April 22, 2024 | Allison Robertson

14 CDs Worth Thousands Today


CDs With Serious Value

In recent years, streaming services have become the most common way for people to listen to music, essentially making CDs almost obsolete.

But record shops are urging people not to toss those CDs just yet.

Cds Worth Money Split Gallery

Why are CDs worth money today?

Recently, nostalgia has taken a front seat in trendiness. People are going back in time to enjoy the things they had back when life was easier—CDs being one of those things.

CD StackChris Murphy, Flickr

CD Recent Sales

Discogs, an online music marketplace, reported a 37 percent rise in CD sales during 2020 and that trend has continued to grow, with the format accounting for one in five items sold on the platform by the end of 2022.

Cds pileToshiyuki, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Who is buying them?

Aside from the trendy people taking their childhood back, avid collectors—worrying about this trend—are desperately searching out the rare and iconic albums from previous decades that may be difficult to get—and they’re willing to pay good money for them.

gramophone and cd'sJorge Fakhouri Filho, Pexels

How much are they worth?

The worth of CDs today greatly depends on a number of factors including: the condition, the rarity, the demand, and the version.

Original versions in original packaging can get you a whopping amount. But even a used copy of a rare album can be worth a few thousand.

Here’s 14 CDs worth over a thousand dollars today—with the highest valued CD last, plus a bonus album that sold for millions.

Person buying cd'scottonbro studio, Pexels

14. Paris Hilton

Paris Hilton’s album Paris, released in 2006, was remixed by Dangermouse with artwork by famous street artist, Banksy—any artwork by Banksy is considered a worthwhile investment.

This album is worth around $1,000 today.

Paris Hilton albumFrancis Storr, Flickr

13. Super Mario Soundtrack

That’s right, the video game character. A CD of the original Super Mario RPG soundtrack recently sold to an avid collector for $1,000. 

CD mario kart game on wiiembrun, Shutterstock

12. Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift’s Teardrops on My Guitar promo album is a fairly recent work that is worth a great deal today.

A promo copy of the album has sold for over $1,200 on eBay.

taylor swift cdChu❤, Flickr

11. Coldplay

Coldplay’s first-ever public album, The Safety EP was limited to 500 copies, and only 150 were sold on the open market.

A copy of this today would be worth about $1,200.

Coldplay discographyAdrián Cerón, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

10. Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson’s album, Smile, is an Australian single released in 1997 and remains one of the rarest, and most sought after, pieces of Michael Jackson memorabilia.

This album is valued between $1,500-$2,000.

Michael Jackson CollectionAbdul Mumin, Flickr

9. Nirvana

Nirvana’s single version of Pennyroyal Tea was released in 1994 but was quickly recalled after the self-inflicted fatality of the lead singer, Kurt Cobain—making any copies purchased rare.

This album can be worth $2,000 today.

NIRVANA Pennyroyal TeaSweetcide, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

8. Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen’s The Future of Rock and Roll (Japan-only compilation) was a double CD pack promo released in 1988. It is said to be the most legendary rarity and likely the hardest Springsteen promo to find.

This promo pack recently sold for over $2,000.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN CDKraft74, Shutterstock

7. Jackie Evancho

The self-released original version of Jackie Evancho’s Prelude to a Dream was withdrawn from sale as soon as Jackie signed a contract with SYCO/Sony/Columbia Records.

Jackie was only nine-years old when the album released in 2009. She made this album before she got noticed, making it highly sought-after now.

This album can be worth up to $2,000 today.

Jackie Evancho In Black Dress At Mandalay BayReneer R. West, CC BY 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

6. Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan’s 50th Anniversary Collection of four-CD-R “1962” set is very rare, with only 100 copies ever made.

A copy of this set recently sold for $2,700.

Bob Dylan “1962”Brett Jordan, Flickr

5. David Bowie

David Bowie’s Sound + Vision compilation was limited to 350 copies. It contains 49 tracks and one video.

A recent copy of this sold on eBay for $4,200.

Tower Records branch in Tokyo's Shibuya area where a variety of David Bowie items including CDs, records and books.Ned Snowman, Shutterstock

4. Rolling Stones

Rolling Stones’ Steel Wheels Japan Tour 1990 album was only available in Japan for promotional reasons and includes a seven-page booklet of press material.

Copies of this album are selling for $4,600. 

The Rolling Stones albumsHadrian, Shutterstock

3. Prince

Prince’s album My Name was Prince (Japan-only compilation) issued 50 promo copies to Japan before it was quickly pulled due to a bitter dispute he had with Warner—making available copies of it extremely rare.

Avid collectors are paying upwards of $5,000 for this album today.

musician PRINCE CD'SKraft74, Shutterstock

2. Rolling Stones/Paul McCartney/Queen

Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, and Queen called The Greatest, and it was another Japan-only box set. This exclusive box set from three of the biggest names in the music industry is highly sought after.

This box set recently sold for over $5,000.

Queen CDKraft74, Shutterstock

1. Eminem

Eminem’s Slim Shady EP is the only extended play he’s ever done. It was released in 1997 as Eminem’s debut of his Slim Shady alter-ego—making it extremely rare.

This album is worth an incredible $12,000.

Eminem's SLIM SHADY LPKraft74, Shutterstock

Bonus: Wu-Tang Clan

According to numerous sources, Wu-Tang Clan’s album, Once Upon A Time In Shaoilin is a super rare album worth an insane amount of money today.

Wu-Tang Clan's Once Upon A Time In Shaolin albumWutangcashew, CC BY-SA 4.0 , Wikimedia Commons

Wu-Tang Clan: Once Upon A Time In Shaoilin

The album was recorded over six years (2007-2013), and only one copy was ever created. A single two-cd copy was pressed in 2014 and stored in a vault until it was auctioned in 2015.

Legal stipulations claim the album cannot be commercially exploited until the year 2103.

Wu-Tang Clan  Once Upon A Time In ShaolinWutangcashew, CC BY-SA 4.0 , Wikimedia Commons

Wu-Tang Clan: Owner

The 2014 copy was sold to Martin Shkreli, the CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, for $2 million. When Shkreli was locked up in 2018, his assets were seized and sold to pay his debts.

In 2021, the government sold the album to NFT collectors for a whopping $4 million.

Martin Shkreli 2016House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Wikimedia Commons

Final Thoughts

If you’re lucky enough to own any of those albums, you could be sitting on a hefty paycheck. If not, it would still be beneficial to see what you have and what they’re worth as many other CDs are still selling for a few hundred bucks each.

Woman holding cdBran Sodre, Pexels

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4


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