Market Watch: What Beatles? The King rules our online auction countdown

By Susan Sliwicki

This week’s Market Watch breaks all the rules. For starters, there are NO appearances by The Beatles. Yeah, you read that right. There are two albums here that are more likely collected for their cover art than their contents. And, oh yeah, The King makes three — that’s three, thank you very much  — appearances! Buckle up for the mayhem that is this week’s Market Watch.

Elvis Presley, "Blue Moon of Kentucky"

10. Elvis Presley, Sun 209 45.

10. $1,999.99 — Elvis Presley, “That’s All Right” / “Blue Moon of Kentucky,” 45. Elvis makes his first of three appearances this week with this pressing of Sun 209.

“These are ‘one owner’ originals,” the seller wrote. “They do appear to have minor scuffs and scratches as they were played — commensurate with age. But there are no deep crevices that should cause skips, etc.”

Citing a lack of record expertise, the seller declined to formally grade the vinyl, but he did mention that the record plays through on both sides, and the labels appear to be in excellent condition. Seventeen bids were exchanged before a winner was declared.

9. Conte Condoli, "Cool Gabriels"

9. $2,000 — Conte Condoli, “Cool Gabriels,” LP. Hard to guess whether the buyers’ excitement was over this album or the cover that contained it. The VG++ cover, which was done by Andy Warhol during his time as a commercial illustrator, is free of writing, but does bear seam wear and a stain on the spine.

“The front graphics are nice,” the seller writes. “This is the rarest of the Warhol covers!”

This jazz record clocks in at EX+/EX condition and features heavy, glossy vinyl. It was pressed in 1956 on the Groove Label (Mono 1003).

Thirteen bids were exchanged before a winner was declared.

8. Michael Garrick Trio, "Moonscape."

8. $2,105 — Michael Garrick Trio, “Moonscape,” 10-inch record. Featuring Michael Garrick on piano, Dave Green on bass and Colin Barnes on drums, this U.K. pressing on the Airborne label (NBP-0004). Track titles include the memorable “Music For Shattering Supermarkets.” The EX record, contained in an EX cover, came from the BBC’s gramophone library, and it bears a BBC stamp on its label. But we’re guessing the BBC connection isn’t what helped to close the sale.

“The vinyl looks clean with minimal wear and plays great with very light surface noise on quieter parts, typical of a private press,” the seller writes. “Sound can’t get any better. This is not the Trunk reissue, but the original limited, less than 100 copies, U.K. 10-inch vinyl.”

7. Linda Hoyle, "Pieces of Me" LP

The Vertigo record label is iconic.

7. $2,256.14 — Linda Hoyle, “Pieces of Me,” LP. In our upcoming March 2011 issue, Goldmine collecting expert Stephen M.H. Braitman  says that rock and roll record collectors know they shouldn’t pass up anything on the spiral Vertigo label.

(Be sure to check a newsstand near you to learn his other collecting tips. Better yet, never miss another tip by subscribing to Goldmine now!)

Anyway, it seems like these bidders took Braitman’s advice to heart on this NM original 1971 U.K. pressing on the Vertigo swirl label (6360 060).

“Looks to be practically unplayed,” the seller wrote. “Very Near Mint condition. Labels show next to no spindle wear.”

The original swirl inner sleeve is in EX condition. The cover, which bears a small price sticker, clocks in at EX++ to NM.

6. Vashti Bunyan.

6. $2,280.14 — Vashti Bunyan, “Just Another Diamond Day,” LP. If you like your acid folk psych masterpieces featuring female vocals, here’s the perfect record for you. This 1970 U.K. pressing on the Philips label (6308 019) features the artistry of Vashti Bunyan.

Light ring wear, edge wear and some foxing knocked the cover grade down to EX-. The labels clocked in at EX+, and the vinyl earned a grade of M-.

“Faultless; deadly silent throughout, just the merest whisper of static in places,” the seller wrote.

Thirty-five bids were swapped before a winner was declared in this sale.

“Diamond Day” has been a hot property in online auctions in 2010. A mint test pressing sold for $2,421 on Nov. 2. Original LPs sold for $1,184.75, $1,307.73 and $1510.42 on June 9, May 16 and March 16 respectively. Even reissues of the album did nicely. One copy brought $25 on March 28, and a reissued LP plus 45 sold for $37 Jan. 27, according to results at popsike.com.

5. The Black Exotics 45.

5. $2,800 — The Black Exotics, “Theme of Blackbyrds” / “What Am I Waiting For,” 45. “Ultra rare one!!!!!” was the only thing this seller had to say about this R&B/soul record, beyond grading it VG+++ and giving it’s United label catalog number (U-0311). Apparently, that was more than enough data for buyers, who swapped a handful of bids before a winner was declared.

This record has appeared on Market Watch before. In the countdown in the January 2011 issue of Goldmine, copies took spots 7 and 9 and sold for $3,700 and $3,365 respectively.

4. Elvis Presley compact 33 with picture sleeve.

4. $3,050 — Elvis Presley, “Little Sister” / “His Latest Flame,” compact 33 with picture sleeve. Billed by the seller the “rarest Elvis picture sleeve,” this lot ignited a fair amount of interest from buyers, who swapped 36 bids before a winner was declared. Due to ring wear, crinkling and snowing, the seller listed the cover/sleeve in VG+ condition; the vinyl earned a grade of NM.

Goldmine’s Standard Catalog of American Records 1948-1991 values the record at $1,500 in NM condition.

3. One of a set of five Elvis Presley Sun 45s.

3. $4,060 — Elvis Presley, set of five Sun Records 45s. Elvis makes his final appearance of this week’s countdown with a lot containing five original Sun 45s: Sun 209, 210, 215, 217 and 223. (For those of you playing along, the 45s’ song pairings are, in numerical order: “That’s All Right” / “Blue Moon of Kentucky;” “Good Rockin’ Tonight” / “I Don’t Care If The Sun Don’t Shine;” “Mystery Train” / “Milkcow Blues Boogie” / “You’re a Heartbreaker;” “Baby Let’s Play House” / “I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone;” and  “I Forgot to Remember to Forget.”)

“These were purchased in 1955 and are NOT reproductions, reprints or copies,” the seller wrote. “These are original issues of the recordings — true collector items.”

Although the records do show age wear from being stored, they still play through, the seller wrote.

Goldmine’s Standard Catalog of American Records 1948-1991 values NM copies of the 45s as follows: Sun 209: $6,000; Sun 210: $3,500; Sun 215: $5,000; Sun 217: $3,000; Sun 223: $2,500. Thirty-five bids were exchanged before a winner was declared.

Andy Warhol cover art

2. "Madrigal's Magic Key to Spanish"

Andy Warhol's art on "Madrigal's Magic Key to Spanish."

2. $4,550 — Margarita Madrigal, “Madrigal’s Magic Key to Spanish,” LP. Featuring art by a young Andy Warhol, this may be the hippest-ever cover for an instructional language record.

The record was made by the Wible Language Institute of Allentown, Pa. According to the sellers, this copy is better shape than the one featured in the Paul Maréchal book “Andy Warhol: The Record Covers 1949-1987, Catalogue Raisonne,” which also stated that the only known copy existed in The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.

“We live in this area and obtained this Warhol in a local collection,” the Emmaus, Pa., seller wrote. “This rare record cover has never been offered as a Warhol on eBay. “

The VG++ front cover does bear some writing and has slight yellowing due to age, but it is free of seam splits. The mono record — just in case anybody cares — grades at VG+ to VG++, the seller said.

Bach's "Six Suites Pour Violoncelle Solo"

1. Annelies Schmidt, "Six Suites Pour Violoncelle Solo"

1. $11,212 — Annelies Schmidt, “Six Suites Pour Violoncelle Solo,” 3-LP box set. Drawing top honors this week is a nicely kept classical set pressed on the French Ducretet Thomson label (300 C 045/044/045).

“Beautiful aspect,” the seller wrote of the EX+/NM records. “Very rare tiny noises on back-sound.”

The records came with their original plastic and cardboard inner sleeves and EX cover.

Nine bids were exchanged before a winner was declared.

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.


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