This online edition of the Rare Record Price Guide is the largest and most comprehensive ever. It has been compiled by the expert research team of Record Collector, the world's leading magazine in the field.
The goal of this online guide is simple: to list and value every collectable pop and rock record issued in the UK since 1950. As regular readers will already know, the Rare Record Price Guide doesn't just include vinyl singles, EPs and LPs, although they are still very heavily featured. It also provides information about every other way in which recorded music has been sold to the public over the last 50 years or more, from the brittle 78rpm shellac singles of the 1950s, to the latest permutations of digital sound on compact discs and even memory sticks. The only format we don't cover is digital downloads!
Musically, the coverage is equally diverse and thorough. Although the majority of items listed in this book could be at least vaguely described as ‘rock' or ‘pop', every aspect of music-making outside the specialist classical field is featured in these pages. For over 30 years, record collecting itself has expanded enormously, both in terms of the number of people taking part and the types of music that they are interested in.
Rest assured that no matter how obscure your tastes, you'll find the most sought-after items here whether your particular obsession is 50s rockabilly, 60s MOR, 70s jazz-funk, house, 80s post-punk, digi-dub, shoegazing, hip-hop, reggae, NWOBHM, Northern soul, British jazz or today's indie bands. If it's collectable, and it was released in the UK, then you'll find it in the Rare Record Price Guide Online.
WHO SAYS HOW MUCH IT'S WORTH?
The question we're always asked about the prices listed in the printed guide is how we calculate them. The answer is a mix of our 31 years of experience in the field; our ongoing research into the latest prices at record fairs and shops, and in sales both via mail order and online; and the invaluable help of a dedicated and extremely knowledgeable team of consultants and experts, who themselves regularly buy and sell items in their specialist areas.
As we always say, however, there is no fixed price for a second-hand record, no matter how rare it is. There are still bargains to be found out there, while in other situations like a feverishly competitive online auction particularly sought-after items can fetch prices way above their ‘book' value. The price of a rare record is purely determined by what people are prepared to pay for it.
That said, our close scrutiny of the collecting market since the start of the 1980s allows us to make the best possible judgement about the records in this guide. Prices may vary from one part of the country to another, or depending whether a disc is being sold in a shop, via an advert in Record Collector, at a major international fair,or on internet sites like 991.com, Discogs.com, Amazon, GEMM or eBay. But we believe that the values we list are the most accurate and realistic you'll find anywhere.
The other important point, which can't be repeated often enough, is that anyone selling records to a professional dealer can't expect to raise more than 40-50% of the prices listed here, except in very unusual cases. It doesn't matter whether you're selling rock'n'roll or jewellery, the same basic mark-up applies right across the collecting field, to cover the dealer's costs and profit margin. If you're selling directly to another collector, however, face-to-face or over the internet you can obviously hope to obtain the prices we list – or even more - though please remember that all the values in this book are for records in absolutely perfect (or ‘Mint') condition. To find out what you should be paying or charging, for a record in less than perfect condition, check the Ready Reckoner posted on this site or the prices given for each condition in the online entry for that record.
ACROSS THE AGES
Although many of the most valuable items listed in the Rare Record Price Guide date back to the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s don't be fooled into thinking that record collecting is all about the distant past. As you browse online, you'll find plenty of releases from the 21st Century as well as the 20th – the latest collectables by major artists, for example, alongside limited edition singles by hot indie bands, and other rarities which were on sale one day and then became fiendishly hard to track down the next.
Check the details of those brand-new collectables, and you'll get some ideas which of tomorrow's releases are likely to be sought-after in the future. But there are some things you can't predict, like the identity of the next music pioneer or band who will emerge from obscurity and become international superstars. Lady Gaga has emerged, for example, in the last year as diva bigger, brasher and bolder than Madonna or Beyonce. But will she still rule the roost in 5 years time? Then there are bands who were hot and collectable one year and saw their prices tumbling the next. Also, don't forget that virtually every record listed in this book, even the one worth several thousand pounds, was once available for a few pounds, or even pence. For all those thousands of releases which have already become collector's items, however, the Rare Record Price Guide Online tells you what they are, what they look like, and how much they're going to cost.
So, happy hunting....