High Value Rolling Stones Vinyl Records

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Following the success of The Beatles and less well-known [The] Dave Clark Five, The Rolling Stones (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts; latterly Mick Taylor and Ronnie Wood) were perhaps the most successful British band in the US until Led Zeppelin.

Because of their legendary status, The Stones vinyl has great appeal across the ages; to died-in-the-wool fans and new enthusiasts alike. With a career of fifty-plus years, The Stones are responsible for albums that rank alongside works by The Beatles, Dylan and Elvis to name but three.

This article explores the desire for high-value Rolling Stones vinyl records, examining the factors that contribute to their value and highlighting some of the most valuable and collectable releases.


Perhaps the primary reason for a particular Rolling Stones vinyl commanding high prices is their rarity. Limited editions, promotional copies, and discs with variations or perhaps errors are highly desirable. An example is the first UK pressing of the band’s debut album, The Rolling Stones (1964).

Released by Decca (who passed on The Beatles), it is valued due to its rarity and historical significance. For similar reasons, the US version of The Stones’ fourth studio album, Out of Our Heads (1965) is also prized. Featuring the epic Satisfaction, it is a sought-after collector’s item because it has a mono mix that differs from subsequent releases.

Historical Significance

The Stones’ star-studded discography includes albums that hold historical significance in the evolution of rock music. Two albums in particular stand out.

Sticky Fingers (1971) was the band’s first since the death of Brian Jones in 1969 and contains tracks such as Brown Sugar, and Wild Horses.

Exile on Main St. (1972), including gems like Rocks Off and Tumbling Dice, was recorded in tax exile in Villefranche-sur-Mer in the south of France.

Both are important in their continuing development from blues-influenced sixties pop stars into a stadium-filling rock ‘n’ roll juggernaut. They are regarded as high-water marks of the band’s artistic achievements and cultural impact.

As such, both hold tremendous sentimental value for both fans and collectors. The historical context (first post-Jones, recorded in tax exile) of these albums adds to their desirability and value. They are highly sought after.

In May 2023, a white-label demo copy of Sticky Fingers sold for $1,875 at Heritage Auctions, TX. A first UK pressing of Exile on Main St. sold on eBay for a total of $2,022 in November 2016.

Condition and Provenance

Naturally, a vinyl record’s condition is a very important aspect in determining its value. Records that have been played to death, are warped and/or scratched are obviously going to sell for much less than records that are well-preserved records, or even better, in in excellent or mint condition.

Key markers, if you are considering purchasing a Stones vinyl record, are minimal wear, clean surfaces, and original packaging. Also, authenticity, or provenance is key.

First pressings and original releases (such as the Exile on Main St. example from above) are going to be more valuable than reissues or later pressings. Look out for matrix numbers, labels, and other identifying features to ensure the item you are about to part with your hard-earned cash for is authentic.

Limited Edition and Special Releases

In the manner of Jagger keeping the crowd waiting in order to build excitement, The Stones have released various limited edition and special vinyl records throughout their career, aiming to build excitement for a new release. Although not the primary focus of this activity, this obviously has appeal for the collectors’ market.

Box sets, picture discs, coloured vinyl, and numbered editions are highly sought after. In the case of 1978’s album Some Girls, several different cover variations were issued and not all were down to choices made by the band.

The controversial original cover featured die-cut holes. Through these holes, the images of celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, Lucille Ball, Raquel Welch and Farah Fawcett could be seen, along with the band, on the inner sleeve. This design was soon swapped after The Stones were sued for using the ladies’ images without permission.

In 2015, a signed copy of the album was sold for £1,130 ($1,700) on the British charity website, charitystars.com.

Market Demand and Cultural Impact

Demand for Rolling Stones vinyl records is fueled by the band’s enduring popularity and cultural impact. Their music has resonated with multiple generations, ensuring a consistent demand for their albums. Moreover, the band’s longevity and status as rock legends contribute to the desirability of their vinyl releases.

Keith Richards and guitar

The Stones are highly esteemed artists in the rock music genre. Their cultural impact, whilst perhaps not as extensive as The Beatles, means that their vinyl records are highly desirable, both by fans and collectors.

A Flavor of Auction Values

A copy of the Stones’ first album, The Rolling Stones from 1964 (UK first pressing on the Decca label) was sold for $7,500 by Heritage Auctions in 2015. Another UK first pressing, this time of Aftermath (1966 – with original cover artwork) sold for $1,035 on eBay in 2016.

Continuing the theme of UK first pressings with original artwork, copies of Between the Buttons (1967) have been sold for around $600.

A US promo copy of their 1967 album Their Satanic Majesties Request sold on eBay for $810 in 2018. This version has the lenticular first issue 3D panel on the front and the Tony Meeuwissen created artwork on the back cover.

In May 2021, a 2003 reissue of Beggars Banquet (1968), signed by Keith Richards, was sold by Heritage Auctions, TX for $500. Another reissued copy, also signed by Keith, but on clear vinyl, had been sold for the same amount in December 2020.

A copy of 1969’s Let It Bleed on multicoloured vinyl (London NPS-4) was sold by Heritage Auctions in 2013 for $5,625. Its rarity is because it was intended only for a handful of executives of the London Records label. This pressing has had the central labels reversed too – i.e., side one’s label is on side two and vice versa. It is thought that only one other copy has ever been offered for sale at auction.

In 2022, a UK first pressing unboxed Decca with the original cover artwork (including laminated cover and poster) was sold on parlogramauctions.com for £750 ($850).

Cultural impact

As discussed, the pull of Rolling Stones vinyl records lies in many issues. They include their rarity, historical significance, condition and authenticity. Perhaps most of all, it is the band’s cultural impact that draws people in.

The Stones and The Beatles shared a healthy rivalry which included cross-pollination – e.g., the first Stones single was a Lennon-McCarney composition, and The Stones appeared on the first ever satellite broadcast with The Beatles’ performance of All You Need Is Love.

The pair represent the halcyon days of the sixties. Collectors and fans are drawn to their records because they are tangible artefacts of music history; they offer a connection to an era and the indelible impact of one of the greatest rock bands of all time.

Rolling Stones vinyl records possess a value that lies beyond the monetary worth I have highlighted. They bring joy and satisfaction (yes, they can get satisfaction) to all who appreciate their timeless appeal.

A Final Note of Caution

Whether you are intent upon buying or selling a Rolling Stones vinyl record please consult reputable sources or seek the advice of experienced collectors.  This becomes more important the higher the supposed value of the record. I would hate to think that you overpay for a record, or equally, do not receive the best value for one you sell.

Furthermore, if you love what you've read, please tell your friends.

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