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10 Records You Might Have Owned That Are Now Worth a Fortune

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10 Records You Might Have Owned That Are Now Worth a Fortune


What goes around comes around, and we don't just mean records on a turntable. Audiophiles swear by the sound quality of vinyl over CDs, MP3s, and other files, and now younger generations are starting to see the light. Vinyl sales continue to increase each year as CD sales drop, which means that more and more young people are borrowing albums from their parents or buying their own, while those who grew up with them are perhaps dusting off their cherished collections.

New records are typically more expensive than other formats, but fans would argue that the listening experience and ability to hold the music in your hands is worth the premium. There is also a culture of collecting that comes with switching to vinyl that could pay off big time, if you know what you have or what to look for. First pressings by big acts like The Beatles or Bruce Springsteen, and finds like misprints and pressings with alternate covers, can greatly increase the value of vinyl if the copies are kept in pristine condition. Before you dig through those crates to listen to your favorite throwback LP or 45-RPM single, make sure that what you're holding isn't worth a full semester of college. Here are some records that you may have (or used to have) that are worth way more than their original sticker price.




Dylan’s second album changed a bit just before it was supposed to be released in 1963, and those track changes can mean a difference of tens of thousands of dollars if your copy falls on the right side of the fence. According to Record Mecca, four songs were replaced with newly recorded tracks, but somehow, someone at the pressing plant used the old version instead of the new masters to press an unknown number of albums. Since the album’s release, only a couple stereo copies of the mistake pressings have surfaced, and less than two dozen of the mono copies are known to exist. Thought to be one of the most valuable records in the world, a mint copy of the former once sold for $35,000.



The Beatles's self-titled double album (which later became known as the White Album) originally released in 1968, but not all copies were created equal. The members of the band and executives at the studio were given copies stamped with serial numbers that began with A00000, each in consecutive order (A000001, A000002, etc.). The very first copy, which Clifford J. Yamasaki of Let It Be Records purchased from an executive at Capitol Records in the 1970s, sold in 2013 for $35,000, a year after the copy with serial number A0000023 sold at auction for $13,750. The odds that you once owned a copy of the album that had a low serial number are slim to none, but not impossible.




The original version of this album was withdrawn because the cover artwork featured a dog’s genitals. The label, RCA, reportedly “got nervous” and decided to airbrush the area out for the final version, but some employees were smart enough to keep the originals. Back in 2003, a copy sold on eBay for $3550. Given the amount of time that has passed since then, and the unfortunate fact that Bowie is now deceased, and you can imagine what these rare copies would sell for today.



As the story goes, English punk rock band the Sex Pistols were signed in early March 1977 by A&M Records, and then famously dropped from the label only six days later because of their behavior. When it decided to cut ties with the band, the record company had already pressed 25,000 copies of their single “God Save the Queen.” The order was given for the records to be destroyed, but over the past 39 years, nine copies have surfaced and have sold for upward of $8600. No one knows how many copies are still unaccounted for, but someone surely has to be lucky number 10.

5. HANK MOBLEY // BLUE NOTE 1568 (1957)


Between 300 and 1000 copies of this jazz record were released in 1957, and there is one small change that makes them more valuable than other records from the label. According to The Vinyl Factory, the rumor is that Blue Note ran out of labels halfway through the first pressing of the album. The standard address for the record label is 47 West 63rd NYC, but some of the records have labels that say 47 West 63rd New York 23 on one side. There is some debate about the value though, as one record that did not have the special label stillsold for over $10,000 on eBay.



According to the Beatles Collecting Guide, the album Please Please Me was released in a hurry on March 22, 1963 in Great Britain. There were multiple pressings of the album in the first year, but collectors pay attention to the labels to tell which is the rarest of them all. The very first pressing features gold lettering on a black label and is considered the “holy grail” for Beatles fans. The mono version in mint condition is worth a few hundred bucks, while the stereo version is said to be four times as valuable (in the $4200 range). If you or your parents were riding the wave with Paul and the boys from the beginning, hopefully someone had the foresight not to open the copy.



The original “butcher” cover of this record was not well-received, so Capitol Records spent $250,000 recalling the 750,000 copies that had already been shipped to stores. The covers were changed, but as with most recalls, some of the original copies remained out in the world and have been sold for as much as $15,300. If you unknowingly inherited one of those strays, it’s time to cash in.



Collector John Marshall of moneymusic.com once told Los Angeles radio station K-Earththat Springsteen’s first release with Columbia Records can fetch as much as $5000. Discogs lists “never” as the last time a copy was sold on the website, but if you found and held onto a copy, you could be the first.



According to the listing for a record that Bonhams sold for $17,000, the original picture sleeve for the American release of The Rolling Stones’ single “Street Fighting Man” (with “No Expectations” on the b-side) featured a photograph of police brutality during riots at the 1968 Chicago Democratic National Convention. The record label decided it was too controversial and withdrew the sleeves. Bonhams estimates that there are between 10 and 18 copies out in the world.



When Bleach was initially released in 1989, the first printing was limited to 1000 copies, which were sold to music fans at Lamefest in Seattle. Those copies are now worth a couple hundred dollars, but they are not the most valuable. The label Sub Pop experimented with different marbling techniques for the subsequent pressings, and one in particular could now worth around $1500. More of a bundle than a singular record, the red and white marbled LP was shrink-wrapped with a blue 7-inch, and there were only 500 numbered sets made.

LINK: http://mentalfloss.com/article/77144/10-records-you-might-have-owned-are-now-worth-fortune

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1 hour ago, tattinzaza said:

I had Sticky Fingers with the real zipper on the album and Mom tossed it.:(


I was 10 when that came out and was about 12 and at a friend's house where we were looking at her older brother's album.   I just remember zipping and unzipping it and giggling!   In 1972 being 12 was a lot different than it is now! 

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I have a Darkness cassette without the album title printed on the cover. And my BTR cassette has the songs in the wrong order. Unfortunately, these are apparently highly common European releases...

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8 minutes ago, Magnus said:

I have a Darkness cassette without the album title printed on the cover. And my BTR cassette has the songs in the wrong order. Unfortunately, these are apparently highly common European releases...

Yup, mine are the same. I have nothing that is going to save me from the daily grind, alas. 

Must have been around a year ago, there was a guy selling some cool albums on eBay. He had the first pressing of Dark Side Of The Moon on the Harvest label, complete with inserts, and a few Creedence first pressings. 
I watched them all, just because I was interested in what they all went for. All auctions combined made him almost £4,000
That ain't bad! 

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I had every Beatle album.   Had.  The key word here is 'had.' 

They were in terrible shape though, especially the early ones.  Lots of skips and scratches.  I'm sure they wouldn't be worth much.  Even if they are I'll keep telling myself that!   


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1 hour ago, MadamMarie said:

I was 10 when that came out and was about 12 and at a friend's house where we were looking at her older brother's album.   I just remember zipping and unzipping it and giggling!   In 1972 being 12 was a lot different than it is now! 

Haha!  I was 12 in 1972 as well, and you are soooooo right!!   

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If anyone on here has good (genuine) contacts or "go to" recommendations on these things I'd be interested / appreciative! 

Something I have never gotten around to doing / acting on but long story short my ex wifes brother (who never enjoyed great health, born with a hole in the heart and led a secluded life / never left home etc and in the end died in his forties) but whilst a teenager in the sixties he wanted to be like many others and he collected records but in particular The Beatles.......although there are Elvis albums and others too - but some of these records were probably never played!!?........he literally was getting them / collecting them to conform in a way I guess (and I say some never played because one 7" single is still in the bag from the shop with a till receipt for it in "old" money in the UK etc,

ANYWAY - after his passing (when they were clearing out his stuff) his Mum and my ex wife were going to take these records to the local record exchange!!!! WTF!!!.......I instead gave them £500 (which is about 10 times what they would have got) and told them that I would hold on to them and our daughter could have them one day!!!  That daughter could benefit from having any proceeds now (rather than some day) and I keep meaning to sit down and catalogue "exactly" what there is (but I'm sure it is every Beatles album and several 7 inch singles, AND, there is almost a complete collection of the Beatles Fan Club magazine things spread over several years - can't remember if they were a monthly or quarterly thing (but I think monthly as there are many of them!).

If I had a "good" (and genuine) point of contact for a fair and true assessment I'm sure I would get on and DO this (sooner rather than later) but not having such a contact as yet I have never done the exercise!?..........one of these days!!?   Any tips / guidance / pointers would be very gratefully received - cheers!


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I have a lot of early Sub Pop records, mostly 45s but a few albums too, not the early arty Nirvana Bleach though. All of the Sub Pop stuff has appreciated in value at a pretty rapid rate. I have all of the Pearl Jam Christmas 45s. I have every Springsteen 45 released past 1975 and those with pic sleeves in mint condition. I don't have any of the record store day relelases. I have about a shoebox size stack of punk rock singles, mostly late 70s Dickies, Clash, Pistols, local stuff and just about a five hundred albums... The albums I have kept were mainly limited release or they are very special to me.  The most valuable and collectible stuff l own is the early hip hop full sized singles, the Roxanne battles, African Bambatta, and a host of other mid to late 70s NY MCs'.

Other than that, there are several hundred CD's here and quite a few hundred gigs of music on external hard drives floating around the house. Lots of full digital discographies of lots of artists.

Overall my physical records collection is very modest with a about a half dozen red hot collectibles and a few desirable sides of "off the wall" stuff you just don't see everyday. 

Overall the value is $3000-5000, but take away a dozen of the rare collectible cuts and I have 600-700 records worth $500 if I am lucky. 


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