15 Rock Releases That Sold For Over $3,500 in 2020

Is there a limit to how much money you would spend on a cherished recording from your favorite band? Discogs, a music database and marketplace for collectors and sellers alike, recently published its list of the 50 most expensive releases sold on their site in 2020, and a number of rock artists such as Nirvana and the pre-Linkin Park band Xero, all made the cut, selling for $3,500 or more.

The list is littered with box sets, rare pressing, 7″ singles, demo cassettes and more, proving that a variety of formats all have their own unique worth. And then there’s that 48 LP set from Led Zeppelin that somehow doesn’t come with its own set of wheels, so enjoy lugging that around, whoever laid out over $6,000 for it.

One Nirvana 7″ single, “Love Buzz” / “Big Cheese” even made an appearance three times on the 2020 chart, having sold for $3,573.88, $3,799.99 and $3,998.99.

The only cassette tape to crack the Top 50 is by Xero, the pre-Linkin Park band that featured singer Mark Wakefield. The rare 1997 recording went for a flat $4,500.

Also of note, Discogs’ appears to have erroneously listed the same release, a 1982 EP, twice, first at No. 50 and again at No. 12. The No. 50 ranking displays the price seen again later on, and does not match the the ranking in which each price listed is greater than the one that preceded it.

See the 15 most expensive rock releases sold on Discogs last year directly below. Also, we’ve listed the top-selling release, which went for an eye-popping $41,095.89.

Discogs’ 50 Most Expensive Recordings Sold in 2020 — Rock Releases

49. $3,500 — David Bowie, Five Years (1969 – 1973) Box Set (2015)

47. $3,573.88 — Nirvana, “Love Buzz” / “Big Cheese” 7″ Single (1988)

38. $3,750 — Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin II 4LP set (2008)

37. $3,799 — The Queers, “Love Me” 7″ single (1982)

36. $3,799.99 — Nirvana, “Love Buzz” / “Big Cheese” 7″ Single (1988)

34. $3,846.15 — Sex Pistols, Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s the Sex Pistols pre main press + single-sided 7″ single (1977)

31. $3,998.99 — Nirvana, “Love Buzz” / “Big Cheese” 7″ Single (1988)

28. $4,000 — The Queers, “Love Me” 7″ single (1982)

23. $4,494.38 — Sex Pistols, “Did You Know Wrong” acetate 10″ single (1977)

22. $4,500 — Xero (pre-Linkin Park), Xero demo cassette (1997)

19. $4,729.73 — Joy Division, “An Ideal for Living” 7″ single (1978)

14. $5,484.15 — David Bowie, The Next Day limited-edition numbered blue double vinyl (2019)

12. $5499.99 — Negative Approach, Negative Approach 7″ EP (1982)

7. $6,341.46 — Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin 48 LP box set (2006)

4. $6,500 — Pink Floyd, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn LP (1967)

For Fun – The Most Expensive Recording Sold on Discogs in 2020

1. $41,095.89 Scaramanga Silk, “Choose Your Weapon” 12″ single + promo CDr (2008)

20 Best Selling Hard Rock + Metal Albums in the United States

16 Most Expensive Guitars of All Time

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Tony Kaye’s Hopes for David Bowie ‘Station to Station’ Live Tapes

Tony Kaye, who toured with David Bowie during his Station to Station era, said he’s discovered two live recordings that are “so much better” than the official live release from March 1976.

He described the board mixes as “fantastic performances” and explained that he tried to open discussions about releasing them, but he wasn’t able to establish a conversation before Bowie’s death in 2016.

In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Kaye recalled how he’d recently quit Yes and moved to Los Angeles before being signed up for what became known as Bowie’s Thin White Duke tour. He had settled in the notorious Hyatt House hotel because it was the only place he knew in the city and wound up developing a friendship with Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham.

“Nothing could be crazier than John Bonham driving his weird car … whatever it was called with the open top,” Kaye said. “It looked like Mad Max. We lived next door to each other. … Every night, we’d hit the bar at the Riot House and then go to the Rainbow. That was a nightly thing until I got serious.”

After three months, Kaye realized he went into “a sort of rehab seclusion” and met Bowie’s tour manager on his first night out afterward. “He said, ‘Can you be on a plane tomorrow?’ That was it,” he recalled. “I said, ‘Sure.’ … I didn’t even know where I was going. The limousine picked me up, and before you knew it, I was in Jamaica at Keith Richards’ house with David and the band rehearsing.”

Kaye said guitarist Carlos Alomar, bassist George Murray and drummer Dennis Davis were a “killer band” and “great guys, too.” “Carlos was the guy,” he noted. “He was kind of my mentor, really. I learned everything about David’s music from him.” He added that he didn’t see any evidence of the cocaine problems Bowie was going through at the time. “He looked great. He was the persona of the person on that stage. He didn’t look raggedy at all. … He was the Thin White Duke, and it was a great show. I loved that tour.”

The keyboardist said it was “a shame that not a lot of it was recorded or filmed.” “I do have tapes that I tried to get to David just before he died,” he explained. “I found in a box a board mix of two shows. One at Madison Square Garden and one in Paris that are just fantastic performances. … I tried to get a message to David that I had them right before he died … they just sound so great. For board mixes, they are unbelievable.”

Kaye said he’s heard the official release from that tour, a live album included on the 2016 box set Who Can I Be Now? (1974–1976), but “the shows I have are really so much better. Maybe someone will want to release it just as a one-off thing. I should probably give Carlos a ring and see what he thinks. He’s the master Bowie dude. Anyway, the Madison Square Garden shows were so great. Everyone was there, like [John] Lennon, Liza Minelli. … I don’t think there’s anyone since that has been as cool as Bowie was at that moment.”

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David Bowie Producer Thought ‘Hunky Dory’ Would Flop

Ken Scott, who produced David Bowie’s 1971 album, Hunky Dory, admitted that he initially expected the record to flop.

Though he’d previously worked as a studio engineer with Bowie, the Beatles and Elton John, among others, Scott earned his first production gig with Hunky Dory. In a new interview with Classic Album Sundays (via Mojo), he said he’d taken courage from thinking the record would fail just like its predecessor, The Man Who Sold the World.

“Did I know that Bowie would be a superstar? Never,” he said. “I thought, ‘Finally, I can make mistakes because no one is going to hear this album.’” His thinking quickly changed after a meeting with Bowie. “He showed me the demos and I realized there is so much more to him, that this would be huge, and I was petrified again.”

Scott was impressed by his lead artist’s approach to work. “He was the best vocalist in-studio I’ve ever worked with,” he said. “Of the four albums I co-produced with him, 95 percent of the vocals are the first take; he’d do it once, and that’s what you hear today.”

Even at that stage of his career, Bowie was focused on the idea of an album being an “immersive listen,” Scott said, adding that he believed Hunky Dory was a prime example. “The Beatles turned the making of an album into an art form. It wasn’t just a bunch of single songs. They put them together as a complete package, and that’s what we continued. And that’s one of the things with Hunky Dory. It’s meant as a complete package, not just a bunch of songs.”

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When David Bowie and Martin Barre Hid From ‘Ego’ Party

Former Jethro Tull guitarist Martine Barre recalled the time he tried to hide from rock star egos in an apartment and found David Bowie in the kitchen doing the same.

The party in question took place at some point in the ‘70s, when John Evan was Jethro Tull’s keyboardist. In a recent interview with Raised on Radio, Barre said he’d become “so bored with all the ego going on” with the antics of Rolling Stones members and other “very famous people.”

“We went into this kitchen in this big apartment to have a cup of tea and get away from it,” the guitarist said. “And David Bowie was in there having a cup of tea as well. … We just said, ‘Isn’t it awful out there?’ And he said, ‘Yeah.’ And me, David Bowie and John Evans, we were in there, I would have to say three hours, just talking about Monty Python, tea, anything but music. And there was no issue going on about [being] the big star – he [was] a person, very down to Earth.”

You can listen to the interview below.

It wasn’t the first time Barre encountered Bowie: They had shared a stage in the south of England in the mid ’60s, before Tull formed and when Bowie was still using his real name.

“We were support band to Davy Jones and the Lower Third,” Barre said. “I don’t think anybody knew who they were, but they’d come down from London, and we traveled all the way from Brighton to Bournemouth. … They were like a London band, it was a big thing. … But they were really nice people.”

He added that Bowie “wore makeup” and that he’d “never seen a musician wear makeup in my life.” But, he repeated, “They were just nice. They knew we were pretty naive and green behind the ears, but they were just really nice and supportive of us.”

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