Most Valuable Vinyl



A Hungarian Pathé record, 90 to 100 rpm


  • Wu-Tang Clan‘s Once Upon a Time in Shaolin LP (of which only one copy was produced) was sold through Paddle8 on November 24, 2015 for $2 million, according to Record Collector 449.[1] On December 9, 2015, Bloomberg Businessweek identified the buyer as hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli.[2]
  • The Beatles – The Beatles (the “White Album”) (Parlophone UK album, 1968) – Ringo Starr‘s personal copy (No. 0000001) was sold for $790,000 in December 2015, according to Rolling Stone magazine. This is the highest price ever paid for an album that has been commercially released.
  • The Quarrymen – “That’ll Be the Day“/”In Spite of All the Danger” (UK 78–rpm, acetate in plain sleeve, 1958). Only one copy made. The one existing copy is currently owned by Paul McCartneyRecord Collector magazine listed the guide price at £200,000 in issue 408 (December 2012). McCartney had some “reissues” pressed in 1981 on UK 10-inch 78 RPM and 7-inch 45 RPM, in reproduction Parlophone sleeves, 25 copies of each; these are estimated to be worth upwards of £10,000 each.[3][4]
  • Elvis Presley‘s “My Happiness” acetate was purchased by Jack White for $300,000 in January 2015.[5] It was then re-released on Record Store Day 2015 by Third Man Records.
  • A fully signed copy of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band LP sold for $290,500 (£190,000) in 2013.[6]
    • Normal copies of records involving famous people can often rocket in price when autographed, as for example in the case of a copy of John Lennon and Yoko Ono‘s Double Fantasy (Geffen US album, 1980), autographed by Lennon five hours before his murder. This sold in 1999 for $150,000.[7][8]
  • The Beatles – Yesterday and Today (Capitol, US album in ‘butcher’ sleeve, 1966). A sealed mint “first state” stereo copy sold for US$125,000 in February 2016,[9] unsealed mint copies of this pressing have regularly sold for well over $15,000. Other pressings and states are also available, in both mono and stereo with prices ranging from $150 to $10,000.[10]
  • Original master tapes of historic recordings can fetch very high prices at auction. A tape of The Quarrymen performing live sold for £78,500.[11] Other high prices for obscure Beatles-related tapes include $30,000 at Bonhams in 2008 for a recording of John Lennon singing at a party in 1973.[12]
  • The Beatles’ “Till There Was You” 10-inch acetate sold in March 2016 for £77,500, according to Record Collector 453.
  • The earliest known tape of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards rehearsing fetched £50,250 at auction.[11]
  • Tapes of The Jimi Hendrix Experience‘s 1968 Woburn Music Festival performance sold for £48,050 at Christie’s.[13]
  • The Silver Beatles’ Decca audition tape fetched £35,000 at auction.[14]
  • The Beatles – Love Me Do (EMI) one-sided acetate, the only unedited version with count-in – estimated at $50,000–$100,000.[15]
  • Michael Jackson What More Can I Give studio reference CD sold on eBay for $50,000 in 2015[16]
  • Long Cleve Reed & Little Harvey Hull – “Original Stack O’Lee Blues” (Black Patti, US 78 rpm in plain sleeve, 1927). $50,000 offered to Joe Bussard, according to Amanda Petrusich’s Do Not Sell At Any Price.
  • An acetate version of The Beatles’ Please Please Me album from the US on Vee-Jay (1963) had a £30,000+ offer refused on it.[17]
  • The Daily Mirror and other sources reported a Rare Record Price Guide story in April 2015 that a David A. Stewart ‘Test’ 78 from 1965 was worth £30,000.
  • A copy of Joseph Beuys‘ 100-only ‘multiple’ reel-to-reel edition of Ja Ja Ja Nee Nee Nee album from 1969 was valued at over £30,000.[18]
  • A test pressing of Aphex Twin‘s Caustic Window album sold for $46,300 on eBay in 2014.
  • Frank Wilson – “Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)” (SOUL*35019, US 7-inch 45 rpm in plain sleeve, 1966). One of two known copies of this Northern soul classic fetched over £25,000 (approx. $37,000) in May 2009. Northern soul is a highly collectible area, based around obscure American soul singles.[19]
  • Pink Floyd‘s “King Bee”/”Lucy Leave” acetate valued at £25,000[20]
  • A copy of Tommy Johnson‘s “Alcohol and Jake Blues” 78 rpm sold for $37,100 on eBay in 2013[21]
  • A copy of The Beatles’ Please Please Me LP (the Parlophone stereo version with the black and gold label, which regularly sells for over £1,000) sold in 2009 for £22,322.[22]
  • Bob Dylan – The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (CBS, US album, stereo 1963, featuring four tracks deleted from subsequent releases), $35,000.[10]
  • Jean Michel Jarre – Music for Supermarkets (Disques Dreyfus, France, FDM 18113), Only one copy of this LP exists. It was auctioned for 36,000FR (approx. $14,000 at the time, or about $33,563 in 2016) in Paris in 1983.
  • David Bowie – ‘Hunky-Dorey’ (sic) acetate reached nearly £20,000 in 2016, but failed to meet the reserve (Record Collector 454).
  • Velvet Underground & Nico – The Velvet Underground & Nico (US album acetate, in plain sleeve, 1966 with alternate versions of tracks from official release). Estimate over $40,000. Sold on eBay, December 9, 2006, for $155,401. However bids were fake and record was relisted. Final selling price was $25,200.[23]
  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono – Wedding Album – USA Capitol LP acetate with handwritten sleeve notes, 1969 and offered for $25,000 at Possibly the only acetate available of this record.[24]
  • Elvis Presley – “Stay Away, Joe”[25] (US, RCA Victor UNRM-9408, 1967). Single-sided promotional album of which only one well-publicized copy is known to exist, and it came directly from Presley’s personal collection.[26] Valued at $25,000+.[27]
  • The Five Sharps – Stormy Weather (US, Jubilee 5104, 78 RPM, 1953). $25,000 offered to David Hall of Good Rockin’ Tonight.[28]
  • The Hornets – “I Can’t Believe” (US, States 127, 78 pm, 1953). $25,000.[29]




Data is sourced from Wikipedia, Record Collector magazine, eBay, Popsike, the Jerry Osborne Record Price Guides, and other sources.

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