If Any Of These Sought-After Vinyl Records Are In Your Attic, You Could Be Looking At A Big Payday

Once upon a time there was no such thing as stream-able or downloadable music. No – you had to go to the record store, bring your vinyl home, place it onto the turntable, and let the needle drop. Maybe you still listen to vinyls, or have held onto your collection even in the midst of the digital revolution. Either way, you should take a second look at them – because some very popular vinyls from days gone by are now worth a top dollar.

40. Spice Girls – Spice World

Were you more of a Scary, a Sporty or a Ginger? If you know the answer to this question, you might have been a Spice Girls fan. And that means you might have a copy of their album Spiceworld, which came out on vinyl in 1997. One of these records maintained in mint condition could net you just over $250.

39. Metallica – Metallica

Not everyone’s into metal, but if you are, your vinyl collection could be a gold mine. Metallica’s self-named album – some also call it The Black Album – hit record stores in 1991. Nowadays, limited editions emblazoned with the Simply Vinyl label rake in the most cash – sometimes more than $750.

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38. George Michael – Older

Fans bought millions of copies of George Michael’s Older – that is, the CD version of this 1996 LP. But only a handful of vinyls made their way onto the market, which means that the classic records are worth quite a bit today. Yes, you could sell yours for $645 or more if you’ve since gotten bored of the stubbly singer with the brown quiff.

37. Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon

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Chances are you can picture the front cover of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. And, if you haven’t played it a lot, you can make good money selling it to a fellow Floyd fan. For example, someone sold a copy they had played once for upwards of $900.

36. Ozzy Osbourne – Diary of a Madman

Ozzy Osbourne released Diary of a Madman in 1981. But that’s not the version that will net you a pretty penny. Because in 2018 the heavy metal artist re-issued the album as part of a UNICEF fundraiser, through which the organization printed blue versions of 16 classic records. So if you have a printed and stamped copy of the blue Diary of a Madman, you could sell it for more than $1,100.

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35. The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Axis: Bold As Love

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The Jimi Hendrix Experience recorded their second studio album, Axis: Bold As Love, in a hurry. But the album garnered them lots of praise. You will be clapping for it, too, if you find it amongst the records in your collection. The mono versions with either silver or black labels bring in the most cash – about $1,000 in some cases.

34. Kate Bush – The Sensual World

The Sensual World raced up the charts and became a platinum seller after its 1989 release. It’s not the original round of records that’ll bring in the cash, though – it’s the UNICEF blue issue that came out in 2018. So if you have a blue copy of this Kate Bush classic, you could make $1,330 selling it.

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33. Miles Davis – Kind of Blue

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Miles Davis’ fans know that the jazz man revolutionized the genre time and time again. They could debate all day long about which of his albums is the best but, when it comes to value, only one can reign supreme. Yes, an original pressing of Kind of Blue – his most financially successful album – could have you a relatively lucrative win. Copies have sold for $1,000.

32. The Beatles – Yesterday and Today

The original copy of Yesterday and Today had The Beatles posing in a strange butcher-shop inspired setup. The Fab Four’s record label axed the idea – pun intended – and recalled all 750,000 copies of the album. But not all of those rejected records made it back as planned, and some collectors have salvaged copies. If you’re one of them, you could be sitting on a $15,000 payday.

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31. U2 – “Pride (In the Name of Love)”

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U2’s frontman Bono has looked back on “Pride (In the Name of Love)” with regret. The singer said he wishes he could have rewritten the lyrics to make them more complex. And yet, the song ranks among the best of all time, according to Rolling Stone. If you nabbed a copy on 12-inch vinyl, you might think even more highly of the song, too. Similar records have fetched $9,000.

30. Jethro Tull – “Sunshine Day”

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, especially when it comes to vinyl misprints. The first copies of Jethro Tull’s 1968 single “Sunshine Day” never made it to stores because of a typo – the band’s name was written as Jethro Toe. Some people managed to snag the imperfect promo copies, and they’ll sell for around $500 today.

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29. The Who – The Who Sell Out

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Maybe you remember buying your copy of The Who’s The Who Sells Out, one of only 1,000 copies issued on the first go-round. You would’ve cracked open the packaging to find not only a record but a poster. If you still have both of those things, the combination could rake in more than $1,000 on eBay.

28. Complex – Complex

You may not have heard of Complex’s eponymous, self-financed album. Only 99 copies of the LP were pressed, and they cut the original sleeves too small, so many of them were damaged upon arrival. So the rarity of a mint-condition copy makes it a sought-after item for collectors the world over. Sell yours for a cool $5,000.

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27. Fleetwood Mac – Rumours

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Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours has sold a whopping 40 million copies since its 1977 debut. When it first came out, the album sat on the top of the charts for 31 weeks, a feat the band commemorated with a special record pressing in 1979. So if you have a near-perfect 1979 limited-edition, chances are it will fetch around $2,000 today.

26. Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness

Record collectors have taken a shine to the Smashing Pumpkins’ Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness for its stunning cover art and, of course, the beloved songs. The album came out in 1995, just as records slipped in popularity. So if you scooped one up back then, you made the right choice. A copy can net you just about $650 today.

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25. David Bowie – “The Prettiest Star”

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If you have a copy of “The Prettiest Star” tucked into a picture sleeve, congratulations – you have a very rare record on your hands. It may be surprising to hear, especially because the cover art for this 45 RPM single has become so iconic. But this specific version of the song could sell for $2,000.

24. Depeche Mode – Music for the Masses

Not all copies of Depeche Mode’s Music for the Masses will make you thousands of dollars. It has to be an original U.K. issue of the album which came with a different art cover than the rest. So flip through your record collection and look for an orange background with white speaker and its emanating soundwaves. That design is the valuable one that has sold previously for $4,600.

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23. Misfits – Legacy of Brutality

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The sweet sixteen – that’s how many copies of Misfits’ Legacy of Brutality made up the second pressing of their compilation album. Scarcity has spiked the value of this record, especially because the second round had specific artwork: a pink platter at its center. If you have one of these, you could sell it for $5,000.

22. Olivia Newton-John and Electric Light Orchestra – Xanadu

Critics weren’t kind to the movie Xanadu – some call it one of the worst-ever films. For all its shortcomings, it came with a catchy theme song performed by Olivia Newton-John and the Electric Light Orchestra. And that tune was shared through a promotional disc with the singer’s face on it. If you find one amongst your dusty old records, you’re sitting on $9,000. Potentially.

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21. Madonna – Erotica

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When Madonna released Erotica, she made a clear decision to shed her jovial 1980s’ persona for good. Instead, she ushered in the 1990s as a much sexier singer – and one who caused lots of controversy. All of that drama and intrigue has made the album a valuable one to have in your collection. It could go for more than $4,000.

20. Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin

Rolling Stone once slated Led Zeppelin’s 1969 debut album that shared their name. In recent years, though, the music magazine has come around, ranking it at 29th on their 2003 list of the greatest albums ever. You might have a copy, but only a specific version will earn you a $1,000 paycheck. The U.K. release came with turquoise lettering – and that’s the one that collectors favor.

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19. Abba – “Hova’s Vittne”

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To promote ABBA’s single “Hova’s Vittne,” the Swedish band’s record company printed 200 copies of it and its B-side, “Tivedshambo,” in 1981. They passed around the red vinyls as a promotion within their ranks. The elusive, crimson-hued press has now become a collector’s item, of course, – copies in good condition can net $3,500.

18. Elton John – “I’ve Been Loving You”

It’s hard to imagine the musical world without Elton John, but that was life pre-1968. Luckily, his debut single hit, “I’ve Been Loving You” hit airwaves that year. Having a copy of the record is certainly valuable, but the Portugal release has proven particularly favorable amongst collectors. That version contains other songs, too – “Thank You For All Your Loving” and “Angel Tree.” And you can sell it for a whopping $5,000.

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17. Queen – “I’m In Love With My Car”

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Only 200 blue vinyl copies of “I’m In Love With My Car” were pressed in 1978, and none went to the public. Instead, EMI’s record executives got them at a reception to celebrate their sales’ achievements. Nowadays, collectors outside of their ranks seek to get their hands on the record, and they can – for a small fortune. If you have one, you can resell it for $6,500.

16. Sex Pistols – “God Save the Queen”

Music buffs will probably know why this record is so rare. A mere six days after the Sex Pistols signed their record deal – in a big soiree in front of Buckingham Palace – their label dropped them for their horrific behavior. As such, record execs had 25,000 copies of their single destroyed. Only a handful survived, so if you have one with an A&M label at its center, it could be worth $8,600.

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15. Hank Mobley – Blue Note 1568

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Hank Mobley’s record label pressed hundreds of copies of Blue Note 1568, but they hit a snag halfway through the process. They ran out of address stickers, so some of the records correctly list “47 West 63rd NYC,” while others say “47 West 63rd New York 23.” If you have a vinyl with the latter inscription, you could have a serious payout your way. Even copies with the less-rare address listing have sold for $10,000.

14. Elvis Presley – That’s Alright

Some say That’s Alright was the first rock-and-roll record that Elvis Presley ever made. And it all happened by chance. He was in the studio recording another song, took a break and wound down with a jam session. A producer overheard The King singing “That’s All Right, Mama,” so he recorded it and pressed it onto a now-very-valuable album. You could sell yours for $4,000, if it’s in mint condition.

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13. The Beatles – White Album

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The White Album isn’t actually the name of this record – The Beatles released the 1968 album with an eponymous title.But the stark cover has lent itself to the name by which most people know it today. Check the serial number on yours to see if it’s a valuable copy. Label execs and the Fab Four got stamped copies that started with A00000 serial numbers. If you have a low A-number album, it could be worth more than $30,000. Winning!

12. The Rolling Stones – “Street Fighting Man”/ “No Expectation”

As you have learned by now, changes in vinyl artwork make the originals even more desirable. The Rolling Stones plastered an image of police brutality from the 1968 Democratic National Convention on the cover of their single “Street Fighting Man.” At the last minute, though, their record label thought they shouldn’t make such a statement and ditched the sleeves. Ten to 18 of them still exist, though – and if you have one it could sell for $17,000 or more.

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11. Frank Wilson – “Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)”

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Frank Wilson had a short-lived musical career – at least, as the person singing his songs. For after he released single “Do I Love You,” he and Motown founder Berry Gordy came to an agreement that he’d work behind the scenes. Wilson went on to write for the Supremes and Temptations, and Gordy had the pressings of his first and only song destroyed. Only two copies still exist – and one went up for auction in 2009, selling for nearly $34,000.

10. David Bowie – Diamond Dogs

The designer for David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs cover left in one detail that rendered it unsellable – a dog’s genitals. So the record company ordered an airbrushing to blur the bits out. And yet the artwork still surfaced after a few wise employees snuck out copies of the original, more graphic image. If you have a copy yourself, it could sell for at least $3,550.

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9. Bruce Springsteen – “Spirit in the Night”

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Promotional copies of Bruce Springsteen’s first single “Spirit in the Night” are easy to come by. And if you have one of those, it could net you a few hundred dollars. But the more valuable version is a copy from the first commercial pressing of the song. One of those could sell for $5,000, so double-check your vinyl to see which of the two you might have.

8. Nirvana – Bleach

Sometimes the first pressing of a record won’t be its most valuable version. And that’s exactly what happened with Bleach. Nirvana’s label, Sub Pop, tried new techniques to make their vinyls more colorful. A resulting red-and-white marbled record hit shelves with a blue seven-inch LP. If you have one of the 500 sets, you could have a $1,500 payday waiting for you.

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7. The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground & Nico

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The Velvet Underground’s 1967 debut record had a huge influence on the punk rock scene that would develop in the next decade. You might have a copy too – does it feature a banana painted by Andy Warhol on the cover? If so, you don’t have the valuable version of the album. What will rake in the big bucks is a test pressing, which you’d find in a sleeve without artwork. One Canadian collector sold theirs – which they bought at a flea market – for $25,200.

6. Tommy Johnson – “Alcohol and Jake Blues”

A North Carolina buyer picked up a copy of Tommy Johnson’s 1930 song, “Alcohol and Jake Blues,” at an estate sale. He then put the soul record for sale on eBay and ended up accepting a massive final bid of $37,100. Record connoisseurs say that only a few copies exist now – and the person who won the online auction holds two of them.

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5. The White Stripes – “Lafayette Blues”

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Did you attend a White Stripes show in Detroit in 1998? At that performance more than 20 years ago, the band sold a mere 15 copies of Lafayette Blues, each of which was hand-painted by Italy records founder, Dave Buick. If you pocketed the one-of-a-kind single, you made a good call. Because the bespoke copies are now worth upwards of $12,500.

4. Bob Dylan – The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan

Just before releasing The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, the artist decided to switch up the track list. And while he swapped four of the songs, the record-pressing company didn’t get the memo. They made copies of the original version of the album instead, and, somehow, not all of the messed-up records got destroyed. So if you happen to have the incorrect one in mint condition, you stand to make $35,000.

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3. Junior McCants – “Try Me For Your New Love”/ “She Wrote It I Read It”

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Junior McCants succumbed to cancer in 1966, robbing the world of his falsetto singing skills – and his final record. Indeed, his label pulled copies of “Try Me For Your New Love”/ “She Wrote It I Read It” out of respect for the belated singer’s family. A few promotional copies did make it out to the public, though. If you have one, it’s likely worth more than $15,000.

2. Prince – The Black Album

Prince called off the release of 500,000 The Black Album vinyls because he had a drug-induced dream he shouldn’t have had. Eventually, he changed his mind and released the album on CDs instead. But not every vinyl was destroyed as the funk artist requested, and unopened copies could net you tens of thousands of dollars.

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1. The Quarrymen – “That’ll Be the Day”

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Before they were The Beatles, they were the Quarrymen – kind of. Ringo Starr hadn’t yet joined the band, so they weren’t technically the Fab Four. Nevertheless, fans of the prolific band seek out this single, particularly the copies that Paul McCartney paid to press after recording it in 1958. Some have sold for thousands, while others have gone for hundreds of thousands.

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