By Robin Platts
1. $6,655.55 Queen — A Kind Of Magic: First up, we have a very big bid for an excellent-condition copy of Queen’s 1986 LP, A Kind Of Magic. Of course, this is a particularly rare version — a burgundy vinyl test pressing from New Zealand. Few details are available about this one; however, the Web site queenmuseum.com confirms it is “one of the rarest Queen records worldwide.”
2. $4,763.40 The Sex Pistols — “God Save the Queen” b/w “Did You No Wrong”: We continue the royal theme with the Sex Pistols’ infamous 1977 single, “God Save the Queen.” Aside from the controversy it stirred up in Britain, this was also released in Rhodesia, apparently, on the Gallo label, and that’s the version we have here. A very obscure pressing, which only surfaced in the last few years; only a couple of copies are known to exist.
3. $3,715.71 Mark Fry — Dreaming With Alice: This one is an excellent condition copy of a rare Italian psych-folk LP from 1972, by English singer-songwriter Mark Fry. This was reissued on CD in the ’90s on the Akarma label and again in 2006 on Sunbeam. Acclaim for the album prompted Fry to start recording again, recently releasing a new CD entitled Shooting The Moon. More info can be found at www.markfrymusic.com.
4. $3,550 Genesis — A Trick of the Tail: Conventional wisdom is that the more info you provide about an online auction item, the better chance you stand of getting top dollar. However, if the item is rare enough and appealing enough, just a simple write-up may suffice, as in the case of this one, a near-mint MFSL UHQR test pressing of the first Genesis LP after Peter Gabriel’s departure (and one of their best, in my opinion). This album was issued in a standard MFSL audiophile pressing, but MFSL’s UHQR (Ultra High Quality Recording) version of A Trick Of The Tail never made it past the test pressing stage.
5. $3,433.05 The Beatles — The Beatles (White Album): This item, by contrast, featured a very detailed description for its eBay listing, with plenty of information about the item and its condition, as well as detailed background on the album itself — the Beatles’ 1968 self-titled double LP, more commonly known as The White Album. This is a stereo U.K. copy — a first pressing. In fact this is number 56 of the original edition which, the seller speculates, making a good argument, means it originally came from a Beatle friend or associate, rather than being a store-bought copy, since the band had dibs on a certain portion of the low-numbered copies. This copy is described by the seller as being in “superb” condition and also, being a U.K. first edition, has the unique top-loading, wallet-style album cover.
6. $3,072.88 Dennis Edwards — “Johnnie On The Spot” b/w “I Didn’t Have To (But I Did)”: Northern soul rears its head with this much sought-after single. This is a VG+ promo copy of the 45 Dennis Edwards cut for the International Soulville label in the mid-’60s, prior to joining the Temptations.
7. $3,000 Tarkus — Tarkus: This is the self-titled 1972 debut LP by Peruvian heavy psych combo Tarkus, on the Mag label. Apparently, only 50 copies were pressed, mostly promos, and the group disbanded not long after the album appeared. The condition for this one is a mint-minus (vinyl)/excellent (sleeve).
8. $2,778.65 The Spriguns of Tolgus — Jack With a Feather: Next up is an excellent condition copy of the 1975 debut LP Jack With a Feather by British electric folk group Spriguns of Tolgus, produced by Tim Hart of Steeleye Span. This copy is signed by band members Mandy Morton, Mike Morton, Rick Thomas and Chris Russon.
9. $2,380.29 Unknown funk acetate: This one may have required a bit of a leap of faith: An acetate by an unknown funk artist, in VG+ condition, bearing an Advantage Sound Studios Inc. label. No other info apart from the song title handwritten on the label — “You’re Doing Wrong” — was included in the listing on eBay. On further investigation, it appears that the track in question is an alternate version of “You’re Doing Wrong” by soul singer Nate Williams.
10. $2,247 Roy Porter — Jessica: Here we have a factory-sealed copy of a very rare 1971 LP by Roy Porter, a jazz drummer who was, at the time of this LP, moving into funk. On the Chelan label.