25 Most Valuable Records From The 70s

The 70s was the golden era of music. The 70s saw the rise of some musical styles. In the northern hemisphere, it was disco and its lights. There was funk, smooth jazz, jazz fusion, and punk rock. You only need to have been around in that decade to understand how powerful the music was. And if you have some of the records that controlled the radio you can just put any of the songs on and let the soft strings of blues or the hard thump of hard rock take you back in time.

In this article you have the opportunity to go back in time again, reminiscing over the top 25 most valuable records from the 70s. (I promise, no spoilers).

The Top 25 Most Valuable Records from the 70s

No.
Name
Year
Price
1
Marvin Gaye: Let’s Get It On
1973
$300
2
Kraftwerk – Trans-Europe Express 1986 Spain Issue
1986
$139.99
3
Nick Drake Pink Moon Vinyl 1st Issue Sealed
1972
$1000
4
Derek and the Dominos, “Layla” Clapton
1970
$159.99
5
Blondie Parallel Lines
1978
$478.41
6
The Rolling Stones – Some Girls
1978
$125
7
The Band: The Last Waltz
1978
$199.95
8
Iggy and The Stooges, Raw Power
1973
$75.89
9
Allman Brothers Band: Eat A Peach
1972
$47
10
Bob Dylan: Blood On The Tracks
1975
$41.09
11
Sex Pistols: Never Mind The Bollocks Vinyl Record
1977
$72.25
12
The Ramones: Ramones
1976
$36.99
13
The Who: Who’s Next
1971
$31.99
14
The Beatles Let It Be
1970
$59.89
15
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Déjà Vu
1970
$102.93
16
 Al Green – “Explores Your Mind”
1974
$45
17
John Lennon: Imagine
1971
$33.67
18
LP David Bowie: Low
1977
$49.99
19
Micheal Jackson: Off The Wall
1979
$33.99
20
Patti Smith: Horses
1975
$31.02
21
George Harrison: All Things Must Pass Deluxe
1970
$71.73
22
Neil Young: After The Gold Rush
1970
$33.88
23
Carole King: Tapestry
1971
$25.55
24
Stevie Wonder: Songs In The Key Of Life
1976
$34.07
25
Elvis Costello: My Aim Is True
1978
$32.07

1. Marvin Gaye: Let’s Get It On

Year: 1973

Price: $300

1. Marvin Gaye Let's Get It On

Aside from its reputation as a classic soundtrack for making out (and more), Let’s Get It On symbolized a provocative, profound evolution for soul singer Marvin Gaye. More commercialized than Gaye’s previous album, What’s Going On, Let’s Get It On took to Motown, soul, R&B, funk, and the blues to understand the differences and connections between sex and love. This album is currently valued at $300 on eBay, however, some sellers are willing to give it out for less.

2. Kraftwerk – Trans-Europe Express 1986 Spain Issue

Year: 1986

Price: $139.99

2. Kraftwerk - Trans-Europe Express 1986 Spain Issue

Trans-Europe Express is the most consistent album by the electronic band Kraftwerk. The band found inspiration for its minimalist pop on an old European railway system in this concept album. The album has had a lasting influence in many genres, from electronic music to traditional pop. This cold, mechanical, Germanic art has somehow helped birth hip-hop with the title track famously incorporated into Afrika Bambaataa’s seminal “Planet Rock.”

3. Nick Drake Pink Moon Vinyl 1st Issue Sealed

Year: 1972

Price: $1000

3. Nick Drake Pink Moon Vinyl 1st Issue Sealed

Drake’s final album from 1972, recorded in a pair of post-midnight sessions with just Drake and producer John Wood, has endured well. The melding of acoustic guitar and piano, with whispered vocals, could have been recorded forty years later—indeed Drake has sold many times as many albums since his death in 1974.

4. Derek and the Dominos, “Layla” Clapton

Year: 1970

Price: $159.99

4. Derek and the Dominos Layla Clapton

Eric Clapton, Duane Allman, Bobby Whitlock, Carl Radle, and Jim Gordon produced a stellar studio album despite their short tenure as a band. The supergroup modernized interpretations of such classics as “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out” and “It’s Too Late,” as well as offering original compositions like “Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad?” and the legendary “Layla.”

5. Blondie Parallel Lines

Year: 1978

Price: $478.41

5. Blondie Parallel Lines

Parallel Lines is the third studio album by American rock band Blondie, released September 23, 1978. It reached No. 1 in Britain in February 1979 and was a commercial breakthrough for the band in the U.S., where it reached No. 6 sometime in April 1979.

6. The Rolling Stones – Some Girls

Year: 1978

Price: $125

6. The Rolling Stones - Some Girls

The Rolling Stones’ Some Girls is an album released on June 9, 1978. It was recorded in sessions that took place between October 1977 and February 1978 at Pathé Marconi Studios in Paris. The band’s chief songwriters—lead vocalist Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards—along with engineer Chris Kimsey, completed production on Some Girls, the band’s 14th UK and 16th US release.

7. The Band: The Last Waltz

Year: 1978

Price: $199.95

7. The Band The Last Waltz

The Last Waltz was a concert featuring The Band and held on American Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1976, at Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. The Band dubbed their final concert “The Last Waltz,” and they were joined by more than a dozen special guests, including their previous employers Ronnie Hawkins and Bob Dylan, as well as, Bobby Charles, Paul Butterfield, Muddy Waters Eric Clapton, Dr. John, Ronnie Wood, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Ringo Starr, Neil Diamond, and Neil Young.

8. Iggy and The Stooges, Raw Power

Year: 1973

Price: $75.89

8. Iggy and The Stooges, Raw Power

Raw Power, a 1973 album by the rock band the Stooges, is considered one of the finest hard rock recordings of all time. The Stooges’ third album differed from their first records. Their new guitarist, James Williamson, influenced the band’s change to a more hard-rocking sound on the album. Though it was not initially a commercial success, Raw Power gained a cult following among listeners of the album through the years following its release.

9. Allman Brothers Band: Eat A Peach

Year: 1972

Price: $47

9. Allman Brothers Band Eat A Peach

The Allman Brothers Band made Eat a Peach in 1972, an album that contains a mix of live and studio recordings. It followed their breakthrough success with the live album At Fillmore East (1971).

10. Bob Dylan: Blood On The Tracks

Year: 1975

Price: $41.09

10. Bob Dylan Blood On The Tracks

Dylan’s truly remarkable output of albums during the 1960s (including 1963’s The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, 1965’s Highway 61 Revisited, and 1966’s Blonde on Blonde) is the main reason that he is so highly regarded by critics and fellow musicians. But his finest album came in 1975, when he made one of rock ’n’ roll’s most jaw-dropping comebacks with the striking, emotional Blood on the Tracks.

11. Sex Pistols: Never Mind The Bollocks Vinyl Record

Year: 1977

Price: $72.25

11. Sex Pistols Never Mind The Bollocks Vinyl Record

Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols, named after the popular catchphrase “Never mind the bollocks, here’s the Sex Pistols”, is an album recorded by the alternative rock band Sex Pistols in 1977. The album has influenced many musicians and bands, and the industry in general. It is frequently listed as one of the most influential albums of all time and one of the best punk albums.

12. The Ramones: Ramones

Year: 1976

Price: $36.99

12. The Ramones Ramones

Ramones is the debut album by American punk rock band Ramones, released on April 23, 1976, by Sire Records. The cover photo for the album, taken by Roberta Bayley for Punk magazine, features the four band members leaning against a brick wall in New York City.

13. The Who: Who’s Next

Year: 1971

Price: $31.99

13. The Who Who’s Next

Next is the fifth studio album by English rock band the Who. It came about from the aborted Lifehouse project, a multi-media rock opera written by the group’s guitarist Pete Townshend as an extension of their 1969 release Tommy. The Who released Who’s Next on 14 August 1971; it was an immediate success. Now regarded by many critics as that band’s best album, it is also considered by many to be one of the greatest albums of all time.

14. The Beatles Let It Be

Year: 1970

Price: $59.89

14. The Beatles Let It Be

Let It Be is the twelfth and final studio album by the English rock band the Beatles. Released in tandem with a documentary of the same name, it was released on 8 May 1970. The Beatles’ Let It Be album came to be seen as one of the most controversial rock albums in history.

15. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Déjà Vu

Year: 1970

Price: $102.93

15. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Déjà Vu

Crosby, Stills & Nash’s second album, Déjà Vu, was released in March 1970 by Atlantic Records. The album “Deja Vu” by Crosby, Stills & Nash reached the number one spot on the albums chart for a week and generated three Top 40 singles: “Woodstock”, “Teach Your Children”, and “Our House”.

16. Al Green – “Explores Your Mind”

Year: 1974

Price: $45

16. Al Green - “Explores Your Mind”

American singer Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” was released on his 1972 album of the same name. It was produced by Willie Mitchell, recorded, and mixed by Mitchell and Terry Manning. In 1971, “Let’s Stay Together” reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and remained on the chart for 16 weeks.

17. John Lennon: Imagine

Year: 1971

Price: $33.67

17. John Lennon Imagine

Imagine is the second studio album by singer-songwriter John Lennon, released in 1971 by Apple Records. Imagine was critically acclaimed and commercially successful after its release, reaching number one on the UK Albums Chart and US Billboard 200.

18. LP David Bowie: Low

Year: 1977

Price: $49.99

18. LP David Bowie Low

Bowie’s twelfth album was Low, released on January 14th 1977. In later decades, critics rated Low as one of David Bowie’s best albums. It influenced bands like Joy Division and has been regularly ranked as one of the greatest albums ever made. Its drum sound has been widely imitated.

19. Micheal Jackson: Off The Wall

Year: 1979

Price: $33.99

19. Micheal Jackson Off The Wall

Originally released on August 10, 1979, Off the Wall is the fifth album by Michael Jackson. It was his first album released through Epic Records and produced by Quincy Jones. Over 20 million copies of Off the Wall have been sold worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time.

20. Patti Smith: Horses

Year: 1975

Price: $31.02

20. Patti Smith Horses

Horses was the debut album of American singer-songwriter Patti Smith, released in 1975. At the time of its release, the album Horses placed in the top 50 of the American Billboard 200 albums chart and received widespread acclaim from music critics.

21. George Harrison: All Things Must Pass Deluxe

Year: 1970

Price: $71.73

21. George Harrison All Things Must Pass Deluxe

All Things Must Pass is a triple album by English rock musician George Harrison released in November 1970, months after the break-up of The Beatles. All Things Must Pass was a huge success on its release. It stayed at number one on charts all over the world.

22. Neil Young: After The Gold Rush

Year: 1970

Price: $33.88

22. Neil Young After The Gold Rush

After the Gold Rush is the third album by Canadian-American musician Neil Young, released in September 1970 on Reprise Records. When the album “After the Gold Rush” reached number eight on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart, the two singles taken from it, “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” and “When You Dance I Can Really Love”, peaked at number 33 and number 93 respectively on the Billboard Hot 100.

23. Carole King: Tapestry

Year: 1971

Price: $25.55

23. Carole King Tapestry

Tapestry is an album by singer-songwriter Carole King, released in 1971 on Ode Records. It was produced by Lou Adler. In 1972, “Carole King’s” “Tapestry” won four Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year. The lead singles from the album—”It’s Too Late” and “I Feel the Earth Move”—spent five weeks at number one on both the Billboard Hot 100 and other charts.

24. Stevie Wonder: Songs In The Key Of Life

Year: 1976

Price: $34.07

24. Stevie Wonder Songs In The Key Of Life

Motown star Stevie Wonder celebrated his independence from the Motown machine by releasing this album, even more extravagantly packaged than the Beatles’ White Album. He played, sang and produced all 21 tracks, handling virtually the majority of the instrument and vocal parts.

25. Elvis Costello: My Aim Is True

Year: 1978

Price: $32.07

25. Elvis Costello My Aim Is True

Elvis Costello’s debut album, My Aim Is True, was originally released in the United Kingdom on 22 July 1977. When Costello’s debut album, “My Aim Is True”, was released in 1977, it was met with critical acclaim and appeared on several year-end lists. Many commentators consider it one of Costello’s finest works, one of the best debut albums in music history, and it has appeared on numerous best-of lists.

What Is A Vinyl Record?

What Is A Vinyl Record

A vinyl record is an analog audio recording that’s been pressed in vinyl. The vinyl itself is a synthetic resin or plastic of polyvinyl chloride or other related polymer used for things like wallpapers and records.

LP is a famous abbreviation in the Vinyl world and it means Long Play, it is a type of vinyl record that can hold an entire album. The 44 RPM holds only one song while the 331/3 RPM holds an album (LP).

The audio sound is carved onto the spiral groove on the surface of the record starting on the outer edge of the platter. The undulations in the groove are the analog version of the original acoustic waves of the song.

When you place the platter or the record on the record player and place the needle on it to begin playing, the needle (stylus) is placed in the groove. The stylus oscillates as the platter rotates.

These oscillations become electrified and the signals are sent to the speakers which then transmit them out as sounds.

How Much Are Old Vinyl Records Worth?

Determining the worth of a vinyl record requires some research on your part especially if you have one in your possession that you think is rare and valuable. You just might find that you aren’t the only one who has it and someone else has put theirs for sale on eBay.

On average, vinyl records on eBay are worth $15. Values further vary significantly. Some are only worth cents, others are worth up to $50. As you can see on this list I’ve provided the sentiments often put on antique things that can cause a spike in their worth. And sometimes rarity makes the vinyl record even more valuable than the average record.

Some of the records in the list up there were rare from the beginning as only a few of the records were pressed in the 70s.

If you have stacks of old vinyl records in your home and you are interested in selling them, you have to research their prices online. Check eBay or related sites for their value. Your record just might be worth thousands of dollars.

What Is The Most Expensive Vinyl Record?

What Is The Most Expensive Vinyl Record
Wu-Tang Clan: Once Upon A Time in Shaolin

The most expensive vinyl record ever sold was the Wu-Tang Clan: Once Upon A Time in Shaolin in 2015. It was the only copy that was ever produced of the record. Thes sale conditions stipulate that the buyer may not sell or make money from the record for 100 years.

The owner may release the record to the public for free should they choose. However, the record is now with the feds and still with them as far as anyone knows. The buyer of the record was Martin Shkreli, CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, the same man who bought out an anti-HIV drug and hiked the price. He has been convicted for securities fraud and sentenced to 20 years in jail. This is why the feds have the Wu Tang Clan record now.

Where To Buy Vintage Vinyl Records

While services like Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Music have devalued the music format to simply being something you listen to, vinyl is still a physical representation of an album. This can be a good or bad thing for artists, but for buyers, it means the music is tangible.

You can see and feel the record before you buy it. This becomes even better when you find that awesome vintage vinyl record from your favorite band or songwriter.

Vinyl records are making a comeback in the world of music, thanks in part to their unique sound quality and the fact that they’re much more durable than CDs. Vinyl is incredibly popular with collectors and fans as well, which means good news for those of us who want to get our hands on some vinyl records of our own!

Of course, when you start looking for a place to buy vintage vinyl records, you need to know where to start. There are tons of places where you can buy them online, but not all are created equally. Let’s take a closer look at some great places where you can buy vintage vinyl records!

Thrift Stores

Thrift stores are a great place to find collectible, vintage vinyl. Usually, they have a large selection of vinyl, so you’re bound to find something you like. I usually go to Som Records or Smash Records, both located in Washington DC.

Sometimes they can be on the more expensive side, but if you know what your records are worth, then you won’t get ripped off. I have found albums in great condition at thrift stores for only a dollar!

Yard Sales

Yard sales are another great place to find good deals on vinyl records. A lot of old people sell their collections at yard sales and don’t know how much their albums are really worth. So it is possible to get them super cheap! Yard sales are also a good way to get rid of your own albums that you don’t want anymore by selling them yourself. This way you can make some money for new ones!

Online

eBay: The best place to buy vintage vinyl online is eBay. While the site can be overwhelming with over 20 million items listed at any given time, there are plenty of ways to make your search easier. For example, you can use their advanced search features or even use one of their partner sites to help narrow down your results.

Record Fairs

Record fairs are held all over the country and offer relatively inexpensive access to tons of music. Usually held in large venues, these fairs allow collectors from all over the area to gather together and sell their wares. It’s likely that everyone there is looking for something different so don’t be afraid to ask around if there’s something specific you’re looking for.

How To Properly Store Vinyl Records

How To Properly Store Vinyl Records

Have you ever had your favorite book eaten by rodents to the point where you can’t enjoy reading it anymore? This can happen with your vinyl as well.

They won’t be eaten by rats for sure, but other natural elements can cause damage and render your record useless. It is as much about the condition of storage than the exact place you store your vinyl records. This means, wherever you store your records, make sure of the following things:

Temperature

Consider the temperature of the room where you are storing the records. It has to be a cool place, but not too cool to the point of freezing. It must also not be too hot or the resin in the vinyl will cause the record to warp. Do not let the records be exposed to high temperatures for an extended period of time. Temperature controlled attics are some of the best places to store your vinyl records.

Humidity

High humidity can cause damage to your vinyl records over a long period of time. The record’s surface needs to always be free from moisture. High humidity causes the resin to soften in the record, causing it to stick to the paper material of the record jacket. It is recommended that you store vinyl at a humidity level of 30 to 40 percent.

Finished basements are a good option if you have one. They usually remain cool all year without becoming too humid.

Light

Avoid direct sunlight from reaching your LPs or any other source of ultraviolet light. Excessive light can damage your vinyls over time. Instead of somewhere by the window, choose a place that’s in the corner of the room but not too dark.

Pressure

You should consider letting your vinyls stand on their edge instead of laying them flat. When they are laid flat on a surface like table, floor or shelves, you are more likely to pile other things on them. Doing this puts any amount of pressure on the records which can cause them to warp or damage the grooves on the surface.

Cleaning

Always clean your records before storing them, especially if you’re doing this for the long term. Brush them with an anti-static brush to remove dust from the surface.

Final Thoughts

With vinyl records, bygones should not always be bygones. As you can see, there’s a lot of past music that can be enjoyed. You can always enjoy old music at any age. And you can also store them or sell them to make money. Or just be a collector, whatever moves your stylus.

For now, there are a number of factors to consider when pricing records from the era. Pricing varies per title, record label, and artist. There’s also no concrete formula for determining how much a record is worth and it ultimately depends on what a collector is looking to pay. However, some of these records have definitely increased in value since their original release, which is something that you should keep in mind if you decide to part ways with your well-loved collection.

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