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which lps are worth the most money?

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A new study has revealed 20 records that could get you thousands of pounds. Scottish debt specialist Carrington Dean used eBay purchasing data to show how much popular records have been auctioned off for over the past six months.

In their list, The Beatles took the top spot with their 1963 pressing of Please Please Me, with fans paying up to £5,100 for an original copy. When initially released, the Fab Four’s first album held the number one place in the charts for 30 weeks.

Read More: Blur announce special Newcastle show this May in a surprise treat for fans

David Bowie’s Space Oddity and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon followed behind at £3,200 and £3,150. Nostalgic music still proves popular with big 60’s artists like David Bowie, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Who and Led Zeppelin topping the table of the most valuable pressings, averaging at £3,216.

Only two albums post-millennia made it into the top 20, Beyoncé's 2016 boxset, How to make Lemonade (£2,750), and Lady Gaga’s Born This Way from 2011 (£1,300), reports WalesOnline.

Layla Johnson, regional manager at Carrington Dean, said: "Often left on display or tucked away in a box, the value of records is constantly changing and evolving. Whether you’re strapped for cash or are just curious about how much you could fetch for your old records, it may be worth taking those old pressings down to your local record store to see how much they are worth and potentially gain a nice bonus during these challenging times."

Here is the list of most valuable vinyl records:

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  • The Beatles - Please Please Me (album) 1963 - Sold for: £5,100.00;
  • David Bowie - Space Oddity (single) 1969 - Sold for: £3,200.00;
  • Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon (album) 1973 - Sold for: £3,151.00;
  • Beyoncé - How To Make Lemonade (boxset) 2016 - Sold for: £2,750.00;
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Either way, purchasing vinyl records can be a "near religious experience," says Don Inmon, head of product and brand at Victrola—but seeking out those personal pressings is where you'll find the most meaning. "The most valuable vinyl records today are the ones that the collector—and you're a collector if you have three or more records—has a music memory tied to," he says.

Sentiment aside, some rare vinyls have unspeakable financial value and have sold for astronomical prices at auction. "There are certainly rare or original pressings, special colors and designs that have limited production runs," says Inmon. In his opinion, the rarest are pressings that are associated with a certain moment in time (an autograph here, a band anecdote there).

And while Inmon likens vinyl valuation to the wine market ("Value fluctuates; certain wines grow or decrease in value over time, public opinion, taste, and so forth," he says), certain already-sold pressings' price tags speak for themselves. Below, discover the most valuable records to date, as well as some lower-cost iterations that avid collectors should keep their eyes peeled for.

The most valuable records of all time have sold at auction for unbelievable sums of money. According to music expert Frank Daniels—he pens a monthly column on record collecting at Goldmine Magazine—there are several unique reasons why these particular pressings fetched such an astoundingly high price.

It's no surprise that a copy of The Beatles' White Album went for $790,000 in December 2015 when you learn that it wasn't just any old pressing. "As the cover artist indicated, each copy of the album was numbered sequentially, giving it the ridiculous distinction of being a 'numbered limited edition' of over six hundred thousand copies," says Daniels. This particular record was numbered No.0000001—the first of its kind. As an added bonus, it also belonged to a Beatle before it was sold. "The buyer now owns something that was in Ringo's possession for 50 years," Daniels says.

In January 2015, Elvis Presley's My Happiness sold for $300,000; it was the first the King ever recorded. "It was a 'live' demonstration record, which the legend says he recorded for his mother," Daniels shares. "Back then, people could walk into Sun Studio in Memphis and pay to make their own record."

The Beatles were one of the most iconic bands of all time—so it's unsurprising that they appear so frequently on most-valuable vinyl lists. According to the BBC, an unnamed buyer from the Midwest purchased a pressing of the group's Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band for a whopping $290,000; it was signed by not one, not two, not three, but all four Beatles. The selling price far exceeded the beginning bid, which clocked in at $30,000.

Some records went for higher-than-average amounts due to their dark past. For example, one copy of John Lennon's Double Fantasy went to auction priced at $900,000 in 2020. The reason? "John Lennon was a gregarious person, often stopping to sign autographs for fans," Daniels explains. "After his latest album, Double Fantasy, came out in 1980, John signed copies for people who waited for him outside his New York home. In particular, he signed a copy for Mark David Chapman—the man who later murdered him." It was this copy that was priced just under $1 million; its sale status is currently unknown.

Most of us don't have the kind of cash we'd need to splurge on those types of record-breaking albums (pun intended!), but there are several affordable, collectible vinyls that you can scoop up today—some are certainly worth your while, says Daniels.

Fans of Led Zeppelin could spend anywhere between $1,000 to $10,000 for a vinyl copy of their first self-titled release in its original turquoise-cover print. Daniels says the record would need to be in near mint condition to be worth that kind of dough.

Believe it or not, vinyl copies of the score to the Humphrey Bogart film The Caine Mutiny go for $7,000—original copies of the 1954 release are extremely rare. "The author of the book, Herman Wouk, did not like the fact that RCA Victor was releasing such a 'condensed' version of the movie soundtrack as an album," Daniels explains. "He refused to authorize its release, and the record was withdrawn. Only a few copies exist."

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