The Rich Listening List

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Top Twenty records – highest prices achieved

Popsike is a popular source for historical  record values but doesn’t offer any statistical search facilities – at least not in the free version – and reported mean values are artificially reduced by the inclusion of low value reissues and below par condition copies. But borrowing from the excellent Jazz Collector Price Guide – famous for their “additions to the $1,000 bin” feature, with a little tweaking of their data, LJC brings you the all time Rich Listening List – the top twenty records by highest auction price.

Knowing that ebayer 2008soolynn didn’t pay for his Mobley 1568, I have knocked him out of the league, but  Mobley 1568 still holds first place, at just over $5,000, with seven records in the over-$3,000 superleague, and three Lee Morgans. No home should be without them. Good to see Tubby Hayes making to the Premier Division, at No. 17, with an eyewatering price for TAP 6  “After Lights Out” at $2608 !

Market forces…supply and demand

Though sellers routinely attach the word “megaRARE!!!” to any record they haven’t seen more than two copies of this week, there is a relationship between price and availability in line with the Economics for Dummies law of supply and demand. The highest price records come to market fairly frequently, suggesting they are indeed traded as investments rather than to play and keep.Or those sky high prices ensure copies are sought out by dealers and brought to market. You don’t have to be a banker to understand the free market. In fact most bankers probably know very little about the free market.

By counting only auction results over $500 – a rough and ready line to capture the most desirable copies-  LJC offers the Top Twenty Rich Listening List by number of “premium quality” copies sold. These are invariably the Mint Minus or Ex/Ex copies sought by the discerning but well-heeled collector. Though Rollin’s Saxophone Colossus never scales the dizzy price heights of Mobley 1568, it tops the chart in the number of premium quality copies sold (20).


No database claims to have a comprehensive list of all records ever sold on eBay, so there are limits, whereby both Popsike and Jazz Collector may cover only a proportion of total sales. Nevertheless they offer a useful insight into what is on the Rich Listening List, and what titles you should add to your begging letter to Santa this year.

Right now Santa is in his North Pole cave, music turned up loud, tapping his feet to some fine vintage jazz and a glass of brandy in hand to wash down this evening’s rather tough reindeer-kebabs. Poor Donner.

6 thoughts on “The Rich Listening List

  1. Usually links to digitally streaming versions of the music on this blog seem to be against the grain, since the blog is all about the magic sound of vinyl. However, since there are some records listed here that many of us may never own, I went ahead and put together a Spotify playlist of the ones that are available, at least in the US:

    Here’s is the HTML for embedding the playlist…perhaps it will work here in the comments field…let’s give it a go:

  2. Supply and demand or folks “knowing what something is worth” and bidding accordingly… ? I tend to feel that with a lot of these high price items its the latter. I mean surely there is a copy of Blue Train out there for every jazz loving collector on the planet!

    • I have my copy of Blue Train, its a second press on NY labels, but I am very happy with it, no urge to upgrade. I make no judgement, to the contrary, every record on those top twenty list is superb music.

      I repeat the joke:
      Come on doc, give it to me straight, How long have I got? I can take it.
      Ten what, ten years? ten months? weeks?
      Nine; eight…

      When they give me the bad news I order an Avid Acutus Reference and Mobley 1568, immediate delivery.

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