When vinyl was replaced by CDs, now overtaken by music we listen to on demand, no-one could have predicted the resurgence of records.
But your old vinyl, possibly gathering dust in the attic or garage, has put the collecting world in a spin. Younger generations like its tactile, tangible quality, new collectors have emerged and some of today’s biggest artists, like Adele, record on vinyl.
What this all means for you, your parents or even your grandparents is that your old records may be worth far more than you bargained for.
Our music memorabilia expert Claire Howell often sees a small box of records deliver a windfall of a few hundred pounds. For example, in a recent Music Memorabilia Auction, a collection of Rolling Stones records plus two EPs, magazines and other assorted memorabilia made £360.
Typically, a batch of records collected in your teens or early 20s may contain a few discs potentially worth £30 to £60 each. Auction a handful of them off and you could pocket £400.
Claire, who holds regular free valuation events at our Etwall HQ and will be with us on Wednesday February 19, has been an avid music memorabilia collector for more than 30 years. She knows what’s hot and what’s not.
She tells me that records from the 1990s are often more valuable today than, say, LPs from The Beatles or The Rolling Stones. That’s because a very limited amount of vinyl was being pressed in the UK in the 90s.
Due to the introduction of CDs in 1983, by the end of the 90s most UK pressing plants had closed, though LPs were still being pressed in Europe. Ultimately, this means 90s vinyl is harder to find. In the auction world, rarity equals desirability.
So, what music could you have at home that may net you a windfall? Are you an Iron Maiden fan? If you have The X Factor, A Real Live One, A Real Dead One and Virtual XI you have reason to smile. The X factor and Virtual XI can sell for a few hundred pounds each.
Maybe Oasis were your thing. Any 1980s and 90s 12inch or 7inch discs or LPs from the Manchester outfit are sought after. Oasis LPs regularly sell for in excess of £80-100.
Other bands that can prove a hit when it comes to vinyl prices are Joy Division, The Clash, New Order, The Smiths, The Stone Roses or Placebo. Albums produced by Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan or David Bowie from 1992 onwards are sought after, too.
That’s not saying that older is not better. Led Zeppelin’s first album with turquoise text instead of Orange is sought after along with Jimi Hendrix’s risqué cover Electric Ladyland or the Puppet Sleeve. The Rolling Stones’ Let it Bleed, complete with the poster and information sticker, is another winner.
In the auction world, mistakes on records such as mis-pressed titles or even the wrong music, can spark high prices too.
If you’re thinking of selling your record collection or music memorabilia, Claire is the woman to see to make sure nothing is missed.
Right now, vinyl from the 1980s and 90s is often desirable because people in their 40s and 50s with a disposable income are collecting the music they loved in their youth.
Trends change with every decade as the next generation with a little cash and time to spare comes of age. The kids may have flown the nest and nostalgia kicks in.
But now people want The Stone Roses, The Jam or Madonna rather than Elvis or Billy Fury because that’s what they grew up with. And who can forget Madonna? Her picture discs from the 1980s can sell for £30-£60. Meanwhile her rare Erotica 12inch picture disc from 1991 can soar to £2,500-£3,000 as only 138 were pressed.
But music memorabilia isn’t just about records. A limited-edition Souxsie and the Banshees poster from 1980 could net you £40. Some old Splash or Athena posters that cost £3.99 back in the day can fetch £20 or £30 now if they feature groups like Oasis. People frame them as a piece of art for their home.
Autographs, magazines and tickets stubs can prove profitable, too. Hansons sold a Jimi Hendrix autograph for £5,700 and a full set of Beatles signatures for £5,600, aided by strong provenance from the vendors.
Plus, we’ve also had great success with music awards. 10CC were huge in the 1970s and their Ivor Novello award for worldwide hit I’m Not In Love, Most Performed British Work, 1975, smashed through its £1,500-£2,000 estimate to sell for £5,100. In addition, an NME Godlike Genius award presented to The Fall’s Mark E Smith in 1998 made £5,000.
If you have music memorabilia you’re considering selling our next auction is on March 17, entries are invited now and Claire Howell will be offering free valuations at Hansons, Heage Lane, Etwall, DE65 6LS, on Wednesday February 19, 10am-3pm. Alternatively, email [email protected] or take advantage of our general valuations, Monday-Friday, 10am-4pm, Wednesday, 5-7pm, and Saturday, 9am-noon.