10 most valuable albums of all time

Some old records fetch £10,000, others – this kind of as a Blur LP worth £70 – are fast risers


Downloading music may possibly be the long term but vinyl reigns supreme for the music cognoscenti. And that could suggest that your treasured record collection contains some genuine investment hits.

If you were a punk in the Seventies and have stashed away a copy of the 1977 Sex Pistols album God Save the Queen , it could be well worth £8,000. Much more realistically, a 1995 box set of the albums of Blur, the Britpop favourites, could be really worth £70.

But if you have a collection of Bucks Fizz LPs, they are unlikely to be really worth a great deal. Tom Fisher of south London’s Rat Data explained: “For data to be saleable the artists have to have credibility. If individuals below 23 think the artist is amazing – a band such as the Rolling Stones, for instance – then they will promote.”

Dave Hawkins of Cannonball Information in Stoke-on-Trent extra that prices of records by singers from the Fifties and indeed pre-Beatles rock and roll had fallen. “But rock music from the late Sixties and early Seventies is going up in value, so artists this kind of as Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and other far more obscure bands are a good investment,” he mentioned.

“Jazz and classical also have their very own sought-soon after items, with original stereo albums on Decca and HMV commanding high prices.” Mr Hawkins is notably keen on jazz and mentioned authentic Hank Mobley albums on the Blue Note label offered for “well in excess of 4 figures”. Reggae and northern soul data can sell for massive sums as well – they had been played so a lot at parties that copies in quite excellent situation are rare.

Ian Shirley, editor of Record Collector’s Rare Record Value Guide , stated that even though huge artists have been often collectable, “one particular tip is to get information pressed in the late Nineties to early 2000s. The CD was dominant then, which saw restricted pressing of albums of even major names this kind of as Blur”. He extra: “If you are going to buy information as an investment do your analysis prior to buying. There are some genres exactly where charges are falling, such as rock and roll and early Sixties pop, whereas there are others – Nineties vinyl – the place charges are going via the roof.”

Dave Hawkins

Mr Fisher said: “Collectors who purchase Beatles albums want pieces in exceptional situation. With The Beatles’ White Album (released 1968) there is a number on each cover: collectors want minimal numbers.” Mr Shirley stated: “We are speaking £4,000-£10,000 for people numbered 1 to one hundred.”

Condition with information is almost everything. It was typical to write your identify on the sleeve when you took a record to a party, Mr Hawkins stated, but that will have devalued it. It is essential that both the vinyl and sleeve are in very good problem. “Holding the vinyl in a powerful light will generally show any signs of injury to the surface,” he said.

The 2nd key condition of vinyl is rarity. For illustration, the Beatles sold hundreds of thousands of information, but discovering a copy of any of their singles in unplayed condition is almost not possible, so collectors pay a premium for them. Mr Shirley explained a copy of the very first Beatles album, Please Please Me (1963 ), was very first pressed on the gold and black Parlophone label but it quickly switched to yellow and black. If you have a stereo black and gold copy in mint problem it is worth £5,000 or far more.

You can get outdated records on the net, at fairs and in professional retailers. But finding true gems is difficult. “It really is a good deal to do with instinct,” said Mr Fisher. He located an unlabelled acetate (a record created directly from the master tape) but had a feeling about it – and he was correct. It was of Mick Jagger and John Lennon singing blues track Also Many Cooks from 1974. He purchased it for £20 and it offered for £1,400 11 years in the past.

Prime tip: Just as in stamp collecting, errors or small releases add to values. A brown vinyl copy of Twilight Zone by Iron Maiden can sell for around £800, Mr Hawkins said, as a couple of escaped just before they were pressed appropriately in red vinyl.

If you have a copy of the Clash’s 1st album from 1977, seem out for a sticker on it: the first 10,000 had one that certified you for a cost-free EP if you sent it off. Most consumers did so – that means that one with a sticker, even in bad problem, will be really worth £50 or more.

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‘Hendrix is like Picasso’: The other music memorabilia that can be worth a fortune

It’s not just music recordings that are worth collecting. Music memorabilia can command large charges.

A recent sale at Christie’s incorporated a plectrum once owned by John Lennon that went for £4,000. It also integrated a Beatles salary receipt for £16,250 and £10,000 for eight lines of lyrics written by Jimi Hendrix in 1966.

With music memorabilia, provenance and fame are almost everything. Mike Bloomfield of rockpopmem.com stated: “There is definitely a premier league for rock memorabilia that would consist of the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and the Intercourse Pistols.” He added that some collectors chose to focus on certain bands, although other individuals collected varieties of memorabilia such as tickets, posters, fliers and even clothes. “Age is crucial,” Mr Bloomfield extra. “A ticket for a Who concert from 1965 could promote for £100: one from the Eighties or Nineties might only attain £10.”

Concert posters are well-known, especially individuals promoting Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Sex Pistols gigs. “Prices of memorabilia have doubled in the final 10 many years for the premium artists,” Mr Bloomfield extra. However, he said charges had dropped for pieces associated to artists such as Cliff Richard and Adam Faith whose fans are ageing and who no longer have the “cool factor”.

To illustrate this, Rockpopmem.com has a 1968 John Lennon autograph on sale for £975 – but an Eighties autograph by Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits is on sale for £25. A Sixties Alma Cogan autograph can be purchased for £70. Memorabilia does not want to be ancient to be well worth one thing: Mr Bloomfield explained Oasis things were collectable now and would be in twenty years’ time as well.

Simon Lindley of Paul Fraser Collectibles said: “There’s an practically magical aura around rock stars like John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain that can make them irresistible to collectors. Hendrix guitars are like Picasso paintings – they’ve been touched by genius, and that power continues to resonate through the generations. Right now we spot much more significance than ever on pop culture and the worth of iconic memorabilia keeps going up to followers these products are historic treasures.”

Bonhams has just held an auction that included a guitar as soon as owned by Who guitarist Pete Townshend, who typically smashed his instruments on stage. Bonhams’ last entertainment memorabilia sale integrated a guitar owned by Robert Smith of the Remedy: it was estimated to go for £3,000-£5,000 but sold for £27,500. Katherine Schofield, a specialist in enjoyment memorabilia at Bonhams, stated it had excellent provenance and number of Remedy objects came to market. “Also, I think the Cure’s fan base is now of an age where they have the disposable revenue to buy this kind of pieces,” she extra.

Genres really worth collecting:

1. Progressive rock

2. Reggae

3. Northern Soul

four. Jazz

5. Leading classical soloists

And individuals not…

1. Pop music

two. Novelty songs

three. ‘Unfashionable’ singers

4. ‘Popular’ classical artists (this kind of as James Last)

five. Compilations