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Goldmine Record Album Price Guide Paperback – August, 2003
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About the Author
Tim Neely is book editor and research director of Goldmine? magazine. He has written Goldmine? Standard Catalog of American Records 1950-1975, Goldmine? Records & Prices, and more than a dozen other record collecting books. His personal collection contains more than 20,000 records. He lives in Iola, Wisconsin.
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Let me give you an example of what I am referring to. Several years ago someone, somehow, determined that the Soundtrack lp for "High Tor," which featured Bing Crosby, was worth $400. I became aware of this probably close to twenty years ago and initially thought that the lp actually was valuable. In subsequent years however, I saw several copies and even found one which I bought for resale. Even at very low prices I had no success with it, and I ended up selling it to a used record store for a dollar. There are currently eight copies available on eBay, and popsike (which lists nothing under $25) lists nine, all of which sold at less than $100. It should be apparent then, that the lp is not exceptionally rare, there is little demand for it, and that when it does sell, if it sells at all, it brings far less than $400. Still, if you look in the Bing Crosby section of this price guide, there it sits, still at the $400 mark.
This is admittedly an extreme example, and I am not saying we should condemn this price guide on the basis of one highly questionable value. The problem is there are probably thousands of albums whose values need to be reassessed and perhaps, revised. In my opinion, almost all common country albums from the 1960s are overpriced, as are most recordings of early style jazz. Modern jazz, on the other hand, tends to be under priced, and while Goldmine has made some progress is this area, there is still plenty of work to do. I could also point to several artists whose whole listings may need to be revised (there are currently about 660 Ricky Nelson lps listed on eBay, yet Goldmine still prices them as rarities). I could go on and on with examples, and would be interested in what other dealers think in this regard.
Certainly it would be a time-consuming task to make the needed changes, but the resources are there. It should not be difficult to keep track of eBay results and popsike is a valuable online source also. It would not hurt to visit record stores or even talk to dealers to get their opinions. I simply do not understand why Goldmine continues to pump out price guides with the same old inaccurate values. Is there some psychological barrier to lowering prices? Do they rely exclusively on the opinions of "big-time" dealers who have a vested interest in keeping prices high? Perhaps it is sheer laziness or indifference. In the introduction the author gives some examples of common albums for which there is little demand. One of those is "The Glenn Miller Carnegie Hall Concert" which he states is worth "$5 or less." That sounds about right, but if you look in Glenn Miller's listings in the book, that same album is still valued at $40. There is no excuse for such slipshod work and this leads me to suspect that Goldmine may know many of its prices are out-of-date, but cannot be bothered to change them.
Despite all this, I could probably recommend this book to any collector or dealer who does not have any of the earlier editions. One gets the feeling they actually have worked on the discographies, and they seem to be well done and comprehensive. Anyone who has this book can use it as a guide to what is out there and it is, in many respects, a wealth of information. Plus, once one gets a feel for the inaccuracy of the prices, it can be somewhat of an indication of worth, especially for lps of certain genres.
Until Goldmine decides to be more accurate in its values though, this volume is, at best, a mixed blessing for the record collecting hobby. It will give collectors an unrealistic view of the value of their collections and will make life difficult for record dealers who attempt to purchase their collections from them. In many respects this book does a disservice to the hobby Goldmine purports to appreciate. Maybe they'll do better next time.
When I saw that this 9th edition would include compilation LPs, I was thrilled.
Unfortunately, the comp-LP section is undersized and underwhelming.
But my main gripe with this 9th edition is that it seems to be a clone of the 8th edition of American Records, which I already own. These two LP guides were published 5 years apart, I believe, but both of them lack listings for the following singers/groups:
Robin and Linda Williams
Not big, big singers/groups, but I own 'em and I expected to see 'em in the 9th edition guide.
Related, the Dwight Twilley listing lacks any data for the Green Blimp LP on Burger Records.
Likewise, the Townes van Zandt lacks the Fat Possum reissue from 2007 of "My Mother the Mountain."
You probably get what I'm saying by now.
If you own the 8th edition of the American Records price guide, this 9th edition of the Record Album Guide is **NOT** worth a dollar.
If you own neither, pick up the 8th edition for a big discount - you can probably score a very good copy for $10 or less.
Or go with Jerry Osborne who tends to be better at being comprehensive.
Bad show, Goldmine and Dave Thompson!
However, there seems to be a printing error in the "Various Artists Collections" section. All of the listings here are for jazz compilations...nothing else. I'm thinking that this mix-up may have come from their most recent jazz album guide, published last year. There was good information in this section in previous editions, so this is definitely disappointing.
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Would like much more info. regarding various artists collections, T.V. records, and boxed set values, etc.