Polish the dust off those grooves and you might find gold as the value of vinyl is going up faster than you can say Martin Shkreli – the name of the man who reportedly coughed up £1.6m for a one-of-a-kind copy of Wu-Tang Clan’s Once Upon A Time In Shaolin. So have you and your parents clung on to your vinyl collection? We hope so.
Last year, Ringo Starr sold his copy of the Beatles’ White Album (No. 0000001) for £650,000 [€762,000/$800,000]. And the price paid for records by obscure acid-folk and psychedelia acts – records by the likes of Tinkerbell Fairydust, Open Mind and Trees – is, quite frankly, cosmic. Prog, krautrock, reggae and indie-rock: it’s all on the up.
Just to underline how valuable these dusty old records can be, here’s a brief list of some of the most expensive vinyl singles.
Erotica by Madonna
Value: £2,500 [€2,932/$3,079]
This picture disc of Madonna sucking on some toes was withdrawn at lightning speed just as it was about to be released in 1992. Her label decided the sucking was much too rude for mass consumption – and no one wanted to upset Sarah Ferguson (the then Duchess Of York of the UK), who was in the UK papers at the time… sucking someone’s toes.
Midsummer Night’s Scene by John’s Children
Value: £4,000 [€4,692/$4,928]
Before T-Rex, Marc Bolan founded pastoral psychedelic wanderers Tyrannosaurus Rex with drummer Steve Peregrine Took. And before them, he was in art-pop provocateurs John’s Children, one of the late-1960’s most chaotic bands. They were chucked off tours, had records banned by the BBC and released an album, called Orgasm, that upset lots of people. They also recorded this and it was never released.
Spirit In The Night by Bruce Springsteen
Value: £4,070 [€4,774/$5,015]
Putting a precise value on anything is almost impossible. An item is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. But given the original first pressing of Bruce Springsteen‘s second single has never (ever) been sold on Discogs and it’s only owned, says the website, by two people, it’s definitely worth a lot.
Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen
Value: £5,000 [€5,865/$6,160]
Most people throw away party invites, right? It might be a good idea to keep them in future. A limited-edition version of Queen‘s huge single was used as an invite to a record label event, and came with matches, a pen, a ticket, a menu and more. You need the whole kit and caboodle. A hand-numbered blue vinyl version is worth £3,500 [€4,104/$4,311].