Imagine stumbling upon a dusty old vinyl record at a garage sale or in your grandparents’ attic, only to find out it’s worth thousands or even millions of dollars!
The world of valuable vinyl records is thrilling, with rare gems and fascinating stories.
From Wu-Tang Clan’s million-dollar record to The Beatles’ rare releases, let’s dive into the top 100 most valuable vinyl records that you don’t want to miss out on.
Discover the top 100 most valuable vinyl records of 2023, including Wu-Tang Clan’s ‘Once Upon a Time in Shaolin’, The Beatles’ rare releases and Prince’s hidden gem ‘The Black Album’.
Limited edition treasures like Scaramanga Silk’s ‘Choose Your Weapon’ and iconic album art from Led Zeppelin & David Bowie are highly sought after by collectors.
Genre specific rarities such as Sahib Shihaband & Miles Davis have become increasingly valuable to devoted fans!
A List of The 100 Most Valuable Vinyl Records
‘God Save the Queen’ – Sex Pistols
Supernatural Girl – Ferris Wheel
‘Love Me Do’ – The Beatles
Ummagumma – Pink Floyd
Would You Believe – Billy Nicholls
Melody A.M. – Röyksopp
Yes – Pet Shop Boys
‘Love My Stuff’/’Jersey Bull Blues’ – Charley Patton
David Bowie – David Bowie
The Love Cycle – Forever Amber
Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin
‘Gorilla Biscuits’ – Gorilla Biscuits
Chung King Can Suck It
Growers of Mushroom – Leaf Hound
‘You’re the Best’ – LaRom André Baker
‘Love is Strange’ – Wings
Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen
Overdrive – Phafner
‘Heartache Souvenirs’ / ‘Chicken Shack’ – William Powell
‘Ever Again’ / ‘Next to You’ – Bernie Williams
Speed, Glue & Shinki – Speed, Glue & Shinki
Black Album – Prince
Metaphysical Animation – Metaphysical Animation
‘The Love Cycle’ – Forever Amber
Negative Approach – Negative Approach
‘Equidity Funk’ – Mistafide
Wil Malone – Wil Malone
‘Equidity Funk’ – Mistafide
Led Zeppelin (Deluxe Edition) – Led Zeppelin
Frutti Per Kagua – Capitolo 6
Cold Cuts – Nicholas Greenwood
Sahib Shihaband & The Danish Radio Jazz Group – Sahib Shihaband & The Danish Radio Jazz Group
Melody A.M. (Special Edition) – Röyksopp
Monster Movie – CAN
Meddle – Pink Floyd
Love is the Key – Dynamic Five
Growers of Mushroom – Leaf Hound
‘I’ll Be on My Way’ – Bob & Fred
Monster Movie (Made in a Castle with Better Equipment) – CAN
Just Another Diamond Day – Vashti Bunyan
‘Pay to Cum!’ – Bad Brains
Mammut – Mammut
‘Liza Jane’ – Davie Jones & The King Bees
Sex Drive – Necros
Analogy – Analogy
Pre-Flight – Room
Monster Movie (Remastered) – CAN
‘I Beat You’ / ‘No No’s’ – Vicious Visions
Uganda Akira Ishikawa & Count Buffaloes
An Ideal for Living – Joy Division
Song of a Gypsy – Damon
‘Malted Milk’ / ‘Milkcows Calf Blues’ – Robert Johnson
‘The Atrocity’ / ‘Good Procedures’ – Opus
‘That’s Why I Love You’ / ‘Did My Baby Call?’ – The Professionals
An Invisible World Revealed – Krokodil
‘Believe It or Not’ – Nabay
Swaddling Songs – Mellow Candle
‘Lonely Every Day’ – The Golden Earrings
‘Endless Memory’ – Roy Panton
‘Love Buzz’ / ‘Big Cheese’ – Nirvana
Estrelando Embaixador – Tribo Massahi
Mirkwood – Mirkwood
‘I Really Love You’ – Jimmy Burns
‘Do You Get the Message?’ / ‘The Other Side’ – The Grey Imprint
Ethiopian Modern Instrumentals Hits – Various Artists
‘Be My Fortune Teller’ / ‘I Just Wanna Be’ – East ft. Prince
The Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd
Music Emporium – Music Emporium
‘Hand in Glove’ – The Smiths
‘I Wanted to Tell You’ / ‘You Said’ – Little Nicky Soul
‘Anarchy in the UK’ – Sex Pistols
‘A Man of My Word’ / ‘Linda’ – Salt & Pepper
Tom Prehn Kvartet – Tom Prehn Kvartet
‘Baby Your Phrasing is Bad’ / ‘A Woman of Distinction’ – Caleb Quaye
Through You – The Contents Are
‘Mouth A Massey’ / ‘Ska Beat’ – Alton Ellis
Mystic Beauty – Reggie Andrews and the Fellowship
‘King of Fuh’ – Brute Force
Damned Damned Damned – The Damned
Pleure et Applaudit – Jean Debuffet
Kind of Blue – Miles Davis
The Who Sell Out – The Who
Bleach – Nirvana
‘Science Friction’ / ‘She’s So Square’ – XTC
‘That’ll be the Day’ / ‘In Spite of All the Danger’ – The Quarrymen
Diamond Dogs – David Bowie
Reverbaration (Doubt) – The Thirteenth Floor Elevators
Legacy of Brutality – Misfits
Waltzes by Johann Strauss, Jr. – Century Symphony Orchestra
The Caine Mutiny – Max Steiner
‘Pride (in the name of love)’ – U2
Xanadu – Olivia Newton-John & Electric Light Orchestra
Blue Note 1568 – Hank Mobley
‘Lafayette Blues’ / ‘Sugar Never Tasted So Good’ – The White Stripes
Stonewall – Stonewall
Yesterday and Today – The Beatles
Street Fighting Man – The Rolling Stones
‘Stormy Weather’ – The Five Sharps
The Velvet Underground & Nico – The Velvet Underground & Nico
‘Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)’ – Frank Wilson
List via https://notesonvinyl.com/
The Million-Dollar Record: 'Once Upon a Time in Shaolin'
In the realm of valuable vinyl records, Wu-Tang Clan’s ‘Once Upon a Time in Shaolin’ stands unparalleled. This incredibly rare record is not only unique but has significant historical and emotional value attached to it. So, what’s the story?
Wu-Tang Clan created ‘Once Upon a Time in Shaolin’ as a one-of-a-kind piece of music history. Possessing the title of the most valuable vinyl record ever sold, its uniqueness is underscored by the fact that only a single copy exists. This exclusive record was never commercially released, making it a highly sought-after item for record collectors and fans alike.
The record’s value skyrocketed not only due to its rarity but also because of the captivating story behind it. Wu-Tang Clan took a stand against the mass production of music by creating a single, priceless piece of art that could only be experienced by a select few.
This bold move has cemented its place in music history and made ‘Once Upon a Time in Shaolin’ one of the most valuable vinyl records of all time.
The Beatles' Rare Releases
Valuable vinyl records often include some of the Beatles’ rare releases, which command staggering prices at auctions and among collectors. From ‘Yesterday and Today’ to ‘Love Me Do,’ these Beatles records are highly sought-after due to their rarity and the iconic status of the band.
The most expensive and sought-after release from The Beatles is ‘Yesterday and Today,’ which sold for an astonishing $125,000 in 2016.
Another valuable record from the band is their self-titled ‘White Album,’ which has fetched impressive prices, including an original pressing that sold for $790,000.
The value of The Beatles’ albums, especially rare ones, is significantly influenced by their covers. Some of the most valuable Beatles album examples include:
The 1966 “Yesterday and Today” compilation
The pressing with the black and gold label of “Introducing…The Beatles”
The rare stereo “first state” Butcher cover
Another record is the first pressing of ‘Please Please Me’, released by the band’s own record label, which also serves as their record company, with the potential value of tens of thousands of dollars, making it one of the most valuable records.
Dreams of discovering one of these rare gems are common among both Beatles fans and vinyl collectors. With their captivating stories and high values, the Beatles’ rare releases will always be sought after by collectors and music enthusiasts alike.
Prince's Hidden Gem: 'The Black Album'
As mysterious and intriguing as the artist himself, Prince’s ‘The Black Album’ is a hidden gem in the world of valuable vinyl records. Deemed “too dark” by Prince, he ordered the destruction of all copies of this unreleased album before its release.
However, a few copies survived, making it an extremely rare and valuable piece of music history.
One such copy of ‘The Black Album’ sold for an impressive $27,500 in 2018. This rare double LP with a promotional stamp and a parental advisory warning sticker is a collector’s dream, with only one copy ever sold on Discogs. The original cover art and the fact that it was self-released by Prince only add to its value.
The intrigue surrounding this album has led to its high value and desirability among record collectors and fans. With its dark history and limited availability, this record will forever remain a hidden gem in the world of valuable vinyl records.
Limited Edition Treasures
In the vinyl record world, limited edition treasures are the equivalent of unicorns. These rare vinyl records, such as Scaramanga Silk’s ‘Choose Your Weapon’ and The Rolling Stones’ ‘Street Fighting Man,’ have become highly sought-after collectibles due to their limited availability and captivating stories.
The story behind Scaramanga Silk’s ‘Choose Your Weapon’ is nothing short of astonishing. Released in a limited edition of 20 copies, each containing a CD-Rom, an art print, and a poem on acetate, it sold for a mind-blowing $27,500 in 2015.
The Rolling Stones’ ‘Street Fighting Man’ vinyl has an equally fascinating story. The original cover illustrated the harshness of police intervention during protests that year. It highlighted the struggle against such oppressive tactics.
However, it was ordered to be destroyed after the Chicago Democratic National Convention erupted into violent riots. At least 18 copies mysteriously leaked into the world, and one sold for a whopping $17,000 in 2011.
In the world of valuable vinyl records, controversial classics occupy a unique niche. Records like Sex Pistols’ ‘God Save the Queen’ and The Velvet Underground & Nico’s debut album have gained immense value due to their provocative nature.
Sex Pistols’ ‘God Save the Queen’ was a highly controversial song, and many record stores refused to stock it. This only added to its allure, and the limited availability made it highly sought after. In 2012, a copy of ‘God Save the Queen’ sold for an incredible $20,000.
The Velvet Underground & Nico’s debut album is regarded as one of the most influential releases in rock history. The album is particularly noteworthy due to its unique cover. A banana was printed as a peelable sticker with the enigmatic words ‘peel slowly and see’ accompanying it. An acetate copy of this album fetched nearly £20,000 (roughly $25,000 USD) at a 2016 auction. Not a bad sum at all.
Cult favorites, vinyl records that have earned a dedicated fan base, inherently gain value and desirability. Records like Dark’s ‘Dark Round the Edges’ and Mirkwood’s self-titled album have become valuable due to their rarity and the devotion of their fans.
Dark’s ‘Dark Round the Edges’ is the debut album of the progressive rock band Dark. With only 64 copies ever pressed, it’s no wonder that this record is highly sought after by collectors and fans alike. In 2021, an original vinyl pressing of ‘Dark Round the Edges’ sold for a staggering $16,000.
Mirkwood’s self-titled album is another cult favorite that has fetched impressive prices. In 2016, a copy of this record sold for $3292.48. The average sale price of Mirkwood’s self-titled album is $3300, making it a valuable addition to any record collector’s collection.
Cult favorites like these hold a special place in the hearts of their fans, and their rarity only adds to their value. With only a handful available, collectors and enthusiasts continue to seek them out, undoubtedly causing their prices to rise.
Unexpected High-Value Vinyls
Occasionally, the vinyl records of greatest value can be the ones that catch you by surprise. Records like Ferris Wheel’s ‘Supernatural Girl’ and Billy Nicholls’ ‘Would You Believe’ have fetched impressive prices at auctions, surprising collectors and music enthusiasts alike.
Ferris Wheel’s ‘Supernatural Girl’ is a lo-fi folk rock/psychedelic folk underground record that has become quite valuable. In 2015, a vinyl copy of this record sold for an astonishing $5449.36.
Billy Nicholls’ ‘Would You Believe,’ on the other hand, is valued at an incredible $10,000. The record’s value lies in its rarity, as only a few copies were ever made.
These unexpected high-value vinyls remind us that sometimes, the most valuable treasures are the ones that are least expected. As collectors and enthusiasts continue to uncover these hidden gems, the value of expensive vinyl records will undoubtedly continue to rise; so be sure to check your attic for every vinyl record!
Iconic Album Art
Additionally, the value of vinyl records can be significantly influenced by their album art. Albums like David Bowie’s self-titled release have become valuable not only for the music but also for their memorable and unique cover art.
For example, Led Zeppelin’s self-titled debut album has fetched impressive prices due to its iconic album art. A first issue copy of the album with turquoise lettering in the upper left corner of the cover has sold for a whopping $6,200. The most expensive Led Zeppelin vinyl record is the 2006 Classic Records compilation titled Led Zeppelin, which sold for just over $4,800.
David Bowie’s self-titled release also boasts iconic album art, with the memorable image of Bowie on the cover. In 2019, a rare limited run of just 50 copies of the album, alongside 15 other records, was released on blue wax. This was done to raise money for charity. One of these rare copies sold for a staggering $27,500.
Iconic album art adds an extra layer of value and desirability to vinyl records. Collectors and music enthusiasts alike will continue to appreciate and cherish these records for their unique visuals and memorable designs.
Hard Rock Collectibles
The thrill of discovering rare and valuable vinyl records from their favorite genre is unparalleled for hard rock fans. Records like Leaf Hound’s ‘Growers of Mushroom’ and Phafner’s ‘Overdrive’ have become valuable vinyl records for hard rock fans and collectors alike.
Leaf Hound’s ‘Growers of Mushroom’ is a prime example of a hard rock collectible that has gained significant value over the years. The record’s rarity and the band’s dedicated fan base have made it a sought-after item for collectors and enthusiasts alike.
Phafner’s ‘Overdrive’ is another hard rock collectible that has become valuable due to its rarity and the devotion of its fans. This record has fetched impressive prices at auctions, with one vinyl copy selling for an astonishing $5449.36 in 2015.
Hard rock collectibles like these hold a special place in the hearts of fans and collectors, and their rarity only adds to their value. As more people continue to seek out these gems, their prices will undoubtedly continue to rise.
Valuable vinyl records often include genre-specific rarities, sought after by collectors and enthusiasts for their unique genre representation and rarity.
Jazz albums by Sahib Shihaband & The Danish Radio Jazz Group and Miles Davis’ ‘Kind of Blue’ are examples of genre-specific rarities that have become valuable vinyl records.
Sahib Shihaband & The Danish Radio Jazz Group’s albums are highly sought after by jazz enthusiasts due to their rarity and the unique sound they represent. Collectors are willing to pay top dollar for these rare jazz gems.
Miles Davis’ ‘Kind of Blue’ is another genre-specific rarity that has become incredibly valuable. This iconic jazz album has fetched impressive prices at auctions, with one vinyl record selling for $2,700.
Summary: The Top 100 Most Valuable Vinyl Records
From million-dollar records to genre-specific rarities, the world of valuable vinyl records is a treasure trove of captivating stories, iconic album art, and rare gems.
Collectors and music enthusiasts alike will continue to appreciate and cherish these records for their unique qualities and the history they represent.
As the vinyl revival continues to grow, the value of these rare and valuable records will only increase. So, keep your eyes peeled and your ears open – you never know when you might stumble upon the next million-dollar vinyl record.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Where is the best place to buy vinyl records online?
If you want to start collecting vinyl records yourself, I recommend our dedicated article discussing the best options for buying vinyl records. Click here to read now.
Which 45 records are most valuable?
Frank Wilson's 'Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)'/'Sweeter as the Days Go By' 45 rpm record is undoubtedly the most valuable, a northern soul classic with a rich history - it's not hard to see why!
How do I find out what vinyl records are worth?
To find out what your vinyl records are worth, check record prices online and get a record price guide for reference. Additionally, consider the condition of the record, its rarity or limited-edition status, and compare it with similar listings on online vinyl marketplaces to get an estimate.
What is the most wanted vinyl record?
Pink Floyd's ninth studio album, "Wish You Were Here" (1975), is the most wanted vinyl record for collectors. Taking second spot is French electronic duo Daft Punk's fourth studio album, "Random Access Memories" (2013). Other iconic Pink Floyd albums, "The Wall" (1979) and "Dark Side of The Moon" (1973), round off the top four.
Which Beatles record is the most sought-after and expensive?
The most sought-after and expensive Beatles record is 'Yesterday and Today', fetching a whopping $125,000 in 2016!
What is Prince's rare and controversial album?
Prince's rare and controversial album is 'The Black Album,' a project famously deemed "too dark" and ordered destroyed by the artist himself.