Have you seen this topic trending on TikTok? “How much I paid for vinyl but it gets progressively worse?” I’m going to share my list of escalating prices, just as found on these trending posts, and when you see it you might be shocked. I’ll tell you why in a moment, and it’s probably not why you think.
First, let’s talk about the trend. Users share mostly new albums that incrementally go up in price to some pretty mind blowing numbers, especially given the age of some of the people posting the videos. Long time collectors: if you’ve seen these, I’m sure you’re smirking at all of them.
The artists are all current pop, rock, and hip hop ones, and they include the links of Lana Del Ray, Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo, Mac Miller, and a crap ton I don’t recognize. Seems like all the people posting them aren’t true collectors and are just jumping on the vinyl craze.
My list, which is below, is predominantly late 1960s psychedelic rock with a few other oddballs thrown in. And, I’ll note the current (and estimated) going price of the albums on Discogs while I’m at it.
The shocker? This is a list of astronomical prices, but probably not the ones you think. While it progressively gets “worse” in terms of how much I spent, the value of pretty much everything on my list has only increased. And some, quite a bit.
Here’s the video coverage if you’d rather watch:
Let’s, figuratively, drop the needle. Gently.
$11.99 – The River Strumming by The Cotton Jones Basket Ride
I begin on the low end with an obscure indie artist — the only such on this list. It’s the debut album by Michael Nau, formerly of Page France, here under the monicker The Cotton Jones Basket Ride. The River Strumming has just one physical release variant, is limited to 300 copies each with a unique, custom handmade cover, and pressed to a cool deep purple meets dark gray marble vinyl.
I still can’t believe I bought this new for $12! Good luck finding it for less than $300 these days. That’s the median price on Discogs, but with just 66 copies in people’s collection and 460 on want lists, it’s probably worth double that.
Blending psychedelic notes with bluesy folk sensibilities is what you get here, and it’s great! Here’s the track “The Spinning Wheel”
$20 – Odyssey and Oracle by The Zombies
I snagged an original 1968 pressing of The Zombies classic LP Odyssey And Oracle! Wait… for just 20?!? In quite solid VG condition with a VG+ sleeve? Purchased within the past 5 years? Yep.
More modern reissues are available for not much more than I paid.
This was a goldmine find for me, and it had been on my want list forever. Such a classic! You can’t find it like this for less than $150 online.
Those only vaguely familiar with the psychedelic pop band from the 1960s will recognize “Time of the Season,” but the entire album is phenomenal. Other favorites include “This Will Be Our Year,” “A Rose For Emily,” and “Care of Cell 44.”
Listen to “This Will Be Our Year” via the lyric video below:
$40 – The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators
Another original pressing from 1967, this time of The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators by The 13th Floor Elevators. I snagged this quite decent copy for just $40. Technically true originals were released in 1966 so it’s an early variant.
“Psychedelic Color” vinyl reissues are available for about what I paid for my original. I picked up a similar pressing of Easter Everywhere and found it to be quite solid. You can read my coverage of that here.
I love this album, not just because it kicks High Fidelity into gear in the 2000 film featuring John Cusack and Jack Black with the classic “You’re Gonna Miss Me.” Not just because it’s often considered the first ever psychedelic rock album. But because it’s really freaking good!
A copy from 1968 in this shape will set you back $400 today.
Listen to the classic “You’re Gonna Miss Me” below:
$50 – The Velvet Underground and Nico with an Unpeeled Banana
For a VG copy from 1968 of The Velvet Underground and Nico by The Velvet Underground and Nico, I paid a stunning $50. This is funny, because I keep thinking I dropped $90 on it, and even THAT would have been a great buy.
You can get a similar copy for $225, but without the banana sticker. And, aside from the condition of the wax, the #1 thing people look for with this record from this year is an unpeeled banana.
The closest I’ve been able to find with a fully in-tact banana sticker has vinyl graded as VG+, so a little bit better quality than my copy — and it is listed just shy of $700.
There are a few versions of this available on Amazon, including what appears to be a standard reissue and a half-speed master version. I’m quite curious about the latter — might be worth checking out!
Listen to “Venus in Furs” below:
$60 – Walls Have Ears by Sonic Youth
This one ran me $60. Sometimes dubbed a bootleg and sometimes not, it’s a live performance from 1986 featuring Sonic Youth. It’s called Walls Have Ears. Note: Room on Fire reissued this in 2022, but this is an original pressing on Not 1 (But 2), which has 17 songs as opposed to 8 on the reissue.
Looking deeper, it appears they reissued it as two different volumes. To grab both, you’ll pay more than I did for my original, but it’ll still be half of what it’ll cost these days for a similar pressing.
A comparable copy will cost you over $150 these days.
Here’s “Green Love (Green Light):”
$98 – Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness by The Smashing Pumpkins
Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness by The Smashing Pumpkins, finally in my collection after all these years!
Released in fall of 2022, I was overjoyed to pay just under $100 for this unofficial reissue pressing. The wax is cool — it’s on this smokey red vinyl. The packaging is great — it comes in a tri-fold sleeve with an artful lyric book insert. You can see more of this on my unboxing video.
The price of this has remained relatively flat, though I could probably get $125 for it if I really wanted to sell it. Which I do not. In fact, I know copies still exist in the wild as local shop Josey Records highlighted it as a restock for $99.99 less than a week ago on Instagram.
There does appear to be a box set available on Amazon for about $200, but I’m not sure when it was released or which variant it might me. Rather than a 3 LP set like mine, it has four records.
I’ll never get tired of “Bullet with Butterfly Wings:”
$125 – Creation by The Druids of Stonehenge
Bluesy psychedelic garage rock? Yes please. The Druids of Stonehenge’s 1968 album Creation tops the list. I paid $125 for this one, pretty much on a whim. And I love it!
“Painted Woman” and “Six Feet Down.” These are great psychedelic tracks. It also includes covers of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins classic “I Put a Spell on You” and Bob Dylan’s “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue.”
Scammers and fakes have pushed the value of this down on Discogs (there was a period where $78 fakes popped up consistently) as have some low cost pressings in poor condition or without covers, but an all around VG copy like mine currently will set you back $200-400 these days. Sundazed reissued Creation in 2010, and you can still pick up a copy for about $100 less than I paid for my original.
Listen to “Six Feet Down” below:
There’s my list; a selection of how much I paid for vinyl that progressively increases in the amount spent. Of course, there are plenty others in there that I haven’t covered, that haven’t appreciated as much as these (and some that likely appreciated more).
What record did you spend the most on for your collection? How much did you pay and how much is it worth now? Let me know in the comments!