10 of the most collectable (and valuable) vinyl records


Some will be played and cherished for years to come, while others will no doubt be snapped-up by investors wishing to keep them pristine in an effort to cash in at a later date. But even the most sought after Record Store Day releases are unlikely to match the real vinyl rarities.

We asked Ian Shirley, editor of the Rare Record Price Guide, to do some digging and come up with ten seriously collectible records, complete with some hi-fi favourites and modern classics. The following records each have their own story and, despite being seriously rare, might just be be nestling in a charity shop, car boot sale or even a record collection near you...

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1. The Beatles - Please Please Me

Release: UK LP Parlophone Stereo PCS 3042

Year: 1963

Value: £6000+

Despite selling millions of records from the 1960s onwards there remains worldwide hunger for mint, unplayed 7in singles, EPs and LPs by the Fab Four.

One of their rarest records is this debut LP pressed when Parlophone was changing their label designs. This 1st pressing was on black and gold and then a few months later the same LP was pressed on yellow and black labels.

Also, this rare stereo edition had to be specially ordered making it scarce even when it was first released. The Beatles' White Album meanwhile can go for over £10,000, provided it has a unique low stamped number between 1 and 100.

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2. Darryl Banks - Open the Door to Your Heart

Release: UK 7in London HL 10070

Year: 1966

Value: £14,000

Banks was an American soul singer and although this record charted Stateside, there were legal issues over exactly who had the rights to release it in the UK, making this 7in single extremely rare on this side of the pond.

For decades soul collectors thought there were only ever promotional copies released but last year a stock copy surfaced - a subsequent auction caused an almighty scramble amongst serious crate-diggers. The hammer went down at a whopping £14,000. But where there’s one, there might be another...

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3. Billy Nicholls - Would You Believe

Release: UK LP Immediate IMCP 009

Year: 1968

Value: £5000+

Oodles of money was spent recording this pop fantasia on the pet label of former Rolling Stones manager, Andrew Loog Oldham. Unfortunately for Oldham, it went out of business before this masterpiece could be released.

Around 100 finished copies were pressed in order to secure positive reviews and these are now holy grail items for collectors worldwide. Even if you don't find this ultra-rare version, even the first reissue from 1998 on the Tenth Planet LP is worth £50.

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4. David Bowie - Space Oddity

Release: Japan Philips SFL 1244 M

Year: 1969

Value: £5000+

Back in 1969, the late David Bowie was hardly selling any records in the UK despite releasing two solo albums and a number of singles.

Space Oddity was his first hit and was released in Japan in this fetching picture sleeve that sold poorly and is now, ironically, one of his most sought after records in the world.

Following his recent death many Bowie collectables, such as The Man Who Sold The World LP with the notorious ‘dress’ cover (1971, £1000), are appreciating in price and copies of Blackstar (2016) on clear vinyl complete with art prints are already selling for over £200.

5. Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin

Release: UK LP Atlantic 588 171

Year: 1969

Value: £2000

You can pick-up original copies of this debut LP for £20-50 in record shops - but it won't be this version.

The first pressing of this seminal piece of rock bludgeon was issued in a first-run sleeve that was inked with turquoise lettering. The lettering was quickly changed to orange when the pressing plants began to stamp them by the million, as they do right up to the present day.

Other Led-releated releases worth looking out for include promo copies of singles like Whole Lotta Love (£600+), which their label tried to issue against the bands wishes in 1969, to Robert Plant's solo LP Dreamland in 2002 (£100).

6. Pink Floyd - The Dark Side of the Moon

Release: U.K. LP Harvest SHVL 804

Year: 1973

Value: £1000

How can the best-selling Floyd LP of all time be collectable? The secret lies in the fact that the very first copies pressed in the UK had a solid blue triangle on the labels, while the later pressings from the same year had black and blue labels.

There are many Floyd rarities, especially when Syd Barrett was at the helm, with ‘export’ copies - pressed in the UK to be sold overseas - of the band's 1967 debut going for over £2000.

7. Stonewall - Stonewall

Release: USA Tiger Lily TL 14013

Year: 1976

Value: £5000+

Whilst people were gyrating to disco and doing the pogo to punk there were a number of unscrupulous labels, mostly in America, pressing up records and hiding them in warehouses and garages as a tax scam in order to make money.

The idea was to press 50-100 records and then pretend that you'd pressed thousands in order to legally claim back the ‘lost’ revenue. Think of it as Mel Brooks' Springtime For Hitler on vinyl.

This amazing slice of hard rock psychedelia is one of the rarest tracks from the era - and will cost you the thin end of a thick wedge.

8. The Sex Pistols - God Save The Queen

Release: U.K. 7”, A&M AMS 7284

Year: 1977

Value: £8000+

As punk celebrates its 40th anniversary, this rarest of all Sex Pistols singles is appreciating faster than London property prices. After being thrown off EMI the Pistols were then thrown off A&M - but not before this second 7” record had been pressed.

All of the copies were supposed to have been destroyed but a small number were smuggled out of the pressing plant. Naturally, they've been highly sought after by record collectors worldwide ever since.

9. Morrissey - November Spawned a Monster

Release: UK 12” HMV white label No Catalogue Number

Year: 1990

Value: £3000

Back in 1990 some bright spark at Parlophone records thought it would further Morrissey’s solo career to get a remix made of the track November The Second to play in clubs.

When Mozza heard the track he was as incandescent and ordained that every copy be destroyed.

Well, someone didn’t follow orders and there is at least one copy out there...

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10. The Killers - Hot Fuss

Release: UK LP Lizard King LIZARD011

Year: 2004

Value: £150

Here is one that you might have in your collection. This debut was issued at a time when CDs ruled the roost and the vinyl resurgence was yet to take off.

To confirm their indie rock and roll credentials, the Killers' UK (and US) labels pressed their debut album on cool but limited blue vinyl. When the band went mainstream, this became a sought-after rarity.

Paul Weller’s 1998 Modern Classics (£50) is another relatively recent release that could become a good investment over time, and proves there's plenty of potential in modern vinyl releases joining the list of most valuable records some time in the future...

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