This week, RA did a story on the most expensive records ever sold on Discogs after getting a rare chance to browse the online trading post's sales history. The list was topped by a northern soul record by William Powell called 'Heartache Souvenirs.' It went for about $5000.
Its price was so high because there's a history of northern soul records being relabeled and sold as something else, and the guaranteed genuine nature of the Power House classic raised the price to astronomical levels in the underground rarity trading scene. The rest of the list is a smattering of curiosities and rarities that sold for a few thousand dollars...
But, we figured, that had to be just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the priciest vinyl of all time, so we did a little digging and found out that the most expensive record to ever exchange hands was sold in 2016.
The vinyl in question was Ringo Starr's copy of The Beatles White Album, a first edition that was kept in a vault in mint condition by Starr for over 35 years. It collected $790,000 from an unknown buyer at auction, which was then allegedly donated to charity.
Prior to that, the most expensive record ever was an Elvis Presley acetate that was sold for $305,000.
Other notable expensive record sales include a very rare copy of a 1958 single "That'll be the Day" by The Quarrymen--the proto-Beatles band led by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. There was only one copy ever made and it is owned by Paul McCartney himself. Figures!
Wu Tang Clan's Once Upon a Time in Shaolin should be mentioned, only because notorious pharma-bro Martin Shkreli bought the rights to the album for $1,000,000, but there was no vinyl involved, so it doesn't count!
The rest of the most expensive vinyl ever sold are a hodge podge of Beatles memorabilia, which, as the biggest band of all time, makes sense.