The 6 Vinyl Records Every Collection Needs
Every collector we know has a few gems they’re avidly searching for in order to make their collection complete. But if you’re a serious collector of vinyl records, and you’re in it for the long-run, here’s our list of top six most highly sought-after vinyl records. Even if it takes a lifetime to find these, your collection will thank you.
And just to make looking a bit more interesting, we’ve included a few tips on how to be sure the one you snag is the real deal.
1. The Beatles - Yesterday and Today (AKA “The Beatles Butcher Cover”)
The first album issued in its controversial glory featured the foursome draped in raw meat and dismembered baby doll parts.
While Lady Gaga has since seemingly normalized graphic sensationalism, in 1966 that was a move bold enough to potentially dismember the heartthrob-sensation’s reputation, and every cover was recalled the very next day following release.
The album is now sought after in three different states of condition:
The original state is an original issue, basically impossible to find unless you are willing to take out a second mortgage on your home;
The second state is a pasted-over cover that is a bit more politically correct, but if you look at it just right, you can see a hint of the original coming throug;
The third state, which has been peeled to reveal the original cover, though its condition is dependent on the level of care demonstrated by the original owner.
If you can find any one of these, you’re in good luck, but definitely be sure to watch out for the bootleg copies that are plentiful and sometimes very difficult to spot.
2. Elvis – Sun Records 45s & 78s
If you want to get your hands on the birth of rock and roll, look for these original 45s and 78s.
Not only are they the first recordings of the King of Rock and Roll, but also they mark a monumental introduction to the genre of Rock itself.
On July 15, 1953, Elvis entered Sun Studios and paid $3.98 to record his first double-sided demo, which he gave to his mother as a birthday present.
Studio executive, Sam Phillips, heard Elvis and signed him to a record deal, recording the first five 45s on the Sun Record Label.
The first 4 records were pressed by older equipment that left push marks in the vinyl record wax underneath the record label. Number 5 was recorded with updated equipment that Sam purchased and doesn’t show the same push marks.
There are plenty of bootlegs of these 45s and one way to spot a fake is to check out the record’s edge: The bootlegs are generally smooth around the edge and they won’t have the three-pin push marks.
If you come across an original set, you may want to head over to Ebay where they’re often listed in upwards of $7,000.
3. Motley Crue Leathur Records – Too Fast For Love
If you know your album covers, you’ll have no trouble identifying one of the 900 limited run albums under the Leathur label.
Just look for the Motley Crue logo letters to be in black and white (not red), on the back sleeve - the central square image in the center should be empty (not containing Vince Neil’s sunglasses).
Also on the back sleeve, Neil’s hair should be outrageously tall.
Later pressings of the cover used the background to blend with the hair color to make it appear more normal.
It’s a shame, too, because who wants their Motley Crue to be “more normal?”
4. Sex Pistols in yellow covers – Never Mind the Bullocks
Check out the Urban Dictionary’s definition of “bollocks” and you’ll find the current “spineless, gutless” definition completely misaligned with the punk anthem released by the Sex Pistols under Virgin Records in 1977.
As the first and only studio album recorded by the Sex Pistols, it quickly shot to number one on the charts all the while invoking a level of chaos and anarchy consistent with the Sex Pistols’ brand and emphasized by their use of the double-entendre title (In 1977 “bollocks” meant both “testicles” and “defiance”).
At the time of its release the band had been fired by two record labels, incited controversy for swearing on TV, and was banned throughout much of England.
In true punk fashion, the album bucked the system, won gold status in just a few weeks’ time, and spent over 60 weeks in the to 25 of the music charts, as well as inspiring an entire generation of punk music.
With only a 1000 original pressing albums released, finding one of the first is a dream for punk lovers and avid record collectors, so definitely keep your eye out!
5. The Ramones - Leave Home with “Carbona Not Glue.”
“Carbona Not Glue” was a follow up to a song called “Now I Wanna Sniff Glue” off the Ramones’ first album, which came under fire because of an increase in glue-sniffing with young people once the first album was released.
“Carbona Not Glue” was intended to be a playful rebuttal to the controversy.
It was the fifth track on the band’s second album Leave Homeoriginally released in 1977.
However, words can be tricky and “Carbona” was a registered corporate trademark at the time, which triggered concern over a potential lawsuit.
The song was pulled from the record and the album was re-released with an alternate track, “Babysitter.”
You might see quite a few variations of the substitute album, but it’s the initial Carbona release that you’ll be looking for.
6. The Velvet Underground & Nico – Banana Cover
When Andy Warhol, iconic American painter and artist, is your mentor and band manager, of course you’re going to get the most creative album design.
If the authentic pop art banana image wasn’t enough, the original album released by Verve Records in 1967 invited fans to “peel slowly and see,” utilizing a clear sticker on the cover that could be physically peeled back to reveal a flesh covered banana image underneath.
Finding an original cover with this feature intact is quite rare, as later pressings did not always include this.
However, the 50th anniversary re-release of the record in 2017 included the original art and peel-able sticker along with a limited run of 100 pink colored vinyl, so definitely check to be sure you haven’t picked up the newer release before making your purchase.
There you have it: Our list of 6 highly sought-after vinyl records that every serious collector covets (or at least we think).
If you happen to find one, we’d love to see it. Tag us on social media (@carrolltonsquarerecords) or drop us a line.
And in the meantime, happy crate digging!
~ Eric & Sara