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Here Are the 50 Most Valuable Vinyl Records on Earth

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We may be in the age of streaming, but records are experiencing a resurgence. The mid-year 2019 report from the Recording Industry Association of America concluded that vinyl is on track to outsell CDs, with a 13% increase in sales compared to the previous year. Amidst the burgeoning vinyl boom, NobleOak, an Australian life insurance company, worked with Ian Shirley, the editor of Record Collector magazine’s Rare Record Price Guide, to determine the 50 most valuable vinyl records worldwide.

The Quarrymen, an early incarnation of the Beatles consisting of John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison, as well as pianist John Lowe and drummer Colin Hanton, topped the list. Their 1958 demo recording of Buddy Holly’s “That’ll Be the Day,” and an original song penned by Paul McCartney and George Harrison, “In Spite of All the Danger,” is valued at $354,000. There is only one copy of the record in existence, which McCartney purchased from Lowe for an undisclosed sum back in 1981.

The Beatles  make a number of appearances on the list, but there are, too, a number of surprises (or head-scratchers). Asked what makes a record collectible, Shirley explains that the key factors are “scarcity, condition and the desire of someone to own it.” Several of the records on the list were quickly pulled because of controversial cover art, making them highly sought-after for their rarity. Other in-demand records range from “psychedelic single[s] from the ‘60s that no one was interested in at the time” to mint, unplayed copies of records that sold in the millions. Read on for the rest of the list, and head to NobleOak for images of each record, as well as the stories behind their hefty price tags.

50. Steel City Connection – Dansation / Steel City Disco ($885)
49. Thrillers/Delta Cats – Last Dance / Unworthy Baby ($1,770)
48. The Velvet Underground & Nico – The Velvet Underground & Nico ($1,770)
47. Terea – Terea ($1,770)
46. Nirvana – Love Buzz / Big Cheese ($3,097.50)
45. World’s Experience Orchestra – The Beginning Of A New Birth ($3,540)
44. Tudor Lodge – Tudor Lodge ($3,540)
43. The Smiths – Hand In Glove / Handsome Devil ($3,540)
42. Stonewall – Stonewall ($3,540)
41. Pink FloydThe Piper At The Gates Of Dawn ($3,540)
40. Nicholas Greenwood – Cold Cuts ($3,540)
39. Charlie Parker – Bird Blows The Blues ($3,540)
38. Brute Force – King Of Fuh / Nobody Knows ($3,540)
37. U2Three ($3,540)
36. Sun Ra – Super-Sonic Jazz ($4,425)
35. MadonnaErotica ($4,425)
34. Prince – The Black Album ($5,310)
33. Michael Garrick Trio – Moonscape ($5,310)
32. Leonid Kogan and Elisabeth Gilels – Sonatas For Two Violins ($5,310)
31. Led ZeppelinLed Zeppelin ($5,310)
30. Leaf Hound – Growers Of Mushroom ($5,310)
29. John Lennon and Yoko Ono – Unfinished Music No. 1. Two Virgins ($5,310)
28. Genesis – The Silent Sun / That’s Me! ($5,310)
27. Folkal Point – Folkal Point ($5,310)
26. Arthur Verocai – Arthur Verocai ($5,310)
25. Robert Johnson – I Believe I’ll Dust My Broom / Dead Shrimp Blues ($6,195)
24. Various – Our First Four ($7,080)
23. Sonny Clark – Cool Struttin’ ($7,080)
22. Lula Cortes e Ze Ramalho – Paebiru ($7,080)
21. Jutta Hipp – Jutta Hipp With Zoot Sims ($7,080)
20. Complex – Complex ($7,080)
19. Margarita Madrigal – Madrigal’s Magic Key To Spanish Volume 1 and 2 ($7,080)
18. Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody / I’m In Love With My Car ($7,965)
17. Olivia Newton-John – Xanadu ($8,850)
16. Hank Mobley – Hank Mobley ($8,850)
15. Charley Patton – Pony Blues / Banty Rooster Blues ($8,850)
14. Billy Nicholls – Would You Believe ($8,850)
13. The BeatlesPlease Please Me ($10,620)
12. The BeatlesIntroducing The Beatles ($12,390)
11. Elvis PresleyThat’s All Right / Blue Moon Of Kentucky ($12,390)
10. The Rolling Stones – Street Fighting Man / No Expectations ($14,160)
09. The BeatlesYesterday And Today ($14,160)
08. Junior McCants – Try Me For Your New Love / She Wrote It I Read It ($15,930)
07. The BeatlesThe Beatles (White Album) ($17,700)
06. Sex Pistols – God Save The Queen / No Feelings ($17,700)
05. Dark – Dark Round The Edges ($17,700)
04. Darrell Banks – Open The Door To Your Heart / Our Love (Is In The Pocket) ($26,550)
03. Frank Wilson – Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) / Sweeter As The Days Go By ($44,250)
02. The BeatlesSgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band ($123,900)
01. The Quarrymen – That’ll Be The Day / In Spite Of All The Danger ($354,000)

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