Do you feel like you were born in the wrong generation? Is your spiritual time in the 60s and 70s, when love was free and the music was amazing? Do you have any records from that time that you might like to sell?
Well, step forth and fight out which of them is worth a bunch as we explore 11 of the most valuable records from the 60s and 70s today.
1. Tommy by the Who
From a time when the Who was truly at the peak of its powers, they provide an entire rock opera in an album with this release, offering forth ambitious storytelling and immense musicality.
As rock operas go, this is widely regarded as one of the first rock operas – if not the first, then certainly one of the most influential to ever do it so early on. Telling the story of a deaf, dumb, and blind boy called Tommy who later becomes a pinball champion and all-around spiritual figure, the album delves into themes of trauma, enlightenment, and the sheer power of music.
Spiritually, then, this is already one of the most valuable vinyl records, but there are also certain pressings that command quite a material price when put up for sale. Namely, these are the UK Track Records editions which feature a laminated sleeve and are prized by collectors overall.
2. Rumours by Fleetwood Mac
Acres on from their debut album, Fleetwood Mac offer forth one of the most 70s albums going. Honestly, try and find a more 70s pop-rock album, we implore you. The album cover alone is enough to incite dread that you don’t know enough about the 70s to be rightfully talking about it.
A great commercial and critical success in its time, this album has only gone on to achieve a universal appeal. One would be hardpressed to find someone who doesn’t like at least one song from this landmark album.
If you are looking to sell this record, then you are going to benefit more the earlier your pressing is from. Those with the RL mastering initials in particular are highly sought after by collectors, making one of the most valuable records available today, at least from these eras.
3. Electric Ladyland by Jimi Hendrix
Don’t let the neon fire of this album cover fool you! The original cover of this vinyl record was altogether far more salacious and raunchy. The initial concept for the studio album cover was for Jimi Hendrix to be surrounded by a whole swathe of naked women, hence the title, Electric Ladyland.
Initial copies clearly rubbed polite white America up the wrong, and so these copies were discontinued and replaced with an altogether more sanitary picture of Hendrix’s face close-up, albeit appearing to be in the moment of climax.
This was his final studio album, so the instrumentals and song structures are about as experimental as he ever got on record – the guitars continue their forays into vast noise and feedback and everything else rushes to keep up.
If you are looking to sell, make sure you have a UK Track Records edition featuring the infamous banned cover as these are the most valuable.
4. Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys
Considered one of the best albums in all of pop music, in listening to this record we are treated to an innovative showcase of what makes Brian Wilson such a genius.
While the rest of the band was away fulfilling tour obligations, Wilson was left to his own devices in the studio and attempted to truly communicate the music of his soul. With the extensive list of session musicians known as the Wrecking Crew at his disposal, he was able to do all that he wished to do, experimenting with tone and harmony at the expense of his record label.
The results shocked some of his bandmates upon their return, but they soon came to love the beautiful music that poured forth from him.
First pressings in particular are going to fetch you the most cash, especially those rarer records in stereo with a “Duophonic” logo on the cover.
5. Blonde on Blonde by Bob Dylan
Delving further into his experiments eliding the previously great divide between folk and rock music, this influential double album followed up Highway 61 Revisited and further cemented his reputation for riling up both the rock and folk communities that he was so desperately trying to bring together.
This album features some of Dylan’s most revered songwriting, bearing 14 tracks that act as an exhibition of his varying and ever-evolving influences.
Shouldn’t every artist, instead of posturing and fulfilling a certain ideology, attempt to use all the tools at their disposal to create music that is uniquely their own? That’s what Dylan thought anyhow. And, rather than making our image of him clearer, the album’s cover art acts as a visual metaphor that the artist is
Early mono pressings and rare international pressings are among the pressings of this album that are going to fetch you the most when put up for sale.
6. The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars by David Bowie
Arguably Bowie’s first character portrait of an album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars is, for many, one of Bowie’s finest achievements.
Ziggy Stardust is likely Bowie’s most famous character creation, the one with whom he is most synonymous, even if Aladdin Sane is likely the image for which he is most famous.
Before long, Bowie was already onto greater pastures, experimenting with his body and mind further in creating even bolder and more provocative characters.
The earlier the pressing for this album is, the better and more expensive it will be, particularly those on the Mainman label in the UK. These especially command a great price when put up for auction.
7. Let It Bleed by the Rolling Stones
If ever there were a more apt soundtrack in rock and roll for the collapse of polite and moral society, the Rolling Stones would certainly have you covered. In particular, the track “Gimme Shelter” is likely one of the most apocalyptic tracks ever put to tape.
This apocalyptic air of decadence and decay is perfectly captured by the surreal album cover, featuring a bizarre multi-tiered cake, each hosting a separate tenet of society. We also hear this air of apocalyptic panic in the guest vocals of Merry Clayton whose contributions to “Gimme Shelter” were allegedly so intense that they caused her to miscarry her child.
If you are looking to sell, make sure you have as early a pressing as possible – preferably some promotional edition or another – as these are far more highly prized by collectors and, thus, will command a far higher fee.
8. Led Zeppelin by Led Zeppelin
Allegedly recorded in only 36 hours, this isn’t all that amazing when this was more or less the norm in a time when bands would enter a studio with songs already rewritten and ready to perform mostly live.
Just check out how fast a band like Hüsker Dü recorded the entire double album Zen Arcade in 40 hours at a time when studios were far more able to allow artists to be decadent.
Here, we are treated to a big dose of the signature elements of Led Zeppelin’s sound, a fusion of blues and folk with hard rock. The covers on this album are both appreciative of the source material while also evincing the band’s knack for ripping off black artists.
Keep a look out for first pressings, especially those with the turquoise lettering variant on the album cover which was pulled out of production for some unknown reason.
9. The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd
Likely the most famous and coveted concept albums of all time, Pink Floyd really took progressive rock and conceptual popular music to new heights with this release. You can hear the sheer amount of cash this record earned the band in the sound of cash registers in time on the track “Money”.
In contrast with Led Zeppelin, this album took quite some time to assemble together, though this clearly paid off when the album ended up spending a whopping 937 weeks (over 18 years) on the Billboard 200 Chart, one of the longest-charting album runs in history.
Everything about this album is iconic and over-saturated – it’s difficult to be amazed or surprised by what this album has to offer when all of the ideas presented therein have been digested and regurgitated so many times.
Keep a look out for early pressings of this record, particularly those with solid blue triangle labels as these are incredibly valuable.
10. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles
Not much can be said about this record that hasn’t already been said (and the same goes for all the others on here really). The iconic songs and forward-thinking production have been redigested and vomited back up over the past 50 years more times than anyone cares to know.
And, it’s not like this is fame and notoriety in posterity. The Beatles really were bigger than Jesus – this was the first rock album to win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year, already establishing itself as a groundbreaking work in the music industry (not that the Grammys are usually anything to go by).
Early pressings, such as the UK mono version, are to be sought out at all costs if your intention is garnering some big bucks.
11. Yesterday and Today by the Beatles
As far as rare records vinyl go, this is fairly rare and was incredibly controversial in its time for reasons that should be obvious.
Original pressings (like the one pictured below) featured an image of the Beatles dressed as butchers, covered in bonds of sausages and the severed parts of children’s dolls, the implication being that they are child murderers.
These limited pressings were quickly pulled from the shelves and replaced with a more sanitary photo of the Beatles sitting around not doing all that much. It’s crazy to think that the band thought that anyone would let this fly, though they are famous for having one of their members say that they are bigger than Jesus (something that can’t be untrue).
So, if you come across an album with this cover on it, cop it up instantly and sell it on.
So, there you have it! Hopefully, you are now feeling ready and able to approach the world of used 60s and 70s records!
FAQs Valuable Records from the 60s and 70s
Are albums from the 60s and 70s worth anything?
Yes, though not all of them. Just by existing in an older time, it doesn’t necessarily mean a record is worth anything. This was, after all, when records were most popular, so there would have been more of them, thus decreasing their rarity.
What 70s records are worth money?
There are plenty of ’70s records that are worth money, just as there are plenty of ’70s records that are worth absolutely nothing.
How do I find out what my vinyl records are worth?
The best and most efficient way to tell what your records are worth is to use a site like Discogs to accurately compare your record with the record on the site.
What old vinyl records are worth anything?
This will greatly depend on a) the popularity of the artist, b) the rarity of the issue in general, as well as c) the condition that the record is in.
Are any albums in the 70s worth anything?
Sure they are, though they are not inherently worth something just because they are from a different time. Such a world would be incredibly fetishistic for nostalgia.
How do I know if my old vinyl records are worth anything?
By using a site like Discogs to find out.