A quick Google search for “the five most valuable vinyl records of all time” can land you in a sea of obvious, overplayed, or bland choices. Music isn’t just about the most popular hits. There are groundbreaking albums that inspire social movements, albums that change their sound for a decade, and albums that make you want to boogie at any given moment.
Our team at Angels Horn® believes each of these albums should be celebrated, so we’ve compiled a list of the five greatest albums that changed music history. Read on for a complete crash course on classic albums from the 1930s to today for the album that changed everything.
The dimensions of the trade-off are not just value, but also social impact. The following rankings are in no particular order, but were voted collectively by Angels Horn® fans from 100 albums:
- #1 The Beatles – The Beatles (The White Album)
- #2 Sex Pistols – God Save The Queen / No Feeling
- #3 Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody / I’m In Love With My Car
- #4 Ozzy Osbourne: Diary of A Mad Man (Unicef)
- #5 Kate Bush – The Sensual World (Unicef)
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（ps: Click on subheadings for quick reading ）
#1 The Beatles – The Beatles (The White Album)
When you get to the bottom… the payout is massive
Year: 1968 | Format: Vinyl 2-LP (first UK pressing) | Label, catalogue number: Apple PMC/PCS 7067/8 (mono, stereo) | Estimated value: £1,000-£19,000+ / $1,264-$24,131+ (near mint or mint condition) | Featured songs: Helter Skelter, Blackbird, While My Guitar Gently Weeps.
There are a lot of various approximated worths thrown around for The White Album that it’s difficult to get a conclusive cost without losing your mind– seriously, you need to see the arguments that break out online about this one. Normally speaking, the lower the number printed on the front cover of each initial copy, the more it’s worth (keep in mind, individuals: condition matters).
The Fab Four caught the very first 4 copies of the double LP, with Ringo Starr owning copy 0000001 UK initially mono pushing. Ringo played it a couple of times, then chucked it in a safe-deposit box for over 35 years prior to making it offered for sale in a Julien’s auction in 2015 to benefit his Lotus Foundation charity. Pre-auction quotes put the album’s worth at around $200,000/ ₤ 179,999, however it wound up costing a wallet-busting $790,000(opens in brand-new tab).
Beatles collectors and unusual records collectors will pay thousands for a copy numbered 1-100, and much more for a copy numbered 1-10. Want evidence? No. 0000005 cost ₤ 19,000/$24,141 in 2008.
A lots of requirements impacts the worth of the White Album copy you own. Is it a United States or UK edition? Is ‘The Beatles’ printed or embossed on the front of the LP?
Is the serial number preceded by a prefix ‘A’, by ‘No’ (of which there are 2 variations) or a black dot? Somebody ought to compose a book on how to value the White Album alone.
#2 Sex Pistols – God Save The Queen / No Feeling
Never mind the bollocks, here’s punk’s most valuable vinyl record
Year: 1977 | Format: 7 Inch (in brown envelope with press release) | Label, catalogue number: A&M AMS 7284 | Estimated value: £8,500-£15,000+ / $10,956-$19,334+ (mint condition) | Featured song: God Save The Queen
As the story goes, 6 days after the Sex Pistols signed to A&M Records on 10 March 1977 outdoors Buckingham Palace, the label broke agreement and dropped the band due to their raucous behaviour. Obviously, Sid Vicious smashed up a toilet and Johnny Rotten gobbed off at the workplace personnel. Naughty kids.
A pissed-off A&M immediately bought all 25,000 pushed copies of the band’s launching single, God Save The Queen, to be ruined. Just a percentage made it through the cull. That’s why this 7 Inch is among the most important punk records on the planet.
Genuine originals include 7284 printed two times on the B-side, with God Save The Queen as the A-side and No Feelings as the B-side, and include the initial A&M sleeve, brown envelope and news release. More promo copies were discovered in the business’s vault and dished out to laid-off personnel when A&M closed its doors for great in 1999.
There’s the 1977 acetate, sent out by Malcolm McLaren to protect the Sex Pistols a brand-new record offer after the A&M face-off. In 2012 these acetates were valued at ₤ 6,000 however have actually considering that increased in worth by over 50%. When God Save The Queen lastly appeared, in May 1977, it was on Virgin and with a various B-side (Did You No Wrong).
#3 Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody / I’m In Love With My Car
There’s a right royal fanfare for this coveted 7 Inch vinyl
Year: 1978 | Format: 7 Inch / single (blue vinyl and merch) | Label, catalogue number: EMI 2375 | Estimated value: £3,000-£5,000 / $3,806-$6,355 (mint condition) | Featured song: Bohemian Rhapsody
When EMI won a Queen’s Award To Industry For Export Achievement in 1978, the label celebrated with a fancy luncheon at Selfridges. Guests were treated to a limited edition blue vinyl 7 Inch of Bohemian Rhapsody / I’m In Love With My Car, housed in a hand-numbered maroon and gold custom sleeve. The hand-numbering is important, as only those numbered 1-200 come under the ‘official edition’ banner.
Just 200 copies were pressed, the majority of which were handed out alongside etched goblets, an embroidered handkerchief/scarf, a commemorative pen and a box of matches. If you own a legit copy of the 7 Inch plus merch, you’re looking at a sweet payday. In August 2013, No 37 of the single plus the embroidered handkerchief sold for £3,300. The complete package, including the original luncheon invite, attracts the top-end prices.
#4 Ozzy Osbourne: Diary of A Mad Man (Unicef)
Feeling blue? You won’t be if you own this cyan limited edition vinyl
Year: 2019 (original album release 1981) | Format: Vinyl LP limited edition reissue Unicef Blue Vinyl | Label, catalogue number: Epic – 88697 86665 1, Legacy – 88697 86665 1 | Estimated value: £1,065 / $1,348 (mint condition) | Featured songs: Over The Mountain, Flying High Again, You Can’t Kill Rock and Roll
Here we go with more limited edition blue vinyl, but this time it’s Unicef Blue Vinyl. This limited edition reissue of Ozzy’s second studio album was limited to 50 copies, all individually numbered with a Unicef hologram sticker. It was one of 16 ‘classic, cult and contemporary’ albums reissued as cyan pressings to raise money for the Unicef Children’s Emergency Fund.
No 1 of the first pressing of Diary of A Mad Man Unicef Blue Vinyl was made available at auction in November 2018 and sold for £500. Prize draws determined the other 49 owners – at the time, people could enter the draw by purchasing a £5 ticket. That’s a huge ROI considering what these records are now going for in mint condition.
#5 Kate Bush – The Sensual World (Unicef)
Only 50 copies of this charity reissue were made
Year: 2019 (original album release 1989) | Format: Vinyl LP reissue Unicef Blue Vinyl | Label, catalogue number: Fish People | Estimated value: £780 / $985 (mint condition) | Featured songs: Reaching Out, Rocket’s Tail, Love and Anger
Like the Ozzy album featured further up this list, The Sensual World was reissued on a limited edition 50-copy run of cyan vinyl to help raise money for Unicef. Number 1 was sold for £2,200 in an open Unicef Auction, via Givergy, and copies 7-49 were entered into an open raffle. The others were sold in sets bundled with other limited edition Unicef Blue Vinyl.
If you want to own this limited edition re-release of The Sensual World, expect to shell out a heck of a lot more cash than the cost of a £5 raffle ticket. If you were lucky enough to win one in the Unicef raffle and are thinking of selling it, Discogs states that it has sold for £780 in the past, so use that as a rough guide but don’t be afraid to aim high. In fact, right now there’s a copy of The Sensual World Unicef Blue for sale on Discogs for £2,400!
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