By Susan Sliwicki
The Beatles may not have made it (spoiler alert!) on to Thomas Dolby’s list of 10 Albums that changed his life, but the Fab Four have certainly left their mark on this Market Watch countdown.
10. $3,550 — Robert Johnson, “Sweet Home Chicago” / “Walking Blues,” 78. This is our first of several lots this countdown where sellers took a “less is more” approach to their descriptions — in this case, only sharing the grade (VG- due to a crack), the label (Vocalion) and a couple of out-of-focus photos and a sound clip. Apparently, that was just fine with potential buyers, who swapped 25 bids before a winner was declared.
9. $3,906 — The Sex Pistols, “God Save the Queen” / “Did You No Wrong,” 45. Did you know The Sex Pistols had a following in Rhodesia? Me neither. This Rhodesian pressing on the Gallo label (PD 1471) has slight marks to both sides of the vinyl, but it still plays well with a “great nostalgic punk sound,” according to the seller. “This is a very rare version that only surfaced in 2006,” the seller wrote. “Not many were manufactured. This is one of possibly a handful that survive.”
8. $4,149.99 — The Beatles, original Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs still-sealed LP box set. This limited-edition collector’s set of Beatles records features 13 albums ranging from “Please Please Me” to “Let It Be.” “This is a MFSL Super Virgin Vinyl (so pure that you can see through it if held up to the light) JVC half-speed Japanese vinyl pressing,” the seller wrote. The number of this audiophile-focused collection, which has been out of print for 25 years, is unknown, as MFSL never placed numbers on the outside of its boxes, the seller wrote.
7. $4,250 — Ellipsis, “People” b/w “Gregory Moore, 45. If you were looking for a lot of insight on the group Ellipsis, this very sparse listing isn’t going to do the trick. But, if you’re looking for a M- stock copy of some Mod Soul, step right up. This copy, which was pressed on the Briarmeade label (7604), drew two bids before a winner was declared.
6. $4,302 — Sandi and Matues, “The World Part 1 & 2,” 45. This promo pressing of MA-100 on the Matues Records label drew 15 bids — not bad for a VG/VG+ condition record. “Rare 45 of private press funky psych soul!” the seller wrote. “A cool female funk vocal organ groove that bursts into rapid-fire jazz fills all over the B-side.”
5. $4,500 — D.A. Hunt, “Greyhound Blues” / “Lonesome Old Jail,” 78. Turns out Sun Records had more going on than just Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis. Somewhere in there, D.A. Hunt was busy cutting this blues record. The seller graded the record VG due to some light scratches and a 2-inch long hairline crack that doesn’t affect play.
4. $4,550 — Two Plus Two, “I’m Sure” / “Look Around,” 45. The seller advertised this as a “very rare Northern Soul 45” — and that was pretty much the end of the information. Released on the Velgo label (VO 003) in 1966, the record graded at VG++.
3. $4,605 — Johanna Martzy, “J.S Bach: Unaccompanied Violin Sonatas, 3-LP set. We’ve seen this set of pressings on the U.K. Columbia label pop up on Market Watch every few months or so, but prices have ranged from $3,999 to $5,027.72. The seller had little to say about this group (CX 1286-88) other than to mention the catalog number and the blue and gold labels. Sixteen bids were exchanged before a winner was declared.
2. $5,129.69 — The Beatles, “Please Please Me,” LP. This first-pressing stereo copy of PCS 3042 incited a minor bidding frenzy; 43 bids were exchanged before a winner was determined. “Practically a flawless play with only slight crackle to intro on both sides. Much better than the mono recording and sounds superb as if the band are in the room with you. They really don’t press them like this any more,” the seller wrote. The sleeve earned a grade of VG++/E, while the record’s grade was marked down to VG+ due to a prominent surface scratch across tracks 4, 5 and 6 that mars its appearance, but doesn’t affect play. The highest price we’ve seen for this record of late was $12,932.23, reported in last month’s countdown.
1. $12,500 — The Beatles, “Please Please Me” / “Ask Me Why,” 45. What can be better than music by the Fab Four, you ask? A Beatles record signed by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, apparently. This VG+ copy of Parlophone 4983 features all of their signatures — George and John on one side, Paul and Ringo on the other — and it is one of only three known copies to surface from the group’s signing session at Brian Epstein’s NEMS record shop, during which the band gave a brief acoustic performance on the store’s stairs, the seller wrote.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Goldmine compiles its Market Watch countdown from eBay auction results and seller descriptions. Any images shown with Market Watch stories are the same ones that appeared with the seller’s description of the piece.