The Led Zeppelin Release That’s Among the Priciest Discogs Sales of All Time
Led Zeppelin might not strike you as a band with a slew of collectible albums. After all, the Zep signed to a major label (Atlantic) shortly after forming and sold millions every time they released an LP. Widely available records selling in massive numbers doesn’t immediately suggest rarities.
But there are several out there. If you have a first-press copy of Led Zeppelin IV (1971) with the plum-colored label in mint condition, you’d likely get over $1,000 for it. A copy of Led Zeppelin (1969) with the original turquoise lettering might also sell for figures in the thousands.
While those numbers look high, they’re nothing compared to the prices the Classic Records “Road Case” box (2006) have commanded. When collector site/marketplace Discogs posted its top 100 sales, the 48-LP set of Zep’s music checked in at No. 15. And three other copies placed in the top 30.
The Led Zeppelin ‘Road Case’ ranks among Discogs’ top sales at $7,260
Led Zeppelin’s Classic Records ‘Road Case’ box containing 48 LPs | Rollin’ Records
RELATED: ‘Led Zeppelin I’: The Disaster Shown on the Cover of Zeppelin’s Debut Album
Classic Records went to extremes to deliver the ultimate audiophile experience of Zeppelin’s catalog. The company pressed every Atlantic and Swan Song release (from the debut to Coda) on 200-gram, single-sided, Quiex SV-P vinyl. All of it spins at 45rpm
At that speed, a standard Zep studio album required four single-sided LPs; the two double albums needed eight LPs. Altogether, it came out to 48 LPs, and Classic Records only released about 500 copies (originally priced at $700). Since ’06, they’ve become more and more valuable.
In 2019, a Discogs seller moved a mint-condition set at $7,260. That wasn’t the only one that landed in the top 20. Earlier in ’19, another mint road case set sold for a few ticks shy of $7,000. (That edition stands at No. 19 on the top Discogs sales list compiled by Nicole Raney.)
Two other copies of the road case set placed at Nos. 29 ($6,265) and 30 ($6,250). But a set from Classic Records founder Michael Hobson blew all these figures out of the water. Though it didn’t sell on Discogs, that sealed edition (1 of 1) reportedly went for $25,000.
Individual Zeppelin LPs have sold for far lower figures on Discogs
Led Zeppelin poses in front of the band’s private airliner, The Starship, in 1973. Hulton Archive/Getty Images
If you scan the top Discogs transactions, you’ll find rare individual LPS and singles making up most of the list. Prince’s The Black Album (1987), which the artist pulled after completing, sits at No. 2 ($27,500) and No. 5 ($15,000). And a Japanese promo copy of Pink Floyd’s Ummagumma (in red and white vinyl) sits at No. 6 ($14,457).
The Beatles checked in twice in the top 10. A promo copy of the “Love Me Do” single, which features a misspelling of Paul McCartney’s name, went for a whopping $15,410 (No. 3) in 2017. And another sold on Discogs for $10,274 (No. 10) in ’18.
As for Zeppelin, none of the band’s LPs have sold for enough on Discogs to crack the top 100. Those rare editions of the debut and IV do regularly sell high, but you will see eye-popping asking prices (some over $10,000) for editions. To date, nothing has approached the prices Classic Records’ road cases got on the site.