You’re crazy about vinyl records so I’m sure you thought about collecting rare ones that could one day sell ten times or a hundred times its original price. You’ve probably seen some list of valuable records and would want to own one or two or thirty some day. This isn’t such a terrible idea. Owning vinyl, especially those special editions with different shapes of custom vinyl records, is similar to owning a piece of painting or any artwork.
If you’re searching for vinyl records to buy or if you’re broke AF but you’re just a sucker for anything vinyl records and record sleeves, here are some of the most expensive vinyl records ever sold:
#7 ALCOHOL AND JAKE BLUES – TOMMY JOHNSON ($37,100)
And here we have another successful eBay record story. This time we have the album “Alcohol and Jake Blues” on a 78 rpm vinyl record by Tommy Johnson, known for his eerie falsetto and amazing guitar playing.
In 2013, a copy of the album was listed on eBay. Vinyl record collector, John Tefteller, paid $37,100 for the copy and said that it was worth all the money. He said the copy was in a better condition compared to what he already had.
#6 CAUSTIC WINDOW – APHEX TWIN ($46,300)
This 1996 album was released by Aphex Twin, or Richard D. James, but it only had several test pressings to sell. What helped this album reach this list as one of the most expensive vinyl records ever sold was the resurfacing of an original test pressing. It was held up for sale in the online shopping site, eBay, in 2014. It was sold to Minecraft’s creator, Markus Persson, for $46,300.
#5 JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE LIVE AT WOBURN – JIMI HENDRIX ($95,000)
This record was the sole copy of Jimi Hendrix and his band’s raw and uncut performance in the 1968 Woburn Music Festival. The recording was taken from the soundboard used at the festival.
It was sold for $95,000 after his death. However, it was released again, this time in CD format which now costs less than the original value of the record.
#4 DOUBLE FANTASY – JOHN LENNON & YOKO ONO ($150,000)
The album was the last studio album the acclaimed musician released before he died. And it was also a copy of this album that he last signed before his death.
The hundred dollar copy of the vinyl record album was sold in 1999 at $150,000. What makes it an expensive album is that, as I’ve said, the last album he signed hours before his death. What’s creepily fascinating about this copy is that it was signed by Lennon for his own killer.
#3 MY HAPPINESS – ELVIS PRESLEY ($300,000)
The record contains a recorded cover of the songs “My Happiness” and “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin” by the 18-year-old Elvis Presley who was curious of how his voice would sound when pressed on vinyl record. Since they did not have a record player he went to a friend, listened to it, and left it there for his friend to keep. After the death of his friend and his wife, the record was then inherited by their niece.
On the 8th of January 2015, Lorisa Hilburn, the niece of Presley’s friend, auctioned the sole copy of the record. The record was sold at $300,000 to then-anonymous bidder, Jack White.
#2 THE BEATLES – THE BEATLES ($790,000)
The band’s “The Beatles” album, also named as the “White Album”, aside from its very simple packaging with a white record sleeve, is also known for its serial numbers that authenticates a fan’s copy. We all know how the band’s drummer, Ringo Starr, has the first ever copy of the album, with its “0000001” serial number.
After the auctions that occurred in early 2015, news about the famous musician holding an auction of his possessions were covering the news in late 2015. And you just guessed it right, one of the possessions he auctioned was his copy of the White Album. It was sold for $790,000, surpassing Elvis Presley’s record.
#1 ONCE UPON A TIME IN SHAOLIN – WU-TANG CLAN ($2,000,000)
The two million dollar album was said to have been recorded for six years, from 2007 to 2013, by the popular hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan. The vinyl album also features rapper Redman, FC Barcelona soccer players, Game of Thrones actress Carice Van Houten, Cher, and the Wu-Tang Killa Beeza. Upon the completion of the custom vinyl pressing, the record was kept safe in a vault at the Royal Mansour Hotel in Marrakech, Morocco.
The sole copy of the album that came with a legal 88-year non-commercialization agreement was then auctioned by Paddle8 in 2015 and was sold at $2,000,000 to former Turing Pharmaceuticals’ CEO Martin Shkreli.
Aside from the facts that it’s the sole copy of the album and the owner would have the control over the tracks being released, except for commercially selling them, what adds to its expensiveness is the nickel-silver box containing the record, assorted artifacts and a pair of speakers that’s worth $55,000.
Wow. They’re worth more than my life. If you win the lottery, would you buy any of these records? Which ones?