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Market Watch: Eclectic taste rules online vinyl market again

From rare Leaf Hound vinyl to a LP set of Bach, it's a diverse grouping in our latest Market Watch

By Susan Sliwicki

5. $3,100 — Leaf Hound, “Growers of Mushroom,” LP. While the music may not be to everyone’s taste, this 1971 pressing of (Decca SKL-4.5094) stereo pressing seemed to hit the the right notes with eager bidders.

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“Monster rare, only 500 copies in the world, and serious collectors will know just what this album represents!” the seller wrote. “This massively rare LP initially sold barely anything and therefore had a very small run and is incredibly hard to find. An astonishing album that really deserves to be in every serious ’60s/’70s record collection!

Forty-two bids were exchanged before a winner was declared for this VG+ copy. Earlier this spring, a copy sold for $4,300.

4. $3,350 — Sonny Clark, “Cool Struttin” LP. When we saw this Sonny Clark record in our Market Watch countdown earlier this spring, it sold for $2,258.12 for an EX- copy.

This clean-playing NM copy of Blue Note 1588 came from a deejay’s collection. The labels, which carry the 47 W. 63rd address, grade as VG+. The cover bears the DJ’s address stamp, but no formal grade was assigned by the seller.

Along with Clark, trumpeter Art Farmer, and alto sax player Jackie McLean appear to perform “Cool Struttin’,” “Blue Minor,” “Sippin’ at Bells” and “Deep Night.”

Thirty-two bids were exchanged before a winner was declared.

3. $3,833.33 — Billy Boy Arnold, “I Ain’t Got No Money” and “Hello Stranger,” 78. Here’s an artist and entry we don’t recall seeing on the Market Watch countdown before. Unfortunately, we won’t learn much from listings, as the seller shared precious little.

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“This record is in E+ condition ... like new-flexible disc ... Super rare label ... Recorded by RCA ...” the seller wrote.

This promo-marked 78 was issued on the Cool Records label (Cool 103), which is listed on the label as a division of Co-Ben Recording Co. And, the seller wrote that this rarity was Arnold’s first record.

Eighteen bids were exchanged before a winner was declared.

2. $3,516 — John Heartsman And Circles, “Music of My Heart,” 2 LPs. While buyers do seem to appreciate original pressings of this self-released 1976 set, its value seems to be dropping over time, at least in terms of Market Watch countdowns. A VG+ copy sold for $5,500 in March 2010; two months later, a Mint-Minus copy sold for $4,200 by May 2010. Unfortunately for this seller, this “pristine” copy featuring autographs by all the album’s major players only brought $3,516.

“These LPs are clean, glossy and perfect,” the seller wrote. “My mom was the bass player in a little-known Sacramento-based all girl rock ‘n’ roll band called Filly in the early 1970s. Filly played gigs around the area, at times with John Heartsman. Mr. Heartsman gave this copy of this album to her, a music fanatic and musician in her own right, along with autographs.”

Nine bids were exchanged before a winner was declared.

1. $3,999, Johanna Martzy, “J.S. Bach: The Unaccompanied Violin Sonatas, Vols. 1-3,” 3 LPs. This 3-LP set pressed in Great Britain in the 1950s is no stranger to our countdown, selling earlier this summer for $5,027.72 for EX+ vinyl with VG to E covers. This set of Columbia 1286-1288 posted vinyl grades of EX, VG+ and EX to EX+; its sleeves are all in a very handsome EX+ condition.

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“The violin sounds clean and sharp, but there’s some light background crackling in some parts,” the seller wrote. “I think it’s very hard to get this set in a better shape ... especially for such an old item of an age of about 60 years now.”

For related items that you may enjoy in our Goldmine store: