Selling Your Jazz Record Collection (Blue Note)
Like most genres, jazz on vinyl has some records more valuable than others with labels such as Blue Note, Prestige and Tempo often commanding big prices. Although there is quality music produced in all eras of jazz it tends to be the fifties and early sixties which produce the greatest interest in collecting circles. Unquestionably the most collectable label is Blue Note with original US copies selling for sometimes above four figures; artists such as Hank Mobley and Sonny Clarke fetch anything up to £4.000.
How to tell if you have an original Blue Note will depend on the year of issue with factors such as label addresses, deep groove or what is stamped on the run off all giving vital information. Label address is the company adress which runs around the edge of the label for example “47 WEST 63rd St”, from this you can determine what period the record was manufactured.
Alongside US manufacturing the Blue Note label was released in other countries including Europe and Japan, both Japanese and UK originals of early Blue Note originals were manufactured on alternative labels, Japan on King and the UK on Esquire. Original US Blue Note copies are still the most sought after, although it is worth pointing out records particularly on the Esquire label are gaining in value.
In this last paragraph I have noted a few general points to help determine whether your jazz record collection might have some monetary value, firstly you need to establish if the records are original issues, originals can sell for many times the value of later reissues. Secondly the most collectable style of jazz tends to be small combos from the 1950s and early 60s; early jazz although equal in quality of music does not tend to generate the same enthusiasm in the vinyl collectors world. Lastly as with all vinyl collecting condition is paramount, a rough condition record will generally fetch only a small percentage of a near perfect copy.
Rare and collectable Flexi disc.
Most flexi discs, usually given free with magazines in the 70s and 80s, have little or no value. They were taped to the front of publications as varied as New Musical Express or Jackie Magazine. Because they were very flimsy most flexis are not known for there great sound quality and many tend to get a little damaged along the way.
Although the majority have little value there are some that have become very collectable, probably the flexi which has achieved the greatest price tag is a farely recent release by Jack White's (Red Stripes) "Third Man" Record label. On April 1st 2012 Jack White released 1000 Blue Helium balloons from the rooftop of his Nashville record pressing plant. attached to the balloon was a certificate and a limited edition copy of his "Freedom At 21" release. An unkown number of the records were found making this a very rare and collectable item with copies going for around the £1000 mark.
A more common but very collectable series of flexi is the Beatles Christmas flexi which was released every year from 1963 to 1969. These flexis usually sell for around £100. The discs usually have a combination of comedy skits, christmas carols and general thank yous from the band for the support they have had from their fans over the year. I have listed the Beatles UK Christmas flexi discography below.
Other rare flexi's include the first Orange Juice debut release with postcard this sells regularly for several hundred pounds. and for around £30 a compilation EP released by Keel Rag Records which includes the track "A Little Piece Of Leather" by Hipster Image who were later to become the Climax Blues Band. This record might have lost some of its reputation as it is introduced by a certain cigar toking 60s DJ.