Do Vinyl Reissues Lessen the Value of Originals?

Posted by Joe Goldmark, September 29, 2014 05:40pm | Post a Comment

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One would correctly assume that a record is reissued because there is a pent up demand for an out of The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Are You Experiencedprint title. Let’s take the latest reissue of Jimi HendrixAre You Experienced for example. Once this demand is sated, one might conclude that the elevated value for the original would come down, citing the law of supply and demand. This should be especially true because the newest release is pressed on 180 gram vinyl and sounds superior to previous versions.

My experience however, is that the added buzz and exposure adds to the mystique of owning the original and raises the value, especially if the original is in great shape. If you buy records just to hear the music, you absolutely shouldn’t pay more just to get an original. But, if you’ve crossed the line into being a “record collector,” all kinds of other considerations start to creep in. Suddenly condition starts to matter, you tend to be more of a completest in regard to an artist’s catalog, you weigh mono versus stereo, and you start to favor original issues.

A simple analogy would be: if you were an art collector would you want the original Mona Lisa, or a $29 copy? No matter how beautiful they might think it is, most art collectors would not put a repro up in their house, even though they could never afford the original.

Getting back to Hendrix, we see below the original Reprise tri-tone label, which was soon replaced by the two tone label, and then by the 1970s a solid brown label was used.


It is interesting that with the price of new LPs ranging from $15-30 these days, it is sometimes cheaper to buy a minty used copy of the original. For example, some of the band Boston's albums were reissued a while back. Before the reissue, you could buy them used for $7.99-9.99. After they were reissued, the originals started going for $14.99, still cheaper than buying the $29.99 180 gram reissue! Although the reissue was more expensive, it gave the originals more price cred, and they still seemed to be a bargain even though the price had doubled.

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Jimi Hendrix (21), The Jimi Hendrix Experience (2), Boston (6), Vinyl (200), Reissues (29)