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11 surprisingly valuable CDs you might own

Samantha Menzies
11 surprisingly valuable CDs you might own

While CDs are still available to buy in stores, the new era of downloads and music streaming has seen demand plummet – but there are some rare pieces which avid collectors are still willing to pay a shocking amount of money for.

While collectors generally pay well over the odds to get their hands on a rare records or even VHS tapes, the same is also true of CDs.

Among other things, anything with a limited release, or which was pulled from distribution shortly after release, can generally expect to fetch a hefty sum.

Also read: Nine hugely valuable VHS tapes you might own

You might want to check if you already own any of these 11 hugely valuable CDs.

Prince – My Name was Price (Japan-only compilation)

Value: $4,500-5,000

In 1993, Prince issued 50 promo copies of the album to Japanese at around the same time the artist was in a bitter dispute with Warner.

The ironically-named album, with art cover which depicts a mannequin named Prince was quickly pulled and it’s that rarity which is causing avid collectors to pay anything up to $5,000 for a copy.

Also read: Five surprising items that could be worth more than you think

Rolling Stones/Paul McCartney/Queen – The Greatest (Japan-only box set)

Value: Up to £2,500, or $5,078 equiv.

The rare of the rare from three of the biggest names in the music industry, this Japan-only release box set of the famous trio is highly sought-after.

Rolling Stones – Steel Wheels Japan Tour (Japan-only compilation)

Value: $4,400-4,600

Another rare Japanese-only release of the band’s 1990 tour, which has 22 tracks on two disks and a 1990 Japan tour poster, selling for up to $4.6k!

Eminem – Slim Shady EP

Value: $500-2,800

The 1997 release of only 500 confirmed copies was Eminem’s breakthrough record – the album made major noise throughout the industry, shot him to fame, and earnt him his first record deal.

Also read: Northern Star sells record amount of gold

Bob Dylan – 50th Anniversary Collection

Value: Up to $2,625

Only 100 copies of the album was released in 2013, containing unreleased early material recorded by Bob Dylan, has seen demand for the CD rocket as collectors scramble to get hold of a copy.

Bruce Springsteen – The Future of Rock and Roll (Japan-only compilation)

Value: $1,800-2,200

Unsurprisingly, another Japanese promo-only release has made the list of surprisingly valuable CDs owing to its rarity. The 1988 release can fetch up to $2,200.

Also read: Australia’s five most valuable degrees

Nirvana – Pennyroyal Tea

Value: $1,500-2,000

A one-track alternative version of the song from In Utero was be released as the third single from In Utero in April 1994 but shortly recalled after the death of Kurt Cobain in the same month.

The single was re-released on limited edition 7 inch vinyl for Record Store Day in April 2014. 

Jackie Evancho – Prelude to a Dream

Value: up to $1,900

The self-released original version of the CD album was withdrawn from sale as soon as Jackie signed a contract with SYCO/Sony/Columbia Records.

Michael Jackson – Smile

Value: $1,500

The 1997 withdrawn Austrian single remains one of the rarest, and most sought after, pieces of Michael Jackson memorabilia, selling for up to $1,500.

Also read: Four surprisingly valuable citizenships

Coldplay – The Safety EP

Value: $1,000-1,500

Only 500 versions of the 1998 album – which was Coldplay’s first public release – were made and only about 50 copies ever made it to record stores, as they gave most of the copies away to record companies or friends and families.

Paris Hilton – Paris

Value: £500, or $1,015 equiv.

The 2006 release was remixed by Dangermouse with artwork by famous street artist, Banksy, who doctored the artwork of several hundred Paris Hilton CDs and put them in stores around the UK – any Banksy artwork is considered a worthwhile investment.