By Susan Sliwicki
Buyers had 45 fever in this edition's Market Watch countdown — to the tune of $11,240.21 and half of the spots in this Top 10 online auction countdown. Jazz music made a respectable mark on the countdown, too, racking up $4,000 and placing twice in the countdown. But what claimed the top spot? Here's a hint: It was neither jazz-related nor a 45.
10. $1,800 — Various artists, 500-plus vintage picture sleeve 45 RPM collection. If your New Year’s resolution was to branch into collecting picture sleeves, this lot offered a great way to get started without totally blowing your budget. In a move that’s atypical for bulk lots, this seller included a photograph of virtually every single picture sleeve included the listing — kudos on such a thorough effort. We were saddened to read these were from the seller’s remaining store stock, as he was moving on to new ventures. The seller assigned an “average” lot grade of VG+ to the group, with some NM vinyl and sleeves and VG vinyl sleeves also in the mix.
“This is not just a pile of junk,” the seller wrote. “These are all very saleable, collectable, whatever. If you are just collecting, the buy it now is a helluva deal. If you are looking to resell, well, you aren’t doing too shabby either as an average price per record.”
9. $1,863.18 — U2, “Three” 12-inch single. Ireland may not be known as the record-rarity capitol of the modern world, but when you’ve got a rare, hand-numbered pressing of a U2 12-inch single, who’s going to quibble? “This is probably the most desirable U2 collectible and a treasured item for any collection,” the seller wrote. “U2 ‘Three’ is special, because it is the earliest U2 collectible you can find.” This copy of CBS 12-7951, which was made in England and released in 1979 by the Irish division of CBS, comes in VG condition. The sleeve shows obvious wear and tear, plus some handwriting.
8. $1,900 — Lee Morgan, “Lee Morgan Vol. 3,” LP. This Mint Minus mono record on the Blue Note label (BLP 1557) is sure to please any jazz fan, if not for its lovely, glossy condition, then surely for its sonic quality. “Overall a beautiful first clean copy; sound quite amazing in my Celestion speakers,” the seller wrote. “The winner should be pleased with this first copy.” The laminated cover, which grades in NM shape, shows light wear on the front, browning spots on the back cover and a small split on the top seam, the seller said.
7. $2,005 — Marlon “Madman” Mitchell, “Ice Cold Baby” b/w “Bermuda Shorts,” 45. You know you’re hard-core rockabilly artist when you can perform a song about a much-maligned fashion staple of the suburbs to back a song about a once-amorous girl giving you the cold shoulder. This VG++ treasure on the Vena label (HC-100) is a “killer two-sider” issued in 1957 from Alabama indie rocker Marlon “Madman” Mitchell. Other than some minor stacking soil on the label and superficial sleeve marks on the vinyl, this record is in great shape, the seller said. “This the copy you’ve been waiting for,” the seller wrote. “This is a gem; bragging rights come with it at no extra charge.”
6. $2,100 — Art Blakey, three jazz LPs. One bid was all it took for this trio of rare, original pressing Art Blakey LPs to find a new turntable to call home. Other than giving the titles — “Orgy In Rhythm” (Blue Note 1554), “The Jazz Messengers at The Café Bohemia Vol. 1” (Blue Note 1507) and “The Jazz Messengers at The Café Bohemia Vol. 2” (Blue Note 1508) — the seller literally only shared that there are “clear graphics front and back and no splits.”
5. $2,121.33 — The Split Decision Band, “Watchin’ Out” b/w “Dazed” 45. When an online seller puts “Funkyou!” in his tagline, you can bet you’re in for something fun. But whether this NM ’70s soul record, issued in 1978 on the Network Records label from previously undocumented soul mecca of Des Moines, Iowa, lives up to that hype will have to be decided by the new owner, who valiantly battled to squeeze in the 34th and winning bid.
4. $2,313.88 — The Five Chances, “All I Want” b/w “Shake-A-Link,” 45. The Five Chances only put out one record on Chicago’s Blue Lake label — BL-115 — and what a visually interesting label it is. The seller had nothing definitive to say about the condition of this record, other than that the “labels are clean with stacking ring marks” and that it “plays fine with some surface noise and light scratches.”
3. $2,750 — The Beatles, “The Beatles” (The White Album), double LP. They’ve been broken up for more than 40 years, yet the Fab Four never seem to miss the Market Watch countdown. This time, they appear with a “mega rare” U.K. export copy of The White Album with the yellow and black Parlophone label (P-PCS 7067 and P-PCS 7068). The poster and color pictures earn the best grades of the lot at Mint Minus. The seller graded the cover “almost Excellent +,” while the records themselves are in VG condition with a lot of small hairlines that the seller says don’t appear to affect playing. The labels scored a VG+, and the inner sleeve is in Excellent, according to the seller. “This is a wanted record and you won’t find this again!” the seller warned. “Highly collectible!!”
2. $3,000 — Bobby Rich, “There’s a Girl Somewhere for Me,” 45. This record on the Sambea label (SBS-101) is making its debut on eBay — at least, according to the seller — who touts it as super-rare, impossible-to-find Northern soul 7-inch. The seller had little else to share, other than it’s a first pressing (vs. a reissue or copy) from 1974. The record earned a visual grade of VG++, but “plays mint,” according to the seller.
1. $3,989.89 — The Crowd Pleasers, acetate. Apparently this record really is by a group of crowd pleasers — or at least, their VG+ record of covers and originals on the Musicol label pleased potential buyers, who exchanged 27 bids before a winner was declared. “Unreleased acetate from one of the hottest soul/funk party bands on the Columbus, Ohio, scene,” the seller wrote. “Kicks off with a smoking instrumental funk jam and includes covers of Marvin Gaye’s ‘What’s Going On’ and Neil Young’s ‘Down By the River.’”