As people who collect/admire records, we are used to seeing buzzwords like ‘rare’, ‘out-of-print’ and more commonly ‘first press’ to justify high prices of certain titles, usually stuff from the 70s and before. We understand, these titles are older and quantities become scarce. The remaining ones are sought out even more fervently by eager collectors and as an effect of supply and demand, the values skyrocket. How about newer, more recent vinyl? Music readily available on iTunes or at HMV for a decade or less, but cost an arm and a leg on vinyl. It turns out you don’t need to be a Beatles Parlophone UK first press or a rare Motown 45 to fetch copious amounts of moolah. Here are some of our picks of expensive modern records. Hold your wallets dearly, it’s going to be a painful one.
Brand New - The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me
This beloved album, worshipped by many as one of the best alternative albums of the past decade, has seen release on vinyl in various colours. Good luck finding these at reasonable prices though, they were all snapped up and are now going for different prices. All expensive. Even the solid white edition, released as the mass-market version at 3000 copies, goes for at least US$150 on Discogs.
Mew – Frengers
Mew hasn’t exactly been vinyl-friendly, except perhaps for their third excellent album No More Stories… which can be found for a reasonable price online. Their first album Frengers was only released in 500 copies and their second effort And the Glass Handed Kites was exclusive to only CD and digital (Still waiting on a vinyl release of that). Frengers has gone for up to US$360 on eBay.
Passion Pit - Manners
While his second and most recent effort Gossamer is readily available everywhere, Passion Pit’s debut Manners has grown to be a collector’s item. eBay has seen sales of this record reach almost US$140, while Discogs has a seller offering it at almost US$200.
Boards of Canada – The Campfire Headphase
Boards of Canada are infamous for having their releases out-of-print on vinyl, with their latest effort Tomorrow’s Harvest being the rare one in the discography commonly available. Their third album The Campfire Headphase is a prime example, sold as high as US$200 on eBay and going for similar prices on Discogs. We’ve heard some whispers that Warp Records is at work preparing reissues so here’s hoping!
The White Stripes - Get Behind Me Satan
Jack White has always been a proponent for vinyl long before it ever surged into the popularity it enjoys today. Preparing unique vinyl releases under his label Third Man Records and recording all his albums in analog, the fifth album Get Behind Me Satan remains to be the only White Stripes album that didn’t even enjoy a proper commercial release on wax. Instead, it was pressed in a limited promo quantity of 300 and given out to the press and the like, along with completely different album art. It is high sought after by White Stripes enthusiasts and record collectors alike. It has gone as high as US$660, although we won’t be surprised if prices reach the four digits.
Gorillaz - Demon Days
Demon Days has been known around these parts for being incredibly hard to find for a decent price that won’t break the bank. It was only pressed in the EU so collectors, especially those in the US, search high and low for a reasonably-priced copy but usually to no avail. The cheapest on Discogs goes for US$140 for a VG copy (generally one to avoid) while it has reached US$300 on eBay. The next best thing to enjoy some of the Demon Days tunes on wax is to get the Gorillaz Singles Collection box-set.
Kings of Convenience - Riot On An Empty Street
Buying certain Kings of Convenience records can actually cost way more than seeing them live, believe it or not. Their second effort Riot On An Empty Street is so far their most expensive, peaking at US$165 on eBay. We’ll stick to their live shows, thanks.
The Mars Volta - De-Loused in the Comatorium
Released only on silver vinyl, the debut album by the now-disbanded rock act The Mars Volta commands at least US$225 on Discogs. We’re having trouble faulting the price though. It’s a fantastic album and the silver vinyl is absolutely gorgeous. Okay it is pretty damn expensive but still look at that!
The Avalanches – Since I Left You
So far the only release by this enigmatic group of Australian electronic musicians and DJs, Since I Left You has sold for US$140 and more on eBay. While its price not as devastating as some records on this list, it has since not been repressed and remains to be a hot item for many collectors of modern electronic music. Meanwhile, we all wait for their next album.
Kanye West – 808s & Heartbreak
There’s little proper explanation as to why this certain title is highly sought after compared to his other work. Nonetheless, this baby was only packaged in a lush ‘Deluxe Collector’s Set’ for vinyl and has since seen its value go up as Kanye’s popularity surges likewise, going for at least US$150 on Discogs. A real heartbreak.