10 Rarest Vinyl Records Ever Released

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Over the past few years, vinyl records have made a strong comeback and the renewed interest has fueled the value of rare records. All of the records on this list have been sold for tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Each time these records went to auction, their final price smashed all pre-bidding estimates, proving that vinyl records are more popular than ever.

For this list, the records were arranged by value.

As of November 2020, the information on this list is as accurate as possible and will be updated as needed.

  1. Aphex Twin’s Caustic Window Test Recording
  2. Value: $46,300 (price paid at auction)
     Year Released: 1996
    Studio: Unspecified
    Label: Rephlex
    Producer: Richard D. James (Aphex Twin)
    Aphex Twin
    photo source: Wikipedia

    While British musician Richard D. James aka Aphex Twin might not be a household name like some of the other artist’s on this list, a test pressing of his album Caustic Window fetched a pretty penny when it went up for auction in 2014. The record was sold on eBay for $46,300 a few months after it had first showed up on Discogs. After Caustic Window was originally purchased from Discogs, a Kickstarter campaign was launched to get a digital copy of the album released. The record was put up for sale after.

    Did You Know?

    The rare test pressing of Caustic Window was purchased by Markus “Notch” Persson, the creator of Minecraft.


  3. The Beatles “Till There Was You” and “Hello Little Girl”
  4. Value: £77,500 (about $108,500) (price paid at auction)
     Year Released: November 1963
    Studio: EMI, London
    Label: Parlophone
    Producer: George Martin
    The Beatles “Till There Was You” and “Hello Little Girl”
    photo source: loudersound.com

    A rare early Beatles recording of the songs “Till There Was You” and “Hello Little Girl” was sold in 2016 for £77,500 (about $108,500). The record had been sitting in the attic of Les Maguire – the keyboardist in another Liverpool band, Gerry and the Pacemakers – for 50 years. This record was used by The Beatles to land their recording contract with EMI and their future producer George Martin.

    Did You Know?

    The “Till There Was You” and “Hello Little Girl” record features the handwriting of the Beatles manager at the time, Brian Epstein, who misspelled the names of both songs.


  5. Sealed Copy of The Beatles Yesterday and Today
  6. Value: $125,000 (price paid at auction)
     Year Released: June 20, 1966
    Studio: EMI, London
    Label: Capitol Records
    Producer: George Martin
    Sealed Copy of The Beatles Yesterday and Today
    photo source: Heritage Auctions

    While records from The Beatles are not inherently rare as they have sold countless copies over the years, every once in a while special Beatles records turn up and sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. In 2018, a sealed copy of The Beatles Yesterday and Today was sold for $125,000. This sealed album is significant because it features the original “butcher” cover of the album, which was controversial at the time. The original photograph shows The Beatles wearing butchers’ coats and covered with decapitated baby dolls and pieces of raw meat.

    Did You Know?

    Before some of the copies of Yesterday and Today were released, a new photograph was pasted over the “butcher cover,” which caused fans to try and peel back the picture to see if the controversial cover was underneath.


  7. Sealed Copy of Rammellzee Vs K-Rob’s “Beat Bop”
  8. Value: $126,000 (price paid at auction)
     Year Released: 1983
    Studio: Unspecified
    Label: Tartown
    Producer: Jean-Michel Basquiat
    Sealed Copy of Rammellzee Vs K-Rob's “Beat Bop”
    photo source: djmag.com

    In September 2020, Hip-Hop community was buzzing after a sealed copy of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Rammellzee Vs K-Rob’s “Beat Bop” album was sold by Sotheby’s for $126,000. Basquiat produced and issued about 500 copies of the album, but the one sold by Sotheby’s still had its original shrink wrap. The album cover features art created by Jean-Michel Basquiat specifically for the record’s original release.

    Did You Know?

    The consignor of valuable Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Rammellzee Vs K-Rob’s “Beat Bop” album is donating all proceeds of the sale to The Archive of Contemporary Music.


  9. Frank Wilson’s “Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)”
  10. Value: £100,000 (about $130,485) (price paid at auction)
     Year Released: 1965
    Studio: Studio A
    Label: Soul (a Motown subsidiary)
    Producer: Hal Davis and Marc Gordon
    Frank Wilson's “Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)”
    photo source: Clash


    Frank Wilson was better known for being a Motown producer, but in 1965, he tried his hand at being a recording artist. Wilson recorded “Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)” on about 250 demo records. The records were set to be released to the public, but they were destroyed after Wilson decided he wanted to focus on producing. However, a few copies of the record did survive and one was sold at auction over the Summer of 2020 for £100,000 (about $130,485). The only other known copy of Wilson’s “Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)” is warped and can no longer be played.

    Did You Know?

    According to rumors, the real reason why Frank Wilson’s “Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)” recording was destroyed is because Motown’s Berry Gordy did not want his producers stepping out into the spotlight.


  11. Signed Copy of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Double Fantasy
  12. Value: $150,000 (price paid at auction)
     Year Released: November 17, 1980
    Studio: The Hit Factory, New York
    Label: Geffen Record and Capitol Records
    Producer: John Lennon, Yoko Ono, and Jack Douglas
    Signed Copy of John Lennon and Yoko Ono's Double Fantasy
    photo source: Page Six


    This particular signed copy of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Double Fantasy vinyl record has an unfortunate history. It is the album that Lennon signed for his killer, Mark David Chapman, just hours before Lennon was murdered. Chapman had stashed the record just outside of Lennon’s apartment building and it was later found an anonymous man who turned the record over to police as evidence. After the investigation the album was returned to the man who sold it in 1999 for $150,000.

    The infamous record went up for sale again in 2010 and supposedly fetched $850,000, but this was never confirmed. Once again the signed album is up for sale in November 2020, with an opening price of $400,000. At the time of this writing the auction has not been closed.

    Did You Know?

    The signed copy of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Double Fantasy still has the police markings on the cover, which are near Lennon’s signature.


  13. Fully Signed Copy of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
  14. Value: $290,500 (price paid at auction)
     Year Released: May 26, 1967
    Studio: EMI and Regent Sound, London
    Label: Parlophone
    Producer: George Martin
    Fully Signed Copy of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
    photo source: The Hollywood Reporter

    A fully signed copy of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is yet another rare vinyl record from The Beatles. The U.K. Parlophone copy of the album was sold at auction in 2013 for $290,500. It is believed that the record was signed by all four Beatles around the time of the album’s release in 1967. Bidding for the rare vinyl record started at just $15,000, but quickly took on a life of its own because of the high quality of the signatures and the record’s excellent condition.

    Did You Know?

    The rare signed copy of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band vinyl came with an official souvenir program of the fourth annual Beatles Convention of Cavern Mecca, dated August 26, 1984.


  15. Elvis Presley’s “My Happiness”
  16. Value: $300,000 (price paid at auction)
     Year Released: N/A – recorded in 1953
    Studio: Sun Studio
    Label: Sun Records
    Producer: Sam Phillips
    Elvis Presley's “My Happiness”
    photo source: discogs.com


    In 1953, before Elvis Presley became a world famous rockstar, he recorded a demo acetate of “My Happiness” and “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin.” This now historic record was Presley’s very first recording and was bought at auction in early 2015 for $300,000. Initially, the buyer was anonymous, but a few months later it was revealed that singer Jack White was the mystery buyer. White decided to share his new purchase with the world and reissued the record to the public.

    Did You Know?

    Reportedly, Elvis Presley made the “My Happiness” record as a birthday gift for his mother, but many biographers believe that Presley just wanted to catch the eye Sun Studio owner Sam Phillips.


  17. The Quarrymen “That’ll Be the Day”/”In Spite of All the Danger”
  18. Value: £200,000 (about $320,000) (based on estimated value)
     Year Released: July 12, 1958
    Studio: Phillips Sound Recording Service
    Label: Apple Records
    Producer: Percy Phillips
    The Quarrymen “That'll Be the Day”/”In Spite of All the Danger”
    photo source: Wikipedia

    In 1953, before Elvis Presley became a world famous rockstar, he recorded a demo acetate of “My Happiness” and “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin.” This now historic record was Presley’s very first recording and was bought at auction in early 2015 for $300,000. Initially, the buyer was anonymous, but a few months later it was revealed that singer Jack White was the mystery buyer. White decided to share his new purchase with the world and reissued the record to the public.

    Did You Know?

    Reportedly, Elvis Presley made the “My Happiness” record as a birthday gift for his mother, but many biographers believe that Presley just wanted to catch the eye Sun Studio owner Sam Phillips.


  19. First Copy of The Beatles White Album
  20. Value: $790,000 (price paid at auction)
     Year Released: November 22, 1968
    Studio: EMI and Trident, London
    Label: Apple Records
    Producer: George Martin
    First Copy of The Beatles White Album
    photo source: Rolling Stone


    In 2015, White Album No. 000001, which had been kept in good condition by Ringo Starr for nearly 50 years, was sold at auction for $790,000. This first copy of the White Album is the most valuable and rarest vinyl record ever in the world. The final sale price shattered pre-auction estimates which ranged from only $40,000 – $60,000. Prior to the auction, everyone had assumed that John Lennon had owned White Album No. 0000001 because according to Paul McCartney, Lennon “shouted the loudest” for it. However, Starr had the first copy and kept it in a London bank vault for over 35 years.

    Did You Know?

    According to Ringo Starr, the Beatles actually played White Album No. 0000001 and the record most likely still has his fingerprints on it.

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