20 Of The Most Valuable Vinyl Records You May Have In Your Collection
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, 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!
20. 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.
19. 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 powerful 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’ greatest record. Today, you can sell an original pressing of this classic up to $1000.
18. 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 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.
17. 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.
16. 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 group of all time. Moreover, this band consisted of two married couple. But, their marriages could not stand the pressure of fame. If your record survived the pressure of time you can easily sell it for $3,500.
15. 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. Originally, upon its release, it received mixed reviews, but today it’s celebrated as one of the greatest rock records ever made.
14. 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.
13. 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.
12. Elton John — I’ve Been Loving You (1968)
John was working closely with Bernie Taupin and he even credited him a few times just 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.
11. 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.
10. Max Steiner, The Caine Mutiny
This record was half soundtrack, half dialogue recording, and the record was originally scrapped when Herman Wouk, writer of the novel, threatened to never 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.
9. Sex Pistols, God Save the Queen (1977)
There were only 25,000 copies of this single pressed. Furthermore, it’s estimated that only 10 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.
8. 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 completely 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.
7. 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 originally made 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.
6. 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.
5. 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 one was auctioned off for $17,000.
4. 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.
3. Bob Dylan, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (1963)
This is a record with a funny story. Originally, 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.
2. 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 of 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.
1. 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.