Recently I was asked, ‘What is the most valuable vinyl record in your collection?’
My thoughts at first went to the Record Buyers Price Guide and what I might have that commands a high price. In my case not that much really but the highest is quite likely to be the album from 1967 by Art. (First issue, pink Island).
But then I thought what do we mean by valuable? Could it be something of no great monetary value but which is valuable for other reasons. For example, could it be that you still have the very first vinyl record you bought? Even though it might not be in great condition, and rarely, if ever gets played – is it reasonable to consider that one? I think so. I certainly have mine, it’s ‘From Me To You’ by The Beatles. Purchased from a musical instrument shop in Reading called Broadmeads which had a small vinyl record department and was to close soon afterwards.
Then again being an old romantic could it be the record from your collection that means a lot to you and someone close to you? You know, the ‘they’re playing our record’ one. It sits there in your collection so why shouldn’t it therefore be considered valuable. For me that would be The Beach Boys, ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’ – a special one for me and my wife.
On the other hand could the most valuable relate to that vinyl record that you still have which was the catalyst for your undying love of music and records, even though it might not be the type of music you play nowadays. It’s still there gathering dust but it’s certainly special wouldn’t you say? Now for me that would be from my brother’s box of 45s when I was about 8 years old. He wouldn’t allow me to play them unless he was there but thanks to my mum I played them all the time! And the record? Well it was none other than ‘Apache’ by The Shadows – a masterpiece, and I still have that very copy. Valuable? Dead right it is.
Of course there are loads of reasons why certain records might be considered the most valuable. The one signed by the artist or the one you actually like best? What about the one you have been trying to track down for years and have recently found? Or could it be the most recent piece of vinyl you have purchased.
Nostalgia and sentimentality plays a big part in this of course. That’s why an album that my dad loved sits right up there with me. He died last year aged 97 and had an extensive collection of 1930s onwards dance band music. His copy of a collection of songs by Harry Roy and His Orchestra – released on a budget label and with something of a moth eared cover, now sits proudly in my collection. Is that my most valuable? Could well be.
No doubt you collectors can come up with many reasons as to why a vinyl record might be described as your most valuable. It would be great to hear from you on the subject – do get in touch.
About the Author
Mike Warth – Retired teacher and Education Officer, old rocker. Lover of prog, psych and folk – the latter for which I sometimes take some stick. (Why?) Currently having a ball working at The Sound Machine, Reading – independent Record Store par excellence and now working with Vernon Joynson on an update to Dreams, Fantasies And Nightmares.