Who did the Beatles need help from?
The record. An anachronism from the past century. Impractical, inflexible, and if it gets a scratch it jumps. And yet more and more music listeners ensure that it has been making an unexpected comeback for some time and the record press can hardly keep up. Why is that?
We went to these presses, visited Jack White's lover label Third Man Records, discussed with people who swear by the format, and examined the boom more closely using facts and figures. We worked our way through the history of the record, took a hearing test, and even helped out at a record store for an afternoon. And then we put together the biggest vinyl special far and wide from all of this and much more for the 9/2015 edition of Musikexpress. After all, it's about the most rocknroll sound carrier of all: the record.
You can find an (updated) result of our research here: How much money do collectors spend on rarities from their favorite bands? A lot, as you can see in our list of the eight most expensive records in the world.
The Beatles - 'Til There Was You' (10 ”Acetate)
This 10 ″ is considered the holy grail among Beatles collectors: the early demo includes the songs “Til There Was You” and “Hello Little Girl” (which is also marked with the typo “Hullo Little Girl” on the record. Les Maguire , former keyboardist for the Liverpool band Gerry And The Pacemakers, sold the record for good in 2016 90,000 euros.
The Beatles - YESTERDAY AND TODAY (1966)
In 1966, the Beatles, annoyed and bored by constant promotional appointments, allowed themselves macabre and tasteless fun: They posed for the cover of the compilation album YESTERDAY AND TODAY in butcher's smocks with severed dolls' heads and torsos. The record went into production with the controversial cover, but was withdrawn shortly afterwards. In February 2016, a copy of the album in its original packaging fetched 125,000 dollars (approx. 110,000 euros).
John Lennon & Yoko Ono - DOUBLE FANTASY (1980)
Signatures by artists add to the value of a record, of course. This is also the case with a copy of DOUBLE FANTASY, which was released in 1999 for 150,000 US dollars (approx. 130,000 euros) was auctioned. What makes this pressing so special? It's the edition of the John & Yoko album that Lennon's murderer Mark David Chapman had signed the day he shot the ex-Beatle.
The Quarrymen - "That'll Be The Day / In Spite Of All Danger" (1958)
An original acetate recording by the pre-Beatles band (with McCartney, Lennon and Harrison) was rated 2 by Record Collector magazine in 2012Estimated 50,000 US dollars (approx. 220,000 euros). The unique piece is currently owned by Paul McCartney. Incidentally, in the 1980s he had 50 copies of the rarity made and given away to his closest family and friends. Even these plates are now valued at over 10,000 euros.
The Beatles - SGT. PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND (1967)
A first press of the Beatles album with the iconic hidden object cover can bring in a nice resale price - if it is also the mono version with the black parlophone patch, a considerable amount is guaranteed. This is only topped if the record cover is also signed by all four mushroom heads. A bidder paid a fortune at a 2013 auction for the copy with all four signatures: 290,000 US dollars (approx. 255,000 euros).
Elvis Presley - "My Happiness / That's When Your Heartaches Begin" (1953)
Jack White bought the very first recording of the King on acetate in December 2015 for 300,000 US dollars (approx. 265,000 euros) - and brought the recording, including all audible scratches and noise, to the market as a newly released limited edition on his label Third Man Record.
The Beatles - THE BEATLES (1968)
In December 2015, Ringo Starr became a personal copy of the album, which bears the serial number 0000001, for 790,000 US dollars (approximately 700,000 euros) sold - the highest price ever called for a commercially released album.
Wu-Tang Clan - ONCE UPON A TIME IN SHAOLIN (2015)
On November 24, 2015, the entrepreneur Martin Shkreli bought the only copy of this album for two million US dollars (around 1.77 million euros). The album was never released commercially and Shkreli drew the vinyl community's hatred for his ego move. Today the former hedge fund manager is in jail for serious fraud.
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