It would seem that vinyl records are finally a thing of the past. But about 5 years ago, vinyl records began to grow in popularity. They even started talking about the second birth of this old format. As a result, since 2006, vinyl record sales have been increasing every year. The growth of volumes in 2007 alone amounted to 37%.
Surprisingly, this happened against the background of a decline in interest in CDs, they began to sell 20% less. The American large research company Nielsen SoundScan has calculated that in 2009 alone, about 2 million records of the old format were sold in the United States.
Of course, vinyl will never be able to reclaim the entire market - this niche is too narrow, sales of such records are only a couple of percent of the total. But CDs are predicted to die soon, music will exist in the form of a digital cloud on a remote server. It will be possible to download any song from it, paying little money for it. Vinyl will remain a tool for audiophiles who prefer to listen to music at home in an appropriate environment.
The paradox - although the number of owners of vinyl players is growing every year, the number of records themselves is steadily decreasing. After all, every collector knows for sure that real sound is possible only on old and original editions, reprints can no longer convey that range of sounds.
It is no coincidence that the most fanatical collectors purchase several copies of their favorite records at once, realizing that the number of those who wish is increasing, and new releases in this format are unlikely to appear. Below are the 10 most expensive vinyl records in the history of the recording industry.
That’ll be the day / In spite of all the danger, The Quarrymen. This disc, released in 1958, now costs between 180 and 200 thousand dollars. It should be noted that the very first places in our rating are associated with the history of the legendary The Beatles. It is their records that collectors adore. Among other rarities, the first place belongs to the disc "The Quarrymen". The then still unknown group of school friends created by John Lennon was yet to become a legendary group in just a few years. The Quarrymen recorded their first album on July 14, 1958. There was only one decent recording studio in Liverpool at the time. It belonged to the eternally disgruntled old man Percy Phillips. It was to him that the young men paid 17 shillings and 6 pence for the right to record two songs. They were a cover version of "That'll be the day" by Buddy Holly and his own "In spite of all the danger". The guys planned to record only the instrumental and subsequently overlay the tracks with vocals on it, but it turned out that their funds were only enough to play each song once. At that time, the only thing that they more or less rehearsed earlier was the composition "That'll be the day". It was the guys who played it. After the recording, McCartney suddenly announced that he would like to play a new song that neither Lowe nor Hunton had heard before. They protested because they had to rehearse it at least once. However, here the owner of the studio intervened in the dispute, who bluntly said that for that kind of money the group cannot be in the studio for so long. Lennon told Lowe and Hunton, "Just play with us," and recording began. This strange semi-improvisation was, in fact, the first recording of the future "The Beatles". In addition, the song remained the only song written together by McCartney and Harrison. At the end of the recording, the guys got a single disc on hand. According to the agreement, each of the group members owned it for a week. For example, Colin Hunt's brother put it in the cafeteria of his business. As a result, the record came to John Lowe for a long time, with whom it lay for 25 years. In 1981, he decided to sell it at auction, but the lot was immediately bought by Paul McCartney at an unknown price. He immediately printed 50 copies of the rare record and presented them to his family and friends. In 1995, a digitized copy of the song "In spite of all the danger" was included in the Beatles' official anthology, ceasing to be a mirage that everyone knew about, but few have heard. Today it is the single "The Quarrymen" that is considered the most expensive disc in the world. In 2004, according to experts from the authoritative magazine "The Record Collector", which monitors the prices of vinyl rarities, the price of the disc was at least 155 thousand dollars. In further versions, the single was estimated at more expensive - 200 thousand. This price is, of course, very conditional. After all, the disc exists in a single copy and belongs to Paul McCartney. The single is unlikely to ever go free sale. But you can buy much cheaper the same copies from McCartney in 1981. They are estimated at 15 thousand dollars.
Double fantasy, John Lennon. In 1980, John Lennon released his Double Fantasy CD. It was him that he signed on December 8 of the same year to one of his fans. Five hours later, he, holding this plate under his armpit, at the exit from the Dakota Hotel shot his idol. The disc was picked up at the scene of the crime, it became one of the pieces of evidence proving the guilt of Mark David Chapman - after all, his fingerprints remained on the cover. After the trial, the disc with a letter of thanks from the prosecutor was returned to the person who found it. He, being a fan of "The Beatles" for 19 years, struggled with the temptation to sell the rarity. In 1999, through the well-known company "Moments in time", specializing in the sale of autographs and memorabilia, the disc was sold to an anonymous buyer for 150 thousand dollars. This price is now the official one for this disc. Not so long ago it became known that the album is available for sale. The above-mentioned company announced that the owner is ready to part with the memorable rarity, but for 600 thousand. However, no buyers have been found yet. The value of the disc is also added by the fact that not only Lennon's autograph on the cover is attached to it, but also police case materials - evidence of the previous owner, a letter of thanks from the prosecutor, an examination report confirming that the prints belong to Chapman.
Yesterday and Today, The Beatles. In 1966 a rare compilation "The Bealtes" was released, especially for the Canadian and US market. The company "Capitol records" has released a disc, which is now estimated at 45-85 thousand dollars. It includes songs from the albums "Help!", "Rubber soul" and "Revolver". The album became famous due to the unusual cover called butcher cover. Many then thought it was simply wild. Judge for yourself - the musicians were photographed hugging with pieces of damp cape and dismembered dolls. The author of this picture was photographer Robert Whitaker, who created his art project "The Somnambulist's Travel". In total, the company has printed as many as 750 thousand records with the album, even managing to send the first batch to journalists, shops and disc jockeys. However, the reaction to such a cover was so negative that the entire circulation had to be withdrawn. The manufacturer did not dare to completely destroy 750 thousand printed covers, so they pasted a scandalous photo with a new one, in which the musicians peacefully pose near a half-open chest. Such a scandalous story, as well as the variety of surviving copies of the disc, made it the most popular collectible rarity of The Beatles. The highest price is for records with original cover and in perfect condition. There are even so-called first state covers, which is a fan dream. These records were never printed at all. So, in 1966, the then head of Capitol Records, Alan Livingston, kept a whole box of sealed discs. In 1987, his son put up for auction 12 records from that box, causing a stir among collectors. Plates with a new one glued over the old cover are a little cheaper. They are called second state covers. However, not many of them survived. After all, when it became known that the disc with the original cover had become a collector's item, very expensive, the old covers with the chest began to be peeled off across the country. Another wave of plates was formed, called third state covers. It is even cheaper than the second. Such covers were steamed, and the top part then simply peeled off. Among this group, the most valuable are those for which after applying this method only a horizontal strip of glue remained. The price also depends on the condition of the record itself and its sleeve, as well as the quality of the tracks. It turned out that duophonic stereo mixes made from two mono tracks were used for some part of the print run. But the plates, on which there were normal stereo mixes, were reprinted later. They turned out to be much smaller. As a result, the most expensive version of this disc was a sealed stereo mix with the original cover. It is he who costs about 85 thousand dollars.
The Freewheelin 'Bob Dylan, Bob Dylan. In 1963, Bob Dylan recorded a version of the studio album "The Freewhelin 'Bob Dylan". It included four tracks at once that did not make it to the canonical track list. These are the songs "Talkin 'John Birch paranoid blues", "Let me die in my footsteps", "Rocks and gravel" and "Gamblin' Willies dead man's hand". The circulation of this version of the album was also being prepared for sale, but at the very last moment it was withdrawn. There were several reasons for this. According to one of the versions, the Columbia Records studio demanded that the musician withdraw the song "Talkin 'John Birch paranoid blues", which seemed too provocative to the producers. After all, the song is being played on behalf of a crazy communist hunter. The text contains a phrase justifying Hitler's actions, since at least he was not a communist. Dylan's biographers believe CBS played an important role in banning the tracks. On her "The Ed Sullivan Show," the musician was supposed to perform this song, but lawyers considered that it would lead to a wave of lawsuits. After all, there really was an organization "John Birch Society" in the country, which also had a very extensive network in 50 states. The principled Bob Dylan refused to change the composition chosen for the show and simply did not show up for the shooting. It is said that it was the CBS lawyers who recommended Columbia Records to remove the controversial song from the final version of the album. Together with it, three other tracks were removed. Instead, Dylan contributed three fresh songs - "Girl from the North country", "Masters of war", "Talkin 'World War III blues", "Bob Dylan's dream". There is also a version that the final track listing was approved by Bob Dylan solely for creative reasons. As a result, only a few copies of that same original disc remained. It is the first version of "he Freewhelin 'Bob Dylan" that is now considered the most expensive and rare among the heritage of the legendary American musician. Existing mono versions back in the mid-90s were estimated at 10-12 thousand dollars, but a much rarer stereo-mix (two such discs are known) are estimated at 40 thousand.
Velvet underground & Nico. In 2002, a resident of Montreal, Warren Hill, at a flea market bought this nondescript 1966 release. The new owner of the disc cost only 75 cents. It read "The Velvet underground, Mr-N-Dolph, 4-25-66" by hand. Later it turned out that the disc was the original of the band's debut album "The Velvet Underground". The mysterious "Mr-N-Dolph" turned out to be Norman Dolph, an employee of Columbia Records. It was he who, in 1966, helped Andy Warhol find funds to record the group's produced themes. Hill purchased a so-called acetate, or lacquer disc. This is a nitrocellulose varnish coated aluminum disc. It is on it that they record from the magnetic tape. This step is intermediate in the manufacture of vinyl media. The disc is also a service material for sound engineers. Acetates are needed to make sure the sound is right, the tone is right, and the recording levels are correct. If necessary, appropriate adjustments are made, a master disk is made, from which the circulation is cut. Acetates always exist in piece copies. Besides, you can listen to them only a few times, as they wear out quickly. The uniqueness of the disc, acquired by the Canadian, is that the songs recorded on it are somewhat different from those released in the canonical debut album "The Velvet Underground". It turned out that some things were completely rewritten, while others are present on the album in different variations. Warren Hill listed rare acetate on Ebay. Bidding ended at around 150 thousand dollars. However, it turned out that the buyer refused to pay this amount. A second auction sold the rare acetate for $ 25,200.
White album, The Beatles. The ninth album "The Beatles" was released in 1968. The cover design was entrusted to conceptual artist Richard Hamilton. After all, it was he who, 2 years before that, had been the curator of the sensational retrospective of Marcel Duchamp at Tate Modern. Hamilton's design was highly conceptual. This was especially evident in comparison with the baroque luxury of the band's previous album - "Sgt. Pepper's lonely hearts club band". As a result, the name of the group was imperceptibly squeezed out on the white cover. Each envelope also had its own serial number. According to the artist's intention, it was a kind of irony - to number the album's edition with a circulation of about 5 million copies. However, as it turned out, such a graphic solution has an unplanned effect, thanks to which every collector can appreciate how rare a copy is in his hands. Everything is very simple - the lower the number on the envelope, the more valuable the publication. Naturally, we are talking about the very first edition of 1968, and not the reprints of 1973, 1982 and 1995. The record with a beautiful number 0050000 is estimated at 150-300 dollars, but the first ten copies of the album with numbers no more than 00000010 are estimated by "Record Collector's Rare Record Guide" at about 10,000 English pounds.
God save the Queen, Sex Pistols. In 1977, the Sex Pistols recorded an early version of the single "God save the Queen". His story is pretty well known. At first, the scandalous group, unsuccessfully in honor of the Queen's birthday, tried to give a concert right under her windows at the Palace of Westminster. As a result, everyone who attended that performance was arrested. But then the song triumphantly conquered the top of the English charts. The single immediately took first place in the unofficial NME chart and second in the official BBC. The song was then banned from television and radio broadcasts altogether, which did not prevent it from becoming the most famous punk anthem of all time. The circulation of the single simply did not manage to become large, the label "A&M Records" managed to print only a few records, but, seeing the excitement around the song, quickly broke the contract with the group. As a result, records from this small release are considered one of the rarest in Britain. Unlike the more famous Virgin circulation, here on the second side is the song "No feelings", not "Did you no wrong". Today "Record Collector's Rare Record Guide" estimates such a copy of a single at 5 thousand pounds. But this price is conditional, for example, in 2006 at one of the auctions the disc was sold for 12,675 pounds. Such a high price is due to the fact that one of nine existing copies was on sale, which Polygram issued to the oldest employees of "A&M Records" when the London office closed in 1999. Thus, the disc sold was one hundred percent authentic.
Bohemian rhapsody, Queen. In 1978, the Queen released a special deluxe single "Bohemian rhapsody". The circulation of the disc was very limited and amounted to only 200 copies. At its core, the disc was an ordinary royal souvenir. The fact is that in 1978 EMI received the prestigious Queen's award to industry for export achievement for its success in selling discs of British musicians abroad.Such successes were largely due to the phenomenal rise of the Queen group, whose records were sold out all over the world, where only EMI had its representatives. In honor of receiving such an award, EMI decided to print the most famous song of its best-selling artist as a separate gift single in a colorful design. At first it was decided that the record should be purple, this color was one of the traditional for the group. However, in the hustle and bustle of the single for some reason came out blue. It is curious that the production of a batch was quite expensive, because printing a small batch of 200 copies is much more difficult than printing a multi-thousand one. I also had to tinker with the blue vinyl granules needed to print the record. As a result, only the cost of the disc was 4-5 pounds versus the usual 50p. The printed edition at the corporate party during the celebration was distributed to guests and employees of EMI itself. At the same time, each disc was accompanied by special glasses with an engraved name of the company, as well as gift scarves. Today such a complete set costs about £ 5,000. Subsequently, it turned out that in addition to these 200 discs, there were several more blue singles, unnumbered and without envelopes. Somehow they also fell into the hands of collectors. Although they are much smaller, they are of course also cheaper. They cost between £ 500 and £ 600.
The Caine mutiny. There is a separate group among vinyl collectors - soundtrack collectors. Among them, the most valuable are the soundtracks for the films of the "Golden Age of Hollywood". This period fell on the 1940-1960s. The price of the disc increases with the photograph of the actors on its cover, and the rarity of the soundtrack and its significance also affect. To date, the rarest soundtrack in the world is considered to be the 1954 soundtrack for the movie "Kane's Rebellion" with Humphrey Bogart. The value is determined by the fact that the record was withdrawn shortly after its release by the release company RCA Records. True, such a recording will not give pleasure to fans of pure music. The disc is filled with dialogues from the film, and somewhere in the background music by composer Max Steiner sounds. For a long time it was believed that it was he who demanded that the disc be withdrawn from the free sale, since it was simply impossible to hear his music. But then it turned out that the initiator of the seizure of the disc was the writer Herman Wuk, according to whose book the film was made. He wrote a furious letter to the president of RCA, outraged that the record contained too many lengthy quotes from the book. According to the author, this largely undermined the value of both the film and the book. And the record was more like an audiobook, the production of which Wuk did not give consent. The author even threatened that he would never again agree to film adaptations of his books, if the disc was not withdrawn from sale. As a result, only a few copies remained, each of which is estimated at $ 6500-7000. However, dealers assure that if there is a record in perfect condition, then it can be sold for 40 thousand dollars.
Space oddity, David Bowie. In England at the end of the 60s, singles with their own printed covers were still rare, which at that time had already conquered both America and Europe. Then the plates were simply put in faceless envelopes. The British record companies believed that there was simply no point in spending on singles. Such a product, although important, is fleeting and straightforward. That is why when David Bowie's 1969 single "Space oddity" with a colorful cover was discovered among collectors in 1996, many considered it a common, albeit clever, fake. For clarification, it was decided to turn to Marshall Jarman, the author of the most complete guide to David Bowie's discography. The writer was able to track down a man who worked in the Dutch branch of Philips in the late 60s. He said that at one time the company released a small trial run for the English market as an experiment. In addition, "Space oddity" was recorded in stereo, which was quite a rare and innovative phenomenon at that time. The single was created under the influence of the space theme, it used unusual sound effects. This made it possible to create a small marketing gimmick. In the future, Philips marketers were able to successfully link the release of the single with the American landing on the moon. Only here the Dutchman could not remember anything about the cover, assuming only that it was nevertheless printed using the technology usual for the country. There, in those years, singles were already released with individual design. The records, nevertheless, were not subsequently seen in wide sale, their fate also remained unknown. It is only known that there are only a few rare records in the world, their approximate cost is $ 4700 each.