The 60s is one of the most cherished decades in the history of music.
It was a decade that spawned endless musical experimentation, ground-breaking production, and some of the greatest songs ever written.
It’s not a surprise, then, that some of the most coveted and most valuable records of all time were produced in the 60s.
Whether for their unique cover art, cultural significance, and their scarcity, a number of 60s records are deemed to be of significant value, and are highly coveted by collectors and fans.
These records hold not only sentimental value, but also have huge monetary value, with some commanding thousands, if not hundreds-of-thousands of dollars.
Let’s find out about the 60s records that have become the most-coveted collectors’ items.
10. ‘Love Me Do’ / ‘P.S. I Love You’ – The Beatles (1962)
Approximate value: $20,000
The Beatles first single, released in 1962, was ‘Love Me Do’ and it features on the band’s debut album Please Please Me.
The famous album was produced in one session with the group performing each song in a minimal number of takes, including the lead single ‘Love Me Do’ and its B-side.
Promotional copies of their first UK single were part of an extremely limited print run of approximately 250 copies. These 45s are an incredibly rare find, and amongst collectors have fetched up to $20,000.
9. ‘Street Fighting Man’ – The Rolling Stones (1968)
Approximate value: $22,600
In 1968, Rolling Stones’ record ‘Street Fighting Man’ was banned across the US, largely a result of its cover design. It was heavily criticised for its imagery that depicted race riots, with the theme of protest coming through prominently in the track’s lyrical content.
The pressings with their offending picture sleeves were quickly withdrawn following record label London Records’ decision to quash any social pressures surrounding it.
The actual recording itself is also a rare iteration of the song featuring a different vocal track, an additional piano that wasn’t present on the version from album Beggar’s Banquet. A copy of this extremely rare vinyl sold in 2022 for $22,600.
8. ‘Good Luck Charm’ – Elvis Presley (1962)
Approximate value: $24,000
Elvis Presley’s own publishing company Gladys Music, released his single ‘Good Luck Charm’ in 1962, with the song reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 list. A huge commercial success, it remained at top of the chart for two weeks.
The single’s significance makes it of some value. ‘Good Luck Charm’ was one of the last major mono recordings available to buy in record shops before stereo took hold. This compact 33-rpm single also features B-side ‘Anything That’s Part of You’ with an estimated worth of up to $24,000.
7. The Velvet Underground & Nico – The Velvet Underground (1967)
Approximate value: $25,000
It’s surprising to think that this Velvet Underground album didn’t sell well upon first release. Today, the record is regarded as one of the most influential releases in rock history.
Pop art icon Andy Warhol was responsible for designing The Velvet Underground & Nico’s cover work which features the instantly-recognisable banana design.
However, what makes a select number of copies exceptionally rare is the fact that their banana motif takes the form of a peelable sticker and includes the enticing printed phrase “peel slowly and see” above it.
Original pressings of this record have previously fetched in the region of $25,000. However, they must be in impeccable condition with an intact banana sticker to attract such a sum.
6. ‘Ask Me Why’ / ‘Anna (Go to Him)’ – The Beatles (1962)
Approximate value: $35,000
This variation of the Beatles first 45 RPM release is one of the most valuable records in the entirety of music history.
The original UK version was a double-sided vinyl containing side-A track ‘Please, Please Me’ and B-side ‘Ask Me Why.’ Yet these very rare 45s pressings, released on the Vee-Jay Record Label, didn’t actually feature ‘Please, Please Me’ at all.
Instead, these variants combined the two tracks ‘Ask Me Why’ and ‘Anna (Go to Him).’ Making up part of the Beatles American vinyl discography, these alternate 7-inch promo recordings are remarkably rare and typically sell for thousands of dollars.
Back in 2012, a near-pristine copy of the 7” sold for $35,000!
5. The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan – Bob Dylan (1963)
Approximate value: $35,000
Bob Dylan’s second LP The Freewheelin’ unexpectedly became one of the most influential 1960s records, helping to bring mainstream prominence to folk music.
Before its release in 1963, the record experienced last-minute changes with four songs replaced by newly devised tracks.
According to speculation at the time, Columbia Records (who were owned by CBS) ordered the removal of the original quartet of songs after their TV network censored Dylan’s performance of ‘Talkin’ John Birch Blues’ on The Ed Sullivan Show. Songs that eventually made the final cut instead include ‘Girl from the North Country’ and ‘Masters of War.’
Rare stereo copies with the original track listing have been sold for a remarkable $35,000 in mint condition.
4. Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) / Sweeter as the Days Go By – Frank Wilson (1965)
Approximate value: $37,000
This 45″ by Frank Wilson is the rarest of all his recordings. The vinyl features two Northern Soul tracks that originate from the mid-1960s British mod scene.
Reportedly just 250 of these demos were pressed, and Wilson ordered for all of the copies to be destroyed.
Two known copies survived the cull and remain in existence. Their rarity meaning they are worth a substantial sum. In 2009, one of them sold for over $37,000.
3. ‘Till There Was You’ / ‘Hello Little Girl’ – The Beatles (1963)
Approximate value: $107,000
Often touted as a “holy grail item” for collectors, this record was produced at London’s HMV store on Oxford Street and handed to producer George Martin at EMI, in an attempt to secure the Beatles a record deal.
The story goes that Fab Four manager Brian Epstein gave this rare 10-inch record to Gerry And The Pacemakers’ pianist Les Maguire in 1963. The record was finally uncovered in an attic fifty years later.
The vinyl contains the two tracks ‘Till There Was You’ and ‘Hello Little Girl.’
The wax disc bears Epstein’s handwriting along with a misspelling of the title “Hullo Little Girl” and even has a special credit to “Paul McCartney & the Beatles.”
In 2016, this one of a kind Beatles record sold for a staggering $107,600!
2. Yesterday And Today – ‘Butcher Cover’ – The Beatles (1966)
Approximate value: $125,000
This Beatles picture sleeve artwork has become known as the “Butcher Cover” and is amongst the band’s most infamous and controversial.
Featuring on the Beatles’ EP Yesterday and Today, the Fab Four are pictured in white coats, surrounded by cuts of fresh meat and various doll’s body parts.
Following public outrage, a more tame cover found its way onto shelves, replacing the shamed imagery.
There are apparently ten copies of the original “butcher cover” reported to exist, and back in 2016 a sealed copy commanded $125,000.
1. The White Album – First Pressing – The Beatles (1968)
Approximate value: $790,000
In a reported ploy to make them appear rare, each individual pressing of the first three million or so copies of The Beatles aka The White Album, feature a line of unique serial numbers on their cover sleeves.
The four band members were each presented with one of the first four vinyls to be pressed. The lowest numbers in the print run are deemed most valuable.
It was originally believed that John Lennon owned album 0000001, however, it was later discovered that Ringo Starr possessed the most sought after of all White Album discs.
In 2015, the drummer’s personal copy went up for auction and sold for a record-breaking price of $790,000!
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