FAQs

Why are some records collectible?
Are first pressing records more desirable?
Are my Beatles, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix or Who records valuable?
Why are 60’s records desirable?
Buying record collections

Why are some records collectible?

Sadly there is no definitive answer to this question as numerous factors each have a part to play in creating desirable records.

Some of these factors are:

  • Quality of music
  • Availability / rarity
  • To some extent the record label itself for example: Pink Island, Harvest, Vertigo (Swirl), Nepntha, Dandelion, Apple, RCA neon, Deram, Marmalade, etc.
  • Condition (See record condition guide)
  • Type of music for example chamber music, prog (progressive rock) psychedelic, SKA, british modal or avant gard jazz etc.

Are first pressing records more desirable?

In many cases the answer is yes. For example classical records have often been pressed via numerous record labels over a long period of time. The original first press (ED1) recordings are often the most highly prized. Columbia (SAX), Decca (SXL), HMV (ASD) and Deutsche Gramophon (Large tulip). Stereo records were recorded with the notion of capturing the essence of ‘being there’ and attempted to reproduce the living presence of the music. These types of recordings were mainly made from the late 1950’s through until the mid 1960’s as record companies spent vast sums of money on recording techniques. The advent of stereo also meant that many of these recordings were also available in the mono format. Mono classical records were pressed in much higher numbers, as this was the format most music lovers could reproduce at home. As record buyers switched over to stereo hi fi systems higher numbers of stereo recordings were pressed. In general initial early stereo recordings were produced expertly and pressed in far fewer numbers, which generates a greater desirability. This however is not the whole picture and by no means offers a definitive rule of thumb. For example, Johanna Martzy produced several mono recordings for Columbia that are highly prized by collectors today. With other genres of music the picture becomes even cloudier. Demo records, acetates, foreign pressings, misspellings, label anomalies, factory test pressings, different covers, audiophile pressings, autographed / signed records in some cases are equally if not more desirable than first pressings.

Are my Beatles, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix or Who records valuable?

When considering the value of major pop artists it is important to note that many of these groups sold in the millions and rightly so. However, as so many of these records were pressed / sold there are still many of them in circulation today meaning there is a greater supply than demand from collectors. With that said it is important to note that condition, pressing and aforementioned factors all play a huge part in the difference between a few pounds and several hundred pounds! Certainly BBC transcription disks, demos, acetates, reviewer’s copies etc are highly prized.

Why are 60’s records desirable?

Again there is no straightforward answer however; cultural factors alongside booming creativity in terms of music and recording techniques should not be overlooked. The baby boomer generation influenced in no small part by American Jazz (Blue note, Impulse and riverside artists), Blues (Chess recording artists in particular) and soul music on the Motown label etc led to an explosion of new bedroom bands and recording artists. For many this was a natural progression as ‘new sounds’ crossed the ocean transforming UK ‘beat’ skiffle and newly inspired artists into the voice of teenage rebellion. Global technology in terms of TV and global record distribution continued the link between the US and the UK fanning the flames of creativity and crossbred musical change. To support the emerging scene many venues in the UK became a hotspot for both music and the emerging sub cultures. Venues such as: ‘The Flamingo’, ‘Eel pie island’, and ‘The Marquee club’ amongst many others played an important role in championing rising UK stars and promoting US touring’s acts. As the 60’s moved forward experimentation with L.S.D and Eastern influences expanded the minds of musicians and music lovers alike. This short burst of ‘hippie’ creativity championed by Pink Floyd, Joe Boyd and Jimi Hendrix etc supported by clubs like ‘The UFO’ led to a period of musical and cultural metamorphosis that gave birth to ‘happenings’ and festivals, such as: The 24hr Technicolor Dram, Isle of Wight and Glastonbury festivals amongst many others. The music of the 60’s provided the soundtrack to social and political and change with political activism under the banner of ‘flower power’ championing freedoms and liberal ideals we take for granted today. The late 60’s scene also spawned a shift in traditional media as boundaries were broken with publications like Oz Magazine and John Peel’s Perfumed Garden radio show on the BBC championing ever more experimental artists and ideals.

As the psychedelic era waned ever more proficient musicians continued to fuse different sounds and break away from the 3 min single format. Fusing, Jazz, Rock, folk and blues, the progressive rock (prog) movement saw out the 60’s and stretched the potential of sound in a myriad of dazzling directions. From whimsical to downright aggressive, sounds fragmented further as musicians such as King Crimson redefined popular music composing ever more involved and complex sounds.

The 60’s gave birth to new ways of being, gave a voice to the ‘youth’ and laid the foundations for much that has come about in music through the proceeding years. Record Collectors have a great many reasons for cherishing this period of creativity. What has been written above is brutally simplified and doesn’t cover the tip of the iceberg in terms of the significance of this period. Perhaps one thing can be said with some certainty music from this period is particularly exciting with many collectors dreaming of un released / obscure records and fantasising about what they would buy first if they ever had a spin in a time machine!

It should also be noted that some more traditional forms of music also underwent a huge transformation during the 60’s and early 70’s. British Jazz music for example featuring recording artists such as Don Rendell, Ian Carr, Michael Garrick, Mike Taylor and John Surman et al developed a unique interpretation of modal and experimental jazz that has in later years become recognised as important and groundbreaking. Specialist record shops such as Doug Dobell ‘s, alongside music venues such as Ronnie Scott’s and record producer Denis Preston (Lansdowne studios) did much to keep the flame of British Jazz alive although dwindling audiences sadly meant that many of the British Jazz masterpieces went unnoticed by the general populous.

Folk music also underwent sweeping changes in the 60’s reflecting the shift in US folk following ‘Dylan going electric’ and the advent of LSD usage amongst musicians (this sound is often referred to as acid folk) was popular with psychedelic hippies and latterly with progressive rock fans that enjoyed ‘mellower moments’. Many artists such as Fairport convention, Comus, and Fotheringay shared the stage at numerous festivals with more mainstream 60’s acts and their sounds crossbred between musicians keen to experiment with anything that stimulated their imagination. Record labels such as Vertigo, Nepentha, Harvest, Dandelion, Deram, and Island often signed artists and championed a varied range of genre-blued sounds. Recordings from this time reflect the rich musical freedom artists were able to experiment with in creating music, which is often desired by record collectors worldwide today.

Please feel free to view and listen to our ‘chart’ section of this site, which features some wonderful Jazz and Folk recordings of the 60’s and 70’s.

Buying record collections

We understand there are many reasons for considering to sell your record collection: Circumstances change, storage may be an issue, CD’s and MP3’s may be more convenient, downsizing, or sadly illness and bereavement can all be contributing factors that motivate people to call us. As music lovers and professionals we are sensitive to all of these issues and in certain circumstances we are able to professionally transcribe your records to either CD or MP3 to ensure you can continue to enjoy your music.

N.B: We are also experienced dealing with auction houses, house clearance experts, radio stations, libraries, storage facilities, recycling centres, record companies and other organisations.

If you’d like to discuss a record collection or a particular recording please feel free to call us free on 0800 681 6085.

Call UK 07990 738850