Rare Hank Mobley hard bop and soul jazz records bring nearly $4,000 each

By Susan Sliwicki

Like Spinal Tap, we’ve turned our Market Watch countdown all the way up to 11 this edition — but for a good cause. We’ve got a pair of Hank Mobleys close together in the countdown, and we wanted to give another artist we haven’t seen in a while a chance to shine in the spotlight, too.

11. $3,161 — Tina Brooks, “True Blue,” LP. This original deep-groove RVG-stamped “P”-pressing of Tina Brooks “True Blue” (BLP 4041) bears the West 63rd St. labels so well known among Blue Note collectors. Although the cover is bright and clean, it does have some cracking and paper loss. Other than a few surface scuffs that don’t affect playback, this album’s vinyl is lustrous and plays good as new, according to the seller. That’s good, because with a personnel lineup  that includes Freddie Hubbard, Duke Jordan, Sam Jones and Art Taylor, you’ll want to savor this record without any distractions.

10 and 7. $3,362 and $3,622.50 (respectively) — Hank Mobley, “Hank Mobley,” LP. Hank Mobley’s eponymous Blue Note record has spent plenty of time on our countdown before, but it’s always fun to see a single recording offered by different buyers make some waves in the same countdown. The No. 10 slot belongs to same seller who offered the Tina Brooks album at No. 11. His copy of BLP 1568 bears the West 63rd St. labels, has a single inaudible hairline scratch on the playing surface of each side of the record, and there’s some discoloration and wear to the cover, according to the seller’s very matter-of-fact description, which declined to give a strict record grade. It drew 17 bids. So what helped the No. 7 copy, which drew 13 bids, sell for $260.50 more? Could it be the clearly stated visual and play-graded NM- condition? The lengthy prose that accompanied the listing? It promises that the playback on this original first pressing is “crisp and clean and does the remarkable recording justice” and states that “This is a very hard to find original pressing in incomparable condition.” Or perhaps, the gap is due to a label variation. The Side 1 label reads“47 West 63rd NYC,” while the Side 2 label reads “47 West 63rd New York 23.”

9. $3,456.78 — Leonid Kogan and Elizabeth Gilels, “Sonatas For Two Violins,” LP. Classical music continues to show up regularly on our countdown, and this time, it’s a U.K. stereo issue of SAX 2532 on the Columbia Records label. “The vinyl looks barely played and is in Near Mint condition (my highest rating for unsealed vinyl),” the seller states. The jacket had minor storage wear, some creasing, and an address label on its back. Two bids were placed before the auction closed.

 

8. $3,457 — The Kinks, “Tired of Waiting For You” and “Come On Now,” b/w “Beautiful Delilah” and Too Much Monkey Business, EP. It’s taken a few years, but the Kinks finally get to join their British Invasion peers The Beatles and The Stones on our Market Watch countdown with this hard-to-find Swedish pressing on the Pye Label (NEP 5039). “With this alternate cover, from a unique photo session in Stockholm, this is by far the rarest Swedish Kinks EP that very few collectors have ever had the chance to own,” the seller wrote. The vinyl earned a grade of VG+ for light marks, while the nicely preserved cover earned a grade of EX. Forty-three bids were exchanged before the auction closed.

 

6. $3,800 — The Beatles, “Please Please Me” b/w “Ask Me Why,” 45. The seller touts this 1963 U.S. commercial issue 45 for “Please Please Me”/“Ask Me Why” on Vee Jay Records (VJ-498)  as one of the rarest and most historic Beatles records around. Not to be confused with the far more common pressing — VJ-581 from 1964, which paired “Please Please Me” with “From Me To You” — this single bears the black label/colorband and oval logo with The Beatles spelled correctly on both labels, the seller wrote. The vinyl earned a grade of VG+++, and the labels were graded at NM.

5. $4188.86 — The Beatles, “Please Please Me,” LP. Is there an echo in here? No, wait, this is a stereo first pressing of The Beatles’ U.K.-pressed album of “Please Please Me” (PCS 3042) on the Parlophone label. “Although 47 years old with a few minor defects, this PLAYS FANTASTICALLY WELL,” the seller wrote. “The rarest Beatles LP with only 900 made, it’s the ultimate in LP collecting.” The seller goes on to state that a copy recently sold for  more than £11,000 ($17,000, give or take) — which this one clearly failed to do. It could have something to do with the cover grade of G+ and the vinyl grades of VG (A-side) and VG+ (B-side). Nevertheless, it still drew 24 bids.

4. $4,850 — Rudy Dardy, “Never Was Intended to Be,” b/w “Searching For Love,” 45. The seller touts this NM single as a modern soul rarity on the Harvest label. (10001). “Only sold once before on eBay, this unknown artists from Norfolk, Va.’s, 1982 45 sold for $450. This is a stone mint copy!” the seller wrote.

3. $5,000 — Electric Prunes, “Shadows,” 45. Suspected to be one of only four possible copies in existence, this one-sided Electric Prunes promo rarity (PRO 287) features the song “Shadows.” The blank flip side does have a few scratches, but the vinyl on the playing side earns a grade of at least VG to VG+, according to the seller.

2. $5,467 — Century Symphony Orchestra, “Waltzes by Johann Strauss Jr.,” EP.  No, the classical music community hasn’t been holding out on us about some incredible performance on the Camden label (CAE 158). This lot made it to our countdown thanks to the artist behind the EX-condition picture sleeve: Andy Warhol. Of course, if you want to check the music out, you can. The vinyl clocks in at NM+.

 

1. $17,999 — Led Zeppelin, road case, 45 RPM boxed set. Don’t get me wrong. I love Led Zeppelin as much as the next music fan. But I’m just not willing to pay more for a limited-edition set of test pressings (No. 4 of 5) than I did for my car, no matter how awesome the music. Of course, given the price these days of petroleum products (of which vinyl records are made), this 48-disc set may be a better buy than a tankful of premium.

 

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.

 

Get the most out of your classic rock collection with these fine resources

Goldmine Records Price Pack

1000 Songs That Rock Your World

Goldmine Records & Prices

Whole Lotta Led Zeppelin

Rock ‘N’ Roll Myths

 

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