Keep an eye out for these
Records give more a sense of the history of music than anything else and somehow their market value reflects this; for example, manufacturer’s mistakes/alterations or the death of the artist can dramatically affect the re-sale value of a record.
And generally speaking, rare records from the 60s and 70s (the ‘golden era’ of music) which only had a few hundred copies pressed are the most valuable (even if that band is largely unknown), commanding four-figure sums in some cases.
Moreover, singles in many cases are more valuable than both EPs and LPs.
But who sits at the top of the pile with the most valuable and collectable record that ever went to market?
And which records still in circulation are worth a few quid?
Spoiler alert: this list contains The Beatles
Nick Drake – Five Leaves Left (1969)
Nick Drake fits the description of musician-turned-legend following his untimely death at the age of 27.
With only three albums released by the young artist, Drake’s records are extremely rare and an original pressing of the artist’s debut, Five Leaves Left, can sell for upwards of £1000 depending on its quality of course.
The First Pressing
There is debate over which is the true first pressing but it is largely accepted that the textured pink label with incorrect 4th and 5th song order (‘Way To Blue’ and ‘Day Is Done’) printed on its sleeve, and machine stamped matrix numbers is the real McCoy. NB: You will find no A1/B1 matrix on first pressings, a first pressing will read A2/B2.
The Pink Label
There are two types of ‘smooth’ pink label variants out there also, one with incorrect running order on the label and one corrected. But the textured label pressings, with all aforementioned characteristics, tend to be the most valuable. All three variants have ‘Made In England’ printed on the label whereas reissues do not.
The Beatles – Please Please Me (1963)
Records by The Beatles are of course very collectable, but this in itself is strange when you consider that there are literally millions out there and most are relatively easy to get hold of. To collect records properly, you must be prepared to put the hours in authenticating a record, so get comfortable!
The Beatles Anomaly
Generally speaking, the fewer records pressed by bands/artists, the more valuable it will invariably be. However, The Beatles command a different value. As the pioneers of modern pop music, the appeal is worldwide. Any first pressing will be worth something, yet condition is still essential if you want to make/spend the big bucks.
Having pressed and sold millions of records, it’s near impossible to find a first pressing of a Beatles record in mint/near-mint condition so when one comes along, collectors will pay a premium.
Please Please Tell Me What it’s Worth
Please Please Me was first pressed on the gold and black Parlophone label but it soon switched to yellow and black. These minor details can mean everything. Stereo copies on the gold and black label will fetch you in excess of £5000.