Since we started doing exclusive variants of albums—the first was Diarrhea Planet’s I’m Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams back in early 2014—Vinyl Me, Please has released over 200 exclusive albums. Ranging from our Record of the Month and our Rising Series to our store exclusives and Vinyl Me, Please Classics and more, it’s crazy to think we’ve done enough records to fill a Kallax shelf.
What’s even crazier to us is how valuable some of these records have become via second-hand sites like Discogs. Store exclusives that started life as a 300-edition Vinyl Me, Please store exclusive have a new life as a $200 Discogs purchase. Since we’re also avid collectors and collect these as much as our members, it got us thinking: Which albums that we've released are the most valuable?
We reached out to our pals over at Discogs—makers of the best record collection app out there—to give us the historical data on every Vinyl Me, Please release in order to determine the 10 most expensive records we’ve ever released. The sales data here is based on the highest sale recorded on Discogs; the figures you can see on the site are just the last 10 sales. Some of the titles here will surprise you.
Our October, 2017, Record of the Month was Moses Sumney’s Aromanticism. Moses is a beloved artist with a rabid fanbase, and our first release with him—last year’s Lamentations—goes for big bucks on Discogs too. Aromanticism sold for a whopping $103.54, good enough to make the top 10 on this list.
Fleet Foxes’ comeback album is one of 2017’s best, and our store exclusive edition came on beautiful blue and gold swirl vinyl limited to 1,500 copies. So it’s not surprising that an album this new is ranking this high on this list, after selling for $110 on Discogs.
Earl Sweatshirt’s claustrophobic and fantastic second album dropped in 2015. So did this Vinyl Me, Please store exclusive blue swirl edition limited to 1,000 copies, which dropped in December, 2015. It tipped the scales on Discogs at $113.72.
Arriving in March 2017, this limited to 2,000 rainbow splattered store exclusive edition of the National’s second album is their first appearance on this list. The National is one of our favorite bands, and it’s clearly one of our members’ too. This National store exclusive sold for $115.33.
Released as a store exclusive as part of Cyber Monday in November 2016, Young Thug’s Jeffrey was one of 2016’s best rap albums—a new peak for Thug in a career that has been a veritable mountain range. Limited to 1,500 copies on light blue vinyl that matches Thug’s dress on the cover, this record has sold for $129.99.
The newest release on this list, Noname’s Telefone was the inaugural release in Vinyl Me, Please’s Rap and Hip-Hop subscription in September 2017. Noname’s raw, sensational debut, this limited to 1,500 album sold for $130.94 on Discogs.
Until April 2017, the War on Drugs’ third album was our most valuable Record of the Month. Originally featured in August 2014 as our 20th Record of the Month, this modern indie rock masterpiece was on mint colored vinyl. It sold on Discogs for $145.99 at its peak.
The second appearance of the National on this list, this limited to 1,000 store exclusive red swirl edition of the National’s Cherry Tree EP came out in March 2016. Released between the band’s second LP (which was earlier on this list) and their breakthrough LP Alligator, it’s a document of a band making the jump from indie curio to big audience songcrafters. It sold for $150 on Discogs.
The Holy Grail record for a generation of vinyl collectors, Demon Days was our Record of the Month in April 2017, leading to the first ever first day sellout in Vinyl Me, Please history when Gorillaz fans signed up for every available spot we had. Our red edition was remastered with the approval of Damon Albarn and company, who hadn’t reissued the album on wax since it came out in 2005. It sold, at its peak, for $168.71 on Discogs.
A record that sold out in under two minutes in August of 2016, the rush to buy Venice crashed our store. This limited to 300 pink store exclusive edition of Anderson.Paak’s debut is the most valuable album we’ve ever released; it has sold for a whopping $200, or a 640 percent markup over the $27 we sold it for.
Andrew Winistorfer is Senior Director of Music and Editorial at Vinyl Me, Please, and a writer and editor of their books, 100 Albums You Need in Your Collection and The Best Record Stores in the United States. He’s written Listening Notes for more than 30 VMP releases, co-produced multiple VMP Anthologies, and executive produced the VMP Anthologies The Story of Vanguard, The Story of Willie Nelson, Miles Davis: The Electric Years and The Story of Waylon Jennings. He lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota.