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The Vinyl Quest!

Ahead of Graham Budd Auctions’ first vinyl and pop culture auction, the question is: what are we looking to bring in?

The answer, as ever, is anything rare and interesting, and from anywhere in the modern era which goes back over 60 years to the start of the 60s and beyond.

Punk, New Wave, Hip Hop, Goth, Psychedelia, Reggae, World Music -  the list of genres from these decades rolls ever on. The CD generation saw less and less vinyl pressed, and only the dedicated few bought their 12 inches of black plastic. This has meant that the Britpop explosion of the mid-90s which saw Blur battle Oasis, The Verve sing their Urban Hymns and the Stone Roses enjoy their second coming is now high on many shopping lists. And, as with all vinyl, the best copies will bring excellent prices and become good investments.

However, it’s not just about vinyl. It’s also about pop culture and fashion. Music and fashion have always been the passion, and not just for Barry Manilow, so we are looking for those concert t-shirts, tickets, access passes, pictures, programmes and posters. Tour t-shirts are art in their own right, and again, much admired and wanted. Books on bands, autographs caught at the backstage door, all this and more have their place on the Graham Budd Auctions’ wall alongside the gold discs and posters that survive to tell the tale of music.

As we look towards our first ever Vinyl and Pop Culture Ephemera sale in October, here are our top 10 tips for buying vinyl:

  1. Enjoy it! Look for that vinyl or piece of memorabilia that you really want
  2. The missing piece: all collectors will have that elusive item that you never, ever see. Make sure to look our for when the catalogue goes live, you never know what you could find! And if something catches your eye, make a note of the lot number and away you go!
  3. The most pristine will, as always, fetch more, but don’t let that put you off. Sometimes a more loved copy of a rare piece that fits your shopping list and price tag is a great thing!
  4. Always check if it has all the original inserts that it may have had when first released (e.g.)  The Beatles, or White Album as it is better known, was originally released in 1968 and should have 4 colour portrait shots of the band, a poster/ lyric sheet and black inner sleeves. Original copies with everything intact are always worth more than ones that turn up incomplete.
  5. If you get a chance to view the items ahead of the sale, then do so. It’s hard to play a piece through, there just isn’t enough time and space, but a visual examination of the playing surface can give you a better idea of what you may purchase.
  6. Be prepared to have a record professionally cleaned. It can make all the difference, and there are now a growing number of businesses offering the service. It’s not expensive either. A couple of quid per record will normally see it returned deep cleaned and with a fresh inner sleeve, but make sure you keep the old one!
  7. First pressings command the premium prices. It’s the matrix number stamped in the run out that gives you the information, and it can be well worth checking on that and also investing in a price guide that will advise you on the many variants.
  8. Keep your eye out for the jewel in the dirt. Although we are not looking for trade boxes, there will always be packages that will be a lot. A patient eye can still find the odd gem lurking within, so it’s well worth having a good look!
  9. Make sure that you store your valuable vinyl carefully and not near excessive heat or sunlight. Vinyl also shouldn’t be packed in too tightly as this can damage the works of art known as the sleeve. Instead, give them space to breathe so they can be removed easily and store upright with the spine visible for reference.
  10. Finally, your deck and stylus are crucial. Many a great record has been butchered by a chipped or damaged needle or a badly weighted arm. Invest in a good deck and play your investments (should you wish) in the sound mind that they’re not going to end up sounding like someone is frying bacon in the background!

And always enjoy the journey! I have collected vinyl for over 40 years, but I am still seeking out the stuff I missed, and it's addictive, as are all forms of collecting!!

For more information, contact our Senior Valuer John Garrett at and become part of the Graham Budd family for our inaugural vinyl and pop culture sale.

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