Name Your Price – How Much Are Classic Albums Actually Worth?

Who’d have thought Radiohead and Red Hot Chili Peppers had so much in common? First off Thom Yorke recruited Flea for his solo band Atoms Of Peace, now the funk outfit’s guitarist John Frusciante has borrowed the ‘In Rainbows’ “name your own price” model.

For a fee of your choosing you can own his latest collaboration with Mars Volta’s Omar Rodriguez, with proceeds from ‘Sepulcros De Miel’ going to the Keep Music In Schools campaign.


So how much would you pay? And in fact while we’re at it, how much would you now pay for the albums that currently take up space in your record collection?

I thought I’d have a go with some of those currently on the shelves at home, though that in itself raised an issue – how much is an average album actually worth now? £16.99 for a CD not in the sale? Three for a tenner? Free from a torrent site? Legally downloaded as a package or individual tracks?

For the sake of argument I’m taking the Apple-friendly £7.99 ($9.99) as my standard price, and my basing my spending criteria is based on amounts of plays (by me), length of the album, album artwork and of course sheer musical prejudice.

So here what I’d pay – ‘In Rainbows’ style – for the following classics:

The Beatles – ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’
£5. It invented the concept album, but its music hall moments means limiting it to an occasional listen.

The Strokes – ‘Is This It’
£30. It’s 36:28 of indie pop perfection – I even own both the American and UK versions of this record because the tracklisting is slightly different.

Pink Floyd – ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’
£2. And part of that is for the sleeve.


Television – ‘Marquee Moon’
A grand. It seems to me it’s physically impossible to tire of this listen – hence the high fee, just to justify the high rotation.

Nirvana – ‘Nevermind’
99p. I guess it’s got a couple of good singles on it.

How about you? Are they any albums you’d happily pay through the nose for?