How Much Are Your Punk and New Wave Records Worth?
Above Photo: My copy of the Holidays In The Sun Sex Pistols single.
Mine aren’t (yet) for sale, but I recently came across a list of some of the most valuable late 20th century music releases in the UK’s Daily Telegraph of all unlikely places, and was interested to see there were quite a few Punk records in the top 50, so I’ve pulled them out below and junked the rest.
I was amazed at what came in as the most valuable record, and don’t forget this list displays values from 2011, long before the recent Punk and New Wave revival, assisted, I hope, in part by my own Punk and New Wave Memoir, Bombed Out!, where most of these bands and/or records receive honorable mentions.
I’ve added cover photos and You Tube links to the songs and put a link to the full article at the end. The list appears to have been originally compiled by Record Collector magazine:
SUBWAY SECT Nobody’s Scared/Don’t Split It 1978 Braik BRS 01 £15
Vic Godard’s Subway Sect were one of the punk/new wave bands with a reputation that always outstripped their sales and they were also the victims of a lack of decent label support – or even the opportunity to issue a debut LP for years. This 7″ 45 on the Braik label, their debut release, is a gem, with the title track boasting a guitar figure that owed a hell of a lot to Love’s 7 And 7 Is, while the B-side is also magnetically good. The 7″ might only be worth £15 but it is one that we feel will steeply appreciate in value in the coming years. Both of the stellar Rough Trade singles by the group should also be acquired.
U2 Boy 1980 Island ILPS 9646 £15
Hardened collectors already pay a lot of care and attention to the matrix numbers of 60s and 70s albums to establish first pressings and this forensic attention to detail is going to carry over into classic 80s bands. Thus a wise investment would be a Mint copy of this debut U2 album and October (1981), War (1983), and The Joshua Tree (1987) should also be investigated. Although these albums sold by the million and crop up all the time in shops, fairs and online, get a first pressing with A1 matrixes with the sleeve, inner and vinyl in perfect condition.
One of my favourite tracks off Boy – I will Follow.
DAVID BOWIE The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars 1972 RCA SF 8287 £40
There is something of an investment market in Mint-condition copies of iconic albums. This ranges from The Stooges’ Raw Power (1973, £20) to this, one of Bowie’s greatest LPs. The vital factor is to buy a Mint copy that contains the original “Gem” production credit and not the “Mainman” credit on later issues. We value this LP at £40 in the Rare Record Price Guide but dealers have advised that £60-80 is a better price. Although his rare early LPs remain obvious investments, Mint copies of Low, Heroes and Extracts From Outside have strong potential.
One of my favourite tracks off the Ziggy Stardust album – Moonage Daydream:
LOU REED Transformer 1972 RCA SF 8281 £40
Some readers will be amazed to see this album by the former Velvet Underground front man in this list, as they probably see it all the time at record fairs. Again, this is an iconic album, and the important thing to look out for is the first pressing, which had a fully laminated sleeve and different label credits and was originally pressed in a very small run before the Wild Side chart motherlode of 1973. Find one of these in Mint condition, stick it on eBay and the bidding will be “vicious”. Otherwise keep it under lock and key.
One of my favourite tracks on Transformer – Make Up:
WIRE Pink Flag 1977 Harvest SHSP 4076 £40
Although there are a number of hideously rare and obscure punk and DIY 7″ singles and EPs that fetch money, one growing area of investment is punk LPs that were issued in 1977 and 1978. Bear in mind that this was initially a singles-led phenomenon, so early albums did not always sell heavily and are creeping up in value. There is a wide selection of suspects to pogo into, including The Ramones, The Damned, The Adverts, Television, 999, Generation X, The Clash, X-Ray Spex, Vibrators, Eater, Alternative TV, Richard Hell & The Voidoids and Wire’s debut of course, which crammed 21 tracks on to two sides.
One of my favourite tracks on Pink Flag – Strange:
THE CLASH The Clash 1977 CBS 82000 £50+
When the first Clash album was issued back in 1977, the first 10,000 copies came with a sticker on the inner sleeve that could be sent into the NME to receive the Capital Radio EP featuring Mick Jones and Joe Strummer being interviewed by Tony Parsons on an underground train. It appears that 10,000 people did just that: although The Clash is a top punk collectable, not one of these LPs has turned up with the sticker intact. Find one – no matter what the condition of the sleeve and LP – and that detective work will pay a handsome dividend.
One of my favourite tracks on The Clash album – Police and Thieves:
JOY DIVISION Unknown Pleasures 1979 Factory FACT 10 £50
There are a lot of post-punk singles, EPs, 12″ and LPs worth buying with a view to future appreciation, and a first pressing of this debut LP by Joy Division should also be sought out for the perfect combination of brilliant music and fine-art Saville packaging. Copies in VG and Excellent turn over briskly in record shops and at fairs, so hunting down a Mint original copy of this, as well as their second LP, Closer, is advised. The hessian-sleeved retrospective, Still (£70), is also going up, as are even the standard non-hessian versions.
Buy a signed copy of Bombed Out! here: http://www.bombedoutpunk.com/buybook.php
One of my favourite tracks on Unknown Pleasures – New Dawn Fades:
GROUT Do It Yourself EP 1978 Urinating Vicar £400
When it comes to investing in punk, there is a multitude of routes to take. Main protagonists like the Sex Pistols and The Ramones can be targeted, or you can delve into all manner of one-off KBD (killed by death) releases that are hard to find, ranging from cheap singles by The Bears to this hideously rare Grout EP, which was limited to 100 copies and lurking on many Wants lists. There is also the American market to consider, which extends from 1977 to the vital 80s punk scene that not only spawned Green Day, but bands like Operation Ivy and Screeching Weasel.
This is a link to the whole Grout EP:
SEX PISTOLS God Save The Queen 1977 A&M AMS 7284 £8,000
The value of this holy grail punk collectable continues to grow, as a Mint copy remains the crown jewel of any punk collection. Despite having a guide price of £8,000, this is a sound investment. The Sex Pistols have connected with and attract every new generation that has sprung up since 1977 and the reunion tours – and those Rotten butter adverts – have kept them in the public eye. Standard Mint stock copies of UK pressings of their lone LP, Never Mind The Bollocks. Here’s The Sex Pistols, are also ones to squirrel away, as most were played to death upon release.”
Read the full top 50 list here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/music-news/8464857/Top-50-most-collectable-records.html