Updated: Oct 13, 2021
Vinyl records have caused a resurgence in physical media due to their nostalgia and collectability.
Why not Compact Discs?
Any avid collector of the fading media would agree that there are many reasons why they should have a similar resurgence as vinyl.
I recently wrote an article stating 5 Reasons Why CD’s Need to Come Back and I stand by it. With the interest that the article created I got curious about which CD’s out in circulation are the most expensive and why? Here are some of the most expensive and sought-after compact discs today:
Wu-Tang Clan - Once Upon A Time in Shaolin
This beyond-obscure album by hip hop veterans, Wu-Tang Clan, only had one copy that ever sold.
The album brought $2 Million Dollars at auction!
The album’s original owner, Martin Shkreli, was in the process of selling it and was incarcerated before the sale could be finalized.
The federal court later seized his assets, including the one-of-a-kind album.
Although many fans had a poor reaction to the single copy produced by the group, Wu-Tang Clan did make it into the Guinness Book of World Records for the most valuable album in the world.
**This entry doesn’t really count because it’s not in current circulation, I just thought it was worth the mention**
Now That’s What I Call Music 4 (1984)
Many of you may remember these discs first surfacing in the late 1990’s, however this particular album from 1984 is incredibly rare and is valued at $750.
With songs from legends like Queen, U2, and Paul McCartney it’s no wonder this was a favorite in the 80’s.
A true find for any thrift store hunter.
Eminem – Slim Shady EP
Eminem is a household name in the Hip Hop industry, selling over 220 million albums worldwide and having earned 50 platinum album certifications stateside.
It is not surprising that his first and rarest album can sell for upwards of $2,800.
I held this album in my hand at one point, however I didn’t buy it.
Dummy right? Only 500 copies were made, making it incredibly rare.
Various- The Music of Grand Theft Auto V (Original Music, Score and Soundtrack)
I was surprised to see the box set from Rockstar’s fifth installment of the popular video game go anywhere from $250 to upwards of $500 on eBay and similar sites.
Many current artists wrote songs specifically for this set making it somewhat of a unique addition to anyone’s collection.
Paris Hilton- Paris (Featuring Danger Mouse & Artwork by Banksy)
Paris Hilton’s pop album she released in 2008 was not very well received by the media nor the consumers who took a chance on the American socialite.
However, two individuals thought they could help promote her failing project by creating a satirical tribute album featuring remixes by Danger Mouse and the elusive artwork of art prankster and philosopher Banksy.
They were secretly placed in the racks of two UK chain stores (HMV & Virgin) to appear as if they had not been modified.
Only 500 copies were exposed to the public making a rare and interesting find for anyone who comes across it.
Some of these have sold for as much as $7,000 for a copy in auction!
Most of the more expensive finds are going to be rare box sets, limited releases and overseas (Japanese/European) exclusives. Artists to look out for when hunting are box sets by Coil, Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, and Grateful Dead. Those have been deemed the rarest and most expensive. All of them pricing well into the thousands of dollars.
This kind of search is the real adventure of being a collector and/or hobbyist.
It’s a true treasure hunt to find a rare and expensive piece of music history and It’s completely reasonable to assume that if you hit enough estate sales, garage sales, thrift stores, and even online marketplaces you just may be able to find one.
Don’t forget to bring your phone so you can check on pricing online because you never know how rare an album can be.
**Visit my YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/audioarkitekts for some visual content!**