Vinyl records are a popular collector’s item, and ever since 2004, they’ve been going through a bit of resurgence.
It shouldn’t, then, come as any surprise that some are worth more than others due to their controversial nature, rarity, historical significance, or unique promotional strategies that went along with them.
Some, records, in fact, are thought to be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars today (you’ll find at least one example below).
Here are five examples of the rarest and most expensive vinyl records you can find.
1. Billy Nicholls – Would You Believe
Nicholls was originally hired on as a staff writer for Andrew Loog Oldham’s Immediate Records.
Oldham, as it turns out, was a big fan of the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds, originally released in 1966.
Songwriter Billy Nicholls was enlisted to record a “British response” to Pet Sounds, which resulted in this hapless album, now largely forgotten.
Immediate Records experienced some financial difficulties, and the album had to be shelved. Its value? Roughly $4,000 to $4,600 US.
2. Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody/I’m In Love With My Car
The 1978 seven-inch EMI special edition single included an invite to a company event, and a lot of other goodies too: matches, pen, ticket, menu, outer card sleeve, a scarf and EMI goblets in a card box.
It’s estimated value is roughly $7,000.
3. Leaf Hound – Growers Of Mushroom
British hard rock band Leaf Hound’s (formerly Black Cat Bones) debut album is worth anywhere from $7,000 to $10,000, and apparently it only took 11 hours to record.
Leaf Hound may not be well-known, but their record commands a hefty sum – you might say they did okay. Some of the band’s early members, incidentally, either went on to form or be a part of bands like Free and Foghat.
4. Sex Pistols – God Save The Queen/No Feelings
The controversial “God Save The Queen/No Feelings” single is worth as much as $16,000 to $17,000, though it has gone for as much as $20,000 on eBay.
The 1977 Sex Pistols release was actually withdrawn from sale, and there are only about 300 copies in existence. The record is worth even more if you happen to have the original brown envelope and press release that it came with.
5. The Quarrymen – That’ll Be The Day/In Spite Of All The Danger
Before The Beatles came The Quarrymen.
The Beatles’ “first recording”, “That’ll Be The Day” featured McCartney, Lennon, Harrison, drummer Colin Hanton and John Duff Lowe on the piano.
The original 1958 copy is said to be worth anywhere from $150,000 to $300,000, and even its 1981 reproduction is worth $15,600.
Not surprisingly, there are plenty of other The Beatles records that are among the rarest and most expensive records ever created: “Love ME Do/PS I Love You”, “Please Please Me”, “White Album” double LP, and John Lennon & Yoko Ono’s “Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins.”
The above is just a sampling of some of the most notorious records.
There are also records by John’s Children, Tinkerbells Fairydust, David Bowie (his records could be worth more now for obvious reasons), Ron Hargrave, The Bread And Beer Band, Dark, The Rolling Stones, and even Madonna, that command top dollar.