Your Album Collection is Probably Worthless

alternativeIf They Treat You Like Shit – Act Like Manure
Corpus Christi – Christ It’s 13

Stop worrying about what you think your album collection is worth because its probably worth shit.

That is if you define worth only by dollars and cents.

Of course your collection has lots of sentimental value and who can put a price tag on that?

That said, if you’re convinced the motherlode is sitting there on your Ikea shelves, there are lots of different and confusing ways to look at albums for clues of possible monetary value. Serial numbers, run-off track imprints, labels, jacket markings, editions, mint, near-mint, good, average, poor. Hint: don’t believe anything regarding a record’s dollar worth on Ebay and whatever you do, don’t pay more than $2 for Boston’s first album no matter what anyone says.

Some people think Beatles albums are worth a lot of cash by default. Yes, first editions probably are. Maybe. But, for the most part, you can easily find Beatles records. I know mine aren’t worth a lot of dough because they’re all reissues from the late ’70s/early ’80s. They’re also on the Parlophone label, except for my Abbey Road (Capitol) and my Let It Be (Apple – but not Granny Smith). They’re also all stereo not mono. Makes a difference in the Beatles collector world. But they’re all clean, and the jackets are almost perfect. Mint? No…because I play them and I play them because I love them. They just don’t meet collector criteria.

I also have a couple of Cure records – Faith and Pornography – both first edition releases on the Fiction label. Look them up on Discogs and Faith has a high price of around $32 and Pornography hovers around $55. I bought Faith for $30 and Pornography for $25, so I guess I made money. But I’m not selling them.

According to Discogs, my David Bowie Scary Monsters LP is priced around $77 and I’ve heard that’s because it hasn’t been reissued on vinyl yet. My Cramps Songs the Lord Taught Us is around $75. Kinda crazy.

But the record I own that appears to be worth the most money is this hardcore punk obscurity by a band called Alternative. The album’s name is If They Treat You Like Shit – Act Like Manure. The label is Corpus Christi – Christ It’s 13. Country of origin is the U.K. and it was released in 1984, which is when I bought it. The reason I bought it – I liked the title. Ironically, its hard for me to listen to this record. I don’t like this particular music genre and, lyrically, its really depressing. But the band appears to have a very strong animal rights agenda, which I agree with. The lyrics are graphic in their descriptions of animal torture – obviously to drive their point home. Not easy to hear when you’re shoving a hamburger in your face. They also rail against nuclear proliferation and seem to be anti-pornography. Their musical attack is so aggressive its tough to interpret their songs unless you read the lyric sheet that sleeves the vinyl. According to Discogs’ stats on this album, 164 Discogs members have this record. And 246 want it. Talk about your supply and demand. The last time it was sold was November 8, 2016. Its highest price listed is a whopping $116. Therefore its my most valuable record.

Would I sell my Alternative? Well, I never listen to it. So I’m not attached to it. And that kind of goes against why I collect. I collect records to listen to them not just put them on my shelf hoping they become worth a pile of cash.

Vinyl’s for listening.

So make me an offer…

© 2017 Chris Barry