Hitting All the Right Notes

Now’s the time to unearth that old vinyl collection, says our resident music man Rob Palmer. You could be sitting on a fortune…

Have you still got those old vinyl records you used to play? Maybe you inherited them from your parents? Perhaps they’re retired to a cobwebbed corner of the attic or are hidden underneath years of sentimental detritus.

You may well want to bring them back out into the daylight and check to see if you have a very valuable asset lurking in your collection. The resurgence of vinyl has seen an increase in demand for vintage vinyl – in particular the rarer items that keen collectors are desperate to get their hands on, which is borne out by the staggering prices they are prepared to pay.

Old does not necessarily mean valuable but scarcity usually does, and original pressings will generally be the most valuable version of a particular album. While many albums in any collection are ultimately destined for the charity shops, many more will have at least a modest held value.

The most expensive vinyl album ever sold was by the hip-hop legends Wu Tang Clan, selling for $2 million. There’s no need to rush to the attic to check though, as this was the only copy of the record ever made. The band recorded the album as a protest to the growth of streaming and piracy, which they suggested cheapened the value of music. The plan was to return music to the value of fine art.

While you may not have a $2million record down the back of the sofa, you might have a first issue Beatles album…obviously very collectable. Other artists from the past who have many valuable titles include The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Beach Boys, Elvis and David Bowie. Add these to more contemporary artists like Radiohead, Prince and Daft Punk, and you may be sitting on a valuable asset.

The interest in collectable vinyl is worldwide; Roan Records are shipping second-hand records daily to China, Japan, South Korea, the USA and many other countries. This global demand is the main driver of the ever-increasing value of pre-loved music.

The White Album by The Beatles with the number A0000001, owned by Ringo Star, fetched $790,000 but if you have a low number, for example A0000023, you too could sell for $13,750, as was the case for a seller in 2012.

So get that vinyl out and you may just end up reacting like the folk on BBC One’s Antiques Roadshow when the experts suggest a value…”How Much?!!”

Rob Palmer is the owner of Roan Records,

12 Church Road, Teddington TW11 8PB.


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