by Susan Sliwicki
For the first time in a long time, The Beatles failed to crack Goldmine’s Market Watch roundup. (Never fear, Elvis is here.) The unexpected Fab Four vacancy just means there’s more room for some less-ordinary offerings to shine in the spotlight.
1. $4,200 — John Heartsman and Circles, “Music of My Heart” Double LP.
Claiming the top spot in this week’s roundup is a double LP that covers a lot of musical bases: jazz, funk and soul.
The cover is free of seam splits, creases, ring wear and writing and weighs in at Mint-Minus condition, according to the seller. The albums also appear to be Mint-Minus, with only minor paper scuffing evident in a visual inspection. The seller was bowled over with the variety of music included. “I heard it and now I know whey it is in deep, deep demand and why it has become the top holy-grail funk album and one of the top-shelf jazz albums,” the seller said. Apparently buyers were impressed, too: there were 25 bids before a winner was declared, according to the bid history.
While most sellers would figure $4,200 is a good day, this isn’t the best price paid for this album of late. About two months ago, a buyer dropped $5,500 for the LP, as reported in the March 26, 2010, edition of Market Watch.
2. $4,173 — Mozart and Bach Violin Concertos featuring Gioconda de Vito.
Perhaps this record is what Falco had in mind when he sang “Rock Me Amadeus.”
According to the seller, this original U.K. stereo pressing with a gold and cream label is one of the rarest of all classical records. It features Gioconda de Vito with the London Symphony Orchestra performing Bach’s Violin Concerto in E Major and with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3. No grading specifics were offered, but the seller indicated the record had a minimum of surface noice and was mostly free of scratches and scuffs, except for a small mark on Side Two that clicks loudly twice.
3. $3,500 — Frank Frost with the Night Hawks “Hey Boss Man!” LP.
Frank Frost may be singing the blues, but the seller who snagged $3,500 on a single bid for this Arkansas blues record probably isn’t too sad.
According to the seller, this LP was recorded by Sam Phillips for his Phillips label in Memphis. The glossy LP, which has a few fine sleeve marks, grades at Very Good-Plus, according to the seller. The crisp-cornered cover comes in at Near Mint, even though it has a small brown dot above the center bottom., according to the seller.
4. $3,050 — Senait, “Rock Me” 12-inch record.
Sometimes, obscurity can be a selling point, as appears to be the case for this record. The seller describes the record as an unknown ’80s California synth-boogie rarity on the Afrique Records label. Released in 1988, the record is described as a “synth-laden elctro boogie beauty.” the A-Side features a 5:45 cut of “Rock Me,” while the B-side offers a 3:25 second radio cut of the same song and a 4:45 version that features bonus beats, according to the seller. The record is graded in Mint-Plus condition, and the plain white sleeve is still in shrink wrap, according to the seller. It drew 23 bids.
5. $3,000 — Pink Floyd, “The Piper At the Gates of Dawn” LP.
This classic LP isn’t just your garden variety Floyd. It’s red vinyl Japanese pressing on Toshiba EMI/Odeon with two obi — count ’em, two — obi strips. According to the seller, the record rarely appears on the market and is “a gem of a find” in Near Mint condition. The cover rates an Excellent-Plus.
To put things into perspective, a red vinyl promo album of Pink Floyd’s Ummagumma, also on Odeon Records from Japan, sold about two months ago for $4,200.
6. $2,680 — U2, “All I Want Is You” b/w “Unchained Melody” 7-inch.
Continuing with our colored vinyl and holy grail theme is 7-inch purple-vinyl pressing of U2’s “All I Want Is You” single on Festival Records in Australia. Only 100 copies were made in purple vinyl: 33 were given away in a special radio competition, and the remaining 67 were privately given to workers and associates of the record label.
Both the sleeve and the disc are in Near Mint condition, and to the seller’s knowledge, never have been played. But what makes this beauty so special is that it is numbered 21 of 33. The number appears both on the sleeve and with a certificate/letter that came with the item, according to the seller.
For sale is a genuine copy of one of the Holy Grails of U2 collecting - A purple vinyl copy of the “All I Want is You” single made by Festival Records in Australia. Only 100 copies were made in purple vinyl, and 33 of these were given away in a special radio competition to listeners. The other 67 were privately given to workers and associates of Festival Records.
7. $2,500 — Puleo, “Puleo” promo LP.
If you’re a fan of obscure acts, then this next record is right up your alley. Classified as modern soul-funk-rock-boogie, this promo album was privately pressed in 1984 for Buffalo, N.Y., guitar great George Puleo. The seller, who has been collecting and crate-digging for more than 20 years, discovered this rarity at his local Goodwill. He contacted Puleo, who said that the album never made it to sale.
No label information was available, but the vinyl appears to be like-new and scores Near Mint to Near-Mint Minus visual grade. The split-free cover comes in at a Very Good-Plus.
8. $2,485 — Elvis Presley, 3-EP RCA Collection
This goodie is the kind of treasure almost any record collector would love to find. This collection offers up 12 songs spread over three 7-inch EPs, all neatly packaged up in a three-pocket cardboard picture sleeve, according to the seller. It was exclusively available with the purchase of the 1956 RCA Elvis Presley 45 RPM automatic record player, the seller says. Featured songs include “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Hound Dog,” “Tutti Frutti” and “I Want You, I Need You, I Love You.”
The records themselves rate a strong Very Good-Plus visual grade, but small stickers appear on the labels, the seller said. The jacket also earns a Very-Good Plus; the initials “T.S.” are written in pencil in the upper-right hand corner.
9. $2,399 — Nirvana, “Love Buzz” b/w “Big Cheese” 45.
Here’s Nirvana’s legendary first single on Sub Pop in 1988, and it’s a promo album in great condition to boot. The overall package checks in at Mint-Minus. The sleeve has no wear or bending, and the black vinyl has never been played. The seller says it’s been stored safely since the day he got it at the Sup Pop Office, and it has a red slash where the number normally goes on the album.
There were 1,000 hand-numbered copies and 200 additional copies that contained a red marker across the number space on the sleeve, according to a Sub Pop discography cited by the seller.
10. $2,391 — Tommy Flanagan Trio, “Tommy Flanagan Trio Overseas”
The week’s countdown has been pretty eclectic, so why should the No. 10 entry be any different? This jazz album is in Near-Mint condition with Near Mint labels. The cover has square corners, vibrant color and is free of edge wear and splits. However, a light stain appears near the top of the back cover, and there’s a slight bend in the cover, the seller says.