7 Highest Priced Records on eBay Right Now: The Beatles, Minor Threat, Bach and More
Jack White made headlines a few weeks ago when he announced that he was the bidder who spent $300,000 for the acetate of Elvis Presley's original single, a 7" pressing from Sun Records featuring "My Happiness" and "That's When Your Heartaches Begin," and that his label Third Man Records would be releasing copies of the recording for Record Store Day 2015. That inspired us to check out what the highest-priced albums on eBay were at the moment, and readers ate it up, so we've decided to keep it going, looking at every LP priced at more than $1,000 on the online auction site at the moment. From least to most expensive, including The Beatles, Minor Threat and Bach:
Note: The listings featured below are as of publication time.
07) Real Heavy Man by Oriana Smiles...$1,105.28 from one bid
We've seen acetates before so we know just how much some record collectors are willing to shell out for them. Those examples have, in the past, been fairly familiar groups, such as Minor Threat. This case seems to be the buyer really knows what they're looking for or is just hung-up on the idea of owning an acetate from the psychedelic period. According to the seller, Oriana Smiles was a group of high schoolers who pressed this demo with the Deroy label in the UK during 1969. The album itself features recordings of The Rolling Stones' "The Last Time" and "Hey Gyp," as well as a jam on the standard "Summertime" and "St. James Infirmary," as well as conversation between band members in between tracks. According to the history books, Oriana Smiles didn't go anywhere after Real Heavy Man, so $1,000-plus seems a little too much for our wallets.
06) "I'll Be Over (Tomorrow)" / "Toy Soldiers" by The Summits...$1,125 from two bids
A trend that you'll continue to see if you continue to track high-selling vinyl: Soul and R&B obscurities going for huge sums on eBay. It's not that the performers are well known-quite the opposite in fact. You can still get a pretty penny for selling Beatles singles but the fact remains that so many Beatles singles were sold, that quite a few are still in fair enough condition...in other words, not a rarity. Acts such as The Summits, a soul group that recorded on Chicago label United International, never got near as famous and thus didn't see such high production rates for their products. As a result, singles such as "I'll Be Over (Tomorrow)" became much more valuable when vinyl interest increased.
05) Volume One by The Human Beast...$1,525 from 2 bids
The owner of this psychedelic rock classic seems to know that they've got something worth a fair amount: Although two bidders have gotten the price up to $1,525 as of publication, the site claims that the reserve has not been met (the reserve is the price at which the seller is willing to actually part with the item. This is a ridiculous option that can be set on eBay...or in any other form of auction...if you have a minimum amount in mind, just start the bidding there and quit with the suspense!) This is truly worth checking out however, especially the cover of the Incredible String Band's "Maybe Someday." It's also got the most intriguing album art on this week's list, featuring an airbrushed nude and a skeletal man. One thing working against the seller: This album was rereleased on CD during 2007.
04) Out of Step by Minor Threat...$1,525 from 3 bids
It's somewhat ironic to see that Minor Threat, a mainstay of the often uber left-leaning hardcore scene, can now sell its EPs for thousands of dollars online. The last time we saw Out of Step, the seller was selling a first pressing of the album that had been given to him personally by frontman Ian MacKaye. This version is different however, coming from the second pressing. The final track on the album, "Cashing In," ends much differently than the last example we looked at. While the band simply stopped playing on the first version (as you might expect from a hardcore group), the second ends with a violin recording (less expected from a hardcore group). Like the first pressing, this EP doesn't feature the band or title on the record.
03) Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab The Beatles Box Set...$1,999 from one bid
Part of the eBay experience is trusting that you'll get what you pay for. After all, there's always the chance that the guy in Florida is going to send you a cassette version of The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy's Hypocrisy Is The Greatest Luxury and not the LP as advertised (yeah, still bitter). This example is the perfect example: The seller claims to have the Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab The Beatles box set, which features 14 LPs cut from the original masters, one of 2,500 copies sold during 1982. However, the original owner never removed it from the cardboard box in which it had been shipped. So all of the images provided on eBay are of a cardboard box, supposedly containing the records. We're not bashing the seller...after all, the website has ways of punishing those who sell false goods. We're just noting how excellent it is that at least one person is willing to trust a stranger enough to pay $2,000 for what can only be confirmed as a box.
02) Sonates pour clavier et violin by Johann Sebastian Bach / Michele Auclair / Marie-Claire Alain...$2,750 from two bids
Those well-versed in orchestral music are probably aware of Johann Sebastian Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, a series of piano compositions written as a guide of sorts to the instrument. Knowing that, we can tell that Sonates pour clavier et violin must be a series of sonatas for the keyboard and violin...which in reality isn't right. Turns out that "clavier" in this case translates to organ, an organ played by French instrumentalist Marie-Claire Alain and violinist Michele Auclair. This is a rare double LP from a French label Les Discophiles Francais.
01) "Love Me Do" by The Beatles...$4,421.10 from four bids
So we mentioned that just because it's a single from the greatest band in pop music history, doesn't mean that it's worth any money. That said, when you find the singles that are worth something, they can be worth quite a bit. That's the case with this copy of "Love Me Do," a single that was intended for DJ play only. If you frequent record stores, you'll see plenty of promotional copies that are marked "demonstration record not for sale." Some are even strategically marked as such, like the copy of The Gray Album (a Danger Mouse experiment featuring Beatles music) your correspondent owns, which would have been illegal to sell otherwise due to sampling issues. Just because it claims to be for DJs, it doesn't necessarily make it rare. According to the seller of this copy of "Love Me Do," it's one of only 250 promotional copies in existence. That's when prices rise to more than $4,000.