Do you have old records collecting dust in the basement? If so, you could be sitting on a small fortune. Vinyl records are making a comeback and some of those albums are worth a lot of money.
Heidi Schanz keeps a nice selection of vinyl on hand at “Souvenir,” her antiques and collectibles shop on Madison Avenue in Lakewood. In fact, her Hi-Fi stereo is the only source of music in the place.
“Vinyl to me is more real. I don’t know how else to describe it,” she said, explaining to Call For Action Reporter Lorrie Taylor why she prefers vinyl records over CDs.
It turns out Schanz isn’t the only one who’s fallen in love with the sound of vinyl.
“I’m selling more vinyl in the last year than I’ve sold in the last 20 years,” said Scott Shepard from Time Traveler, a music store in Cuyahoga Falls.
He told Taylor old records in mint condition don’t just sound great, they can be worth a lot of money.
“Just got to know what to look for,” he said.
Shepard said 60s British invasion music is in big demand; groups like the Beatles, the Dave Clark Five, the Zombies and the Animals are all the rage.
“Well of course the 50s stuff too, like Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly all the 50s rock and rollers,” he explained.
Old records in superb shape can bring outrageous prices. For instance, the Beatles “Yesterday and Today” album featuring the infamous butcher cover, which showed chopped up baby dolls covered in simulated blood is a rare find. It was recalled the same day it was released back in the mid 60s, but not before a few copies were sold to the public. Original copies have sold for thousands of dollars; one sold at auction for $4,000, another one went for $10,000.
“Please Please Me was their first album in England,” said Shepard, explaining why some copies of the Beatles’ album bring higher prices.
He’s selling a copy of “Please Please Me” for $29. He told Taylor it would bring a much higher price if it were in perfect condition. An original “Please, Please Me” in really good shape would be a couple hundred dollars, easily,” he said.
Perfection begins inside the album cover. Shepard said a record needs to be shiny black and free of scratches. The cover itself has to be equally unblemished. No wear, no tears, no water stains and no magic marker.
“You can take a $50 album and if it’s got writing all over it, it’s a $5 album at the most,” laughed Shepard.
To Schanz, one album cover is as priceless as the next, each one prompting an unforgettable trip down memory lane.