10 Most Expensive Vinyl Records

Wet dreams of any collector.

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10 Most Expensive Vinyl Records

Vinyl records are widely popular because of their sound—the soft pop of a needle working its way over dust, the warm tonality, the crisp fidelity not even talking about cover art and all the other cool bells and whistles that you just can’t get from a digital download.

Here are 10 of the most expensive vinyl records.

'Please Please Me' – The Beatles -$8,500

By itself, Please Please Me, the debut album of The Beatles, is a pretty common record that costs around 20 bucks. But if you happen to own a version that credits the Dick James Music Company as opposed to Northern Songs, you may very well be looking at a pretty payout somehthing about 8,500 dollars.

'God Save the Queen'/'No Feelings' – The Sex Pistols - $20,000

Controversial classic record God Save the Queen by The Sex Pistols. Was so incendiary for the time period that it got the band banned from venues and drastically censored by the media.  What makes this particular copy so valuable—it sold for nearly $20,000 on eBay a few years ago—is that it has a very rare L.T.S. record label. Apparently, there are only two copies known to exist in the entire world.

'Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)' – Frank Wilson - £25,000

Frank Wilson was a true-blue pioneer of Northern Soul music, a minor league offshoot of American Motown with a major league following popularized in the U.K. during the late 1960s. Its sound is very distinct, and its music—to collectors—is exceptionally rare and highly sought. One of only two known copies of this early Frank Wilson hit sold for roughly £25,000 (about $35,000) in May 2009. Not bad for a genre of music most people don’t even know about!

'The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s 1968 Woburn Music Festival Performance' - $95,000

This recording taken straight from the soundboard at the 1968 Woburn Music Festival features rock icon Jimi Hendrix and his band, live, raw, and uncut. This historic record sold for just over $95,000, only to be re-released on CD in 2009 by the folks at Dagger Records. It’s available on Amazon for less than 30 bucks. Regardless, the recordings are a piece of rock and roll history, and we can only imagine how unreal of an experience it must be to own the real thing.

'Yesterday and Today' – The Beatles - $125,000

Another of many The Beatles’ recordings to make the top ten list, Yesterday and Today, the U.S. version put out by Capitol Records in 1966 and kept in the classic “butcher” sleeve, can bring in a very pretty penny. In February of this year, a copy with the unsealed stereo version of the record sold for a cool $125,000, and unsealed copies of the pressing routinely go for $15,000 and up.

'That’ll Be the Day'/'In Spite of All the Danger' – The Quarrymen - $140,000

The Quarrymen may not be The Beatles, but the band did bring two of The Beatles, Paul McCartney and John Lennon, together for the first time ever. This 78-rpm acetate in a plain sleeve was recorded in 1958. Only one known copy is known to exist, and it belongs to Paul McCartney. Though it isn’t technically for sale, it has an estimated value of around $140,000, but as records tend to do, we expect that its actual sale price would be insanely higher.

'Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band' — The Beatles - $290,000

While Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, like Please Please Me, is a totally significant but extremely common record, a fully signed version by Paul, John, Ringo, and George most certainly isn’t. And that’s why, in 2013, a signed copy of the famous LP sold for over $290 grand. 

'My Happiness' – Elvis Presley - $300,000

“My Happiness” is the famous first song ever recorded by the late great Elvis Presley. But what separates this particular copy—which was purchased in 2013 by also-famous rock and roller Jack White—so famous is that it is the very first recording of Elvis ever. No, it’s not just a copy; it’s the actual acetate recording. White then took the record straight to the Country Music Hall of Fame where he had the one-of-a-kind recording digitally transferred and preserved until the end of time.

'The Beatles' – The Beatles -  $790,000

Better known by the name The White Album, this Beatles classic is one of the highest grossing commercially released albums of all time. What made this particular copy, which sold for $790,000, so valuable, is that it was No. 0000001, and belonged to the one and only Ringo Starr. According to Rolling Stone, Ringo’s copy—which was well played and was even said to have Ringo’s fingerprints on it—sold for the earth-shattering purse at auction last December.

'Once Upon a Time in Shaolin' – Wu-Tang Clan - $2 000 000

The world came to hate Pharma-Thief and Hedge Fund Jerk Martin Shkreli in 2015 when he inexplicably raised the price of an essential HIV medication over 5,500 percent overnight. But it came to hate him more when, a few months later, he scandalously paid $2 million for the one single copy of this [alleged] Wu masterpiece. What a douche.


25 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I was wonder how much an original version of Appetite for Destruction with the original banned artwork would cost.
    My brother moved house and in the attic was a big box of records which he gave me for my birthday because I collect them, one of them is appetite for destruction on vinyl with the original artwork... never occurred to me that it might be worth something. 
    I think my mother has a copy of one of those, I'm not sure if it's a reissue or not, but I don't think it's a reissue.
    I don't think they ever reissued it, but there are probably a lot of knockoffs out there. I don't know how you would even go about validating something like that.
    Mountain Trash
    I have 3 copies, the original, ($200-250) the robot alley scene ($30-50) and the standard we all know ($20-40) ... now all this depends on condition obviously and finding someone that will shell that money out. they get validated by a number pressing, and by distributor. fakes are out there and very hard to spot, but there are websites and books you can validate with.  By the way if anyone is looking to unload, I may be interested..... pm me.
    I thought the robot alley scene was the original?
    Mountain Trash
    after I re-read, it is confusling like there are three, there are actually more but to your point.  the "original" was / is a Geffen US Promo, then in like, 87 Geffen sold his distribution to MCA (so technically its a different album now) then you had another run of basically the same album but some seriel numbers are different. 
    I have one with the robot alley scene. My uncle gave it to me for my 9th birthday, back in 88. I was intrigued and weirded out by it. Pretty sure it's an original run from the MCA distribution. Going by other comments in the thread, not worth much. Still cool as fuck.
    I decided to dig that record out of the collection and it seems to be a German press (at least it says made in Germany) it's dated at 1987, it's also in a really good condition, very little scratches and such. Might not be worth too much but still really cool.
    Im expecting for comments defending Shkreli, anytime now...
    I defend him only on this issue. Not anything else he does in life, but he bought it to be the only one who had it. Wu Tang did it as a way to treat music like a piece of fine art. They got what they asked for and they're pissed about it.
    His points were valid, although his real intentions were not nearly as altruistic in nature. To his credit I believe he did release at least some of the songs.
    The info on Please Please Me isn't exactly accurate. It needs to be the gold label pressing in stereo mix, for its price to be around 5000-8000 bucks. It's the only original 60s UK pressing of a Beatles album that I'm missing from my collection. I do own the original gold label pressing of Please Please Me in mono, which is pretty rare too, it's value around 500-800 bucks. 
    Mountain Trash
    Ive been collecting vinyl for some time now, basically I just never stopped buying them from my younger years, I was pretty shocked at the "value" of some of mine. I have a few that are valued in the $500 range. most of those are older classics and some black metal (go figure). The thing is its cool to have the originals but this is total niche market, you never get what you put in, or very rarely, I think Joe Bonamassa said it best about his guitar collection, something like all the time money and effort you put in, prepare to have your heart broken.
    Haven't you guys done this list a few times already? I mean, I know it's bound to change every once in a while, but c'mon.
    wasn´t pharmadouche gonna release that wutang music if trump won? it´s the only reason i voted trump and he never released it..
    Wow. There's a used copy of Yesterday and Today in mint condition with the original butcher artwork sitting on the shelf at my local record store for $1k. I saw it and thought "lol nobody will ever pay that." I didn't realize it was worth so much