Top 5 Most Valuable 45 RPM Records
As we’ve mentioned before, nowadays digital streaming services like Spotify make music accessible to people all over the world. But for those with a vintage soul (like us!) who crave something more tangible, the seven-inch 45 rpm vinyl records are in part what music is all about. Whether you are a fan of The Beatles, Elvis or Miles Davis, the nostalgic pleasure you get from touching, owning and then listening to a record is hard to beat!
History of 45 rpm records
The 45 rpm vinyl records are also known as singles because each side offers less than 5 minutes of playing time. They were first released into the market in 1949 via RCA Records in the US. A year later, it was introduced into the UK. We’ve talked about the history of the 45 in our previous post on vinyl record sizes, but here it is un a nutshell!
The 45 vinyl records had a smaller hole in the middle, which made it easier to stack them on spindles. It also made it easier to play them continuously. When the 45 vinyl records were released into the market, they became an instant hit. They were loved by music-loving consumers and were incorporated into jukebox machines, too. The operators preferred them because their space-saving size meant that they could offer their customers more songs to choose from.
Over the years, more and more records were released into the market and some of them are still in existence until today. If you love to collect vintage pieces such as these ones, then you should definitely get your hands on the most valuable pieces (… if it’s in any way affordable!)
Most Valuable 45 rpm records
If you want to add some of these old records to your collection, you might just need to be prepared to pay a huge sum for the honour. Building up a vinyl record collection of coveted 45’s is something that could take a lot of time, and money if you’re shopping for the rarer finds.
Below is a list of the most sought-after vinyl records and as such can cost a hefty amount of money.
Most of us have received a written invitation at some point – be that for a wedding, a birthday or other special event. Eventually, at the risk of piling up more clutter or being called a crazy hoarder, we likely end up throwing the invitation away. Well, that may not always be such a wise thing to do!
A limited-edition version of Queen’s huge hit single was used as an invitation to a record label event and came with a ticket, a menu and a few more items! The hand-numbered blue vinyl version is now worth something gin the range of $10,000 – an invitation to remember for sure!
Ask Me Why, 1964 (Single)
The Beatles are arguably the most popular musical group in history. Therefore, it is not surprising how anything that relates to the band would cost a hefty amount of money. But when it comes to the most valuable 45 rpm records in existence, this is high up on the list.
Ask Me Why is a song by the English band that was released in the UK as part of their debut album Please Please Me, which was released in 1963. A year later, they released this single.
Rumor has it that there are only 6 to 10 known copies of this record in existence. For this reason, it is a highly coveted collector’s item. The estimated value of this record starts at $35,000.
Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)
There are only two known copies of Do I Love You (Indeed I Do), a rare 45-rpm Northern soul track by Frank Wilson, one of which sold for $37,000 in 2009.
But the fact that only two copies of the original 7” on the Soul label have ever materialised has long made it the holy grail of Northern soul collecting. Add to this the fact that its story involves theft, bootlegging and record company shenanigans, and Do I Love You just might be the most exciting story in the history of rare vinyl.
God Save the Queen, 1977 (Single)
The Sex Pistols are an English punk rock band that was formed in 1975 and became a worldwide sensation. Just like The Beatles, their records were highly coveted, especially since the band lasted only for two and a half years.
This single, in particular, has very limited copies since it was cancelled by A&M Records. If you want to get your hands on one of the 15 (supposed) copies in existence, you must pay $12,000 to $20,000 for each.
My Happiness, 1953
The oldest known recording by the King himself was when Elvis was 18 years old at Sun Studios in Memphis, well before he became a global sensation. That one-off pressing of My Happiness was purchased by a “mystery buyer” in 2015 for a sum of something around $300,000.
The mystery buyer turned out to not only be an Elvis fan, but also the mastermind behind the White Stripes and CEO of Third Man records – Jack White. White would later have the record professionally reproduced for Record Store Day by his Third Man label so that other lucky buyers could own a piece of rock ‘n’ roll history!