By Susan Sliwicki
Yeah, The Beatles tend to find their way into nearly every Market Watch countdown ever. But Nirvana and Bad Brains are keeping The Fabs company this week.
11. $3,236.59— Dizzy Reece, Progress Report” LP. We felt so bad this jazz record was going to miss the countdown cutoff by less than a dollar, we made room to mention it anyway. This is the original, mono, U.K. pressing issued in 1957 on Tempo Records. The seller assigned grades of E to both the cover and vinyl.
10. $3,237.57 — The Beatles, “Please Please Me,” LP. Here’s a perennial Market Watch favorite — a mono, U.K. first pressing of Please Please Me on the black and gold label, coming in at about the middle of the pack, as far as copies of this record have been selling lately. Thirty three bids were exchanged before a winner was declared. The glossy, heavyweight vinyl is stunning, and the record only received a limietd number of very careful plays, as evidenced in its play grade. “The audio is flawless,” the seller writes.” There was not even any light crackles eveident to run in/off groves or track grooves; there was no distortion present at any point.”
8. $3,499.99 — The Beatles, lot of 10 colored vinyl LPs. What could be better than The Beatles in mono? Why, 10 Beatles albums in mono, in NM condition, and on red vinyl, of course. This set of Japanese pressings features “Rubber Soul,” “Please Please Me,” “Help,” “A Hard Day’s Night,” “Beatles For Sale,” “With The Beatles,” “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “The Beatles” (White Album), “Revolver” and the original “Yellow Submarine” soundtrack. The records bear the Toshiba numbers EAS 70130 to EAS 70138; the White Album is numbered EAS 67158-8.
“These analog vinyl masterpieces are in at least Near Mint plus condition to Mint,” the seller said. “Twenty-five years out of print now and the most collectible Beatles pressings ever.”
7. $3,700 and 9. $3,365 — The Black Exotics, “What Am I Waiting For” / “Theme of Blackbyrds,” 45. The same seller put up not one, but two copies of this rare funk 45 on the United label (311) for sale at the same time on eBay, and buyers were relieved to find out that two copies were in fact, available. The records, both of which were graded VG++ and described as very glossy, sold on Dec. 5; one attracted 11 bids and brought $3,700; the second drew 21 bids and sold for $3,365.
If you missed out on the records this time around, you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled. The seller announced that he’s purchased a large collection of rare funk and soul and plans to sell more in the future.
6. $3,823 — Sloths, “Makin’ Love”/“You Mea Everything To Me,” 45. This record on the Impression Label (104) grades in strong VG+ condition, with good gloss on the vinyl, but some label wear and a few grease spots. “Nice keeper of this very rare ‘60s garage collectible,” the seller wrote.
5. $4,750 — Various artists, collection of more than 1,000 Northern Soul, Funk and Modern 45s on the Forte label. One “buy-in-bulk” shopper was happy to give these records a home from a dealer who is going into an other line of work. the cost worked out to roughly $108 per pound of records — a bit pricier than a steak, but prime cuts of Northern Soul don’t come cheap, you know.
Featured artists include Marva Whitney, Ellie Taylor, Fantastics, Fab Rhythm Makers, Gene Williams, Sharon Revoal, MWT Express and about 175 blank 45s believed to be of Lee Harris, but whose labels were been scrubbed.
“Story was that Taylor was pissed at Harris, so started scrubbing the labels from them. I’m not sure at all, as I quit chasing the story some time ago,” the seller said.
4. $4,924.50 — The Beatles, “The Beatles” (White Album), acetate. This 12-track, mono acetate on the EMIDisc label is graded VG to VG+ and stamped 20 Sept 1968, roughly two months before the final album was released. According to the seller, who obtained the record from a relative who worked for EMI, it features 12 of the 31 songs that made it onto the final double album, and eight of those songs differ from the final versions released.
3. $5,000 — The Beatles, “Yesterday and Today,” sealed, second state cover. This forward-thinking seller turned a $4.37 Kmart special from 1966 into a serious nest egg.
“When these paste-overs were disappearing from the stores, I, knowing they just might be worth something some day, purchased this fab stereo copy and have coveted it all these years,” the seller wrote. For those of you keeping score, that’s a 1,144 percent return on investment. That’s so impressive, we’re even willing to forgive the seller for describing it as a “spectacular ‘Holy Grail’ Beatle collectible.
Because it’s still sealed, the buyer risks the possibility that something other than the Beatles record is in the sleeve. But since the sleeve is really the main attraction for this album, that seems like a minimal risk. Our only surprise? The market rate according to Goldmine Standard Catlaog of American Records has been running about $1,000 for a NM, second-state opened copy in its most valuable form. Comparable listings at popsike.com fall within that range, rising as high as $1,610 paid in 2010 (with mono copies drawing even more). Is $5,000 really a fair deal? Guess it’s all about what the market will bear.
2. $6,000 — Bad Brains, “Pay to Cum” acetate. Bidders went bonkers for this original acetate of Bad Brains’ “Pay to Cum” EP, a one-of-a-kind collectible the band had pressed on Jan. 25, 1980 and purportedly gave to the owner of ROIR Records.
“This is the crown jewel of all that is holy and good in the world of Bad Brains collecting,” the seller wrote. “God damn, this thing is cool, and I can’t believe I’m selling it.”
The seller played the record twice to ensure it is free of skips and pops — kind of a no-no for an acetate, especially of such holy grail status, if you ask us. That didn’t deter bidders, though, who swapped 68 bids before a winner was declared.
1. $6,763.31 — Nirvana, “Hormoaning,” colored vinyl EP.
This Australian 1992 pressing on clear but marbled blue, red and purple vinyl on the GDC label was billed as “mega super rare” by its seller. This unusually-colored vinyl features six tracks: “Turnaround,” “Aneurysm,” “D-7,” “Son of a Gun,” “Even in His Youth” and “Molly’s Lips.”
The owner who paid more than $400 for the record 12 years ago, never had played it.
“You know you want it. I would keep it if it wasn’t for some debt,” the seller wrote.”
To sweeten the pot, the seller threw in a green 7-inch single and a picture disc for Nirvana’s “Bleach,” both from SubPop, a single for Green River’s “Come on Down,” as well as original Rolling Stone and Juice Music magazines from the 1990s, as well as a 7-inch green vinyl single for Nirvana’s “Bleach,” put out by SubPop.