Market Watch: Buyers double their pleasure with Beatles, classical LPs

No surprise to find The Beatles, Elvis and The Sex Pistols topping the Market Watch heap. But a few entries may trigger déjà vu, so we’ve expanded the Top 10 to 12.
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By Susan Sliwicki

No surprise to find The Beatles, Elvis and The Sex Pistols topping the Market Watch heap. But a few entries may trigger déjà vu, so we’ve expanded the Top 10 to 12.

1. $13,396.61 — The Beatles, Please Please Me LP. A perennial Market Watch favorite, this album just sold for more than I paid for my last car. It’s described by the seller as the most sought-after Beatles collectible in the world today, a first U.K. pressing, stereo gold and black debut LP. The cover grades in excellent condition; the visual vinyl, audio, label and Emitex inner sleeve all are graded Excellent plus.

2. $10,000 — Elvis Presley “That’s All Right” b/w “Blue Moon of Kentucky” 45. This Sun 209 record from 1954 is in mint, unplayed condition and comes from the personal collection of Sun Records Promotion Manager Cecil Sciafe, the seller says.

While a mint copy of this 45 has sold for more than $17,000, that is considered an aberration, according to “Goldmine Price Guide for 45 Records 7th Edition.” The standard Near-Mint price for this 45 is $6,000; in Very Good Plus condition it is $4,000, and in VG condition it is valued at $2,000.

3. $6,000 — The Sex Pistols, “God Save The Queen” b/w “No Feeling” 45. This isn’t just any old Sex Pistols 45. It’s one of the 1977 A&M original copies, number AMS 7284, and it was given out to a member of the A&M team when Polygram closed its London A&M office in 1998, the seller says. The single, which was withdrawn before release, is considered a Holy Grail for Sex Pistols and punk-rock collectors. This record also came with the letter to the employee who received the album.

4. $5,801.00 — Various artists, Black Out: New Sounds of ’70 double LP. In the last Market Watch column, we reported that this album on the Century label sold for $3,700 — and that record and cover appeared to be in slightly better condition, at least according to the pictures shown. The seller says this is one of three known copies of the record and grades the vinyl at VG+ with a few light surface marks, but the sleeve has damp staining down the spine.

5. $5,216.75 — The Beatles, Please Please Me LP. This Parolophone record features the 1G and 1R stampers, which the seller says were used on the first day of production. The Matrix numbers are listed as YEX 94-1 and YEX 95-1, which are believed to be from the first 300 albums pressed and released in April 1963. The record and sleeve are graded at Very Good+/Excellent-. 

6. $4,050 — Georges Enesco and Celiny Chailley-Richez, Sonate a Kreutzer. This French-made mono record was issued in the 1950s on the Columbia label, according to the seller. With a few light marks and a 5 mm tear on the upper and bottom right corners, the cover is graded EX-, while the record is EX, according to the description.

7. $3,750 — Phil Gray and His Go Boys “Bluest Boy in Town” b/w “Pepper Hot Baby” 45. Only a few copies of this 1956 rockabilly record on the Rhythm label are known to exist, according to the seller. The record earns a VG visual grade; the labels have light ring wear and clicks are audible on both songs from light surface marks.

8. $3,605 — Devy Erlih set of 3 Classical LPs. Classical music has made a nice showing on the market lately, and these three records, which feature Bach sonatas and partitas for solo violin, are no exception. According to the seller, these French-made albums range in grade from EX to EX+, and their covers are EX- to EX.

9. $3,300 — Georges Enesco and Celiny Chailley-Richez, Sonate a Kreutzer. This is the same basic record listed at No. 6 — it just didn’t sell for as much.

10. $3,150 — Cosmic Rays-Sun Ra Arkestra “Somebody’s In Love” b/w “Bye Bye” 45. The seller didn’t share much about this record, other than it’s graded VG and is a U.S. pressing on the Saturn label.

11. $3,070.43 — The Beatles, “Strawberry Fields Forever” b/w “Penny Lane” acetate. Both of the songs featured on this acetate are billed as “rough, unreleased mixes,” which the seller says differ from the final released records and don’t sound “as smooth to the ear.” Few of these acetates were cut at Abbey Road studios and were given to The Beatles and their inner circle as a work in progress, the seller says. The acetate is graded VG and is free of major scratches and chips, but it has whisper marks where it has been pulled from the sleeve.

12. $2,969 — Hank Mobley With Donald Byrd and Lee Morgan LP. This jazz LP on Blue Note is the original RVG-etched deep-groove “P”-pressing of Hank Mobley “Sextet” with the Lexington Avenue labels.

According to the “Goldmine Record Album Price Guide Sixth Edition,” this version of the record is the most-prized at $1,000 in NM condition; two other NM variants of this album bring either $50 (New York, USA address on label) or $500 (West 63rd Street address on the label.) The playing surface has a few inaudible handling marks on Side One.

The cover shows minor rubbing on the seams and spine, and the previous owner’s name is stamped at the top of the back slick, according to the seller.