Auction Results

$30k record for rare Velvet Underground single


The Velvet Underground

A copy of the Velvet Underground’s All Tomorrow’s Parties single has sold for $30,000 setting an online auction record.

The 7-inch vinyl promo single from 1966 is one of only 10 known copies from an unknown but small number originally issued.

The single, backed with I’ll Be Your Mirror, was recorded in 1966 and released as the Velvet Underground’s debut record.

Despite a cult following and their association with Andy Warhol, arguably the most famous artist in the world at the time, The Velvet Underground were not commercially successful during their career.

Warhol was credited as a producer on the Velvet Underground’s first releases.

But they were very influential on later artists.

That means a big demand for a small supply of some of their records in their original issue states.

Early copies of the debut album, The Velvet Underground and Nico, featuring a gimmick cover designed by Warhol with a peel-off banana sticker are among the most valuable of their releases. Copies can make hundreds of pounds.

This single, though, is even more scarce.

Promos were made for record stations or shops. Record labels gave them away in the hope that they would be played and attract sales for the real issue. Experts usually expect a promo copy of a record to make around 50% more than a standard issue.

It’s safe to assume that most All Tomorrow’s Parties promos ended up in bins – the band weren’t popular, and huge numbers of a very large number of releases were issued in the 1960s heyday of recorded music.

This example, sold through an online sales site, set a record for the site and is among the most valuable singles ever sold.

In 2020 a copy of Frank Wilson’s “Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) reportedly sold for £100,000. It’s a Northern Soul classic, a genre that prized rarity more than any other.

Despite the explosion in digital music, vinyl records continue to be prized for their unique sound quality and longevity.

But for vintage vinyl to have value it must be the right record and it must find the right buyer. In this case, the Velvets have finally come home to someone who really loves them.

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