The 10 most expensive vinyl singles

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There’s gold in those grooves

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.

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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This picture disc of Madonna sucking on some toes was withdrawn at lightning speed just as it was about to be released in 1992.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.

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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.

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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.

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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].

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Kind Hearted Woman Blues by Robert Johnson

Value: £7,000 [€8,206/$8,623]

This is probably a conservative valuation in these crazy days. Blues fanatics – who are more fanatical than most – would eat one of their own limbs for a copy of this, their holy grail. Robert Johnson did, after all, sell his soul to the devil and with only two photographs of him in existence there remains a hunger to get closer to the mystery.

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God Save The Queen by Sex Pistols

Value: £10,000 [€11,724/$12,317]

As the Sex Pistols hurtled towards oblivion, they released this, their controversial (ahem) tribute to the Queen of the UK, who was in the throes of her silver jubilee celebrations. The single was swiftly pulled by their label at the time, A&M, and is now worth a packet. An original single, in its original brown paper bag, is worth £8,000 [€9,377/$9,853]. But one of McLaren’s acetates, used to hawk the band around new labels, is worth more.

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Street Fighting Man by The Rolling Stones

Value: £13,850 [€16,231/$17,058]

The original sleeve for the The Rolling Stones‘ US release of this 1968 single, with No Expectations on the flip, features an image of police dishing out some heavy-handed crowd control during the 1968 Chicago Democratic National Convention. Fearful of stirring up any further trouble, the label got cold feet and withdrew the sleeve immediately.

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Do I Love You? (Indeed I Do) by Frank Wilson

Value: £15,000 [€17,575/$18,475]

It was assumed that there were only two copies of this seven-inch Motown pressing, but rumours persist that more have been unearthed. No one has been kind enough to flood the market with them yet so this Northern Soul monster is still worth a small fortune. One sold for a whopping £15,000 to a Scottish collector in 1999 – that’s 18 years ago, so who knows what it’s worth today.

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Love Me Do by The Beatles

Value: £80,500 [€94,321/$99,158]

Anything by The Beatles and their spin-offs is worth an absolute fortune. It’s unsurprising, then, that the one-sided acetate for the band’s debut single, Love Me Do (which only peaked at Number 17) is worth the price of several cheap cars. Demo copies of the single, with McCartney’s name spelt ‘McArtney’, sell for between £5,000 and £12,000.

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That’ll Be The Day by The Quarrymen

Value: £100,000 [€117,153/$123,167] (some say £200,000)

A 1958 single by a pre-Beatles line-up comprised of Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison, plus drummer Colin Hanton and pianist John Duff Lowe. No Ringo. There are 25 copies of a 1981 private reproduction, each worth £10,000, but there’s only one original acetate.

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Could The Kinks have hinted at a comeback ?

Chances The Kinks are going to reunite are better than they’ve ever been.

ROCK legends The Kinks are making a comeback, The Sun can reveal.

Veteran frontman Ray Davies, 72, revealed plans to perform with his brother Dave, 69, after healing one of the longest feuds in rock n’ roll history.

And the pair intend to get out on the road, hinting at a huge festival date next year.

Speaking to The Sun, Ray said: “Dave and I will definitely work together again. And we want to play live.”

When asked which venue he was plotting a performance, the rocker added: “Maybe The Kinks could play Glastonbury?”

The band, which also included Mick Avory and Pete Quaife, enjoyed huge success in the 1960s and ’70s with hits such as Waterloo Sunset and Lola.

But the brothers have had a series of bust-ups over the years, including one when Ray stamped on Dave’s 50th birthday cake.

They disbanded in 1996 and Dave has since played down reunion talk, saying: “You don’t need to see silly old men in wheelchairs ­singing You Really Got Me.”

The bickering brothers raised hopes of a reunion in December last year during Dave’s show at Islington Assembly Hall when he was joined on stage by Ray to perform the 1964 No1 classic.

It was the first time they had performed together in 20 years.

Brothers Ray and Dave have feuded for years, dashing fans hopes the band would ever reunite.

Brothers Ray and Dave have feuded for years, dashing fans hopes the band would ever reunite.Source:News Limited

Comeback talk soon fizzled out but the success of the West End musical Sunny Afternoon, based on The Kinks hits, has triggered more of an interest.

Ray, who was named Classic Songwriter at the Q Awards on Wednesday, revealed he’s looking at bringing the musical to the States where the band have a huge following.

Frontman Ray Davies wants to reunite for shows in the US and UK.

Frontman Ray Davies wants to reunite for shows in the US and UK.Source:AP

He said: “We’re talking about taking the show to New York.”

The brothers were close to reforming The Kinks to mark the 40th anniversary of their breakthrough in 2003 but hopes were dashed after Dave suffered a stroke.

A 50th anniversary tour was heavily speculated ten years later, with Dave saying at the time there is a “50/50” chance of it happening.

But after their reunion on stage in North London last year, coupled with the success of the West End Show and the movie biopic You Really Got Me tipped for release in 2017, next year appears to be the best chance yet the band will reform.

 

Beyond the sex and drugs – the Shaun Ryder interview

Happy Man: Shaun Ryder (Photo: Elspeth Moore)

Madchester legend Shaun Ryder is in a great mood, despite being part-way through a rash of interviews as rave culture icons Happy Mondays gear up for their latest anniversary tour.

If you’re expecting the unpredictable character that left interviewers like The Wordpresenter Terry Christian sweating on camera in the early ‘90s, you couldn’t be more wrong.

Maybe it’s an ‘upper’ hangover from his more indulgent days, or perhaps it’s just … erm, a happy man day. For it appears that the old carousing Mondays and Black Grape star has long since left the building, as he reminds me on the phone from his Salford base.

You see, in more recent years Shaun got something of a chance to start again, and is loving life with his partner and youngest children, while eager to get out there on the road again with the band that took him into the public spotlight.

The occasion is the 25th anniversary of Happy Mondays’ best-selling third LP,Pills’n’Thrills and Bellyaches, which sold more than 350,000 copies, spent 31 weeks in the UK albums chart, and included top-five hits Step On and Kinky Afro.

Dad of six Shaun, fellow celebrity TV star and the band’s hedonistic dancer Bez, and the rest of the gang – Shaun’s younger brother Paul Ryder on bass, Gaz Whelan on drums, Mark Day on guitar, Paul Davis on keyboards, and backing singer Rowetta – are celebrating that landmark with 21 UK dates.

First though, I point out that despite my postcode, I’m not actually from Preston, so he doesn’t have to break into the original version of Country Song, from second album,Bummed.

“That’s okay. I like Preston! It’s great.”

My main excuse for speaking to Shaun is to preview the band’s dates at Manchester Academy, having recently added Thursday, November 19 to a sell-out the following night.

Stage Presence: Happy Mondays in live action (Photo: Mark James Allen)

While we’re talking silver anniversaries, it’s worth noting that next month also marks the 25th birthday of this University of Manchester venue. Were there any memorable shows there for Shaun over the years, as a performer or a punter?

“Erm … I really don’t know! It was weird with the Mondays, because we did the universities and 300 and 500 capacity venues, but then missed the middle ground places like the Apollo and all those and jumped up to 10,000 capacity gigs like the GMex.”

As a Salford lad, those Manchester gigs are probably as good as you get to a hometown gig.

“Of course, unless we were to play The Dog and Partridge.”

Beautiful South and Housemartins main-man Paul Heaton has a pub venue around the corner from Shaun, The King’s Arms. Is he a regular there?

“That’s about two minutes from where I live. But I don’t do the pubs, mate! Not anymore.”

Is all that behind Shaun Ryder, family man, now?

“Oh God, yeah. Absolutely. I’m not saying I don’t go out for a pint when I’m working, but I don’t hit the pubs or the clubs.”

All these years on, there’s still a huge clamour for the band he broke through with, judging by that first sell-out in Manchester. They must still be doing something right.

“Absolutely, and we’re really lucky, because we’re one of the only bands that go right across the board. Our fan-base goes from seven to 70-odd years old.

Shady Shaun: The Happy Mondays and Black Grape front-man makes a point (Photo: Elspeth Moore)

“We’ve got our original NME fan-base, but because of mine and Bez’s stint on reality television, you can look out on one of our shows and see all ages.”

Ah yes … reality TV, and those that might not recall Happy Mondays and Shaun and Bez’s next hit band, Black Grape, may have got to know the front-man through his second-place finish on the 2010 series of ITV’s I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here, or his sidekick – most recently in the news for anti-fracking campaigning in the North West – and his Channel 4 Celebrity Big Brother victory in 2005.

What’s more, the pair remain in the public eye, Happy Mondays about to feature on a new satellite TV channel charity venture, Singing in the Rainforest, as I’ll get on to shortly.

But first, what were the preferred North West venues when the Mondays were breaking through?

“We played places like The Boardwalk, a great little venue, originally for around 300 people, then Corbieres, where we had a mad little show for around 100 people.

“To tell you the truth, small venues make for great rock’n’roll shows but terrified me. I can play 10,000 to 20,000 capacity venues and it doesn’t bother me – it’s showbusiness! But when you do the small venues …

“Places like Corbieres, that’s where you got your stripes. There was no stage – you were eye-to-eye with the punters.

“And you’re at your most vulnerable when you’re wiggling your snake hips and someone’s staring right at you, 20 inches away.”

I was talking to a friend who put on gigs at Aldershot Buzz Club from 1985 to 1993, and she reminded me of a night in the summer of ’87 when Happy Mondays played to around 15 people, just after their first Factory Records LP, Squirrel and G Man … came out. Remember that?

“No, but I do remember gigs with 15 people in, and places where we started out when there was no one in except the person writing the review!

“When we first started, we would have more people watching us in London and Glasgow than in Manchester.”

Reflection Time: Happy Mondays

A week before the Mondays’ Manchester return, they play Liverpool O2 Academy (Friday, November 13). Did Shaun ever cross over to Merseyside to see bands in his formative days?

“When I was a kid, going to Liverpool was really dangerous. If Scousers came to Manchester or Salford or Mancs went to Liverpool in the ‘70s, you might have people coming at your nuts with Stanley knives! You had to be very careful.”

Is it odd to see how your old surroundings have changed in recent years, with Media City going up, the BBC relocation, and so on?

“It’s great to see how things have changed. And by the time the ’90s came you could go to Liverpool, the same as people over there could come to the Hacienda.

“You’d even have Arsenal fans running around the Hacienda, chanting the team’s name … and it was all to do with Ecstasy.

“Things started to change when people were taking E. All that old terrace bullshit went out of the window, in favour of love and peace again.

“There was an article the other day on the BBC website about how gigs in the ‘70s were male-dominated, dangerous places, especially if you were a skinhead, a casual, a punk, a mod or a rocker. If you saw someone who didn’t fit into your tribe, there’d be fights.

“That’s gone now. Gigs now are not male-dominated – it’s family, it’s women, it’s girlfriends. It’s completely changed.”

PILS N THRILLS FRONT central station (1)You mentioned football there, Shaun. Are you into your football?

“Me? No! I get great pleasure in saying (he announces each word slow, loud and proud), ‘I f****** hate football!’

“Put it this way – I like the fact that footballers now don’t have to retire to run a pub and can get decent, fantastic ultra-money. But talking about football is for thick, brainless motherf****** who haven’t got nothing else to talk about!

“I’m a Red, because I’m from Salford and we might just have two people in the whole of Salford who are City fans. And going back, it was predominantly a Catholic and Protestant thing as well, and down to family. But I’m not into all that.

“If someone asks me know who plays for United, I’d say Giggs, Schmeichel, Nicky Butt, Georgie Best, Alex Stepney in goal. I haven’t a f****** clue!

“But I’m quite proud of that, because at one time, blokes had to pretend they were into football. So I get a real buzz, me, of saying, ‘I am not into f****** football’, and certainly not talking about it.”

Fair enough. That said, Shaun just spent 90 seconds of our interview ranting on that very subject. But I don’t dwell on that, and we move on.

I mentioned the Academy silver anniversary, and this is all part of a November and December tour marking 25 years since Pills’n’Thrills And Bellyaches. Has that time flown?

“That 25 years seems to have just turned into five minutes. It feels like I’ve had an eight-hour kip and suddenly I’m 53 years old. It’s all gone, and so quick.”

You joke about this time having a chance to savour it all, as opposed to being ‘off your face’ the first time you toured this album.

“Here’s the thing, right. When we were doing it first time round, I was too busy building my career and too busy being on the hamster wheel.

“You’re promoting it then playing it, and don’t really get the chance to enjoy it. The day I came out of the studio with Bummed and Pills’n’Thrills was the last time I listened to those albums, until 20-odd years later.

“But I was listening to this album when we were rehearsing it and thought there was some really good stuff there, patting myself on the back.”

R-77672-1155030114.jpegA lot of those tracks have certainly stood the test of time.

“Yes, and now, more than ever, because the sex and drugs has gone and it’s just rock’n’roll for this bunch of old blokes, we’re enjoying it.”

I was guessing you were enjoying the live work and being together as a band again. Despite a few well-documented financial problems and legal wrangles over the years, it can’t just be about the money, can it?

“Happy Mondays is certainly a labour of love, after all we’ve been through for it. It’s great. And years ago you didn’t really make money doing live gigs.

“You went out to promote albums and made money off the merchandise. At least now you make money from concerts, although the record sales have gone.

“It’s weird with kids now though. My lad laughs at me because I download from iTunes, get music or movies and stream it through the right channels, while they get everything for free.

“But there’s one thing for which they do expect to pay, and that’s watching live gigs.”

You mention one of your lads there. Has family life helped straighten you out after all those wild days?

“First time around, I was a kid having kids, building a career, so I was never home. Now I’m an actual adult having children, and get to do it right this time.

“I’ve been lucky enough to start again and have a seven-year-old and a six-year-old, and the chance to be at home for them.”

There certainly seems to be a little more wisdom on show from this 53-year-old.

“Ooh – a lot more wisdom! Absolutely, it’s great! It’s the best!”

Even if he’d only released 24 Hour Party People, Lazyitis, the third Mondays LP and first Black Grape LP, Shaun would deserve a place in rock’n’roll’s hall of fame, as far as I’m concerned. But what work does he most value – be it with either of those bands or as a solo artist?

61fwEo4PAoL“All of it! And I wouldn’t put it past us if we went out and did – after the Bummed andPills’n’Thrills tours – some Squirrel and G Man anniversary shows too.

“And I’m properly listening to it all again, rather than taking it for granted. I think, “F****** hell, lads, we did some good stuff!’

“I had writer’s block for a long time, and there was a lot of crap going on, whereas now I’ve released a couple of solo things, and at the end of the year or the beginning of next year a new solo album will come out.

“I’m really proud of that. First time I did a solo album it was very experimental, but this time it’s totally structured and I’ve spent a lot of time writing songs.

“It could be ground-breaking, rather than some form of unconscious rambling.”

Shaun’s always had his champions as a songwriter. In fact, late, great Factory Records founder Tony Wilson – whose Steve Coogan-fronted biopic ended up with the title 24 Hour Party People – once compared his lyrics to works by WB Yeats.

“Oh yeah – Tony said some very nice things … some of which I didn’t quite understand! He gave me some of the best advice and some of the worst advice.”

The line goes quiet for a while, and I have to prompt him. You can’t just leave it there, Shaun – give us an example.

“The worst thing he ever said to me was, ‘Look, what you should do is share everything equally with the band, because that will cut out all the crap and arguments’.

“So I gave everyone a cut of my songwriting royalties, but it didn’t stop all the crap, and it didn’t stop all the arguing!”

There have been plenty of TV shows featuring Shaun down the years, not least a cameo on cult drama Shameless.

There’s not enough time to ask about all those media projects he’s been involved with in a bid to keep a roof over his family’s head. However, I did ask if he kept up his saxophone practise after tuition from Soweto Kinch for a TV show, culminating in him playing live with Jools Holland’s big band on Glenn Miller’s Tuxedo Junction.

“I’m sad to say I didn’t. I’ve just not had the time.”

Added Wisdom: Shaun Ryder (Photo: Elspeth Moore)

Talking of celluloid projects, there’s word of a screenplay of his autobiography, Twisting Your Melon. Any progress there?

“I really wanted it to go on to television, and Granada bought it. And I’ve just signed a deal two days ago, giving it to the people that made Control and the John Lennon film,Nowhere Boy.”

That sounds promising. I look forward to that. And who does he see most of these days from his band days – is it Bez, Gaz Whelan, Kermit, or Rowetta perhaps?

“We’ve just done the Black Grape tour with Kermit, but I see Bez a lot more than anyone else. We’re always bumping into each other with all the TV stuff we do.

“Actually, we have the premiere of the latest TV show out later this month, Singing in the Rainforest, so we were in London plugging that the other night.”

That Watch TV project certainly sounds like one to watch, the series following musicians living alongside remote tribes, Happy Mondays’ contribution involving the band spending a week living with the Embera Drua people of the Upper Chagres River in Panama, profits from the resultant single made with their hosts going back to the tribe.

In fact, from their Little Hulton roots and Forty Five EP debut for Factory 30 years ago this month to their latest charity stint in Central America, there have been many memorable moments and as many highs as wrong turns for Shaun and Happy Mondays.

I have to ask though. When he sees himself and Bez in those early interviews, like on The Word in the early ‘90s, does he wonder, ‘How are we still here?’

“Not really, because people really bought into what we did, and that’s the good thing about it.

“I knew from day one we would still be doing this 20-odd years later. It’s just that we grew up in front of the press and the TV cameras.”

Salford Return: Shaun Ryder at the BBC (Photo: Karin Albinsson)

There have been some unlikely or at least unexpected Shaun Ryder collaborations over the years, from a Talking Heads link-up to a Russell Watson duet, via Gorillaz, a Peter Kay video and even a TV series about his interest in UFOs. So what’s he going to surprise us with next?

“You know, I really want to tell you, and there’s a couple of TV things I’m on with. But I can’t talk about them, although I really want to … especially if you’re a big fan of kids’ television.”

I make encouraging noises, but he’s not for saying any more on that front.

“What can I say? You know what, you’ve just got to get the mix right, between all that TV stuff and keeping releasing the records.”