One of Melbourne's oldest record stores, Greville records | Source: Concrete Playground

Classic Collectables: The Most Valuable Vintage Vinyl Records

For many decades a vinyl record was the best way to listen to your favourite music via the gramophone – the first vinyl record player. Nowadays, however, thanks to the convenience of music streaming services, vinyl’s are less widely produced and used and are seen as more of a classic collectable. Here’s a look at some of the most valuable collectable vinyl records.

The Beatles – The White Album, 1968

It’s no secret that anything from the fab four is coveted among music fans. The very first pressing of the Beatles’ beloved ninth album is basically the holy grail of the band’s collectables. Originally owned by drummer Ringo Starr, the vinyl record marked with serial number ‘0000001’, sold at auction in 2015 for over A$1 million.

The Quarrymen – That’ll Be the Day/In Spite of All the Danger, 1958

The first song recorded by the Quarrymen, consisting of three of the original Beatles member, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison was In Spite of All the Danger in 1958. A sole copy made of the song is currently owned by Paul McCartney with Record Collector magazine listing the guide price at over A$374,000 in a December 2012 issue. 

Elvis Presley – My Happiness, 1958

Almost anything to do with the ‘King of Rock and Roll’ has collectors interested. In January 2015, the first test pressing of Presley’s My Happiness was sold to White Stripes singer and vinyl collector, Jack White for over A$416,000.

Elvis Presley - My Happiness,
Source: The Journal of Musical Things

The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1967

Signed by all four Beatles, an original pressing of the band’s eighth studio album and a rarified mono version with the black Parlophone label, sold for over A$400,000 at a 2013 auction. The LP fetched nearly ten times the original estimation of around $40,000 breaking the record for a copy of their 1967 album.

Source: Vinyl Reviews

John Lennon and Yoko Ono – Double Fantasy, 1980

Released in 1980, an incredibly rare version of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Grammy award-winning album Double Fantasy was autographed by Lennon mere hours before his murder on December 8th. This copy sold in 1999 for over A$208,000 and is likely the last record ever signed by the Beatles singer.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono - Double Fantasy signed
Source: Daily Express

Frank Wilson – Do I Love You (Indeed I Do), 1965

The first-pressed release from American soul singer Frank Wilson likely became the world’s most valuable Motown record in 2020. According to the Harborough Mail in the UK one of two known copies of this Northern soul classic sold for over A$187,000.

Frank Wilson
Source: YouTube

Aphex Twin – Caustic Window, 1996

Techno producer Richard D. James originally planned a 1996 release of his eponymous album under the alias Caustic Window. The project was eventually scrapped with only five test pressings ever created. In 2014 one of the originals surfaced on eBay selling to “Minecraft” creator Markus Persson for over A$64,000.

Aphex Twin
Source: The Line of Best Fit

Prince – The Black Album, 1987

Originally slated for a 1987 release as an untitled album, Prince cancelled the release of subsequently named ‘Black Album’ a week prior paying the label to recall all the records. A few promotional copies had already made it out of the label’s grasp however with an original, unopened American vinyl pressing selling in 2018 for over A$58,700.

Prince the black album
Source: Rate your music

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