The Beatles, Stones, and… Olivia Newton-John?: These are the 50 most valuable records in the world

A new project collates the most precious vinyl records worldwide and shares the stories behind them

Whether you’re an avid collector who spends their free time tracking down rarities or just a casual music fan, chances are you own at least one vinyl record thanks to the vinyl revival. If you do, then you could be unwittingly sitting on a goldmine. The latest Lewis Capaldi 7-inch isn’t likely to be worth much more than a Boots meal deal (check back in a few decades), but if your collection pulls from some of the 20th century’s greats (and some more obscure releases), you might want to pay attention.

With the help of Ian Shirley, editor of Record Collector’s Rare Record Price Guide, the people at Noble Oak have collated a list of the 50 most valuable records worldwide and why they’re so precious. The roll call focuses only on records that were commercially available, save for a few exceptions, and it features a few surprises.

As you’d expect, big names like the Beatles and the Stones feature high up on the list. The title of most valuable record in the world currently belongs to the Fab Four’s very first incarnation – the Quarrymen. Their recording of ‘That’ll Be The Day’ and ‘In Spite Of All The Danger’ – the only one in existence – is worth a whopping £200,000 according to the project. Don’t waste your time setting up a load of eBay and Discogs alerts in the hopes of hunting it down though – it’s currently in Paul McCartney’s possession and we’d say it’s unlikely he’ll be selling it any time soon.

Sex Pistols’ ‘God Save The Queen’ single also features in the top 10, valued at £10,000 because it was withdrawn from sale and destroyed after the band behaved like, well, the Sex Pistols. A 7-inch version of Elvis Presley’s debut single ‘That’s All Right’ would also fetch you £7,000 due to the 78 RPM version being more popular at the time it was released in 1954.

Then, there are the oddities that, if you came across them in a charity shop bin you might flip past unless you knew better. A promotional picture disc of Olivia Newton-John’s ‘Xanadu’ could pull in £5,000 because it was pulled from release after the singer took issue with the image of her that adorned it. Michael Garrick Trio’s 1964 10-inch album ‘Moonscape’ is worth an estimated £3,000 it being the jazz pianist’s debut release, while the self-titled debut from folk group Tudor Lodge could rack up £2,000 thanks to it being released on Vertigo Records.

Check out the full top 50 below and visit the Noble Oak site for their value and the stories behind each inclusion.

Nirvana Love Buzz 7-inch

Nirvana’s ‘Love Buzz’ 7-inch Credit: Noble Oak

50. Steel City Connection – ‘Dansation’/‘Steel City Disco’ – £500
49. Thriller/Delta Cats – ‘Last Dance’/‘Unworthy Baby’ – £1,000
48. The Velvet Underground & Nico – ‘The Velvet Underground & Nico’ – £1,000
47. Terea – ‘Terea’ – £1,000
46. Nirvana – ‘Love Buzz’/‘Big Cheese’ – £1,750
45. World’s Experience Orchestra – ‘The Beginning Of A New Birth’ – £2,000
44. Tudor Lodge – ‘Tudor Lodge’ – £2,000
43. The Smiths – ‘Hand In Glove’/‘Handsome Devil’ – £2,000
42. Stonewall – ‘Stonewall’ – £2,000
41. Pink Floyd – ‘The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn’ – £2,000

The Smiths Hand In Glove 7-inch

The Smiths’ ‘Hand In Glove’ 7-inch Credit: Noble Oak

40. Nicholas Greenwood – ‘Cold Cuts’ – £2,000
39. Charlie Parker – ‘Bird Blows The Blues’ – £2,000
38. Brute Force – ‘King Of Fuh’/‘Nobody Knows’ – £2,000
37. U2 – ‘Three’ – £2,000
36. Sun Ra – ‘Super-Sonic Jazz’ – £2,500
35. Madonna – ‘Erotica’ – £2,500
34. Prince – ‘The Black Album’ – £3,000
33. Michael Garrick Trio – ‘Moonscape’ – £3,000
32. Leonid Kogan And Elisabeth Gilels – ‘Sonatas For Two Violins’ – £3,000
31. Led Zeppelin – ‘Led Zeppelin’ – £3,000

Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin album

Led Zeppelin’s ‘Led Zeppelin’ album Credit: Noble Oak

30. Leaf Hound – ‘Growers Of Mushroom’ – £3,000
29. John Lennon and Yoko Ono – ‘Unfinished Music No. 1. Two Virgins’ – £3,000
28. Genesis – ‘The Silent Sun’/‘That’s Me!’ – £3,000
27. Folkal Point – ‘Folkal Point’ – £3,000
26. Arthur Verocai – ‘Arthur Verocai’ – £3,000
25. Robert Johnson – ‘I Believe I’ll Dust My Broom’/‘Dead Shrimp Blues’ – £3,500
24. Various – ‘Our First Four’ – £4,000
23. Sonny Clark – ‘Cool Struttin’’ – £4,000
22. Lula Cortes E Ze Ramalho – ‘Paebiru’ – £4,000
21. Jutta Hipp – ‘Jutta Hipp With Zoot Sims’ – £4,000

Olivia Newton-John Xanadu picture disc

Olivia Newton-John’s ‘Xanadu’ picture disc Credit: Noble Oak

20. Complex – ‘Complex’ – £4,000
19. Margarita Madrigal – ‘Madrigal’s Magic Key To Spanish Volume 1 And 2’ – £4,000
18. Queen – ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’/‘I’m In Love With My Car’ – £4,500
17. Olivia Newton-John – ‘Xanadu’ – £5,000
16. Hank Mobley – ‘Hank Mobley’ – £5,000
15. Charley Patton – ‘Pony Blues’/‘Banty Rooster Blues’ – £5,000
14. Billy Nicholls – ‘Would You Believe’ – £5,000
13. The. Beatles – ‘Please Please Me’ – £6,000
12. The Beatles – ‘Introducing The Beatles’ – £7,000
11. Elvis Presley – ‘That’s All Right’/‘Blue Moon Of Kentucky’ – £7,000

10. The Rolling Stones – ‘Street Fighting Man’/‘No Expectations’ – £8,000
9. The Beatles – ‘Yesterday And Today’ – £8,000
8. Junior McCants – ‘Try Me For Your New Love’/‘She Wrote It I Read It’ – £9,000
7. The Beatles – ‘The Beatles’ (White Album) – £10,000
6. Sex Pistols – ‘God Save The Queen’/‘No Feelings’ – £10,000
5. Dark – ‘Dark Round The Edges’ – £10,000
4. Darrell Banks – ‘Open The Door To Your Heart’/‘Our Love (Is In The Pocket)’ – £15,000
3. Frank Wilson – ‘Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)’/‘Sweeter As The Days Go By’ – £25,000
2. The Beatles – ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ – £70,000
1. The Quarrymen – ‘That’ll Be The Day’/‘In Spite Of All The Danger’ – £200,000