Vinyl records are even more popular now than in the '80s. So, if you kept your grandparent's or parent's old vinyl, you'll want to check if you have any of the following records, as you could make some serious cash dollars.
Frank Sinatra, 'In the Wee Small Hours' (1955)
Frank Sinatra's "In the Wee Small Hours," released in 1955, is a timeless classic that epitomizes the concept album. This introspective and melancholic collection of songs takes listeners on a journey through heartbreak, loneliness, and introspection. With Sinatra's impeccable phrasing and emotional delivery, the album captures the essence of late-night contemplation and the bittersweet emotions of lost love.
"In the Wee Small Hours" marked a departure from Sinatra's earlier big band sound, establishing him as a mature and sophisticated artist. It remains a masterpiece of vocal jazz, appreciated for its impeccable craftsmanship, intimate atmosphere, and its ability to resonate with listeners across generations.
Beastie Boys, 'Paul's Boutique' (1989)
"Paul's Boutique," released in 1989, is a landmark album by the Beastie Boys that defied all expectations. After the success of their debut album, the Beastie Boys took a bold step by crafting a sample-heavy and genre-blending masterpiece. Produced by the Dust Brothers, the album combines elements of hip-hop, funk, rock, and jazz into a densely layered sonic collage.
Although initially overlooked upon release, "Paul's Boutique" later gained critical acclaim and is now recognized as a pivotal album in hip-hop history. Its intricate production, witty lyrics, and eclectic soundscape continue to inspire and influence musicians across genres, solidifying the Beastie Boys' reputation as pioneers and visionaries.
AC/DC,'Back in Black' (1980)
Released in 1980, AC/DC's "Back in Black" is an iconic album that has stood the test of time. Following the tragic loss of lead vocalist Bon Scott, the band made a triumphant comeback with new frontman Brian Johnson. The album became a massive success, showcasing AC/DC's signature hard rock sound and unforgettable anthems.
It remains one of the best-selling albums worldwide, symbolizing the resilience and determination of the band. "Back in Black" is not only a rock masterpiece but also a testament to the enduring legacy of AC/DC and their ability to captivate audiences with their electrifying music.
Johnny Cash, 'At Folsom Prison' (1968)
Johnny Cash's "At Folsom Prison," recorded live in 1968, is a legendary album that showcases Cash's raw talent, charisma, and empathy for the incarcerated. Performing in front of an audience of prisoners, Cash delivered a captivating and emotionally charged performance that captured the essence of his outlaw image.
Cash's deep baritone voice and his genuine connection with the audience created an electrifying atmosphere, resulting in a live album that transcended its original context. "At Folsom Prison" remains a testament to Cash's empathy, his ability to relate to the human condition, and his unique ability to touch the hearts of listeners through his music.
Bob Dylan, 'The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan' (1963)
"The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan," released in 1963, catapulted Bob Dylan into the realm of folk music icon and established him as a poetic and introspective singer-songwriter. With this album, Dylan showcased his songwriting prowess and lyrical depth, addressing social and political issues with a profound and poetic voice.
"The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" captured the spirit of the folk revival and resonated with audiences who were hungry for authenticity and social commentary in music. It remains a landmark album that influenced generations of musicians and solidified Dylan's place in music history as a transformative artist.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience, 'Are You Experienced' (1967)
"Are You Experienced" marked the groundbreaking debut of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, solidifying Jimi Hendrix's status as one of the greatest guitarists of all time. Released in 1967, the album is a psychedelic rock masterpiece that pushed the boundaries of guitar playing and studio production. Hendrix's virtuosic guitar skills and innovative techniques, coupled with his soulful vocals, created an entirely new sonic landscape.
"Are You Experienced" not only revolutionized rock music but also became a cultural touchstone of the counterculture era. Its influence can still be heard in the music of countless artists today, making it a timeless classic that continues to captivate listeners.
Elvis Presley, 'That's All Right' (1954)
This album was an impromptu recording during a studio session for another song. 'The King' took a break when he started to sing Arthur Crudup's, 'That's All Right, Mama' along with bassist Bill Black. Scotty Moore joined in on guitar, and producer Sam Phillips pressed 'record.'
This record was unplanned, and as well as the amount of money ($4,000) you could receive if you were to sell this exact copy - proving that the best things in life are unplanned. Adding to its legendary status, historians believe this to be the first true rock-n-roll record made.
The Beatles, 'Please Please Me' (1963)
You'll be very pleased to know that the rarest of the rare copies of The Beatles' debut full-length album sold for around $4,200. This was one of the first pressings featuring the band's name in gold lettering against a black label.
Miles Davis, 'Kind of Blue' (1959)
As one of the most influential and acclaimed musicians of jazz and 20th-century music, you'll be holding a piece of valuable history if you come across this album. Miles Davis changed the jazz genre forever, not just once, but many times during his 60 years in the industry.
His most financially successful record was 'Kind of Blue.' It could be yours too if you have the original pressing of the hard bop classic, which can get up to $1,000. Many critics consider this album to be Davis's best record of his career as it was also his best-selling jazz album.
The Who, 'The Who Sell Out' (1967)
There were just 1,000 copies produced in the first run of The Who's third album - half-pressed in stereo and the other half in mono. It also included a rad psychedelic butterfly poster, which, if you fought the urge to hang it and kept the album, you could get $1,100 for it off eBay.
Did you know that Chris Stamp, the band's producer, and co-manager, approached a few of the brands referenced on the cover and in the interludes for endorsement money? The marketing company that recorded many of the catchy jingles used as interludes obviously took offense and sued the band for royalties – ouch.
Nirvana, 'Bleach' (1989)
You're probably most familiar with the tracks from Nirvana's 'Nevermind' as radio stations love playing them. Still, it's the band's original debut album that's going to rake in the cha-ching for you. Just know that two variants, in particular, give record collectors all the feels.
The original pressing of 'Bleach' sold for a mouth-watering $2,500. There were only 1,000 copies of this kind pressed, and if you're wondering if you've unknowingly got one, look out for their white color. The third pressing of just 500 copies, had a red and white 12" and a blue 7" vinyl included, and has been sold for $1,100.
XTC, 'Science Friction' (1977)
Formed in Swindon in 1972, this English rock band shot to fame during the rise of punk and new wave when they released 'Science Friction' and 'She's So Square' as a 45 RPM single. Apparently, there were just 50 copies printed before the band decided to release it as a 12-inch instead.
If you've uncovered a copy of the 7-inch, you may sleep easier tonight, knowing that you're sitting with a potential $2,000 vinyl in the house. This original record paved the way for XTC's career. However, they went on to release 14 full-length albums and reached significant popularity during the '90s.
David Bowie, 'The Prettiest Star' (1973)
This vinyl record cover is everywhere; it's on T-shirts, on posters, and on wallpapers. Although, you'll want to pay attention if you have the picture-sleeved version of this 45 RPM single, as it's extremely rare, so cue the cash dollar signs - $2,000 to be exact.
It's alleged that the late rock star sang the song over the phone while proposing to his future – now ex-wife, Angela Barnett. In the single Bowie performs alongside guitarist Marc Bolan, whose wife told Bowie, "Marc is too good for you to be playing on this record!" Bowie obviously had the last laugh.
ABBA, 'Hova's Vittne' (1981)
With a mere 200 copies printed of the unique red vinyl, ABBA's 'Hova's Vittne' single was only ever given to those who held positions within the record company and not the public. Side-A featured 'Hova's Vittne,' while side-B had 'Tivedshambo.'
The world-renowned Swedish band has the world singing along to their songs or dancing like Meryl Streep in 'Mamma Mia.' Still, if you kept a copy of this single, you'll jump for joy with its $3,500 price tag. Apologies for the songs that will now inevitably replay in your head for the rest of the day.
The Quarrymen, 'That'll Be the Day' (1981)
If you're a Beatles fan, you'll recognize 'Quarryman' as the original name the Fab Four chose before the sold-out concerts and fame, and before Ringo joined the band. The songs of 'In Spite of All the Danger' and a Buddy Holly cover of 'That'll Be the Day' were recorded back in '58.
With only 50 copies ever printed by Sir Paul McCartney for himself, his friends, and family, you can imagine what the record will go for if Paul ever decides to put it up for sale. However, if you've got one of the reprints, you're still lucky because it's worth an estimated, $3,500.
Cherry Five, 'Cherry Five' (1975)
If you're a sucker for a classic horror movie, you'll have heard about Cherry Five. Soon after releasing their first record, 'Cherry Five,' the band changed their name to Goblin and created the soundtrack to the OG horrors of 'Suspiria, Dawn of the Dead' and 'Deep Red.'
These films put the band on the map, or more aptly, the movie theaters. They went on to collaborate with Argento and created some of the most iconic horror film soundtracks. If you happen to unpack a box with the original pressing of their first release, you can add $3,500 to your bank balance.
David Bowie, 'Diamond Dogs' (1974)
Who would have thought that a drawing of the bottom half of a dog – genitalia and all – could rake in the bucks? Guy Peellaert, the artist for Bowie's 'Diamond Dogs,' never thought that his album cover would see the light of day after airbrushing the offending parts out before release.
Like most 'naughty' versions, some found their way into the hands of label employees who made off with the originals. In 2003, an original copy was sold on eBay for a whopping $3,550. With Bowie's recent passing, copies of the record with the exposed dog will undoubtedly fetch an even higher price.
The Beatles, 'Abbey Road' (1969)
With one of the most iconic album covers of all time - which tourists and fans love to recreate for the gram - this vinyl record can make you $4,000 richer - if you have the rare version. Abbey Road was the 11th studio album released by the quartet hailing from Liverpool.
If you're wondering whether you've got one of the coveted rare versions of 'Abbey Road,' look out for the yellow and black Parlophone Records label. The catalog number would need to be PPCS 7088, and if you've got a gold sticker on the back, you'll score major bonus points with record collectors.
The Thirteenth Floor Elevators, 'Reverbaration (Doubt)' (1966)
If you find this vinyl in your parent's attic, know that each of the four songs on the record is worth $1,000, when considering that the album can rake up to $4,000. This band was hugely influential and invented the psychedelic rock genre the world has come to love.
Despite their iconic sound, the band's discography is rather short-lived, with just four full-length studio albums. It doesn't help that the legendary guitarist of the band suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, which hindered the success of his career. In 2015 the band reunited after he eventually got effective treatment.
Led Zeppelin, 'Led Zeppelin' (1969)
Suppose your parents have this vinyl sitting collecting dust. In that case, you may want to wrap it in plastic and give it your very best care considering it could be worth more than $1,000 if it's in mint condition, and has turquoise lettering.
To some, Led Zeppelin had every right to name their debut album after themselves. In an article in Rolling Stone magazine, the album was described initially "as foppish as Rod Stewart, but nowhere near exciting." Yet decades later, the same publication rated it as the 29th greatest album of all time.
Depeche Mode, ‘Music for the Masses’ (1987)
It's the cover that counts when it comes to 'Music for the Masses.' The original UK version of the album featured a graphic depiction of a white speaker with soundwaves, set against a bright orange background. The cover design was eventually swapped, but a few originals were still printed.
Back in the '90s, the label decided to re-release the album. They managed to accidentally send out a few of the old records to some lucky stores. It should come as no surprise then, that these 'mistake' records are somewhat elusive, with former Depeche Mode's keyboardist Alan Wilder selling a copy for a cool $4,600 in 2011.
Misfits, 'Legacy of Brutality' (1985)
With 16 copies – yes, just 16 - of the second pressing of 'Legacy of Brutality,' you can only imagine how much money you'd make if you happened to have one of these records in mint condition. If you're unsure which pressing it is, look out for the featured pink platter.
There was much controversy surrounding this record after Misfits' singer, Glen Danzig, quit the band and overdubbed the instrumental parts of the band's old songs to avoid paying royalties to them. This resulted in a lengthy legal battle, as one would expect.
Elvis Presley, 'Speedway' (1968)
Elvis Presley made 'Speedway' towards the end of his acting career, and while the film was not exactly a hit with the critics, the soundtrack became the real star of the show. Apparently, only 300 copies of the soundtrack were ever printed, meaning it became a money-maker years later.
In the film, Presley plays a race car driver – more leather and cool jackets to perve over. If your parents were pedantic about keeping things new and collecting items without taking off the packaging, you're in luck. You could make $5,000 if you've got the record with the red sticker still firmly placed on the shrink wrap.
Brute Force, 'King of Fuh' (1969)
Back in the day when society was far more rigid and conservative, Brute Force was printed by The Beatles' label, Apple Recordings. This was after the single was turned down by Capitol and EMI because it had a few obscenities in the lyrics.
Luckily times have changed, and in 2010 the record was given the release it initially deserved, almost half a century after it had been recorded. If you're one of the lucky few who has your hands on one of the original records from the first 1,000 copies, you can expect to get $5,000 from a collector.
Elton John, 'I've Been Loving You' (1968)
This debut record by Elton John could get you a sweet $5,000 if you had to find the right collector. You'll have to have the single that was only released in Portugal, and included the songs, 'Thank You for All Your Loving,' and 'Angel Tree.'
Bernie Taupin collaborated with the 'Rocketman' himself on his numerous hits. He was also credited for writing the lyrics to his songs. However, John later admitted that he had actually written the lyrics himself, but credited Bernie to help him get his first publishing royalties – how sweet?
Bruce Springsteen, 'Spirit in the Night' (1973)
If you have a sneaky suspicion that you have a copy of Bruce Springsteen's first single on Columbia Records, you should start looking for it. An original pressing of the commercial release is purportedly worth $5,000, while the promotional copies can earn you a few hundred dollars.
Even though Springsteen's 'Spirit in the Night' was met with critical acclaim, the single and the LP didn't exactly fly off the shelves at first. It was only after Springsteen released his third album, 'Born to Run,' that his popularity reflected the actual sales.
Century Symphony Orchestra, 'Waltzes by Johann Strauss, Jr.' (1956)
You may want to dig in your grandparents' storage boxes for this record, as classical music can also bring in the big bucks. For classical and jazz releases, record companies often enlisted the help of relatively unknown artists to create the cover's artwork.
This album cover was created by a starving artist who later went on to have his own museum in Pittsburgh. You guessed it - it's by Andy Warhol. With just seven known copies of this particular record today, one is displayed in Warhol's museum, while the other sold for $5,500 in 2012. Could you have one of the remaining four?
Max Steiner, 'The Caine Mutiny'
This vinyl is different in that it's half dialogue recording and half soundtrack. The record was initially scrapped. This was after the writer of the novel on which the famous film was based, Herman Wouk, threatened to stop the recording studio from using his work if they released the album.
Oops, someone missed the memo as Wouk was left fuming when the B-side of the record featured a courtroom scene where his words had been lifted word for word from his novel. Columbia halted the release, and only a few employees made off with a copy. In 2007, one sold for $6,700.
Sex Pistols, 'God Save the Queen' (1977)
Out of the 25,000 copies of this single to ever be pressed, it is believed that only ten ever survived, after A&M ordered that they all be destroyed. As punk legend has it, the Sex Pistols were such terrors to work with that they were dropped six days after signing their record contract.
Singer Johnny Rotten allegedly made threats against executives, hurling expletives, while Sid Vicious destroyed the toilet at A&M's headquarters. Obviously, this pushed A&M to promptly drop the band and destroyed just about every copy of the single. A few people managed to pinch a few copies, and one sold for over $8,600.
U2, 'Pride (In the name of love)' (1984)
With just fifty copies of its kind, the limited Australian edition on translucent vinyl is said to belong to only a few people. The song itself ranked 388th on Rolling Stone's list of the greatest songs ever made, yet Bono has said that he was unsatisfied with how it turned out.
He felt that he could have fleshed out the lyrics a bit more, even though they reference things like the civil rights movement and more. Whether you think the lyrics were a masterpiece or not is irrelevant, if you have one of these 12-inch singles, you can get up to $9,000 for it.
Olivia Newton-John and Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), 'Xanadu' (1980)
While "Xanadu" may be a regular feature on the list of the worst movies ever made, its promotional picture disc featuring the movie's theme song is anything but terrible. In fact, it's one of the most successful records of all time.
If the rumors are true, Olivia Newton-John couldn't stand the way she looked in the picture printed on the front. It was apparently so bad that she asked the record company to stop pressing it. If you were one of the lucky few to receive a copy of the remaining records (between 20 and 30), you might be able to get $9,100.
Hank Mobley, 'Blue Note 1568' (1957)
There were between 300 and 1,000 printed record copies of 'Blue Note 1568' in 1957, but that doesn't mean it's not valuable if you have one today. A small variation in printing has made one particular version a huge asset if you've got one hidden in the cupboard.
Legend has it that the jazz record label, Blue Note, ran out of labels during printing. This is why some records have the standard label with the address listed as "47 West 63rd NYC." Others say, "47 West 63rd New York 23." Both versions hold significant monetary value, with the standard selling for $11,162 in 2005.
Robert Johnson, 'Me and the Devil Blues' (1938)
Feel like you could do with an extra $12,000 in the bank? Just do a spring clean and see if you have a 78 RPM platter featuring the track 'Me and the Devil Blues' on side-A. It also featured the track 'Little Queen of Spades' on side-B.
According to blues legend, Johnson encountered the devil at the crossroads between Highway 1 and 8 in Mississippi. It is there where he allegedly traded his soul for the ability to perfect the guitar. Whether you're into the tale or not, you can easily hear the influence Johnson has had on the blues.
The White Stripes, 'Lafayette Blues' (1998)
There were just fifteen copies of this record ever pressed. You'd probably also only produce such a small quantity if you had to hand-paint the cover of each one. David Buick, the founder of Italy records, was the one who fulfilled this creative role.
The copies were originally created for a Detroit record release show in 1998. At the time, the band was on an incline and almost touching stardom. If you were at this gig and saw the band's potential, you would have purchased the record for $6. If you were to sell it now, you'd make a cool $12,694 profit on your investment.
Stonewall, 'Stonewall' (1976)
If you're scratching your head wondering how you could have missed this '70s psychedelic hard rock band, don't worry. They're an obscure band who never even signed to a record label. Their only release was pressed without their knowledge, by Tiger Lily, a tax scam operated by the mob.
A large portion of records would be pressed and later written off as being unsold. This helped the parent label, 'Roulette' stay afloat. A few of these records found a home and achieved cult status early on, with a collector today spending $14,000 on Stonewall's LP.
Röyksopp, ‘Meloday A.M.’ (2001)
With over one million copies sold of this Norwegian electronic duo's debut record, you've probably lost hope that the one you have collecting dust won't rake in much. Take a closer look at the cover though, as you could be housing a Banksy piece of art.
The elusive street-artist hand-spray painted only one hundred of these records in several different color variants. If you think you've got one of them hiding away, it's time to cash it in, as they're currently listed on Discogs for a jaw-dropping $14,204.
Olivia Newton, Xanadu (1980)
This American musical fantasy film starred the beautiful Olivia Newton. Although the film received a negative response from its critics, time obviously worked its magic. "Pressed on clear vinyl, it's believed there are only 50 copies in existence," stated Noble Oak's report.
The record is estimated to be worth about $8,850 as only 31 copies exist. Australian superstar, Olivia Newton's original Xanadu soundtrack album ranks number 17 in the worldwide rankings. So, if you ever get your hands on one of these, you're in possession of musical history.