Used vinyl can trade for hundreds, thousands, or in the case of some Beatles records, hundreds of thousands of dollars. And contrary to what some may think, big-money sales don’t always involve artists you’ve heard about. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
For example, connoisseurs of Northern Soul, the English scene that prizes obscure R&B records, rare records routinely trade hands for five figures. And now we have this sale of a debut record by a British DJ named Scaramanga Silk.
In 2008, he released his debut, Choose Your Weapon. This week, a copy of that record sold for US$41,095.89 on Discogs.com. It’s the biggest sale ever in the history of Discogs and one of the most expensive records ever sold, breaking the old Discogs record of US$27,500 for a copy of Prince’s infamous and deleted Black Album from 1987.
There were only 20 numbered copies ever made of the type that just sold: a promo vinyl edition that came with a CD, an art print and a poem. This copy was 02/20.
Everyone–including Scaramanga Silk–is confused. I quote him from The Guardian: “It is very difficult to understand why the release went for that kind of money, as I do not believe that any record is worthy of such a valuation. The individual who made the purchase must have had some kind of special connection to the work too … It means a lot that Choose Your Weapon is so special to somebody.”
How much does Silk earn from the sale? Zero.
By the way, the most expensive vinyl record ever sold remains a copy of The Beatles’ white album with the serial number 0000001. Ringo owned that one and sold it off for charity in 2015. It raised US$790,000.
I’d post a stream of Silk’s Choose your Weapon, but it doesn’t seem to appear anywhere. If you want to hear it, you’ll have to come up with more than US$41,095.89