroyed. A long, nasty lawsuit ensued. If you were one of the lucky sixteen who got your hands on it in the midst of all the drama, you could potentially sell it for over $5000 in today’s value.
Elvis Presley — Speedway (1968)
Elvis fans will be very familiar with ‘Speedway’, mostly because his acting chops came under scrutiny in the film of the same name. Nevertheless, the soundtrack wooed fans, and they simply couldn’t get enough of anything he gave his voice to at that time. Word on the street is that less than 300 ‘Speedway’ vinyls were printed, and if you’ve somehow got it in your record collection, you could fetch up to $5000 during sale or auction.
Brute Force — King of Fuh (1969)
Brute Force gained a cult following in the late 1960’s, mostly thanks to their “out there” lyrics and the fact that they didn’t abide by any kind of rules around censorship from their record company. “King of Fuh” was one of their lighter singles to be released, and naturally it allowed the band to gain more mainstream appeal at the time. A first edition of the vinyl could earn you a coo $5000 today, especially if it is still in mint condition.
Elton John — I’ve Been Loving You (1968)
We feel like it would be appropriate to put a few of Elton John’s vinyls on the list, mostly because the iconic singer is truly one in a million. ‘I’ve Been Loving You’ holds a special place in the hearts of fans, mostly because it was one of the earlier releases that was written by the man himself, rather than being a track that was given to him to record. Collectors who have this vinyl should hold onto it, as it could be worth between $5000 and $10 000 in the future, especially once the legend is no longer with us.
Bruce Springsteen — Spirit In The Night (1973)
If you’ve been listening to Bruce Springsteen’s podcast with former U.S. President Barack Obama recently, you’ll confirm all suspicions that the Boss is not only a great artist, but an incredible human being too. At the time of the release of ‘Spirit In The Night’, it was still early days in Bruce’s career. The vinyl might have set you back a hundred dollars at the time, but if you’ve kept hold of it for the past fifty years (or it has been passed down to you by someone), you may be able to get upwards of $5000 for it these days.
21st Century Symphony Orchestra — Waltzes By Johann Strauss, Jr. (1969)
As it turns out, collectors are not only running after rock vinyls to add to their list after all. Even though we wish that this vinyl was on the list because of the music, it turns out that it was only sought after because Andy Warhol was commissioned to make the cover for the project. At the time he was still relatively unknown, and only 7 first edition copies are known to still be in existence today. Naturally, if you’re one of the lucky few, you’re in for a big payday with the right buyer.
Max Steiner — The Caine Mutiny (1954)
For this particular album, Max Steiner used text from a popular novel called “The Caine Mutiny” and read it out loud into the microphone. Today, we would call that an audio book. Back then, it was fairly groundbreaking, but not for the reasons you might think. It turns out author Herman Wouk didn’t know about the project, so production was halted right away. A few vinyls made it out of press, and former record execs might be able to bag around $7000 for a copy now.
The Sex Pistols — God Save The Queen (1977)
It’s not always rainbows and butterflied between artists and their management. On the contrary, it is usually a bit of a struggle to match up the creative side with the commercial venture in the music industry. The Sex Pistols had a rocky history with A&M, which included the company instructing all warehouses to destroy their most popular album, ‘God Save The Queen’. The few surviving copies from that time are now worth over $8500, and a part of pop culture.
U2 — Pride (In The Name of Love) (1984)
When Irish rockers U2 dropped “Pride (In The Name Of Love)”, only four dozen copies were released on vinyl. The song is hailed these days as one of the best ever recorded, even though lead singer Bono has been very vocal about how much he dislikes it. Perhaps, this is why it has become such a powerful collectible, now worth over $9000 if you have just a single copy. The track is still used in civil rights movements today, which likely makes Bono cringe, even though it still brings him and the band a good amount of royalties each year.
Olivia Newton-John and Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) — Xanadu (1980)
As with other soundtrack entries on the list, the film itself might have been critically panned, but because of who featured on the soundtrack, the vinyl is tremendously rare today. ‘Xanadu’ might not have shaken up the world like it wanted to do, but because of Olivia Newton-John and ELO getting involved, fans lapped it up. Because Olivia didn’t like the initial packshot, it was recalled and reissued. A copy of the original goes for over $9000 these days!
Hank Mobley — Blue Notes 1568 (1957)
Hank Mobley might not be the biggest household name in jazz, but for one of his releases, a fatal mistake by the record label would make his vinyl one of the most sought-after collectibles in the world. ‘Blue Notes 1568’ was issued with a few copies that didn’t have any labels. Collectors with a copy of the elusive original are likely to fetch upwards of $11 000 at the auction these days. We’re sure Hank would find all of this very funny indeed.
Robert Johnson — Me And The Devil Blues (1938)
Dubbed the godfather of blues, Robert Johnson enjoyed an illustrious career in the early 20th century, and had fans in the legions. Although referencing the devil had happened before he did it, on this particular record, people seemed to take notice. Many criticized him for going against the spoken word. Nevertheless, this timeless vinyl is so valuable, that we can’t even give you an estimate as to how much you may fetch for it in the 2020’s.
The White Stripes — Lafayette Blues (1998)
It’s not often that someone on the list is still relevant to this day, but The White Stripes have continued to be big sellers, especially in the vinyl game, even as recently as with ‘Lazaretto’ in 2014. In 1998, Dave Buick painted over fifteen versions for the cover of “Lafayette Blues”, the latest single from the Stripes at the time. It was meant to be a marketing ploy for their album release, and clearly, it worked. If you forget out five bucks for one of the vinyls at the time, it is now worth nearly $13 000.
Stonewall — Stonewall (1976)
Psychedelic rock fans will be all too familiar with Stonewall, an iconic seventies band that stayed independent all throughout their careers. Members of the band were so serious about not signing with a major record company, that they wouldn’t even show up to meetings, or answer the calls of executives! Today, their name is synonymous with the gay rights uprising in 1969, and if you have a copy of their self-titled vinyl, it could earn you a clean $15 000.
Royksopp — Melody A.M (2001)
Royksopp is still providing fans with incredible electronic music albums these days, but their peak was undoubtedly back in 2001 with the release of ‘Melody A.M’. It didn’t take long for the project to achieve platinum sales, but that isn’t what makes it so rare these days. It’s rarity stems from iconic graffiti artist Banksy hand painting one hundred copies of the album. As you can imagine, the value of these “paintings” increases tenfold each decade. If you have a copy, hang on to it for a while longer.
The Beatles — Yesterday and Today (1966)
Another day, another rare collectible from The Beatles. This time around, we’re talking about ‘Yesterday and Today’, which was released in 1966. In an attempt to be edgy, a version of the album cover featured the band pretending to be butchers, with dolls all around them, most of which had severed heads. Fans were not happy at all, so Capitol recalled a million copies from retail. A couple were snatched up before it was reissued, and today is worth over $15 000.
The Rolling Stones — Street Fighting Man (1968)
It’s safe to say that The Rolling Stones weren’t exactly tame with their album covered. ‘Street Fighting Man’ from 1968 us no exception, depicting a protester who had been injured at the hands of a policeman. The release of the album spurred on a riot at the Democratic National Convention, and public outrage was huge. The album was eventually taken off the shelves, and less than twenty copies survived. Ten years ago, one of them fetched nearly $17 500 on auction.
The Five Sharps — Stormy Weather (1952)
In 1952, The Five Sharps released ‘Stormy Weather’, an album that people hated so much, the band themselves had to start buying them back from consumers. As you can imagine, this put their career into sharp decline, but interestingly enough, made them a cultural reference point that they couldn’t have foreseen at the time. These days, the album has the same novelty value as the YouTube video for Rebecca Black’s “Friday”. One key difference is that ‘Stormy Weather’ is worth well over $20 000 if you have it in your possession these days!
The Velvet Underground — The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967)
Punk rock is never dead, especially if you have a copy of The Velvet Underground’s ‘The Velvet Underground & Nico’ in your vinyl collection. The hit album from 1967 might not be particularly controversial relative to some of the new releases these days, but back in the day the album really got tongues wagging. The government was not happy with its message, and some politicians campaigned to have it taken off the shelves. Recently, an original copy fetched an astronomical $25 000 after it was scooped up at a flea market sale of all places.
Frank Wilson — Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) (1965)
It’s one thing for an album to contain a single hit, but when it has two, you know that the sales are going to be big. ‘Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)’ enjoyed major commercial success thanks to the title track, as well as a single called “Sweeter As The Days Go By”. A marketing strategy led to Frank and his manager destroying as many copies of the album as possible, in order to keep him in demand. Some originals still remain, and in 2009 one of them fetched over $30 000 at auction.
Bob Dylan — The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (1963)
We’re sure you were just waiting for Bob Dylan to make the list, and here he is. On ‘The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan’, the record hit shelves before the talented songwriter could put his final stamp of approval on the tracklisting. He wanted to make some changes, but copies shipped to stores nevertheless. If you happen to have a copy of the unedited vinyl, you could be looking at a major payday in excess of $35 000 these days.
Tommy Johnson — Alcohol and Jake Blues (1930)
Here’s a golden oldie that won’t be forgotten anytime soon. Tommy Johnson’s ‘Alcohol and Jake Blues’ was released more than ninety years ago, which makes it a collectible no matter how well it was received at the time of release. Imagine the surprise of one eBay user when he uploaded a picture to the platform, and people started bidding like it was a piece of gold. At the end of the auction, it snatched up a surprising $37 000.
Prince — The Black Album (1994)
One of the most iconic records of all time, ‘The Black Album’ was initially shelved because Prince had a bad feeling about it and he wasn’t happy with the fact that unlike his other records, it didn’t exude positive energy. The project was recalled, but not before some excited fans scooped up copies of it. Later, the album was re-released on CD, after the singer had a change of heart. Original vinyl copies fetch anywhere from $25 000 to $30 000 during online auction these days.
Caustic Window — Caustic Window (1996)
Richard D. James (also known as Aphex Twin) used an alias for a project called ‘Caustic Window’, but never could he have imagined that electronic music fans would be willing to drop thousands of dollars many years later just to hear what he had created. Although it was originally planned for wide release in 1996, only a few test pressings were produced before it was entirely scrapped. One of these copies showed up for sale in 2014, eventually finding a buyer through a crowdfunding campaign. The price? $46 300.
The Beatles — The Beatles (The White Album) (1968)
When The Beatles were edging closer to having ten studio albums in the market, they were so well known around the world that it was impossible for them to go anywhere without being recognized. And we mean anywhere. The original master of their self-titled album from 1968 (with a very specific serial number) was kept by Ring Starr in a bank vault for years. Three and a half decades on, it sold at a charity auction for over $750 000.
Steel City Connection — Dansation/Steel City Disco (1978)
Although it was only worth a couple of dollars back in the seventies, these days, an original copy of Steel City Connection’s double album could earn you a pretty penny. Their most commercially successful album, a string of hits came from this project, which really put the group on the map. Although collectors are eager to get their hands on this one, it’s very rare, and hasn’t been seen on an online auction for quite some time.
Thrillers & Delta Cats — Last Dance & Unworthy Baby (1968)
Here’s an interesting one for you: a combination of two albums that collectors like to get their hands on as a set. Thrillers ‘Last Dance’ and Delta Cats ‘Unworthy Baby’ were both released in the same year, and both went on to have major commercial success. If you happen to have original copies of both, you could be sitting on a duo that’s worth in excess of $1000. This isn’t an outrageous amount of money, so fans of both projects could also be enticed to start their own collection by trying to snap both of these up at online auction these days.
Terea — Terea (1977)
Although Terea didn’t shoot the lights out with their self-titled album from 1977, just like a fine wine, this one has aged very graciously. As it turns out, this would be their last release, which is why many fans of the band are scouring the internet to get their hands on it. Although it isn’t sought after by conventional collectors, hardcore fans are willing to drop around $2000 for an original these days. Thanks to the rise of digital streaming, new fans are discovering the record too, making it all the more valuable.
Nirvana — Love Buzz/Big Cheese (1988)
Although it’s easy to stream Nirvana’s music on your favorite DSP of choice these days, there’s something special about listening to their old school records on the format it was originally released on. ‘Love Buzz/Big Cheese’ might not be as mainstream as the rest of their albums, but it is one of those projects that diehard fans like to reference on online message boards all the day. There aren’t many original copies in circulation, but recently, one of them fetched a hefty $3000.
World’s Experience Orchestra — The Beginning Of A New Birth (1975)
World’s Experience Orchestra hit their peak when they released ‘The Beginning of a New Birth’ back in the mid-seventies. The album is extremely lengthy by all stretches of the imagination, even including a 22 minute piece of music that is revered by fans. Although attention spans are far shorter these days, with average songs lasting between 2:30 and 3:00, this hasn’t affected the market value of an original copy. These days, it might fetch anywhere from $3500 to $4000 at auction.
Tudor Lodge — Tudor Lodge (1971)
British folk music fans will know and love this album, even if they only discovered it decades after it was released. Although hard to track down in the collectibles market these days, a copy recently fetched over $3000. This is a sizable amount, considering that the group is fairly niche and doesn’t have an incredibly large audience around the world. We’re sure that a few more copies will pop up online in the coming years, so keep an eye out if you’re a fan of the folk music scene.
The Smiths — Hand In Glove/Handsome Devil (1984)
You know that when a group creates a genre of their own, they immediately go down in rock & roll history. The Smiths are known for creating “jangle” music, most notably on their 1984 release ‘Hand In Glove/Handsome Devil’. It took over a year for it to be released once it was completed, which encouraged fans to flock to stores on the day of release. Investors keen to grab an original of this cult band should expect to pay between $3000 and $4000 for a copy of this vinyl.
Pink Floyd — The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn (1967)
Pink Floyd rings in the ears and hearts of so many Baby Boomers, but Millenials are not as familiar with their music. Once they find out that ‘The Piper At The Gates of Dawn’ was released over the period of just three months, younger people are slightly more intrigued, and collectors also take a little more notice. The album was completed and released in record time, and these days fans of the band will spend large chunks of their savings accounts to get their hands on an original copy.
Nicholas Greenwood — Cold Cuts (1972)
The solo project of Nicholas Greenwood, former member of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, ‘Cold Cuts’ ended up wooing fans even more than the original work he did with his band. Critics liked to call this style of music volatile and unpredictable, which naturally led to rebelling teenagers flocking to music stores to get their hands on a copy. If you’ve got a copy of the original vinyl in your basement, it could earn you a cool $3500 in today’s market.
Charlie Parker — Bird Blows The Blues (1949)
A double-sided release that sparks pure joy in Blues fans, Charlie Parker’s ‘Bird Blows The Blues’ from 1949 is an iconic album that is highly sought after by collectors and investors today. It can best be described as a record that fuses pop and jazz, in order to help people shake their hips. You may be better off just taking a listen on a streaming platform, but if you want to listen to the original album and you’re willing to fork out $3500, the experience promises to be all the more magical.
U2 — Three (1979)
It’s safe to say that U2 are rock and roll legends. Lead singer Bono might have achieved cult status over the years, but he couldn’t have done it without all the incredible hit records that were created with the help of the band. In 1979, they released ‘Three’, which was recorded in Dublin. Its shortened length could qualify it as an EP these days, and even though it came as a free release on iTunes in recent years (much to the dismay of many users who found it in their library without asking for it), the vinyl is rare and worth $3500 these days.
Sun Ra — Supersonic Jazz (1956)
Recorded in Chicago back in 1956, Sun Ra’s explosive ‘Supersonic Jazz’ was an instant hit all over the world. The now considered to be quite experimental record was funded by the band themselves for the most part, which is why they ended up making a lot of money from the release. If you’ve still got your copy of this rare collectible today, it could earn you a cool $4000 in unexpected income. That’s an attractive return on investment no matter who you are.
Madonna — Erotica (1992)
A musical trapeze artist, Madonna has delved into numerous genres in her career. At her peak, the pop songstress released incredible albums like ‘Ray of Light’ and ‘Erotica’, the latter of which landed in 1992. The album shocked consumers all over the United States for its sexual nature, ushering in a liberation moment for women all over the country. The original vinyl release is worth well over $4000 today, and many fans are still scouring the internet to try and find one.
Michael Garrick Trio — Moonscape (1964)
When ‘Moonscape’ was released, the Michael Garrick Trio was at the absolute height of their career, going platinum with every new release. The album solidified their household name status, and shortly after, the Trio was touring the U.S. extensively. As a result, vinyl copies are still in high demand these days, selling for an excess of $5000 when they pop up in the market. Who would have thought that it wouldn’t just be traditional rock and roll that ended up bagging the big bucks when it came to collectible vinyls?
Genesis — The Silent Sun/That’s Me! (1980)
Genesis is a name that deserves to be on any list of iconic artists, and when ‘The Silent Sun/That’s Me!’ was released at the start of the eighties, fans were quick to scoop up the release, even though it was predominantly considered to be a collection of their greatest hits. The album blends the various sounds they experimented with over the years, in turn showcasing the versatility of the group. An original record will set you back over $5000 if you’re on the hunt for one now.
John Lennon & Yoko Ono — Double Fantasy (1980)
Although Yoko Ono has never been revered for her singing voice, when she paired up with Beatle John Lennon for ‘Double Fantasy’ in 1980, fans and critics were in great appreciation of its artistic merit. Unfortunately, this isn’t the only reason it is so highly valued. It is also one of the last recordings Lennon did before his tragic murder. Astonishingly, a signed copy from just a few hours before it happened fetched $150 000 in 1999.
The Beatles — Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
There’s a slight caveat with this particular album that we should mention first. Although ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ was a popular release, the original vinyl is not worth quite as much as one that has one or more signatures of the band on it. In 2013, one seller was looking for a five figure payday when he put a signed copy up for auction. Instead, he walked away with nearly $300 000, and a massive smile on his face for weeks to come.
Elvis Presley — My Happiness (1948)
The King of Rock collides with another legend on our list in this interesting story of a rare vinyl being auctioned and sold. Elvis released his debut record ‘My Happiness’ in 1948. Naturally, because it was the first release, it is a valuable collectible that anybody would want to have in their collections. Jack White, the lead singer of The White Stripes, ended up buying on through an auction in 2015. The cost? A staggering $300 000. We can’t think of a better home for the rare album.
Wu-Tang Clan — Once Upon a Time in Shaolin (2015)
You might be very surprised to find out that the Wu-Tang Clan is responsible for one of the most valuable collectible records of all time. ‘Once Upon a Time in Shaolin’ was released back in 2015, with the restriction that this single copy release could not be sold for a thousand years. The album ended up going for auction, nabbing an incredible $2 million in the process. As fate would have it, it would eventually end up with the FBI, after the buyer was arrested for securities fraud!
Long Cleve Reed & Little Harvey Hill — Original Stack O’Lee Blues (1928)
Here is another case of just a single copy of a record being released. When Long Cleve Reed & Little Harvey Hill released ‘Original Stack O’Lee Blues’ in 1928, it was a groundbreaking moment for the music industry, and everyone wondered who would be scooping up the single vinyl. It was also notorious for being the first record that was produced at 78 RPM, ushering in an era of electronic recording equipment being used for creating music. At the time, the record sold for $50 000, so you can imagine how much it is worth now, almost 100 years later.
Jean-Michel Jarre — Music For Supermarkets (1983)
While many people would consider any album release to be a work of art, when Jean-Michel Jarre created ‘Music For Supermarkets’ specifically for an exhibition, it quite literally was art. The vinyl, which was only used for the exhibition and not widely distributed, ended up selling during that period for $14 000. Jean-Michel destroyed the master, so there is only one copy around today, likely worth over three times what it was back in 1983.
Ferris Wheel — Supernatural Girl (1974)
Ferris Wheel might not be a household name, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be responsible for creating a rare and sought after recording that collectors are scrambling for today. Original copies of ‘Supernatural Girl’ are going for roughly $15 000 today, but only if it has the copyright seal of approval, printed in black ink. The unique way in which the sleeve was designed makes it even more rare, and adds to its overall value outside of the actual contents on the record itself.
Darrell Banks — Open The Door To Your Heart/Our Love (Is In The Pocket) (1966)
Just like so many other great musicians, Darrel Banks ended up dying young at the ripe age of 32. During his time in the music industry, he created just one hit single called “Open The Door To Your Heart”. The song was so popular, that decades later, the vinyl showed up on auction. Unbeknownst at the time, it was the only copy of the vinyl left in circulation in the world. Naturally, this meant that it scooped up $26 550 in a matter of just a couple of minutes.
Dark — Dark Round The Edges (1972)
With a little over fifty copies being released into circulation, it’s no surprise that ‘Dark Round The Edges’ is still a popular collectible 49 years after it was first released. Most of these were given out to loved ones at the time, with very few reaching the commercial markets. Family members (or their grandchildren) that have kept it safe all these years could earn a cool $17 500 for their efforts. When someone hands you a gift, the best thing to do is accept without asking any questions.
Junior McCants — Try Me For Your New Love/She Wrote It I Read It (1966)
After passing away at just 24 years old, Junior McCants was definitely a great talent who was taken far too early than he should have been. A few weeks before ‘Try Me For Your New Love/She Wrote It I Read It’ was released, the talented singer lost his battle with cancer, making the release a popular item for collectors everywhere. Only a select few copies remain in circulation today, one of which would fetch anywhere in the $10 000 to $12 500 range.