Goldmine’s Price Guide to Collectible Record Albums (1st edition)

Es­ti­mated reading time is 6 minutes.

THE SE­RIES OF AR­TI­CLES about the books I have pub­lished have a loose chronology and nar­ra­tive that makes the most sense if read in this order:

1.  Rock & Roll Record Al­bums Price Guide (1985)
2.  Elvis Presley Record Price Guide (1985)
3.  A Touch Of Gold – Elvis Presley Price Guide (1990)
4.  Gold­mine’s Price Guide to Col­lectible Record Al­bums (1st edi­tion, 1991)
5.  Gold­mine’s Price Guide to Col­lectible Jazz Al­bums (1992)
6.  Gold­mine’s Rock’n Roll 45RPM Record Price Guide (1994) 
7.  Gold­mine’s Price Guide to Col­lectible Record Al­bums (5th edi­tion, 1996)
8.  Blues And Rhythm & Blues 45s Of The ’50s (2000)

Links to these ar­ti­cles can be found at the end of this article.

I CON­FESS that I al­lowed my­self to be wooed by Krause Pub­li­ca­tions. This was 1988 and it was a rea­son­ably easy de­ci­sion. Along with a book di­vi­sion, Krause pub­lishes Gold­mine mag­a­zine, then the number one record col­lec­tors mag­a­zine in the world. Gold­mine and Umphred seemed nat­ural, right. And so it was!

After O’­Sul­livan Wood­side closed its doors for busi­ness, I foundered for a while. I con­sid­ered self-publishing more price guides, but this was dif­fi­cult as such an en­deavor was a rather ex­pen­sive propo­si­tion prior to the In­ternet and Print-on-Demand. So a con­ver­sa­tion with Krause served both our in­ter­ests at the time.

KP and I agreed that the flag­ship book had to be one fo­cused on LP al­bums, easily the most col­lected format. The first edi­tion of Gold­mine’s Price Guide To Col­lectible Record Al­bums was the result.

The reader will find ap­prox­i­mately 20,000 list­ings that cover the most col­lectible records in the business.

Like my OW book, it cov­ered many mu­sical genres al­though it fa­vored rock and re­lated genres. Also, like the OW book, the Gold­mine book only listed records man­u­fac­tured in the United States.

And like the OW book, I con­tinued in the same di­rec­tions by adding new ti­tles and pressing vari­a­tions to ex­isting artist discogra­phies, while in­tro­ducing new artists. And of course, I con­tinued with my ‘pricing’ system, al­though I felt less con­cern for any sticker shock that this new book might cause my readers. Still, I con­strained my­self a bit.

Con­se­quently, while common records again saw their as­signed values low­ered mod­estly, I ad­justed the values of the rare and de­sir­able items to what­ever I be­lieved best rep­re­sented their real market value.


NU GM LP 1 800

Un­for­tu­nately, Krause al­lowed me no say on how the cover for my book would look. Hence this rather pedes­trian de­sign. The good folks in Iola fi­nally gave me input on the cover for a fifth and final edi­tion of my book, dis­cussed below.

Collecting record albums

Here is the opening para­graph from my in­tro­duc­tion to this book (found on page 6):

“As anyone who has been ac­tive in the field of record col­lecting in the past few years will at­test, there is a real need for a single book ad­dressing the gen­eral state of the cur­rent market. That is, a book that covers the major por­tion of the field and pro­vides rea­son­able disco­graph­ical in­for­ma­tion with ac­cu­rate prices.

Gold­mine’s Price Guide To Col­lectible Record Al­bums was cre­ated for that gen­eral market: in­cluded here is vir­tu­ally every genre of col­lectible records with the ex­cep­tion of in­stru­men­tals (most pop and all jazz) and clas­sical music, each of which re­quires a book of its own.” (I did get around to doing a jazz album guide for Gold­mine; you can read about that on this site also.)

Of course, I should have worded that dif­fer­ently: the first sen­tence should have read, “As anyone who has been ac­tive in the field of col­lecting record al­bums.” Ob­vi­ously, the people who col­lect 78s or 45s exclusively 

A few para­graphs into the in­tro­duc­tion I asked this ques­tion: So what’s not here? I an­swered it with one word: Lots.

“There is no at­tempt at com­plete­ness: rather, the reader will find ap­prox­i­mately 20,000 list­ings that cover, more or less: the most col­lectible records in the busi­ness (ex­cluding promos); those records that change hands the most often; and those records most in need of at­ten­tion at this time.”

The book also in­cluded an ar­ticle ti­tled “Gold And Plat­inum Record Award Col­lecting” by Christo­pher Chatman. This was the first ar­ticle to ex­plain to the av­erage col­lector the in­tri­ca­cies of buying au­thentic RIAA Gold and Plat­inum Record Awards. In some re­spects, this was the most im­por­tant single fea­ture in the book!

A second ar­ticle ti­tled “How Much Is It Worth?” by Gary Johnson of Rock­away Records ad­dressed basic ques­tions of supply, de­mand, and con­di­tion in as­sessing a value to a record.


Beatles ButcherCover 3rd 2 600

This is a copy of the Bea­tles’ YES­TERDAY & TODAY album with the “butcher cover.” Copies of this album where someone has at­tempted to force­fully re­move the “trunk cover” slick from the “butch cover” slick are re­ferred to as third state butcher cover or “peel jobs.” As ugly as this one ap­pears, it is a common sight in the world of col­lecting records and while it has some value, it is only an it­ty­bitty frac­tion of the values listed below.

Most valuable albums (1989)

I also in­cluded a list of “The 100 Most Valu­able Al­bums” that were listed in the book. Here are the Top 10 as I found them then:


Yes­terday And Today
Capitol ST-2553 (s
tereo). First state butcher cover.


Bob Dylan
The Free­wheelin’ Bob Dylan
Co­lumbia CL-1986 (mono)
. Orig­inal pressing with Gam­blin’ Willie’s Dead Man’s Hand, Let Me Die in My Foot­steps, Rocks and Gravel, and Talkin’ John Birch Blues. All sub­se­quent press­ings re­placed these with four dif­ferent tracks. (In 1989, stereo copies of this album with the four orig­inal tracks were not known to exist.)


David Bowie
Di­a­mond Dogs
RCA Victor APL1-0576 (stereo).
The Bowiedog’s gen­i­tals are vis­ible on the cover.

The Bea­tles And Frank Ifield On Stage
Vee-Jay LPS-1085 (stereo).
Rainbow label with Love Me Do and back cover with ad­ver­tise­ments for other LPs.


In­tro­ducing The Beatles
Vee-Jay LPS-1062 (stereo).
Rainbow label with Love Me Do and back cover with ad­ver­tise­ments for other LPs.

Elvis Presley
Aloha From Hawaii Via Satel­lite
RCA Victor VPSX-6089 (q
uadra­phonic). Chicken Of The Sea “Sneak Pre­view” sticker on the jacket.


Ike & Tina Turner
River Deep, Moun­tain High
Philles PHLP-4011 (mono)
. Amer­ican pressing was with­drawn shortly after release.


The Bea­tles Vs. The Four Seasons
Vee-Jay DXS-30 (stereo).

Yes­terday And Today
Capitol T‑2553 (mono)
. First state butcher cover.


In­tro­ducing The Beatles
Vee-Jay LP-1062 (mono)
. Rainbow label with Love Me Do and back cover with ad­ver­tise­ments for other LPs.

Billy Ward & The Dominoes
Billy Ward & The Dominoes
Fed­eral 295–94 (mono)
. Ten-inch album.

The last twenty-six records on the list shared a value of $300. Today, a list of the one hun­dred most valu­able al­bums such as this one would all top the thou­sand dollar figure.

Krause was a bit un­cer­tain about the wa­ters into which they were about to wade, so this first edi­tion was a slender one—a mere 384 pages in length. Due to this lim­i­ta­tion, I was not able to in­clude a sec­tion at the back of the book for the most col­lected rock sound­tracks and var­ious artists albums.

Gold­mine’s Price Guide To Col­lectible Record Al­bums was pub­lished in 1989 and was an im­me­diate hit, selling con­sid­er­ably more copies than the people at Krause had anticipated.

And that was that for then.

By the time that I did my final edi­tion for Krause, a lot had changed: the book was now more than 600 pages in length and I was given con­trol of the cover!

Click here to read more about that book.


NU GM LP 2 800

After the huge sales of this book, they saw the error of their ways and the second edi­tion was 606 pages. Plus this was a much better cover design!

About my other books

There are eight ar­ti­cles on this site ex­plaining the var­ious books I pub­lished for record col­lec­tors. They are best read in the fol­lowing order, which is roughly chronological:

1.  O’Sullivan Woodside’s Rock & Roll Record Al­bums Price Guide
2.  O’Sullivan Woodside’s Elvis Presley Record Price Guide
3.  Goldmine’s Price Guide to Col­lectible Record Al­bums (1st edition)
4.  Goldmine’s Price Guide to Col­lectible Record Al­bums (5th edition)
5.  Goldmine’s Rock’n Roll 45RPM Record Price Guide
6.  Goldmine’s Price Guide to Col­lectible Jazz Albums
7.   A Touch Of Gold – Elvis Record & Mem­o­ra­bilia Price Guide
8.  Blues and R&B 45s of the ’50s Price Guide