Any Info on Sun Ra Collectibles?

When I was in college back in the 1970s I had a friend who was a huge fan of Sun Ra and was often trying to get me to listen to the Sun Ra Arkestra. I must admit I never did get into the music and thus have no Sun Ra records in my collection nor do I know anything about Sun Ra collectibles, other than the fact that I’ve seen several of them sell for quite high collectible prices. I bring this up because I am now watching one such item on eBay: Saturn Presents Sun Ra and His Arkestra, Saturn 0216. This is listed as an original pressing in M- condition for both the record and the cover. This record already has been viewed nearly 600 times and

has been bid up to $1,325 with about 5 hours to go before it closes. I guess there are a bunch of Sun Ra fans out there, which leads me to this point: If anyone out there has any information he or she would like to share on Sun Ra jazz vinyl collectibles, please feel free to use this as your forum for that information. You can just comment on this item or, if you want to get particularly bold, you can send us an email at  al@jazzcollector.com and we can post it as a guest column. Meanwhile, we’ll keep an eye on this one and add it to the Jazz Collector Price Guide after it closes.

8 comments

  • i would be interested to.I also have been told to listen to him but i am always sceptical (with no reason), mayby because i think it is freaky fun-jazz. But last week a friend of mine played a number for me from sun ra and it was like i was listening to mingus…. so again i have been prejudice… I am gonna listen more in the comming weeks, so any info on Sun Ra is welcome. .. and what a beautifull cover this record has…Zappa-like- avant le lettre..

  • Eileen Jackson

    I have 3 Sun Ra of which I am clueless, within my deceased husband collection. 2 are “The Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra (ESP 1014 and 1017) and the other is a live performance at the Berlin Festivals 1970, SunRa and his Intergalactic Research Arkestra. The liner notes are very interesting and I would be more than happy to fax you a copy if you are interested.

  • Been reading here for about 6 weeks and thought it might be time to weigh in. Heliocentrice World Of… 1 & 2 are currently going in the range of $250-400. Volume 3, which came out several years later goes for $75-150. Anything else on ESP goes $150-250. ANY disc on Saturn will fetch $500+ as long as is round, black & has a hole in the middle! He had another label (forget the name right now) that had several releases that go for several hundred each also. Major label releases are $40 & up. IIRC, all of the live albums are boots and go for extravagant prices. Thanks for this site Al, I’m going to be a regular in the reader forum.

  • I sold a Saturn recently and it fetched just a lousy 50 quid.
    There is a Sun Ra Transition album, which is often seen in its Japanese version. An original US Transition with booklet should fetch more than a Saturn.

  • Saw several shows in NYC and Cambridge, mass. Sun Ra transcends time and space, exchanging “high ten” during the serpentine dance is as close to a mystical experience I expect to have.

  • Economics aside,one of the funkiest concerts I ever went to in the 80’s(?) was one that featured James White and The Blacks,Disco Tex and The Sex-o-lettes(!),Joseph Bowie(Lester’s brother)and his free/funk group,all opening up for-you guessed it-Sun Ra and His Intergalactic Space Arkestra..whew! And when Sun Ra came out with his”Straight Outta Saturn” outfit,complete with flowing robes and jamming like mad on a synthesizer,well-you knew the time to “travel the spaceways,from planet to planet” had come. Great fun for all! There are some informative videos out there which tell of Sun Ra’s history-and his links from Fletcher Henderson to Coltrane and beyond. Well worth tracking down,I’d say.

  • do you guys know about how when sun started to get more well known by the early 70s, he took some of his saturn masters to ABC, home of abc/impulse! as it was then known, they plan to do this giant sun ra series. a few did end up being released but a lot of others never panned out, abc, you know, big company, i dont know the whole story exactly– but abc was weird then in the early 70s, ive heard Donald Fagen and Walter Becker say that too…in the contract for abc, abc has control over the mastertapes on earth, but sun has control over the mastertapes on Saturn and the rest of the solar system. that is in the contract. abc records, early 70s

  • alexander johnson

    it took me 20 ebay-years (and 10 before ebay) to collect ALL of them: i’ve got about 150 saturns: only song of the stargazers (not sun ra) and sound advice (pat patrick) are missing —- any help wanted? sandy johnson

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