Latest News and Blogs

Have vinyl records been making a resurgence recently?

Music over time has become a huge part of the auction industry....

19/12/2023     Blog

Music over time has become a huge part of the auction industry, with collectors, dealers and fans constantly searching for memorabilia, records, instruments and high-end audio equipment, and by far the largest part of this for us is with vinyl records, so this is what I will concentrate on today.

Over the last ten to fifteen years there has been a massive resurgence in people coming back to vinyl records, with the older generations wanting all those records they had back in their youth, the younger generations appreciating the joy of putting the needle on a record and reading the sleeve, and the collectors wanting that rare original pressing to complete their collection.

With this new-found interest, records that you couldn't give away 20 years ago, can now be worth hundreds, and in very rare cases thousands of pounds. So, what makes a record valuable? Well, generally prices are driven by what people are prepared to pay and desirability, and of course the condition of the record. A heavily scratched record that has become unplayable will have little value, though faint hairline marks are not too detrimental. Very often age and rarity doesn't mean value. A good example of age not being valuable are the old shellac 78 rpm's your grandparents had that are over 70 years old now, the majority of them you will find are classical, big band, crooners and jazz genres that today are just undesirable by most, though there are exceptions to this rule so please don't completely discard them. With the old 78's generally speaking the ones with value are the Rock n' Roll artists from the fifties, such as Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Fats Domino, Little Richard and Chuck Berry, as an example of a few, and recordings from the old Blues players such as Robert Johnson, John Lee Hooker and B.B. King can be really valuable.

What about that box of 7 inch singles you have in the loft? Even if they are average pop titles that sold in their millions they have value today, as a collection they can be desirable to people wanting to fill their jukebox, dealers and collectors of individual artists. But among them may be that one desirable single, for example singles by the American punk band The Misfits and reggae artist Prince Buster are presently selling for thousands of pounds. But more down to earth are the ever desirable soul, northern soul, funk and rock singles being worth a few pounds to upwards of a hundred.

The largest market by far is for LP's, with whatever your budget or taste there is something for everyone. But what about those really valuable records you may have, well one of the most popular collectors’ markets is for first pressings, which is the very first time a new record is pressed and released by an artist or group. These are identified in many different ways, one of the most common being those numbers you see on the run off at the end of a record near the round label, also using some of the very informative websites around now, with one of the best being Discogs.Com.

The difference in value between first pressings and later can be huge, for example Led Zeppelin's first LP from 1969 in really good condition could be worth over £2000 with second and later pressings going down from £200, even though they all basically sound the same when playing them at home.

Those LP's you have very often don't have to be really old, for example through the nineties the vinyl market had all but disappeared, so if you were one of the few not buying CD's back then you could be in luck, with those classic Oasis LP's being worth £100 plus.

As I mentioned CD's it should be said that they do have value, which seems to be increasing year by year, of course there are rarities and valuable releases regularly realising prices of £100 plus.