It’s no secret that the 1970s were crucial for some music styles that we know today. The music produced and executed at that time was considered golden, and everyone was fighting to have the most valuable and rarest vinyl records of their favorite performers. Whoever could afford to play music using the records, did so for a very long time and more often than not, you can still find these records in circulation.
But, the records from the 70s may be more valuable to some people than some other musical eras. It takes some people back to those golden years when musical art simply exploded and changed in a way that enabled current music directions to exist and dictate our every day.
Moreover, while some records are still in circulation for those who have fully-functioning gramophones or music record players with support for vinyl records some people want these records to be in pristine condition so that they can collect them and save them for the big auctions and generations to come.
Whether you’re a collector who recently discovered a passion for vinyl records and want to fulfill a collection involving the most valuable records from the 70s or you recently discovered a stash of quite valuable records, you probably want to sell, this is the right place you could come to.
Evaluating and understanding what to focus on when it comes to records oftentimes feels difficult, even for experienced collectors, which is why it’s always good to take a look at the second opinion to have a better grasp of the itty bitty details that determine the value of an antique or vintage record.
In this article, we’re going to provide a guide on evaluating records from the 70s and a compelling list of the most valuable records from the 70s. If your record is one from the list, you’ll be able to earn a good amount of money selling them, especially if it’s in good condition or from a special edition.
10 Most Valuable Vinyl Records From the 70s
Now that you got some basic info on evaluating the vinyl records from the 70s, here’s a list of the most valuable records from the 70s.
Beatles: Let it Be
- Release Year: 1970
- Value: $69
Beatles released their final album Let it Be on May 8, 1970. Perhaps, this 12th album which is also their last is exactly what makes it so valuable on the market. We’ve found one of the auctions that are trying to sell this album for around $1,263 in mint condition.
It is one of the most controversial albums to this day, that is still being talked about, which is also what contributes to its value. It’s interesting to note that this album was released at the same time as the documentary movie about the Beatles, with the same title, which makes it even more interesting.
It’s no secret that the Beatles have always been followed with large popularity and success, but also controversy, which is what makes their records from all times quite popular.
Editor’s notes: The records have quite a big value. According to the statistics from Discogs, the highest-sold record of Let it Be was sold for $1,999. It’s worth noting that the first option we listed is the Red Apple variant.
Sex Pistols: Never Mind the Bollocks
- Release Year: 1977
- Value: $52
Sex Pistols are a band that revolutionized British Punk and gained a lot of popularity over three years. Never Mind the Bollocks was one of the most popular and long-lived albums, and it skyrocketed their career. The vinyl records are available in many editions, and those with the highest worth can be found on online marketplaces and auctions where they’re sold.
It is worth noting that this is the only studio album of this band, which also gives it more worth as the band approaches its 50th anniversary since the album was released.
Although it didn’t lead to the development of further albums in the future, this band served as a great inspiration to many other creators and music bands to kickstart their careers.
Editor’s notes: Many artists and collectors alike consider it the most influential album of the century, which is reinforced by valuable listings and auctions that can be found on eBay.
The Ramones: Ramones
- Release Year: 1976
- Value: $37.33
The Ramones is a New York-based punk rock band, which featured its debut album on April 23, 1976. Their album was published by Sire Records, and the rest is history. This is the band that helped shape punk rock and alternative music in general, which makes its records and all songs on them quite valuable and sought after by both The Ramones fans and collectors in particular.
The album cover is quite recognizable and is quite a popular sleeve featuring four band members that are leaning back against the brick wall.
Editor’s notes: Keep in mind that a lot of album covers look like that, so you don’t make a mistake while checking.
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Déjà Vu
- Release Year: 1970
- Value: $42
“Déjà vu” is the second album released by Crosby, Stills & Nash, and it’s not generous to admit that it marked the early 1970s by reaching and holding the top spots on the album charts. It was popular among both younger and older audiences and produced three top 40 singles.
Editor’s notes: This popular album is quite sought after by collectors and fans in particular. Different record variations dictate the marketplace, so while some records may be worth $42 to $50, some are worth well over $100 if you’re lucky enough. Whether you’re buying or selling this record, know that its value is vast.
Black Sabbath: Black Sabbath
- Release Year: 1971
- Value: $30
Whoever has rock music set in their preferences must’ve heard about Black Sabbath before, as well as Ozzy Osburne who makes media titles even today. The debut album of the Black Sabbath was self-titled, and it brought vast popularity to the band in the early 70s. That’s exactly why collectors are trying to collect it among other Black Sabbath albums, as well as other alternative music records.
Editor’s notes: Today, it’s debatable whether this is just another rock band or a real heavy metal masterpiece, but we’ll leave this debate up to the most loyal fans. The value of this record ranges on different criteria like the condition, whether there’s a sleeve, and other information.
The Rolling Stones: Some Girls
- Release Year: 1978
- Value: $950
Rolling Stone’s Some Girls is the 14th UK album and 16th US album of the popular country alternative band. It’s another album that just reinforced the popularity of a revolutionary and amazing band. This particular record is sealed and features the first edition of the album, which gives it an insane value.
Of course, other records feature lower value and price tag, but this vinyl record comes with the original sealed cover and orange vinyl which is popular among collectors.
Editor’s notes: According to the seller, it is graded to be in Mint state, both when it comes to the record and when it comes to the sleeve. Other options can be found for $10-$50 depending on the seller and the condition of the record.
David Bowie: The Prettiest Star
- Release Year: 1970-1973
- Value: $34.99
It’s no secret that David Bowie had a long and prosperous career, landing great single after another, which continued to rise in popularity. The Prettiest Star is a popular song from 1970, but as the album Aladdin Sane progressed, so did the multiple versions of this song.
David Bowie’s music is still being listened to with the same timeless enthusiasm as it’s been back in the 70s and 80s, which doesn’t surprise us as to why his records are so valuable.
Editor’s notes: Now new options are coming out so more often than not, you’ll be able to find vinyl that was released later like this silver vinyl record released in 2018. Although it’s brand new, it’s still a rare collectible that every true David Bowie fan would want to have.
LP David Bowie: Low
- Release Year: 1977
- Value: $57
Low is another hit album by David Bowie. It’s his 11th studio album that gained huge popularity. Among different records that stand out, this one is rated as excellent and runs perfectly despite being quite vintage compared to what’s currently offered on the market.
It’s worth mentioning that there’s not a single scratch, visible signs of wear or tear, or anything that could’ve prevented the record from being played properly.
Editor’s notes: Additionally, the cover looks to be in nice condition, although the color might have faded a bit. Nevertheless, this is an ideally-preserved record that will look great on every collector’s shelf.
Micheal Jackson: Off The Wall
- Release Year: 1979
- Value: $20
One of the bigger hit albums from Michael Jackson is available as a vinyl record from a top-seller on eBay, in great condition. Although some slight hairline scratches may make collectors worried it won’t play, it’s generally in a condition that can play and sound good enough.
Editor’s notes: It’s no secret that a lot of sellers sell brand new vinyl records from Michael Jackson, but that kills all the beauty of buying used vintage records preserved in the original sleeves and enjoying how they look as well as they sound. It marks 5th solo album from MJ which just established his international career further.
Bob Dylan: Blood On The Tracks
- Release Year: 1975
- Value: $108
Bob Dylan’s Blood on the tracks was released in January 1975 and marked the 15th album by the famous singer and songwriter. Many vinyl record stores have released new vinyl records which you can find on different sites, including e-Bay, but this option we’ve found is the signature original packaging with Mobile Fidelity.
There are some light scratches, but overall, the sound is crisp and of stellar quality, in the sea of new vinyl records which may not have great vintage value, it’s always good to pick a jewel like this one, that has worked for a long time, and still reproduces stellar music.
Editor’s notes: There are also brand new options, but they may not have as strong sentimental and vintage values as opposed to the original records from the 70s.
Things to Consider When Evaluating Records from the 70s
We mentioned earlier that determining the value of vinyl records can sometimes be difficult. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s too challenging to do if you have some guidance, and this is exactly what we’re here to provide for our readers.
With the below tips and tricks, you will be able to get an estimated value that will approximate the real value of the record you’re trying to sell or buy. Some things like the genre of the record, as well as the name of the performer, will likely increase the value of the record.
That being said, you’re more likely to get a great value from the David Bowie or Beatles record than you’re to get from a spoken word record. But, that’s too obvious, below we’re going to focus on other factors that will help you evaluate these records from the 70s.
Something that we won’t focus on is the age of the record, as we’re focusing on a select timeline from 1970 to 1979, so it’s not necessary to determine the age, as we already know that the record is from the 70s.
Is the record you discovered rare? How do we know that? You will know that based on the fact whether the record you’re trying to sell was produced in a limited number, or whether it’s a limited edition of some song. A perfect example of that is the Sex Pistols’ “God Save the Queen” as well as “Wish You Were Here” from Pink Floyd.
If there has been some additional expression like issues of an album or a pressing during the same timeframe, it’d contribute to the greater rarity. The records made from before the 70s are even rarer, but when it focuses on the specific timeframe, it’s known that you’re looking for the specific marking that makes a record rare.
If a certain record has a foreign edition, as well as some additional inserts, it’s also considered rare. The picture on the record may also contribute to higher value and make it overall rarer.
Unfortunately, sometimes it can be quite tedious and challenging to find how many copies of a certain record there are, as such information is often hard to find specifics on the internet. But, considering forums like Reddit can be of great help.
The condition of your vinyl record from the 70s is also a high determinant in finding its value. The record needs to be in mint condition if you want to get the biggest value out of it. Damaged records decrease the values even if it’s a rare pieces. Here’s what to consider when checking the condition of a record.
Is the Record Warped?
It’s of utmost importance for the record not to be warped. Warped records will cause poorer quality of sound reproduction, as well as physical integrity that is put out of shape. If your record was kept in rooms with high humidity and high temperatures, as well as extremely low temperatures, it’s likely been warped. Warping can decrease the overall value of the record. Luckily, slight warping doesn’t make it a deal breaker to the collectors.
If the record you discovered has cracks on it, it’s completely useless and you won’t be able to play it. Unfortunately, a record that can’t be played can only sit for decoration and flex that you used to own a vinyl record from the 1970s that held something important in it. But, still, who’d want a decoration that is cracked all over the place? Sadly, those records can’t get sold for a great value.
If your record is slightly scratched by the tooth of the time, it’s likely not a big deal. However, if the scratches are deeper and more prominent, the collectors will look down upon them because such records cause sound problems like noise distortion and skipping of the track. Unfortunately, these issues decrease the value of the record, but they are still functioning, unlike the cracked records.
Missing Inserts & Jacket
Collectors truly value the inserts and jackets of the records. That being said, the packaging that the record shipped with will make it more valuable. Any sort of collectible that your record will ship with will make it more valuable. If you don’t have it, you’ll still be able to sell your record, but for less. It’ll also require you to perform some research of your own to be able to determine the overall value of the record.
Are There Other Copies Being Sold?
If you feel like your record is in pristine, mint condition, you can compare them to other same copies of your record that are being sold online. eBay and other auction websites are the best places to look at similar records and compare their values. Other Vinyl marketplace sites include Discogs and Reverb L.
Editor’s notes: Sometimes, it can happen that the copy of your record is not available online for sale. That can indicate that your record is extremely rare and valuable. In that case, it’s best to consult one of the forums from earlier, or even hire an appraiser to help you evaluate your record.
Frequently Asked Questions
Buying and selling vintage records is not an easy task, especially if you’re trying to get the best value out of a record. Here is a list of frequently asked questions about valuable records from the 70s.
Where Can You Buy Vintage Records?
Music has never been so widely available, especially in the digital format. But every collector and a true audiophile knows what it feels like to truly admire a record for what it is. Nevertheless, it’s still possible to buy physical vinyl records, both new and vintage, and both online and offline.
Here are some places where you can buy a vintage vinyl record with ease.
- Yard Sales – We know that music deserves better than yard sales, but you never know what you truly have until you dig out a box with valuable and pristine records that no one has been using for decades. The best part is that some records can be found for cheap.
- Thrift Stores – If you’re looking to buy vintage records from the 70s, this is the right place to go. Many thrift stores have a large selection of vinyl records that you can freely choose from. However, some more valuable and limited editions may be pricier.
- Record Fairs – It’s no secret that music fairs can offer both old and new records, and they are a popular destination to go on about buying or selling music, especially vinyl records. It’s also an inexpensive way to enjoy vinyl records.
- Amazon – Amazon is a good marketplace to buy vinyl records, but they’re usually new and unopened, directly from the store which kind of ruins the idea of collecting vintage records that were sold at the time album was released.
- eBay – If you regularly check auctions and used vinyl record listings, eBay is the right place for you. However, you’ll have to spend some time filtering the results to hone them to your needs, as it can get a bit overwhelming when searching for the right record.
- Etsy – Even though Etsy is sort of a DIY online store, there are many vinyl records to choose from. Some are even in limited edition.
How to Get Vinyl Records Graded?
You may have noticed that some sellers have grades for the vinyl records. Those grades were assigned by professional companies that evaluate the quality of different collectibles. If you want to earn good money selling vintage records, it’s best to evaluate your records and ensure that they’re in Mint condition. Lower grades also result in lower prices. But, if the quality is still Excellent, you can still earn quite a lot of money for selling a vinyl record.
What 70s Albums Are Worth a Lot of Money?
Usually, special editions require the most money for those who want to collect them. However, all the records we listed above are albums that are quite worth the money such as The Rolling Stones: Some Girls. David Bowie: The Prettiest Star and many others.
Some special editions of other artists are also quite worth the money. If there are a lot of albums that you have on vinyl records, it’d be best to hire an appraiser and let them help you find the right value for all of them.
Were Records Popular in the 70s?
It is believed that records were at their peak during the 70s, with great albums being released and listened through them. According to Spin, there were 228 million units owned in 1973, which meant the peak popularity of vinyl records. During the 80s, their popularity slowly started to drop.