Tracking Prices For Later Blue Note Pressings

People have been asking about prices and values of later-pressing Blue Notes, so I’ve been watching a few just to keep tabs on the market. There was a seller last week that was selling a bunch of United Artists pressings, including: The Magnificent Thad Jones, Volume 3, Blue Note 1546. This one was in VG+ condition for both the record and the vinyl. The start price was $40 and there were no bids. So that price was definitely too high. However, if you look at his other completed listings, there were a bunch more United Artists pressings in better condition and they sold in the range of $15 to $25 each, for the most part. There was a Hank Mobley Quintet, Blue Note 1550, that sold for $25.49 and a Lee Morgan Indeed, Blue Note 1538, that sold for $15. There were others as well, including a couple of blue-and-white label Liberty pressings that sold for between $30 and $40. I also watched this blue

label pressing of Hank Mobley, Roll, Call, Blue Note 4058. This was listed as VG++ for the vinyl and VG+ for the cover. It sold for $11.53. Clearly some of these later pressings are not doing it even as fill-ins for collectors. However, this one is a bit more interesting: Lou Donaldson, Here ‘Tis, Blue Note 4066. This was not an original pressing, but it was an earlier pressing than Liberty, we presume: It had one label West 63rd, the other label NY USA, it had no deep grooves and it had an ear in the deadwax. Probably a second press, wouldn’t you guess? This one was in M- condition and it was sold by Euclid Records. The price: $161. Not bad for a non-original pressing.


  • London Calling

    Over on this side of the pond Blue Note original issues are rare as hens teeth and rapidly priced out of reach. There is a pecking order of reissues and its helpful to know whats what before putting your hand in your pocket.

    1st Re-issues from Liberty still sound damn good to me, and are around in sufficient quantity priced at £25 – 35 according to rarity.

    Jap pressings are huely admired with King still the king, but the later EMI Toshiba still sound very good – available occasionaly at £30-40

    Blue labels from the United Artists period are the most affordable of acceptable quality and tend to cost between £15 -20

    Now the bad news. The most commonly available are the horrid French EMI France pressings ot the mid ’80’s, and their Manhatten equivalents with DMM . I have four and they are uniformly horrible.Thin lifeless shallow, everything a Blue Note should not be. Vinyl’s mistaken answer to CD .

    The saving grace of this darkest period are the very first French pressings under Pathe Marconi. Made before the DMM-mania took hold, they are an absolute bargain and still sound pretty good, though not up to the Liberty reissues.

    And now we see the facsimile cover cd to vinyl transfers (Scorpio). Worse than horrible, and selling at £8 in numerous distributors.

    Please keep writing about the real stuff, but bear in mind day to day many of us are still trying to find acceptably priced quality reissues.

  • “London Calling” nailed it. I concur with all of his observations, which took me a couple of years and a couple of benjamins or so to figure out. Solid blue label blue notes are usually the best value. I snag any mono white/blue label United Artists label I need and anything under $30 for such a pressing, in my mind, is a bargain.

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