Rare Elvis records are often amongst some of the most valuable works in music today, sometimes worth thousands with select pieces fetching tens of thousands of dollars.
But what makes an Elvis record valuable in the first place?
The rarer Elvis vinyls have unique features that make them valuable to passionate fan bases and obsessive collectors including limited release, interesting misprints or quirky additions with them all holding a special place in listener’s hearts.
Let’s find out more about some rare Elvis records that are worth a fortune.
9. Aloha From Hawaii – Chicken Of Sea Sticker (1973)
Approximate value: $3,500
Aloha from Hawaii via Satellite is a concert recording featuring Elvis Presley from Honolulu International Center and was broadcast live ‘via satellite to audiences’ across Asia and Oceania in early 1973.
Presley made his tour return throughout the United States in 1970 and a deal arranged between RCA Records and the NBC network to produce a live gig vinyl with benefits going to the Kui Lee Cancer Fund.
The extremely rare ‘Chicken of the Sea’ records are worth up to $3,500. These particular vinyls feature a yellow sticker in the shape of planet Saturn displaying promotional information about the event. Towards the top of each label proudly sits the sponsor’s name – American Seafood company Chicken of the Sea.
8. Speedway – Mono LP (1968)
Approximate value: $5,000
In 1968, an original soundtrack to the movie Speedway starring Elvis Presley and Nancy Sinatra was released by RCA Victor. The vinyl became a real collector’s item with its bonus photo and sticker inserts.
Speedway consists of twelve songs including the title track ‘Speedway,’ ‘Western Union’ and closing track ‘Suppose.’ This record is one of the rarest of Elvis’ regular commercially released albums. Whilst Stereo recordings are easier to locate, Mono versions are extremely scarce and each worth in the region of $5,000.
7. Moody Blue – Purple Vinyl (1977)
Approximate value: $5,000
Moody Blue is Elvis Presley’s twenty-fourth and final studio album. It was released in July 1977 by RCA Records and just four weeks before his death.
The record was a blend of live performance and studio work that included four tracks from Presley’s final sessions in October 1976 plus two tracks left over from the Graceland recordings earlier that year.Also recorded at these sessions were the songs ‘Way Down’ and ‘She Thinks I Still Care’ with the album certified Gold and Platinum in the Autumn of 1977.
The first copies of Moody Blue printed in America were pressed on limited edition translucent blue vinyl. However, other gold, red, white and green coloured vinyls were pressed – worth around $1,200. A pressing known as ‘splash purple’ has an estimated valuation of $5,000.
6. Elvis Presley LP – Most Talked About New Personality (1956)
Approximate value: $6,000
Released in March 1956, Most Talked About New Personality is a variation of the classic Elvis Presley LP. It includes all twelve songs from the original record such as ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ and ‘Tutti-Frutti.’
This promotional two-record vinyl release, pressed with three songs per side, uses the same front cover as the classic LP but has an unusual green tinted photo of Elvis with the words “the most talked-about personality in the last ten years of music” plastered across the top of its cover design. The variation has an approximate worth of $6,000.
5. Can’t Help Falling In Love – 33 RPM Limited Edition (1962)
Approximate value: $8,000
Released in 1961, the single ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’ is from Elvis Presley’s album Blue Hawaii. It sold over one million copies in the US in the 45 RPM format and these are widely available making them less valuable.
However, limited edition 33 RPM singles can be worth a fortune. Copies in near-mint condition with the “Hula” sleeve are worth an incredible $8,000.
4. That’s All Right – Sun Records Misprint 45 (1954)
Approximate value: $15,000
Elvis Presley’s debut single ‘That’s All Right’ was recorded and released in July 1954 with ‘Blue Moon of Kentucky’ as the B-side. In 2010, the song was ranked number one hundred and thirteen on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.” It was the first of five singles Elvis released on the Sun label.
The first pressing misprint is rare. American record producer Sam Phillips was reportedly keen to release Elvis’ first recording and as such no-one noticed that its B-Side catalog number 209 was printed upside down. It was quickly caught and subsequent pressings were corrected.
In general, Sun pressings were known to have been pressed with a 78 RPM gauge needle and thus have the infamous “Sun hiss.” When these Elvis 45s are played on modern equipment the sound quality is noticeably grainy. This rare Elvis record is said to be worth $15,000.
3. Elvis Christmas Album (1957)
Approximate value: $18,000
Elvis’ Christmas Album is only his third studio album, and his first Christmas album. The record spent four weeks at number one on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the album and its reissues have sold in excess of 17 million copies in the United States alone.
Along with the original red booklet-like album cover that featured promotional photos from Presley’s third movie Jailhouse Rock, rarer versions have a gold foil price tag-shaped “gift giving” sticker attached to the shrink wrap – which reads “TO __, FROM __, ELVIS SINGS.”
Original copies featuring mint-condition gold stickers, red vinyl and red album covers with gold print down the spine are incredibly valuable, and worth something in the region of $18,000.
2. Good Luck Charm – Single (1962)
Approximate value: $24,000
Published by Gladys Music, Elvis Presley’s publishing company, the single ‘Good Luck Charm’ reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 list in April 1962. It remained at the top of the charts for two weeks.
The value of this single lies in its significance as a mono record. It was one of the last major mono recordings available in record stores before the stereo revolution truly began to take hold. With an estimated worth of up to $24,000, compact 33 RPM single ‘Good Luck Charm’ also has the track ‘Anything That’s Part of You’ on the flip side.
1. My Happiness (1953)
Approximate value: $240,000
‘My Happiness’ is the first song that Elvis Presley ever recorded. In 1953, 18-year-old Presley paid just $4 for the privilege of recording at Sun Records in Memphis. Its B-side is ‘That´s When Your Heartaches Begin’ with both songs clocking in at a run time of around 5 minutes and 40 seconds.
The vinyl is deemed the rarest and most valuable Elvis record in existence. It is hugely culturally significant, and represents a truly treasured piece of music history. In January 2015, an anonymous internet buyer, later disclosed as White Stripes’ Jack White, forked out $240,000 for the 78 RPM record.
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