50 Vinyls Worth A Pretty Penny
Nowadays, we can play the favorite song or an entire album with a single click. Just a few decades ago, that wasn’t the case. Back in the days, the best way to enjoy music was to rent or to buy a vinyl record. Luckily, the younger generations today are showing their interest in this vintage loved objects.
Vinyl record sales are growing due to a recent interest among more modern people. As a general rule – the rarer the record, the more valuable it is. That being said, you should check what you have hidden in your garage. Keep an eye on these records, because you may hold on to a fortune. Check 20 of the most valuable vinyl records ever!
50. Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin (1969)
The year 1969 was a big year for this bend. Led Zeppelin had debuted with a mix of original material and covers of blues songs. Today, this record is described as ‘iconic.’ However, back then, it was described as ‘as foppish as Rod Stewart, but nowhere near so exciting.’
Even though Rolling Stone hated the record, it was an immediate commercial success. Back in 2013, Rolling Stone listed it as the 29th greatest album of all time. Today, this record could be sold for $1000.
49. Miles Davis, Kind of Blue (1959)
Miles Davis is known as the musician who revolutionized the jazz genre over and over during his career. But the most valuable record in his career is ‘Kind of Blue’ back in 1959.
To create such a great record, the best trumpeter in history called on for legendary saxophonists John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley, pianists Bill Evans and Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Jimmy Cobb. Even today, many critics consider it to be Davis’ most significant record. Today, you can sell an original pressing of this classic up to $1000.
48. The Who, The Who Sell Out (1967)
This is one of the rarest albums ever. After all, only 1,000 copies were made. So, how much can you get for this unique album with included psychedelic butterfly poster?
If you have this album, you can quickly sell it on eBay for $1,100. Not too bad for a record with a unique cover design.
47. Nirvana, Bleach (1989)
‘Nevermind’ record had all the hits, but for you, it would be better to have ‘Bleach’ record if you want some serious bucks. There were 1,000 copies of the record, and each for sold for a remarkable $2,500.
Interestingly, the first 1,000 copies had a white color. Also, the 3rd pressing of just 500 copies, had a red and white 12″ and a blue 7″ vinyl included. Today, these records could be sold for $1,100 each.
46. XTC — Science Friction (1977)
XTC is one of the British new wave band and mostly known during the 1970s. This is also a band that went from a 12-inch copy to a 7-inch copy.
So, if you manage to find a copy of the 7-inch, you may earn around $2,000. Be aware, only 50 copies of a 7-inch copy, were released.
45. David Bowie — The Prettiest Star (1973)
This record cover is one of the most iconic images in rock and roll history. The Prettiest Star is also one of the most famous Bowie’s songs. He dedicated this song to his future (ex) wife, Angela Barnett.
Bowie once said that he performed this song over the phone to Angela. Mack Bolan, future Bowie’s rival, plays guitar on the song. Today, the record could be sold for $2,000.
44. Madonna, Erotica (1992)
Usually, owning a Madonna vinyl doesn’t bring big money, unless you have your hands on a vinyl where Madonna holds and sucks on Naomi Campbell’s big toe.
In that case, you are ready for some big bucks. Warner Bros Records’ didn’t want to be linked with any kind of foot-fetish headlines, so they withdrew the single. But, if you are lucky enough to have this record, you will earn between $3,000 to $4,000.
43. ABBA — Hova’s Vittne (1981)
This red vinyl was exclusively distributed to those within the record company. Only 200 copies were ever printed. This rare record features “Hova’s Vittne” on side-A and “Tivedshambo” on side-B.
This Swedish band was one of the most commercially successful musical groups of all time. Moreover, this band consisted of two married couples. But, their marriages could not stand the pressure of fame. If your record survived the pressure of time, you could quickly sell it for $3,500.
42. The Quarrymen — That’ll Be the Day (1981)
If you are a true music fan, then you know that Quarrymen should be associated with The Beatles. Why? “That’ll Be the Day” was recorded in 1958, and it was known for its Buddy Holly cover. Until one of the Beatles changed it.
McCartney reprinted this single and in only 50 copies. So, if you come across this polished edition, you can earn up to $3,500.
41. Cherry Five — Cherry Five (1975)
Real horror movies fans will know that this band is responsible for the great songs in movies Deep Red, Dawn of the Dead, and Suspiria. But, what you need to be most interested in is their first release.
Their first release is extremely rare, but if you manage to find it, you can earn up to $3,500. Not bad for horror lovers.
40. David Bowie, Diamond Dogs (1974)
Bowie was always known as an artist that loved to shock everyone. He did nothing less with his famous cover for album Diamond Dogs released in 1974.
This version wasn’t meant to see the light of day. There was an issue with the backside of the album – showing dogs intimate parts. Regardless it was released. So, if you find it expects around $3,550.
39. The Beatles — Abbey Road (1969)
This classic and extremely rare record can sell for up to $4,000. There is a specific way to know if it’s a rare UK exported record. Check for the yellow and black Parlophone Records label. The catalog number is PPCS 7088.
If you find the gold sicked on the back, you can earn even more. ‘Abbey Road’ was the 11th studio album released by The Beatles. Initially, upon its release, it received mixed reviews, but today it’s celebrated as one of the most significant rock records ever made.
38. Elvis Presley, That’s All Right (1954)
The King recorded this album after having a long break from recording. One day he just started jamming Arthur Crudup’s song “That’s All Right, Mama” and it caught the ear of producer Sam Phillips.
Sam quickly pressed record and laid down the album’s B-side “Blue Moon of Kentucky” the following day, and the rest is history. Many believe that this is the first true rock-n-roll record ever made. If you have this record, even in a mint condition, the record is worth around $4,000.
37. The Thirteenth Floor Elevators — Reverberation (Doubt) (1966)
The Thirteenth Floor Elevators were extremely influential during the 1960s. Moreover, they are responsible for the development of the psychedelic rock genre.
Although they were essential for music development, this band lived shortly. They also had a big battle with guitarist’s paranoid schizophrenia. Their album cover for Reverberation (Doubt) (1966) will make you up to $4,000.
36. The Beatles, Please Please Me (1963)
The Beatles were such hard workers. To publish Please Please Me album, they had to record seven songs in one day. They did it in nine hours and 45 minutes.
For this album, you can earn around $4,200. Moreover, if you have the stereo version, it can go even higher. But if you have a mone version, don’t toss it away. It’s still worth it.
35. Depeche Mode, Music for the Masses
The cover makes this record worth of $4,600. The original UK version of the album features a graphic of a white speaker with sound waves emanating from it and set on a bright orange background.
In the ’90s, the label decided to re-release the album and shipped out a few of the old records to stores by mistake. So, these copies are extremely rare.
34. Misfits, Legacy of Brutality (1985)
This is probably one of the rarest albums ever. After all, only 16 copes were released from this album. This is also the last album that included the work of Misfits’ singer Glen Danzig. This album was produced after he had left the band.
Of course, this leads to a big legal battle that lasted for months. But, if you manage to find it, you can expect to be richer for $5,000.
33. Elvis Presley — Speedway (1968)
At one moment of his career, Elvis Presley started exploring the world of acting. Although this movie wasn’t received well by movie critics, everyone loved the Speedway music.
According to rumors, the Speedway album was printed in only 300 copies. If you one, sell it for $5,000 instantly.
32. Brute Force — King of Fuh (1969)
This single rarely saw the light of day, due to its obscenity in the lyrics. When the single got a red light from major supporters, they decided to soften the lyrics, and the record was out.
Interestingly, the record was released in 2010, almost half a century after it was initially recorded. Only 1,000 copies were released. The price? Up to 5 grand.
31. Elton John — I’ve Been Loving You (1968)
John was working closely with Bernie Taupin, and he even credited him a few times to push him forward. Years once the album was released, John admitted that he had written the song by himself.
The single ‘I’ve Been Loving You’ itself is rare, but if you have the ultra-rare copy that was released in Portugal, you’re good to have a small fortune. Find the right collector, and you may earn $5,000.
30. Bruce Springsteen, Spirit in the Night (1973)
This single is extremely rare to find. Promotional copies for sold for hundreds, while the original record can go up to $5,000. If you think that you have a record around, start digging.
This single had a rough start, and it had to wait third album ‘Born to Ride’ to find its commercial success. Nowadays, ‘Spirit In The Night’ is a crowd favorite.
29. David Bowie and Dana Gillespie, Bowpromo (1971)
In 1971, Bowie’s manager wanted to help his clients and artist Dana Gillespie, so he merged David’s and Dana’s songs on one record, on separate sides.
The record was intended for industry execs, so it had a blank white label with Bowie’s and Dana’s signature. This album/cover can bring you between $5,000 to $6,000, for the original, of course.
28. Century Symphony Orchestra, Waltzes by Johann Strauss, Jr. (1956)
This is probably a surprise, but classical music is forever. Record companies often give relatively unknown artists to provide art for their releases. This album is special because a famous artist did the design. Can you guess whom?
Famous Andy Warhol drew this album cover. The world knows only about seven copies of this record. One can be seen at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, while one was sold for $5,500 in 2012.
27. Max Steiner, The Caine Mutiny
This record was half soundtrack, half dialogue recording, and the record was initially scrapped when Herman Wouk, writer of the novel, threatened never to allow the studio to use his work ever again if they release this album.
Wouk was furious when he saw how easily is his intellectual property threat that he lifted verbatim from his novel. Therefore, Columbia agreed to halt the release of the album and even destroy all copies. However, a few employees saved some copies. One copy was sold in 2007 for $6,700.
26. Sex Pistols, God Save the Queen (1977)
There were only 25,000 copies of this single pressed. Furthermore, it’s estimated that only ten survived after A&M ordered them all destroyed. The Sex Pistols members were so angry at their label that they terrorized the label.
Allegedly, John Rotten threatened executives and cursed them, while Sid Vicious demolished the toilet at A&M headquarters. This was too much for A&M and destroyed almost all records. A few people saved some records, and over the years, they are sold for over $8,600.
25. U2, Pride (In the name of love) (1984)
The rumor has it that this single was released in only 50 records, making it rare. The song was a giant hit, and it was even listed as 388th on Rolling Stone’s list of the greatest songs ever made. But, Bono had a different opinion.
Overall, even today, Bono is entirely unsatisfied with how the song turned out. The song references the assassination of Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement. This particular single will sell for up to $9,000.
24. Olivia Newton-John and Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), Xanadu (1980)
Xanadu is officially one of the worst movies ever made. Luckily, the same can’t be said for the movies’ contract. Rumor has it that Olivia hated her appearance on that album.
She hated the way she looked on that album so much that the company had to stop the pressing. The result? Only 20 to 30 records survived. If you have this record with Olivia’s face on it, you can cash it in for $9,100.
23. Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568 (1957)
Jazz fans know how much Hank Mobley affected the jazz scene during the 1950s. He was so popular that, according to an urban legend, the record label would run out of labels when printing the record.
The Blue Note album features the standard label, and the label’s address listed as “47 West 63rd NYC,” while others said “47 West 63rd New York 23.” Both versions can go up to $11,162.
22. Michael Jackson, Thriller (1982)
Thriller is the sixth studio album by Jackson, originally released on November 30, 1982. This was one of Michael’s best albums where every song was a killer.
If you bought tuis pressing in 192, you can expect to earn now around $10,000.
21. Robert Johnson, Me and the Devil Blues (1938)
This record comes with ‘Me and the Devil Blues’ on side A, ‘Little Queen of Spades’ on side B. This little devil can bring you an enormous amount of money.
The ‘Me and the Devil Blues’ sings about a singer who sold his soul to Satana to master guitar playing. Many believe that Johnson sang about his own experience with Satan.
20. The White Stripes, Lafayette Blues (1998)
There were only 15 copies of this record pressed. What makes it special is the fact that each cover was hand-painted by Dave Buick, founder of Italy records.
The copies were made initially for a Detroit record release show for the ban back in 1998. If you attended the show and bought this record for $6 then, you can sell it now for $12,700.
19. Stonewall, Stonewall (1976)
Stonewall is one of the most important psychedelics, hard rock bands. If you never heard about the, don’t worry – they never signed to a record label. But that fact doesn’t change their worthiness.
Moreover, the band has only one release that was done without their permission. So, if you are one of the few ones and you have a record, you may be heavier for $14,000.
18. Röyksopp, Melody A.M. (2001)
This record was a commercial and critical success. Röyksopp is the Norwegian electronic duo, even famous in the States. Their song ‘Remind Me’ was featured in a famous Geico commercial.
Melody A.M. was released in 2001, and it was such a big success that it was sold in over 1 million copies. One hundred copies were hand-painted by famous street artist Bansky. If you find that hand draw copy, you can earn $14,204.
17. The Beatles, Yesterday and Today (1966)
The original cover featured a photo of band members in butcher’s attire, holding headless baby dolls with raw meat strewn across their laps. What were they thinking? No one knows.
Of course, the cover wasn’t well received. The Capitol Records even spent $250,000 buying back the 750,00 records that had been printed, sold, and shipped to stores. Did they get their hands on all of them? Of course not. If you have it today, expect around $15,000 in return.
16. The Rolling Stones, Street Fighting Man (1968)
This is another album with a controversial cover that was self-censored by the record label. The original cover presented a black and white photo of police officers standing over and injured protester.
Just before the album was released, there was an infamous riot in 1968, at the Democratic National Convention. So, the label decided to be cautious and demanded that all records be destroyed. About 18 were saved – in 2011, and one was auctioned off for $17,000.
15. The Five Sharps, Stormy Weather (1952)
This record is one of rarest in the world. So far, we know that only three known copies exist. And as you already know – unique means money.
Ironically, when the album was released, the sale was so slow and weak, and the band members had to buy their records. Now, you can seel this record for an incredible $20,000.
14. David Bowie, Hunky Dory (1971)
Bowie published his fourth album in December 1971. The album was named HUnky Dory and it marked Bowie’s career.
Hunky Dory is considered to be one of Bowie’s best works. It’s even listed in the ‘100 best albums of all time’ by Time. Today, this record can be sold for $20,000.
13. John Lennon and Yoko Ono – Wedding Album (1969)
John Lennon and Yoko Ono spent their time saving the world and making the music. From that mutual work, these two published three albums. The Wedding Album is their third and final album.
The rumor has it then the only copy of this album was offered at Forevervinyl.com for $25,000. But the truth is that with records you never know when the next copy will pop out.
12. Jean-Michel Jarre, Music for Supermarkets (1983)
Jean-Michel Jarre is a famous electronic musician. Back in 1983, a big supermarket-themed art exhibition was launched in Paris in 1983. This album followed that event.
The cover was designed to evoke the feeling of art. Moreover, it was designed to be treated as a form of art as well, and no tot be reproduced. Jean-Michel even purposefully destroyed the master to keep it one of a kind. This record brings $25,000.
11. The Velvet Underground, The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967)
This record is mostly known for having an enormous influence on the punk rock genre. At one moment, this record was almost banned. Still, it was sold in 30,000 copies.
A Canadian record collector found this copy at a flea market and bought it for only 75 cents. Now, he is selling it for an astonishing $25,200.
10. Joseph Beuys, Ja Ja Ja Nee Nee Nee (1969)
Joseph Beuys’ was a German performance artist, painter, sculptor, medallist, art theorist, and musician. His extensive work culminated with the release of Ja Ja Ja Nee Nee Nee album in 1969.
Ja Ja Ja Nee Nee Nee album from 1969, has around 500 copies. If you have one, the estimated worth for selling this record is above $30,000.
9. Frank Wilson, Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)
Frank Wilson recorded ‘Do I Love You’ and ‘Sweeter As the Days Go By,’ and soon afterward, he agreed with Berry Gordy, the Motown founder, that he’s better suited to work behind the scenes.
Therefore, Gordy ordered the pressing destroyed. It is said that only two copies survived. One was kept in Motown’s vault for a decade, and the second one was sold in 2009 auction for almost $34,000.
8. Bob Dylan, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (1963)
This is a record with a funny story. Initially, it was planned to replace few tracks before the release, but someone missed the memo. Therefore, a few copies featuring the wrong songs were pressed.
So, if your copy ends in -1A and includes these four songs: “Rocks and Gravel, “Let Me Die In My Footsteps,” “Gamblin’ Willie’s Dead Man’s Hand,” and “Talkin’ John Birch Blues,” the record could be worth around $35,000.
7. Tommy Johnson, Alcohol And Jake Blues (1930)
This is a real diamond inside the world of records. The very first record was found by accident in North Carolina. The seller put the record up on eBay and watched in shock.
There are only two records so far – both belonging to John Tefteller, the winning bidder. The record was sold for an astonishing $37,000.
6. Prince, The Black Album
Once the album ‘The Funk Bible’ was released, Prince decided to cut off the release and even paid the label to recall all the records. Why? He had a feeling that his record was ‘evil.’
By the time the label called the release, every song was pirated and even got considerable radio play. Yes, Prince changed his mind and released a CD version in 1994. An original, unopened American vinyl pressing was sold in 2018 for $42,300 while an unsealed Canadian version sold for $27,500.
5. Elvis Presley, My Happiness (1953)
The King published a single ‘My Happiness’ in 1953, with yellow sticker, and sign of a Sun Records. Presley was only 18 years year when he recorded this song. He paid to record $4.
Elvis gave the record to his long friend Ed Leek, who faithfully protected the record for 60 years. Later on, he gave the record to his daughter, who sold it to Jack White for $300,000.
4. Aphex Twin aka Caustic Window, Caustic Window
Aphex Twin recorded his eponymous album under the alias ‘Caustic Window.’ However, he decided to abandon the project after pressing only five copies. Luckily, at least one was sent out to the world.
One record appeared in 2017 on Discogs with a starting price of $13,500. Finally, the record was sold to ‘Minecraft’ creator Markus Persson for an unbelievable $46,300.
3. Long Cleve Reed and Little Harvey Hull — Down Home Boys, ‘Original Stack O’ Lee Blues’, (1927)
Old-time blues and jazz records are always popular among passionate collectors. To have any of these records, you need to dig deep and search for years.
This record was sold to Joe Bussard, a famous collector, for $70,000. So, if you know that your ancestors had love toward jazz and blues, and you keep their records, dust them off.
2. The Beatles, The Beatles (aka “The White Album”) (1968)
This album is the first pressing of the beloved ninth album by The Beatles, marked with the serial number “A0000001” to prove it. It was rumored for years that the first copy went to John Lennon, but it went to Ringo Starr.
This copy was held in a bank vault for three-and-a-half decades, and it was sold during a charity auction for $790,000. Also, if you own a copy with low serial numbers, you can still get $13,750.
1. Wu-Tang Clan’s Once Upon a Time in Shaolin (1995)
Wu Tang Clan was one of those groups that had a massive influence on the music scene in the 1990s. They are also one of the rare who had vinyl published at the time.
If you are a hip-hop lover and you have this record, you can earn millions. The last found copy of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin was sold for $2 million in 2015.