×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Rare Sex Pistols Record Fetches Over $15,000

The price tag is a fraction of what Jack White paid for an Elvis Presley recording from 1948.

A rare Sex Pistols 7-inch vinyl record became the most expensive single ever sold on Discogs, the most prominent online marketplace for music rarities. A “God Save The Queen” single on the A&M label, from a batch that was supposed to have been destroyed after the group left the label, sold for $15,882 in November 2018.

Previously, the highest-valued single sold on Discogs was the Beatles’ “Love Me Do,” which was bought for $14,757 in March 2018.

While the “God Save the Queen” sale set a new bar for 7-inch singles on Discogs, the high mark for any record sold on the site remains the $27,500 paid for an original copy of Prince’s “The Black Album” in June 2018. That album, like the Sex Pistols’ single, was rescued from a printing that was ordered to be completely destroyed before reaching stores.

While new sales records are set on Discogs every year, these amounts still pale in comparison to some of the money paid out in live auctions — like the $300,000 spent in 2015 on an Elvis Presley test recording from 1953 by an anonymous bidder who turned out to be Jack White.

The Sex Pistols originally signed to A&M Records in 1977. After an intoxicated altercation in the record label’s offices following the signing, the English punk band’s contract was reportedly shredded after only six days. A&M Records had pressed 25,000 copies of “God Save The Queen” in May 1977, but today only nine copies are believed to exist. For that reason, it is considered one of the rarest rock records of all time.

Originally comprised of lead vocalist Johnny Rotten, drummer Paul Cook, guitarist Steve Jones and bassist Glen Matlock, the band replaced Matlock with the controversial Sid Vicious in early 1977. Before their breakup in January 1978, the band only released four singles and one album, “Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols.” The single “God Save The Queen” attacked citizens’ devotion to the English monarch and social conformity. In February 2006, the Sex Pistols were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, but the musicians refused to attend the initiation.

Here are five other musical releases that fetched top dollar.

1. “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin” by Wu-Tang Clan

The most expensive album ever sold is Wu-Tang Clan’s “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin,” which was bought for $2 million in 2016 by now-imprisoned pharmaceutical businessman Martin Shkreli. Only a single copy of “Shaolin” exists. (A supposed stipulation allowing the Wu-Tang Clan and/or Bill Murray to steal back the record in a heist turned out to be a joke.)

2. “My Happiness” by Elvis Presley

Jack White bought the acetate of Elvis’ first-ever recording from 1948 at an auction in December 2015 for $300,000. He later re-released it through his record label Third Man with all the original scratches and pops and a brown paper bag as the sleeve.

3. “Til There Was You” by The Beatles

The 10-inch acetate disc featured 1963 singles “Til There Was You” and “Hello Little Girl,” but a misspelling read “Hullo Little Girl.” The record was found in an attic in Liverpool and later sold for $98,648.

4. “Alcohol and Jake Blues” by Tommy Johnson

The 75-rpm blues record from 1930 by legend Tommy Johnson was bought at an auction in 2013 for $37,100. The buyer already owned a copy of it, but was hoping that this record was in better condition.

5. “Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)” by Frank Wilson

The 1965 single by American soul artist Frank Wilson was only pressed in a quantity of 250 copies, and reportedly only five still exist today. This rare copy sold for $32,766 at an auction in May 2009.

More Music

  • Neyla Pekarek

    Watch Neyla Pekarek's Michel Gondry-Inspired Cardboard Kitsch Video (EXCLUSIVE)

    Neyla Pekarek’s post-Lumineers solo career is off to a strong start with a show at the Opry at the Ryman on Saturday night and the Monday release of her new video for the song “Train.” The clip was directed by Los Angeles’ Liza Nelson and features Pekarek riding a cardboard constructed locomotive in a look reminiscent [...]

  • Benny Andersson, Anni Frid Lyngstad, Agnetha

    Abba’s New Music Delayed Until Later This Year

    Abba fans rejoiced last April when the group, which split up 35 years ago, announced that they had recorded two new songs for a “Virtual Abba” experience in collaboration with “American Idol” creator Simon Fuller. The project first announced in 2016, and was scheduled to premiere, via digital versions of band members, on NBC and ABC [...]

  • Erykah Badu Attempts to Clarify Her ‘Prayer’

    Erykah Badu Attempts to Clarify Her ‘Prayer’ for R. Kelly

    Erykah Badu took to Twitter Sunday night in an attempt to clarify her “prayer” for R. Kelly, which she spoke about during a Saturday concert in Chicago. “I don’t know how everybody else feels about it but I’m putting up a prayer right now for R.,” she said to the crowd before referencing the longstanding [...]

  • Harry Connick Jr.

    Harry Connick Jr. Swears Off Super Bowl After Saints Defeat

    Tempers flared during today’s NFC championship game between the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams at the Super Dome after a controversial non-call on a potential pass interference penalty and head-to-head hit by L.A. defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman, who slammed into Saints pass receiver  Tommylee Lewis on a crucial third-down play. The ref’s decision [...]

  • Editorial use only. No merchandising.Mandatory Credit:

    Lady Gaga Slams Government Shutdown, Mike Pence at Vegas Residency

    Lady Gaga took a short break from singing “Million Reasons” at her Saturday performance of “Enigma” in Las Vegas to slam the president for the continued government shutdown. While sitting at the piano for her performance, Gaga broke into a takedown of the government shutdown and Vice President Mike Pence, who has been in the [...]

  • maggie rogers

    Album Review: Maggie Rogers' 'Heard It in a Past Life'

    Maggie Rogers earned one of those very rare “Saturday Night Live” slots in which a musical guest is booked onto the show well in advance of her major label debut album’s release — two and a half months prior, in this case. And the scrutiny of such an appearance is not always pretty. Rogers’ “SNL” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content