After searching the Internet for the world’s Top Ten Most Valuable Vinyl Records, one can be sure that the lists can be subjective, vary from country to country and will fluctuate over time. For instance, the copy of John Lennon & Yoko Ono “Double Fantasy” LP, the one that he signed for Mark David Chapman just a few hours before he was shot to death, is at the top of a common list. However, the record remains unsold, so the asking price may not be exactly what the record is worth. With the recent death of Michael Jackson, copies of “Thriller” were selling at more than three times what the record price guides listed and Jackson’s rare vinyl has also skyrocketed. Although the prices for his more common records will even out, one can assume his rare vinyl will remain at high prices.
In all actuality, a record is worth what someone will pay for it; which is true of most collectibles. Many variables will effect the price, such as demand, the death of an artist, the condition of the vinyl itself, just to name a few. However, in the case of vinyl records, there are some recording artists that always show up on the ‘top ten’ lists, including the Beatles and the Sex Pistols. My guess is that there will always be a demand for the Fab Four and the Sex Pistols, hence the prices for their records and the rare ones will always be on the high end of any list. Also, the lists include acetates, which are another rare form of a record release.
Now, chances are slim that you will find one of these rare records at a flea market or garage sale, but as all vinyl record collectors know, it is the hunt that is one of the most satisfying elements of the hobby.
If we take a look at the three lists below we see that the early Beatles work done as the Quarrymen show up on both the Wikipedia list and the list from the Telegraph in the UK. Also, the Beatles show up as the one that command the most money at www.popsike.com (according to their database).