If you want to get rich quick, it might just be a matter of how many records you own. Whether you’re a hipster with an expertly curated collection of vinyls, or a former ’70s teenager with a huge stack of dusty records in your basement, famous records are selling for big bucks these days, and your future fortune may already be tucked away in a closet somewhere.
Records changed the way music was distributed but the lightening fast progression of technology has made them mostly obsolete. But that doesn’t mean they’ve lost value. — music fanatics have made their price tags only go up! In fact, some records could fetch you enough money for a new house!
20. Abbey Road by The Beatles, 1969: The album is common enough, but your copy might yield the big bucks. If yours has the yellow and black label with catalog number PPCS 7088, it could be worth over $1,000.
19. Led Zeppelin by Led Zeppelin, 1969: The rock band didn’t experience immediate commercial success with their debut album, but the critics eventually came around. The original UK release with blue lettering will sell for $1,000 today.
18. Bleach by Nirvana, 1989: The original vinyl pressing of this debut album has sold for $2,500, but for the third press, of which there are only 500 copies in the world, will still sell for $1,100.
17. The Prettiest Star by David Bowie, 1973: Although it’s just a 45 RPM single, it’s super rare and could sell for $2,000. Bowie reportedly performed this song while proposing to Angela Barnett over the phone.
16. That’ll Be The Day by The Quarrymen, 1981: You may not recognize this band, but you’ll probably know them by their later name. This was the first iteration of little band called The Beatles. This single recorded in 1958 and printed in 1981 is worth around $3,500.
15. Cherry Five by Cherry Five, 1975: Later they became known as Goblin and went on to record the soundtracks to some of the most iconic horror films of all time such as Deep Red and Dawn of the Dead. Their debut is valued at $3,500.
14. That’s All Right by Elvis Presley, 1954: The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll recorded this album while he was jamming in the studio. His producer pressed record, and one of the most famous albums in history was born. It’s worth $4,000 today.
Bear Family Records
13. Music for the Masses by Depeche Mode, 1987: The original print of this vinyl sported this orange speaker, and was later changed to the well-known alternate cover of the speakers in the desert. Some of these were shipped out by mistake and are worth over $4,500.
12. Legacy of Brutality by The Misfits, 1985: Glen Danzig only made 16 copies of this vinyl after he quit the band and dubbed over his former band mates to avoid paying them royalties. Of course, legal action was taken and despite the bad blood, it’s worth $5,000.
11. Waltzes by Johann Strauss Jr. by Century Symphony Orchestra, 1956: The music is wonderful, but the real money maker of this classical album is the cover art. It was designed by Andy Warhol, and there are only seven known copies. It’s worth over $5,000.
10. God Save the Queen by The Sex Pistols, 1977: Within days of signing the punk band, A&M records dropped them because they were impossible to manage and completely destructive. They ordered every copy of this single destroyed, but the surviving ones could be worth upwards of $8,000.
Roots vinyl guide /Chris Morphet
9. Xanadu by Olivia Newton John and Electric Light Orchestra, 1980: The movie is a notorious flop, but this record is a sought-after rarity. If you see the original vinyl with Olivia Newton John on the cover, it could be worth almost $10,000.
8. Stormy Weather by The Five Sharps, 1952: Only three known copies of this vinyl exist, making it super rare and worth over $20,000. It recently sold for as much on an episode of Pawn Stars.
7. The Velvet Underground and Nico by The Velvet Underground, 1967: In this case, the version of the album without the Warhol art is worth the most. There are two test copies. One belongs to the band and the other to a collector who sold it for $25,000.
6. Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) by Frank Wilson, 1965: The infamous Motown producer Berry Gordy convinced Frank Wilson to produce instead of perform. All his records were subsequently destroyed, but two copies of this one survived. It sold for $34,000 in 2009.
5. The Freewhellin’ Bob Dylan by Bob Dylan, 1963: Some versions of this album were printed with different versions of certain songs making them ridiculously valuable. If your copy ends in serial number 1A, you could possibly sell it for $35,000.
4. Alcohol And Jake Blues by Tommy Johnson, 1930: It was rumored that Johnson sold his soul to the devil to acquire his guitar talent. You might have to do the same to get your hands on this very rare vinyl. It sold at auction for $37,100.
American Blues Scene
3. The Black Album by Prince, 1987: While under the influence of some heavy drugs, Prince decided this record was evil. So he bought all the copies from the label. The promotional copies were already released, making them the only vinyls in existence. One sold in 2018 for $42,300.
2. Caustic Window by Caustic Window aka Aphex Twin, 2014: Eccentric and reclusive music producer Richard D. James (Aphex Twin) released this album under the name Caustic Window before abandoning the project. A few were printed and Minecraft creator Markus Perrson bought one for $46,300.
1.The Beatles aka The White Album by The Beatles, 1968: Not just any copy of the album. There’s only one. The first one, to be exact. Serial #A0000001. This singular sensation was sold for $790,000 for charity. You won’t find this one at your local record store.
It’s not a surprise that the most famous band in history made our list three times and stole the number one spot. Sadly, The Beatles officially called it quits in 1970. But that doesn’t stop dark rumors from swirling around the band’s most terrible secret.
Drummer Ringo Starr may be the only person who knows the real truth. While he doesn’t like to address it in interviews, one question about a former bandmate still comes up again and again. Ringo admitted that it was a troubled time for the Fab Four.
See, ever since the mid-1960s, rock listeners have had questions about the whereabouts of Paul McCartney. Sure, he and Ringo appeared in public together as recently as 2018, but not everyone is convinced both men onstage were real Beatles.
How could that be? Since Beatlemania erupted on a worldwide scale in 1964, not one of John, Paul, George, or Ringo have been able to go anywhere without being recognized. They reached an unprecedented level of fame.
Everywhere they went, throngs of frenzied girls followed them. But after one 1969 radio broadcast, Beatles fans were screaming for a completely different reason. Many feared one of their heroes had met a grisly end.
One night, Detriot disc jockey Russ Gibb took a call from an anonymous source who claimed that Paul McCartney had secretly died and been replaced with a double. Russ entertained the crackpot for a while but never imagined listeners would believe him.
Ultimate Classic Rock
In the ensuing weeks, tabloids and reporters began running the story as if it were fact. The “Paul Is Dead” rumors actually started years earlier – back when The Beatles stopped touring and changed their look — but now it had hit the mainstream.
Here’s the myth: Paul was speeding down a long-and-winding road one November night in 1966. Amid the icy conditions, he lost control of his car and veered into a pole, killing him instantly. Before the press picked up the tragedy, the band covered it up.
YouTube / freakineagle
Allegedly, manager Brian Epstein predicted that Paul’s demise would sink The Beatles and cause mass panic. So, in secret, he organized a search for a McCartney lookalike. They found their double in a man named William Shears Campbell.
At the same time, the three surviving musicians supposedly wrestled with extreme guilt. They could only bear it by hinting at Paul’s secret death and replacement. Before long, fans claimed to identify clues all over The Beatles’ catalog.
For example, conspiracy theorists thought the band’s alter-ego experiment in Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was all a nod to the cover-up. The Beatles did name drop Billy Shears in “With A Little Help From My Friends,” after all.
Far-fetched as it sounded, a number of fans bought into the story. They pulled out photos of Paul from 1964 and 1967 and claimed there were enough facial differences to prove these were two different men! Naturally, they ignored the effects of aging and facial hair.
The Beatles added fuel to the fire by acknowledging the rumors in their work. For instance, a garbled voice appears at the end of the song “I’m So Tired.” When played backwards, it chants aloud, “Paul is a dead man. Miss him, miss him!”
The Beatles Bible
In addition, the cover of Abbey Road resembled a funeral procession. John led the way in a minister’s white outfit, Ringo followed in a black undertaker’s suit, Paul signified his death with a cigarette and no shoes, and George wore the blue-collar denim of a gravedigger.
With the Detroit radio broadcast, the “Paul is dead” conspiracy reached its peak. Though after The Beatles broke up in 1970, Paul disappeared from the public eye. Was there some truth to his downfall?
No, not so much. Following the band’s breakup, Paul and his wife Linda retreated to their Scotland farm. He did regular interviews to prove to everyone he was still alive and kicking, but a small group of naysayers just weren’t buying it.
Many hit singles and sold-out tours later, tinfoil hat wearers still insisted that this man simply wasn’t Paul McCartney. They alleged that the same impostor from 1966 was coasting off of The Beatles’ success, as he knew most people would never believe his secret.
Los Angeles Times
These days, Paul has mostly laughed off the hoax. Maybe the Fab Four shouldn’t have indulged the paranoids out there, but they were mostly just making fun of it. However, he admitted he did get into a crash in 1966.
Fortunately, this accident wasn’t nearly as horrific as the urban legend. The Beatle fell off his moped, resulting in him chipping his tooth. Paul actually grew a mustache shortly after to hide a small scar on his lip too!
As for Ringo, he never suspected his longtime friend of being replaced by a lookalike. That theory is simply too absurd and convoluted, he claims. Plus, The Beatles never could’ve found a quality double — there is only one Paul McCartney.
Dead or alive, Paul McCartney attained the rare status of a living legend; he’s been through it all, even developing a friendship with other music legends like Mick Jagger, with whom he’s exchanged a few stories.
For anyone who’s ever turned on a radio, Mick Jagger is the embodiment of the rock and roll frontman. Charismatic, provocative, and enduring, he cemented himself as a musical icon. But he came of age at a time when nobody bet on a British rock band to succeed.
Born to a middle-class family in 1943, Mick enjoyed a happy childhood outside London. He enjoyed singing from his earliest days, and he almost never stopped. Whether in the shower or the church choir, he belted it out — though his tastes were a bit scandalous.
As he came of age, Mick felt the closest affinity to American blues singers like Muddy Waters. This music didn’t fit in with the ideals of respectable English life, but Mick wanted nothing to do with that. Soon, he met friends who felt the same way.
In 1961, Mick bumped into an old classmate, Keith Richards, at the Dartford train station. They didn’t know each other well, but like magnets, they attracted when they saw what the other was holding. Mick had a bundle of rock records, while Keith clutched a guitar.
Keith and Mick joined forces and played around London. In 1962, they responded to a newspaper ad for rhythm and blues musicians. The final lineup brought in Brian Jones, Charlie Watts, and Bill Wyman and took its name from the Muddy Waters’ song, “Rollin’ Stone.”
With British rock suddenly exploding on the charts, the Stones got serious and hired a manager. The caustic Andrew Loog Oldham transformed them into the anti-Beatles, with a crude attitude and shabby appearance. Still, they took one big idea from the Fab Four.
Oldham understood that performers writing their own songs would define the future of pop music. Banking on the natural chemistry of Jagger and Richards, he locked them in a kitchen one night and wouldn’t let them out until they penned a single.
Bob Bonis Archive
Crazy as it sounds, the plan worked! The Stones had hits with covers before, but now their original singles were setting the charts on fire. In 1965, the scorching “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” reached Number One all over the world. Still, stardom wasn’t all perks.
Authorities didn’t take kindly to Mick’s rebellious attitude, so they sought to take him down. In an overpowered sting, police raided a Stones party and arrested Jagger for drug possession. The singer evaded jail time but saw legal fees drain his bank account.
The New York Times
Jagger’s personal life wasn’t the only source of strife. The musicians had to fire Brian Jones, an original Rolling Stone and close friend, when his substance use made it impossible for him to play. Brian drowned in his swimming pool a month later.
Even in the face of tragedy, the Rolling Stones kept pushing the envelope and pumping out the hits. They seemed invincible, outlasting every rock group of their generation. Of course, they all paused when they heard about a death warrant for Mick Jagger.
See, in the twilight of 1969, the Stones organized the Altamont Free Concert, a festival they hoped would top Woodstock. The short-sighted band hired the Hells Angels, a notorious biker gang, for security. Tragically, the thugs got out of control and murdered a fan right in front of the stage.
Daily Mail / Beth Bagby
Jagger and his bandmates swiftly denounced the bloodthirsty bikers, who vowed to seek revenge. The most ruthless Angels plotted to assassinate the singer throughout the 1970s, but it didn’t phase Mick. In fact, he took his career in completely new directions.
Already a dynamo onstage, Mick tried his luck in front of the camera. His starring roles in films like Ned Kelly and Performance got decent reviews. Notably, the singer almost nabbed the lead role in The Rocky Horror Picture Show before Tim Curry won the part.
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
Meanwhile, the Rolling Stones continued success into the ’80s belied a fracture within the group. Mick’s growing flamboyance and attempt at a solo career enraged Keith Richards. For a long time, the lifelong partners stopped speaking to each other.
However, Mick believed he didn’t need Keith’s friendship. For one thing, he had the attention of countless beautiful women. He was married to the stunning Bianca Perez-Mora Macias for years before entering a long relationship with model Jerry Hall.
All the while, Mick carried on a number of other dalliances, which resulted in quite a complicated family tree. The frontman has fathered eight children with five different women over the years. Most recently, he welcomed a baby boy at age 73!
In every facet of life, Mick dedicated himself to being the consummate bad boy, but he received an unexpected honor in 2003. Britain knighted him! The singer accepted with a smile, though of course his old pal Keith accused him of selling out.
Despite the ego-fuel squabbles, the fans and music kept the Rolling Stones out on the stage. Although they surpassed retirement age, they sought to reach new heights, like when they played a free concert to a newly opened Cuba in 2016.
The New York Times
But how long would Mick and company be able to keep it up? Fans feared the worst in 2019, when the Rolling Stones canceled a slew of concert dates so that their vocalist could undergo heart surgery.
However, Mick was back up and rehearsing in no time! He shared a video of himself practicing his dance moves to prove that he wouldn’t leave the limelight until he was bloody ready. Nobody else can quite move like Jagger.