Are Later Pressings on The Rise?

I’m still gathering my thoughts to write the final chapter in my Confessions of a Vinyl Addict but in the meantime, I’ve noticed something interesting: For many of the rare records, it seems even early pressings that are not originals are increasing dramatically in value. We saw a few week ago several of the United Artists Blue Notes selling for more than $400, but those were clearly an aberration created by a seller who seems to have discovered some kind of new method of record sales based on the P.T. Barnum theory of a sucker being born every minute. We’re not talking about those $400 United Artists Blue Notes. But here’s one we were watching this week that was clearly not an original pressing: Sonny Rollins, A Night At the Village Vanguard, Blue Note 1581. This one has the New York USA label, so

it is not an original, although the seller uses the word “original” at least once in the listing. In any case, it’s not an original pressing, but it’s not a reissue and it’s not a “bad” pressing, such as a Liberty reprocessed for stereo. This one was in less than M- condition and it sold for $132.50. What do you think? Is this a new trend, or careless bidding?


  • I think that increasing prices for the first pressings are making the later pressings interesting for more and more people so that there is some kind of growing market for these what means that prices are increasing here too.

  • …The later label variations are certainly a more affordable alternative. I know I probably couldn’t have paid today’s prices to pursue this hobby when I was first starting out.
    There is also the type of collector that may just be picking up the LP’s just for the cover art or to have a copy from the era, and is not so concerned with the pressing itself. That’s actually how I started out…
    In this case, I am inclined to lean on the side of “careless bidding” though. I have been there myself on more than one occasion I must admit !!! Live and learn I guess . Either way, this is still one great album to listen to. How many Blue Note’s were ever recorded live at the vanguard right ???

  • on the top of my head: only this Rollins session (matiné and evening), 3 albums in total.

  • ..talking of vanguard Don, I just got your amazing giveaway, thanks so much.

    The prices of first pressing Blue Notes, especially the 1500 series, put them way beyond my (and I guess most people’s) budget, so it’s not surprising that later issues are increasing in value, even the Liberty/UA ones (esp mono pressings), which are still heaps better than the 80s French/US EMI/Capitol/Manhattan & (some) Japanese Toshiba pressings (which are the ones I started with).
    I’m so envious of you guys who started collecting way back when.

  • This Village Vanguard reminds me how, ten years ago, i bought my NM first press copy…it was seated at the top of a pile of records, prepared to be put on shelves…I immediately asked the seller how much he wanted for this one…”uh” he said… “well 38 €” ! Can you imagine how fast i pulled two 20 € out of my pocket…

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