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Classic Rock Vinyl

A Guide to Collecting Original Albums and Singles


Some really hard core Classic Rock fans are equally serious about the music and the medium that delivers it.

CDs and MP3s have long since eclipsed vinyl albums as the preferred medium for music. But much of what is considered Classic Rock was originally released on LP (Long Playing) albums and the two-song “singles” or “45’s” (so named because of the turntable speed at which they were played, 45 revolutions per minute) that were the medium of choice for radio airplay.

You Don’t Have To Be Rich, But It Helps

Like collectors of baseball cards and first day of issue stamps, Classic Rock album aficionados value vinyl albums on the basis of their physical condition, age, rarity, and popularity of the band or artist.
  • Signed copies of some Beatles LPs regularly sell for $3,000-$4,000
  • Signed albums by Led Zeppelin, The Who, and Pink Floyd will bring $300-$400, depending on their physical condition
  • At the low end, unsigned albums by major Classic Rock artists typically sell for $30-$40, or as much as three times their original cost
The artwork on some album covers can add significantly to their value. “Import” versions of some albums, released overseas, sometimes with different cover art or even titles than the U.S. version, are also highly prized.

It’s the Memories

Unlike Compact Discs and MP3 files, vinyl records are highly susceptible to surface scratches, dust, and nicks from the phonograph needles that translate the audio information in the grooves of the record into amplified electrical impulses reproduced by headphones or speakers.

In spite of this – or maybe even because of it – some collectors have pleasant memories associated with listening to the music when it was new. For them, even the pops, crackles, and dust distortion common in heavily used records, are an important part of the ambiance.

More About Vinyl

  • The Record Collectors Guild offers a concise history of vinyl recordings, and album covers, from the 1940s to present
  • Kix Software offers a comprehensive list of vinyl record price guides
  • MusicStack is a portal to literally thousands of online sources for used, rare, out of print and otherwise hard to find LPs and singles
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