Collector's Corner: Early British Savoy Brown records could have value

Even in its late ’60s/early ’70s heyday, Savoy Brown couldn’t catch a break from U.S. mainstream radio. No matter. Despite never having a hit single, Savoy Brown’s status in the vinyl collecting market is heading upward.

“I would say they’re gaining in popularity,” says Craig Moore, owner of Younger Than Yesterday, a record store in Peoria, Ill. “They’ve always been desirable musically.”  At, or near, the head of a British blues class that included Rory Gallagher and Ten Years After, among others, Savoy Brown had, and still has, a rabid following.

“Savoy Brown was one of those cult bands that never had a radio hit that came along at the high point of underground radio,” says Craig Moore. “But they sold records, and they sold concert tickets.”

When it comes to what’s collectible from Savoy Brown’s catalog, it’s the early British albums that have the most allure, according to Moore. 1967’s Shake Down and 1968’s Getting to the Point would probably be the best bets. Dealer Paul Aaronson says the U.K. Decca mono pressings could bring $50 to $100.

“The original first pressings, mono and stereo,” advises Moore. “In my opinion, I don’t think there was anything in mono past ’69. Everything through ’69 was issued in both mono and stereo.”

Regarding the first two albums, Moore is not sure if there is an American mono version of either. But, he feels that any mono pressings of the first album through 1970’s Raw Sienna could be valuable. Though he hesitates to put a price on such pieces (as always, condition may affect prices), it is possible that a first pressing could be a $150 record. “You might get lucky and stumble across something for $10 [that could be worth more],” says Moore.

To Moore’s knowledge, the two ’69 albums, Blue Matter and A Step Further, along with Raw Sienna, were released in both mono and stereo in England — but only in stereo in the U.S.

One misconception Moore would like to lay to rest is the idea that only American pressings have any value. “That’s utter bullshit,” says Moore. “Some of the best stuff there is out there is British. With regards to Savoy Brown and Rory [Gallagher], specifically, the British stuff trumps the U.S. stuff anytime.”

In particular, open-logo Decca pressings, mono or stereo, are hot.

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