When we talk about the most expensive records sold in any given month here on Discogs, the focus tends to be on individual accomplishment: how much did #1 sell for? Where does that rank all time? Did some other vinyl rarity set its own new benchmark? These are the things that first come to mind when a new Top 30 is published. These are the questions that generate headlines.
It’s trickier to step back and look at the big picture. Trickier and maybe slightly less glamorous. Tracking down rare wax isn’t about glamor, though. That kind of chase takes love. It takes devotion. So this month is dedicated to the big picture, and for good reason. In February, we reached a new milestone in the Top 30, a big picture accomplishment that’s every bit as exciting as a $15,000 Prince record.
For the first time in the history of the Discogs Top 30 Most Expensive Records, all thirty entries sold for $1000 or more.
Yep, top to bottom, everything in this month’s Top 30 priciest records commanded quadruple digit prices. That ranges from $5205 at the #1 slot to an even $1k at #29/#30. We’ve been gradually creeping toward this distinction for a while now, and a couple of previous Top 30s have come pretty close. In fact, in April of 2016, the thirtieth priciest record fell just $2 short of the thousand dollar mark. That’s good, I guess, but not good enough. Second place is just the first place loser.
In all sincerity, I think the Discogs community gets to take the victory lap on this one. Nothing on Discogs is possible without the commitment of our users. The Discogs database is the fruit of countless hours of submitter toil along with ongoing debate and revision. All that effort has created a unique source of information for anyone who digs music. The Discogs marketplace is a natural extension of the love and dedication that’s been poured into every release page on the site. Thirty separate thousand-dollar record sales is in no way a validation of all of that community involvement; Discogs goes way beyond any one sale, or any batch of sales for that matter. These thirty items are a symbol of the trust among collectors for what our users have built, though.
Okay, before I get all misty-eyed, and in honor of The Big Picture, here are a couple trends of note within February’s “$1k Or Get Out” club:
- Japan makes a strong showing at the top of the most expensive records chart this month, with early ’70s psych rock LPs from Japanese space cadets grabbing the #1 sale (at just over $5.2k) along with the #6 slot (just over $2.2k). The top spot belongs to an original pressing of Speed, Glue & Shinki, the self-titled, double length 1972 follow-up to the power trio‘s celebrated debut, Eve; the sixth highest sale comes courtesy of an original 1970 copy of Anywhere, the first Flower Travellin’ Band album.
- There’s also a disproportionate amount of punk at the top of this month’s most expensive records list. An Anarchy In The UK test pressing climbed to #2 with a $3142 sale, and although it’s hard to juxtapose the rough, DIY ethos of the genre with a wad of cash bigger than a Christmas ham, it does seem an oddly fitting achievement for the Sex Pistols. You can just picture John Lydon cackling like mad in response, can’t you? At any rate, the Misfits follow up directly at #3, fetching $2847 for a ’77 pressing of their first single, Cough/Cool (the only official release of this 7″), and Bad Brains complete the hat trick at #4 with their own debut single. You can expect to shell out $2.5k to get your own copy of Pay To Cum, apparently, and that includes the title track at just over 90 seconds and a total run time of four-ish minutes. Don’t overstay your welcome, I guess.
- It wouldn’t be a Top 30 without some European prog, so don’t be surprised to see releases from Dr. Z, Kaleidoscope, and Museo Rosenbach (all printed between ’69 and ’73, naturally) among the most expensive records sold on Discogs this month. I consider myself a pretty proggy dude but I’ve got to admit that I’m not familiar with any of these albums. I guess I’ll just hang my head in shame and go spin Dark Side Of The Moon for the billionth time (spoiler alert: a remastered ’81 Japanese pressing of that Pink Floyd masterpiece, limited to only 5000 copies, is also in this month’s Top 30).
- Speaking of releases I’m not familiar with: there’s also a metric ton of obscure soul (or soul-inflected) singles in the Top 30 this month. Well, obscure to me, at least. If names like Flowers, Mike Pedicin, The Harvey Averne Dozen, Magic Tower, Ray And The Blue Satins, Cix Bits Band, or Willie Makkit strike your fancy you will definitely want to investigate the full list for additional details. My takeaway: damn, Discogs runs DEEP.
- Both Coldplay and U2 show up on this month’s Top 30. No, I don’t know why. No, I don’t know how. Yes, I am very scared.
Quite a bit of ground to cover there, huh? Well, that’s just a little over half of the full list. That means there are a lot of fun details still lurking, including the least imaginative title ever for a Rolling Stones release and some Canadian musique concrète. Yes, this is indeed the stuff that folks shell out the big bucks for. All that and more in the February 2017 edition of the Top 30 Most Expensive Records Sold On Discogs.