Little Anthony & The Imperials, We Are…, End 303, 1959
Not to sound like a broken record, but I always buy any reasonably priced 50s record. Not just because I usually get one home and find a pleasant surprise when I look it up in my trusty Goldmine Record Album Price Guide, but also because they are really fun to listen to. This record was a little bit of both.
There were two price tags on this record. While I knew this record would be valuable, the $100 price tag meant I would never get to know what it sounded like. Then I noticed the second price tag. At $5, I didn’t have to think twice about buying it. But what price tag was right? The clerk charged me $5, and I didn’t question him, so I raced home with it to look it up. It turns out that this little $5 record would also be a value at $100. Goldmine values We Are The Imperials at $250 for a good copy.
Sure, there is some hiss, but the record is a very good copy. The hit, Tears On My Pillow lead it off, but the whole album is filled with that classic New York Doo-Wop sound. Eagle-Eyed Neil Sedaka fans will notice The Diary on here. Sedaka was thrilled to present his best song to The Imperials for this record as a follow up to Tears…, but it didn’t chart. The failure of it was a shock to him to the point where he recorded it himself. It was his first single as an artist, and a pretty good sized hit. But trivia aside, I found a real gem $245 under value!
Cost: $5, $37 Remaining
Gene Pitney, Only Love Can Break A Heart, Musicor MS-3003, 1962
I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating, sometimes you just get lucky. I know, given the acts that get nominated these days to it, that not many people will recognize that Gene Pitney is a member of the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. This does look like your standard issue early 1960s Teen Idol record, but Gene Pitney was much more than that. This was one of the first big records for the writing team of burt Bacharach & Hal David, and Pitney went on to be the first person to work with and record with The Rolling Stones’ writing team of Mick Jagger & Keith Richards.
So, finding this record, in a stereo version no less (but with severe ring wear), was semi-exciting for me. While I really like his mid-sixties hits, I’m not a huge fan of his early records. Still, realizing the packaging was really unique, especially for 1962, I thought I found something pretty rare. The picture on the cover is actually a a full color, album sized, glossy photo of Gene that sides out. I’m sure most of these would have been tacked up to a wall soon after purchase, making the complete package pretty rare.
It wasn’t until I got home and checked my handy Goldmine Record Album Price Guide that I realized that this record is (or was, by my 2013 edition) valued at $50! A price guide can be a very handy thing to invest in, mostly for moments like this. There’s no reason to go out and get a brand new one, frankly it would be a miracle to find anyone who would give me $50 for this record, let alone what it is valued at in the 2016 edition of the same book, so looking at a used bookstore or online for a version that is a few years old. Not only will it cost a fraction of the new version, but the prices will be more in line with reality of where the market for these records really is. I view the $50 value of this record to really tell me that it is rare. I’m sure the unique packaging helps more than the music, but it tells me that I made a pretty decent discovery in finding this.
Cost: $5, $736 Remaining
$71 Spent, $2.36 per record