Vinyl is no longer a remnant of music history past. Vinyl sales have skyrocketed since 2015, and collectors have been finding hidden gems in their collections. Do you also have a vinyl collection? Who knows, maybe you own an oddly colorful Nirvana record worth a few thousand bucks. Or maybe you paid 75 cents for an album that’s worth $25,000 today. Wouldn’t that be nice?
These are some of the rarest as well as most valuable vinyl records of all time.
The Beatles (‘White Album’) Originals From 1968
The Beatles released the self-titled album, later called the ‘White Album,’ back in 1968. The band members and studio execs were given copies stamped with serial numbers that started in A00000, followed by a number. So, an original copy may have the number A0000018.
In 2013, Clifford Yamasaki from Let It Be Records sold the very first copy of the ‘White Album’ for $35,000! One year later, copy A0000023 auctioned for $13,750. It just so happens that very few of these original albums still exist today.
Quarrymen’s 1958 ‘In Spite of All the Danger/That’ll Be the Day’
Did you know that before John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison played together as the Beatles, they were first a group called the Quarrymen? They recorded two tracks on this 10-inch record In Spite of All the Danger. At first, only one original copy existed. But then McCartney bought it and released 50 more.
McCartney gave these records to family and friends for Christmas. Since 1981, these records sold for tens of thousands of dollars! Just one copy can cash in anywhere from $13,000 to $260,000.
‘My Happiness’ Sun Records Copy
In 1953, at just 18-years-old, Elvis Presley recorded his first song ever. He did a cover of the 1948 song “My Happiness,” and put it on vinyl of the same name through Sun Records. The King then gave it to his friend, Ed Leek, who cherished it for many years before deciding to hand it off.
Then in 2015, collector and artist Jack White sold that same copy for $300,000. His own record label, Third Man Records, reproduced the vinyl as a limited edition. It won’t cash in for the same amount as the original, but it’s still a very decent amount.
Did you know that exclusive cover art can make the difference between $20 and $25,000?
‘The Velvet Underground & Nico’ Banana Sticker Cover
In 2002, Canadian record collector Warren Hill paid a mere 75 cents for this vinyl at a flea market. Hill had no idea as to what he just found. The record is the Velvet Underground’s first album, but this copy is highly valued due to its rare banana peel cover by artist Andy Warhol.
This rare vinyl includes early versions of songs that are different from the standard album. It’s so rare that the only other copy that exists is in the hands of the band’s drummer, Moe Tucker. Warren Hill auctioned the record off on eBay for $25,200.
‘The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan’ Special Tracks From 1963
Just before Bob Dylan released his second album in 1963, he changed some of the tracks. Dylan replaced four songs with newly recorded tracks. Later, the record went back to its regular version. And only a handful of the vinyl with these four misplaced tracks was sold.
One copy sold for $35,000. To know if your copy is original, you need to look for matrix numbers ending in 1A on both sides. It has to have the songs ‘Rocks and Gravel,’ ‘Let Me Die in My Footsteps,’ ‘Gamblin’ Willie’s Dead Man’s Hand,’ and ‘Talkin’ John Birch Blues.’