Listening #128 List of the Month
The Most Valuable LPs in My Collection. Don't laugh, but while researching LP prices for last month's column, I grew addicted enough to such record-pricing sites as Popsike.com and Collectorsfrenzy.com that I've since devoted occasional free minutes to researching titles in my own collection. As it turns out, some of the ones I thought might be worth something really aren't, and vice versa. Here is a random and by no means complete sampling of the LPs in my collection with the greatest monetary value. All but one are records I've bought strictly for pleasure, many in the distant past, with little or no mind to cash value; the exception is my early mono Sgt. Pepper's, for which I paid $70 about seven years ago, and which has since risen in value.
Keeping in mind that this market is driven far more by collectors and music lovers than by audiophiles, it's interesting to note that, where the choice exists, mono releases are in greater demand than stereo, and that the supposedly best-sounding and most highly touted (in high-end audio circles) stereo records do not fetch very high prices.
1) Big Star, #1 Record (Ardent)
2) Big Star, Radio City (Ardent)
3) Charlie Parker, New Sounds in Modern Music (Savoy, mono, 10")
4) The Godz, Contact High with the Godz (ESP)
5) The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Parlophone, mono)
6) The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (EMI/Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab UHQR)
7) Schubert, String Quartet in d, "Death and the Maiden"; Juilliard Quartet (RCA)
8) Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band, Strictly Personal (Blue Thumb)
9) Tim Buckley, Starsailor (Straight/Warner Bros.)
10) Mozart, Variations for Piano; René Gerber (EMI)
11) Various, Anthology of American Folk Music, Vols.13 (Folkways)
12) The Grateful Dead, American Beauty (Warner Bros./Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab)
13) John Lee Hooker, It Serve You Right to Suffer (Impulse!).