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What makes a record valuable? Personal reasons aside, we can all likely agree on one standard method for valuing records: Each one has a price.
The exclusivity of Vinyl Me, Please and the limited editions we offer in our store translate to sometimes-shocking resale values on Discogs and other second-hand sites like it. Just looking at the outliers — like that time someone bought a record for $103.54 on Discogs when they could have signed up for Vinyl Me, Please that month and received it for $29 — doesn’t always provide the most realistic benchmark. So, we asked our friends at Discogs for the stats on our releases with the highest average costs, not the one highest one-time price, like we did last year.
Whether you want to imagine your record shelves filled with cash or just want to reinforce how proud you are of that one record in your collection, we’ve got you covered with this list of the 10 most valuable Vinyl Me, Please releases.
The fourth release in our VMP Rising series, Moses Sumney’s Lamentations EP — literally a golden record — has an average price of $54.37 on Discogs. Limited to 500 copies, this EP is valued higher than Sumney’s other Vinyl Me, Please release, Essentials Record of the Month No. 58, Aromanticism.
Pulling ahead of Lamentations by only a quarter, Attica Blues by Archie Shepp’s average cost comes in at $54.62. Attica Blues was the first-ever VMP Classics Record of the Month — and is the only album from the Classics track on this list.
Young Thug’s Jeffery, which initially sold for $25, now has an average value of $54.98, just 36 cents more than Attica Blues. The Vinyl Me, Please edition of the mixtape is on blue and white marbled vinyl. Young Thug’s Barter 6 didn’t make it to the top 10, but also has a high average cost on Discogs.
By a dime, Madlib’s Flight to Brazil takes seventh place with an average price of $55.08. A fantastic tour of an album encompassing Brazilian funk, psychedelic, prog-rock and jazz over three or four decades, Flight to Brazil is limited to 1,000 copies — and the Vinyl Me, Please edition is the first time it’s been pressed on vinyl.
Sonny Rollins is a prolific jazz saxophonist, whose name appears on other top 10 lists from the Vinyl Me, Please magazine of best live jazz albums and best albums for jazz beginners. On this list, his album The Bridge — limited to 750 copies on blue and white swirl vinyl — is in sixth place with an average value of $56.02. Rollins’ named this album The Bridge, and now some are fighting to rename the Williamsburg Bridge after Rollins, who used to practice there.
A dime away from The Bridge, Justin Timberlake’s FutureSex / LoveSounds — on grey and black marble vinyl and limited to 1,000 copies — lands in fifth place with its average cost of $56.12. It’s no surprise this album is valuable, as, in the words of Andrew Winistorfer, Vinyl Me, Please’s Head of Editorial: “FutureSex was the last time that there was a genuine consensus in pop music; even the indie kids couldn’t deny that JT had the juice.”
The War On Drugs’ Lost In The Dream beat out JT by about $6 to come in as the fourth most valuable album at $62.72. Lost In The Dream, Essentials Record of the Month No. 20 on mint green vinyl, is also the fourth most expensive Vinyl Me, Please album on Discogs.
Demon Days, Essentials Record of the Month No. 52 on red translucent vinyl, is the most collected Vinyl Me, Please album on Discogs, and the second-most expensive, once selling for $168.71. It sold out on it’s first day — a first for Vinyl Me, Please Essentials — and its average sale price is $66.69.
Venice is the most expensive Vinyl Me, Please album on Discogs, and has an average sale price of $75.67, almost three times as expensive as its initial price of $27. Three hundred shoppers got this exclusive pink edition of the album before it sold out in just two minutes, crashing the Vinyl Me, Please store in the process.
Telefone coming in at No. 1 with an average price of $81.77 is impressive because not only is it Noname’s debut, it’s one of the newest releases on this list. Lucky members who signed up for the first-ever month of the VMP Rap & Hip Hop track received this lavender dream of an album, limited to 1,500 copies.
Theda Berry is a Brooklyn-based writer and the former Editor of VMP. If she had to be a different kind of berry, she’d pick strawberry.