Got Any Valuable Vinyl?

If you were around in the era before CDs, you may have a box or two of old vinyl records in the attic. One or more of them may just be worth a fortune. Wouldn't that be good news?

To give you a mouth watering example: The Beatles double album from 1968, The White Album, sold an astronomical amount of copies, but Ringo Starr held on to the very first copy ever pressed. The drummer kept the record until 2015 when he decided to let it go to auction. Julien’s in the U.S. found a buyer for Ringo’s prized possession, collecting $790,000.


Clearly, that could be described as a bit of a one-off, but it demonstrates that some vinyl is seriously valuable. Here's some more:


In 1968, could pre-fame Rolling Stones have realized just how lasting their legacy would last? Probably not. The band was too busy dating gorgeous women and living the jetset life of rock ‘n’ roll stars to think about hardly anything other than music. Never ones to shy away from controversy, the band originally featured a harsh black and white image of a policeman standing over injured protesters on the sleeve for “Street Fighting Man.” The record label decided this wasn’t a good idea for the time and destroyed all the copies of the original. Only 18 of the records made it out alive. In 2011, one of these rarities sold for $17,000.


Hip-shakin’ King of Rock Elvis Presley didn’t shy away from covering other people’s songs. While he was in the studio working on other material, Presley started messing around and singing Arthur Crudup’s “That’s All Right.” The producer thought it was incredible, so started to record it. The rest is history. The track became Elvis’ debut single, making him one of the most famous people in the world. These days, mint condition copies of the original pressing go for around $4,000. It’s largely considered the first ever rock ‘n’ roll track ever to exist. 


Imagine painstakingly compiling an album only for someone to mess it up by putting the wrong songs on it. That’s exactly what happened to Bob Dylan when 1963’s The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan was initially pressed. The mistake was caught before its release, but only after a few copies had already been made. Records with the serial number ending in “-1A” include several songs not originally pegged for release, including “Rocks and Gravel” and “Talkin’ John Birch Blues.” Got one of those? It's worth around $35,000.


The Velvet Underground was just another obscure band trying to hit the big time in 1967 when they released their debut album, The Velvet Underground and Nico. It displeased the media so greatly that it was largely banned from being played on radio stations. Only 30,000 copies were sold, but those that were quick enough to grab one were smiling years later - and not because it was so good. Copies are known to go for up to $25,000. If you were into punk in the ‘60s then it may be time to revisit your collection. 


So, how to know what's worth selling? Perhaps start with rarerecords.net


Know anyone with a vinyl record collection who could be sitting on a gold mine? Forward this article to them by email by clicking on the icon below (it's the one that looks like a paper clip)