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Blues, Bach and Beatles dominate online record auctions

This edition's countdown suggests at least one seller was looking to clean out a collection, with several records from the same seller making into our Top 10.

By Susan Sliwicki

This edition's countdown suggests at least one seller was looking to clean out a collection, with several records from the same seller making into our Top 10.

10. $3,173.80 — Pablo Casals, “Bach Suites for Cello, Vols. 1-3,” box set. This English-pressed classical music box set on the His Master’s Voice label saw plenty of bids — 31 to be exact — before it found a new home. Other than a small scratch and a few fine signs of handling, the records appeared to be unplayed and free of dust or damage. Not bad for a set of 20 records (DB 3399-3404; DB 3671-77 and DB 6538-44).

Pablo Casals Bach Suites for Cello

9. $3,185.99 — Patrinell State, “Little Love Affair”/ “I Let A Good Man Go,” 45. Northern soul records continue to find plenty of eager buyers. This time, it’s for a single on the Sepia Label (S-8201). “This is an original press. Not a reissue. Rare to find in this condition, or any condition for that matter,” the seller wrote. Twenty bids were exchanged before the auction closed.

8. $3,216.66 — Tommy Flanagan, “Tommy Flanagan Trio Over Seas,” LP. The seller promised this copy of Prestige 7134 was in “near-archival” condition. Of course, if the NM condition of the record and its jacket weren’t enough of an incentive, perhaps it was the very clever typographic album cover design — placing the words “Tommy Flanagan Over” above a several rows of “Cs” — that won them over. Eighteen bids were exchanged before the auction closed .

Patrinell State, Litle Love Affair I Let A Good Man Go
Tommy Flanagan Trio Over Seas

7. $3,219 — Blind Blake, “Hard Road Blues”/“Sea Board Stomp,” 78. This is the first of two old blues 78s offered by the same seller to appear on this countdown. This copy of Paramount 12583 was listed in “nice” shape by the seller, who also noted that “Hard Road Blues” has a slight indentation from a pressing imperfection. Twenty bids were exchanged before the auction closed.

Blind Blake Paramount 12583
Charley Patton Paramount 12805

6. $3,517 — Charley Patton, “Mississippi Boweavil Blues”/“Screamin’ And Hollerin The Blues,” 78. This is the second blues record to appear from this same seller. Although Patton’s name is blacked out on the labels and the record only earns a grade of VG+, the auction for this copy of Paramount 12805 still drew 22 bidders.

5. $3,600 — Sonny Clark, “Cool Struttin’,” LP. Graded at NM, this copy of Blue Note 1588 really deserved a grade of Mint Minus, given its incredible condition, according to the seller. Just an amazing copy of this truly Holy Grail of Jazz!!!” the seller wrote. “Very, very rare to find in this condition. It comes from my personal collection.” No writing, cuts, holes, seam wear, printing, cover damage, skips or hairline scratches were anywhere to be found. The record had only been played twice by the seller before it was listed. Fourteen bids were exchanged before the auction closed.

Sonny Clark Cool Struttin'
Andre Levy Jeanne Gautier L'archet d'Or 45 RPM test pressing set

4. $4,499 — Andre Levy-Jeanne Gautier, “L’archet d’Or” complete 12-inch, 45 RPM test pressing set. The single bidder on this set had better be prepared to change the records quite often if he or she is planning to give this English test pressing set a listen, given that these are only pressed on a single side. This 12-part series features a host of classical musicians, including Aimee Van De Wiele, Genevieve Joy and Jacqueline Eymar. The selections range from a Chopin funeral sonata to a selection of Stravinsky pieces, with stops in between for Beethoven, Brahms, Ravel, Mozart and Bach.

3. $6,267 — The Can, “Monster Movie,” LP. If you like your rock, well, Kraut-y, this lot is right up your alley. Dubbed to be “the absolute ‘holy grail’” of German progressive/Krautrock, the seller was quick to extoll the virtues of this 1969 German pressing on the Music Factory label (SRS 001). “This is the one that all serious collectors of German progressive and Krautrock want. The reasons for this are simple: 1. It is one of the rarest records on the planet. 2. It is one of the greatest albums ever made, regardless of genre. 3. It is by one of the greatest bands ever,” the seller wrote. OK, so it is one of only 500 “Music Factory” pressings made, and of that, most carry a Liberty Records mark on the sleeve, as the band was signed to Liberty soon after, the seller wrote. But, a few “escaped” with the “Scheisshouse Records Production Presents” markings, and this EX+/NM copy was one of them, the seller wrote. The owner, who purchased the record well before the days of eBay, has decided to downsize his collection.

The Can Monster Movie
Beatles Please Please Me PMC 1202

2. $6,582.13 — The Beatles, “Please Please Me” LP. This mono pressing of PMC 1202 is touted as unplayed, pressed on the first day and bearing a marking of 1O stamper on Side 1 and a 1M stamper on Side 2, according to the seller. Thirty-nine bids were exchanged before the auction closed. This version also has the Dick James notation.

1. $7,050.60 — The Beatles, “Please Please Me,” LP. Nope, you’re not seeing exactly double — although it is The Beatles and the “Please Please Me” album again — and even offered by the same seller! This time, though, it’s PCS 3042, the first U.K. stereo pressing, completed with Dick James credits, according to the seller. “This is without a doubt one of the most fabled and desired of all The Beatles’ vinyl,” the seller wrote. “With very few of these released with this label, it is usually a starting point for any serious collector.” This copy has a few light scuffs and needle marks on Side 1 and a pressing imperfection on Side 2, so it earns an overall grade of EX to EX-. “Finding one in VG+ condition or higher is becoming more difficult, and this particular copy is in an excellent shape,” the seller wrote. Twenty-four bids were exchanged before the auction closed.

Beatles Please Please Me PCS 3042