By Susan Sliwicki
It’s not every week that a classical music recording tops the Market Watch countdown. But, that’s half the fun of watching the online auction scene, which, for the first time in a long time, includes an appearance by The Doors. Think they knew it was their special issue?
1. $5,000 — Various artists, Handel: The Messiah, Vol. 1, box set of 78s.
This beautiful set of vintage Columbia Masterworks 78s (Numbered MM 666 Vol. 1) brought a pretty penny at auction. This nine-record set from 1947 is extremely rare, and is the first volume of a two-volume box set according to the seller. While a specific record grade isn’t given, the seller describes the set as “well cared for” and “in pristine condition.” The featured artists include Isobel Baillie, Gladys Ripley, James Johnston and Norman Walker, along with The Huddersfield Choral Society and The Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
2. $4,449.99 —Willie Harris, “Never Drive a Stranger From Your Door” w/ “Lonesome Midnight Dream” 78.
The seller touts this copy of Brunswick 7149 as “one of the most brilliant and magnificent of all country blues guitar records,” and adds that a number of noted collectors believe this may be the great William Harris of Electrobeam Gennett fame. Regardless of the artist’s pedigree, this record’s condition can’t be faulted: “Stranger” grades at Near Mint condition, while “Lonseome” comes in at a very respectable Excellent Plus, according to the seller.
3. $3,785 — Piece Kor, “All I Want Is My Baby Back” / “Words Of The Raven” 45.
The seller didn’t have a lot of history to share on this rare garage record on the Laray label (Laray RI 2556), other than a guess that there are only a handful of them around. This copy had been stored in a box at a radio station until a few years ago, the seller said and play graded at a Mint Minus, according to the seller.
4. $3,283.35 —The Rolling Stones’ “Promotional Album” LP.
You would think something billed as “the ultimate Stones rarity” might’ve topped our charts. Regardless, this U.K. pressing copy of The Stones’ 1969 Decca promo album still attracted a nice following at 25 bids before a winner was determined.
According to the seller’s very lengthy description, this is an original 1969 mono first pressing on the Decca label, and it is “seriously rare and simply impossible to find!” Only 200 U.K. copies are believed to have been made, and they were only issued to British radio stations — no deejays or press copies.
This copy comes complete with the letter from Decca, a color poster and a Rolling Stones catalog and the original inner sleeve, the seller said. The record retains its original “just pressed” look and appears to grade at least Excellent Minus, the seller said, and the cover grades a solid Very Good.
5. $3,000 — “The Beatles & Frank Ifield On Stage” LP.
This record (VJ LP-1085) has everything a Beatles collector could want: the original portrait cover from 1964 features printing on the spine that reads “England’s Greatest Recording Stars The Beatles & Frank Ifield on Stage.” It’s a first pressing, mono recording in beautiful condition. The record bears the colorband label with the oval Vee Jay logo and is housed in the original Vee Jay sleeve. Even the cover is clean and bright, with just a hit of ringwear and light bumps on all four corners.
6. $2,856 — Trio de France, Ravel’s Faure LP.
When a record gets 50 bids, as this one did before a winner was determined, it’s either one heck of an LP or there’s some kind of behind-the-scenes bidding hanky panky going on. For the sake of the hobby, we’re hoping this is a killer chamber music record. The seller didn’t have much to share, other than the facts that this record is on the Pretoria label (30 CL 8001) and that the record and jacket both clock in at “VG++.”
7. $2,850 — Birmingham Sunday, “A Message From Birmingham Sunday” LP.
This original rare psych-prog LP came out in 1967 on the All-American Records (AA-5718) label, according to the seller. Apparently, this stereo LP had only one very small pressing of 200 to 500 records, according to the seller. The cover graded at Near Mint condition, and the vinyl came in at a conservative VG-Plus.
8. $2,827 —Ultra Magnetic MC’s, “Chilling With Chuck Chill Out” one-sided acetate.
How does a genre know it’s getting old? Well, having your acetates showing up on the Market Watch countdown is a pretty good sign. This unreleased song was never pressed to vinyl or showed up on any Ultra Magnetic albums or compilations, the seller said, and it likely was a one-of-a-kind acetate played by Chuck Chill Out” at the beginning of his radio mix show in the late 1980s on KISS-FM. It graded in VG condition.
9. $2,627 — Jackie McLean Quintet, “The New Trandition” LP.
You know your jazz is so cool it’s hot when the album title features a made-up word. This mono pressing issued on the AdLib label (ADL 6601) in 1955 clocks in at VG+++ for the vinyl, and VG ++ for the cover, the seller said.
10. $2,576.28 —The Doors, “The Doors,” LP.
Thirty-four bids passed before a winner was determined for this mono promo copy (complete with sticker) of The Doors’ first LP (EKL-4007). released in 1967 on Elektra Records. Setting apart from the rest of the crowd is the olive green Elektra label with “Promotional Not For Sale” printed on both sides. Front cover has the green Elektra Records logo and mono catalogue number in bottom-right corner, and a sticker in the upper-right corner that reads “Promotional Copy Not For Sale.” The vinyl graded in EX+ condition, with the cover and inner sleeve clocking in at EX.