Beatles and Pistols top vinyl list

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The Beatles and Sex Pistols are top of the costs, dominating a newly compiled list of the world’s priciest vinyl.

The groups take up nine places in the top 10 list of the most expensive recordings, which is compiled every two years by Record Collector magazine.

Queen are the only act to break up their stranglehold, with a rare version of Bohemian Rhapsody.

The Quarrymen – a pre-Beatles group featuring John Lennon, Sir Paul McCartney and George Harrison – once again hold the top spot with a unique acetate copy of their demo That’ll Be The Day/In Spite Of All The Danger.

The 1958 recording is valued at £200,000, while at number two is a 1981 reproduction of the single – on seven-inch and 10-inch vinyl – which goes for a more modest £10,000.

The magazine places the Pistols’ God Save The Queen/No Feelings at number three with a rare acetate version fetching roughly £10,000.

Originally released in 1977, prices generally appear to have shot up around 60% as the Queen celebrates her Diamond Jubilee year, with one copy fetching £12,630 in recent months. The tracks were pressed to help manager Malcolm McLaren secure a new deal for the group after they were axed by EMI.

Another version of the same record, when the group were briefly on A&M Records, is valued at £8,000. Although 20,000 copies were made, most were destroyed, making it a collector’s item.

The punk idols are also at number five with the acetate copy of Anarchy In The UK, with No Fun on the B-side, estimated to go for £7,000. Only three copies are known to exist.

The Quarry Men recording at the top of the list was created in July 1958 by the Beatles trio, plus John “Duff” Lowe on piano and drummer Colin Hanlon, who headed into a studio after shelling out a few shillings.

The acetate version ended up in Lowe’s hands and he eventually sold it to Sir Paul who is still thought to own it. He had it restored and it was used to make the handful of 1981 copies.

The lower reaches of the top 200 in the magazine show growing prices for UK heavy metal acts such as Iron Maiden, at 189 with a rare brown vinyl 12-inch version of Twilight Zone going for £800, and Holocaust’s Slay That Dragon at 191, valued at a similar amount.

Ian Shirley, editor of the Rare Record Price Guide who compiled the list for Record Collector, said: “When it comes to collectable rare vinyl the Beatles remain the blue chip investment, and no doubt the recent 50th anniversary of the release of their debut single Love Me Do has helped focus collectors’ minds on the longevity and power of their music as well as inflate prices for mint copies of their albums, singles and EPs.

“The appeal of Fab Four collectables is worldwide. I was in Japan last week and when I asked the head buyer of one of the biggest dealing shops in the country what artist or genre was the most collectable in Japan, although he did not speak any English, he has one word for me, ‘Beatles’.

“The Quarry Men acetate is now, in musical terms, a holy tablet equivalent to the Ten Commandments that Moses brought down from the mount.

“It is ironic that, despite the fact that back in the 70s the Sex Pistols were the epitome of anti-establishment attitude, today they are one of the most collectable bands in the world with mint copies of rarities being seen as a safe blue chip investment. The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee not only crowned her longevity as a ruler but also their own as the top collectable punk band in the world.”

Mr Shirley said little-known bands who made little impact or money in their careers can now command huge prices.

“There is a real hunger for mint copies of collectable late 60s and early 70s LPs, with obscure acts like Leafhound, Pussy, Grannie, July and Red Dirt, to name a few – whose records only sold a few hundred copies at the time – now fetching four-figure sums.”

Record Collector top ten highest prices:

1. (1) The Quarry Men – That’ll Be The Day/In Spite Of All The Danger (1958, acetate) £200,000

2. (2) The Quarry Men – That’ll Be The Day/In Spite Of All The Danger (1981, 7″ 45rpm and 10″ 78rpm replicas of 1958 acetate in reproduction die-cut Parlophone sleeve) £10,000

3. (5) Sex Pistols – God Save The Queen/No Feelings (1977, acetate) £10,000

4. (3) Sex Pistols – God Save The Queen/No Feelings (1977, A&M AMS 7284) £8,000

5. (6) Sex Pistols – Anarchy In The UK/No Fun (1977, acetate) £7,000

6. (4) The Beatles – The Beatles (1968, Apple PMC/PCS 7067/8) £7,000

7. (11) The Beatles – Please Please Me (1963, Parlophone PCS 3042) £5,000

8. (7) Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody/I’m In Love With My Car (1978, EMI 2375) £5,000

9. (21) The Beatles – Love Me Do/PS I Love You (1962, Parlophone 45-R 4949) £5,000

10. (8) Sex Pistols – Anarchy In The UK (1976, acetate) £5,000

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