By Susan Sliwicki
Elvis may have left the planet, but he’s still finding his way around the online auction circuit just fine, thank you, thank you very much. The King was one of the perennial favorite artists, along, of course, with The Beatles, who checked in for this week’s Market Watch countdown.
1. $5,858.99 — The Beatles and The Four Seasons, “The Beatles Vs. The Four Seasons” 2-LP set. A lot of sellers toss around the phrase “holy grail” with their descriptions, but this one definitely has earned the title. This still-sealed copy of the original 1964 Vee Jay mono U.S. pressing, believed to be complete with the original sleeves and poster insert, changed hands after 20 bids. “Bid now or weep forever!!!” the seller advised. The only discernible wear was a hint of yellowing on both sides of the record, a tiny piece of missing shrink wrap and a light wrinkle in one of the corners of the cover.
2. $4,910 —The Beatles, “Please Please Me” LP. This stereo pressing of PCS-3042 comes with Parlophone’s black and gold label and is in “stunning” condition, according to the seller. That could be because it’s had but one very careful owner. Other than a few hairline surface marks, the record appears to be virtually Mint, according to the seller.
3. $4,155 — Walter Wilson “Love Keeps My Crying” b/w “Not Now But Later” 45. It’s about time we saw some Northern Soul light up the countdown again, and this one is a beauty. This mega-rare DJ copy 45 is on the Wand Label (WND 1153) and clocks in at Mint condition, according to the seller. A record company executive had been receiving these records at the time they were released, the seller says.
4. $4,153 — Led Zeppelin, “Led Zeppelin I” test pressing with letter. Led Zeppelin fans love their cover art, but they’d probably be willing to pass up the trimmings in favor of the plain white cardboard cover housing this analog gem. This “colossally rare” test pressing, which comes complete with a letter from the Atlantic Records label, features the original 1968 Atlantic stereo mix released in the U.S. The album’s catalog number, SD-8216, appears in the dead wax, the seller said. “A careful Led Zep aficionado may be able to detect slight differences and subtle variations in the mix we were unable to locate,” the seller added. The vinyl checks in a VG++ condition.
5. $4,000 —Uncle Funkenstein, “Together Again” LP. Just the name Uncle Funkenstein is noticeable enough to catch our attention. But this still-sealed, signed LP caught the eye of plenty of bidders, too. Musician Russell Webster only removed enough of the seal to be able to sign the album cover. According to the seller, this privately pressed album is considered to be a hot ticket with soul, funk and jazz collectors.
6. $3,702 — George Harrison “A Concert For Bangladesh” 12-inch acetate. With the ominous warning of “bid now or lose your peace forever,” this seller offers up Record 3, sides 5 and 6, of the original 1971 Apple Corps “A Concert For Bangladesh.” This portion of the performance featured both Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton with Harrison. It is the same copy that was documented in Bruce Spizer’s new book, “The Beatles Solo on Apple Records.” What sets this apart from ther acetates is its size — 12 inches — vs. the previously documented 10-inch acetate of the same title. It clocks in at VG++ to Excellent condition, with minor scuffs on the surface, but free of dents, chips and breaks.
7. $3,549.99 — Kansas Joe and Memphis Minnie, “When The Levee Breaks” with “That Will Be Alright” 78. Man, we love great timing. Just happens this record is the topic of this issue’s Flashback column (see page 70). This beautiful copy of Columbia 14439 comes in at Excellent Plus condition, according to the seller. “One of the supremely great country blues guitar records,” the seller said. Apparently, that’s all buyers needed to know.
8. $3,500 — Elvis Presley/Jaye P. Morgan, 45 cover only. Billed by the seller as “quite simply the rarest Elvis cover in the world,” and one of only a few known to exist, this deluxe double pocket book cover features Elvis and Jaye P. Morgan together. The seller grades it at VG+++ condition.
9. $2,150 — Dead Weather “Hang You From The Heavens” test pressing 45. This limited-edition copy of the Dead Weather’s test pressing from Third Man Records is one of only 150 available, which may be part of its collectible appeal. Of course, the holes in its sleeve were made by an automatic weapon, the sleeve was signed by the band, and it comes complete with a photo booth strip, invitation and paper bag, according to the seller. It was given away only to invited guests at the Third Man Records opening night in Nashville in March 2009 and was not available for sale, the seller said. Hmmm. Makes us wonder what it’ll be worth in another 20 years!
10. $3,227 — The Fix, “Vengeance” b/w “In This Town” 7-inch single. This original single on the Touch and Go label is, you guessed it: “the ‘holy grail’ of hardcore records!” according to the seller. Since 32 bids passed before the dust settled on this 1981 release, that gives at least a little credence to its holy grail label. Only 200 copies of this record were pressed, according to the seller, and this one, which was purchased at a Fix show in Chicago in 1981, is in Excellent Minus condition. For the cover, there are the usual condition concerns, like minor edge wear and wrinkling. But this beauty boasts something that in any other genre would be considered a disfiguring disadvantage, but in punk is practically a selling point: a tiny faded stain that appears to be blood.
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