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How rare is rare ?

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Just wondering if you knowledgable soul people out there can answer something that I’ve wondered about for ages. Now I bought my first soul record in 1969 (Jami Thomas - I spy on uk polydor ) and have carried on buying them ever since although not very often and not for high prices. The thing is I know in all types of collecting rarer means more expensive but in say collecting paintings it’s generally known what works of art have been produced so if investing you know there’s not another like it. But with soul records how do you know how rare a record is ? With say Frank Wilson it’s accepted there are only 2 copies so the price is determined by who wants it the most and how much their willing to pay. But say with Don Gardner- Cheating kind I’ve read there are 7/8 known copies with the price as far as I’m aware being around the £7000/£8000 and Eddie Parker’s - I’m gone listen at £6000 on Anglo Americans website so assume there’s a few more copies of this than Don Gardner’s. The thing that puzzles me is who knows for sure how many copies of these and many more there are ? Is there documentation to back up the numbers that were released back in the day ? Sometimes I see Issue copies of some releases being valued higher than the demo copies, so it goes without saying that there are less issues but who has this info ? If I was to say invest in a life long wants for even a few hundred pounds how would I know that there weren’t 100’s more copies sitting somewhere waiting to bring the price down. This of course may be general knowledge to the serious collectors. So just wondering (seriously) if anyone can shed any light on this for me. 

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Three FW's including the test pressing , but no doubt someone knows someone whose Aunty had a postman who knew the janitor in the company that supplied the firm that made the boxes that Berry used to pack 45's in ... etc , etc , etc .... :rolleyes:

As to the rest it's muddy waters as there's the balance (or not) between 'rarity' and 'demand' ... plenty of "not rare" records make more than "rare" ones purely because of renewed popularity but they're not available because the copies are locked away in 'collections' and they seldom appear for sale .... but just because there are no copies for sale does not mean that there were not thousands pressed and distributed and surviving.

It's a subject that's been covered umpteen times before on here so I'll shut up now and let you search the previous discussions/arguements/battles ... have fun now ... :hatsoff2:

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It's not all that clear cut in the art world either, a lot of art collecting is prints, some Picasso's have sold for over £1,000,000. Signed prints being worth more than unsigned. Whilst some is traceable there's always a chance that more will turn up. 

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18 minutes ago, Timillustrator said:

It's not all that clear cut in the art world either, a lot of art collecting is prints, some Picasso's have sold for over £1,000,000. Signed prints being worth more than unsigned. Whilst some is traceable there's always a chance that more will turn up. 

But with prints they are generally a known number of copies and numbered as such are they not ? ( i.e 1/500 or similar , discounting the many fakes and repros of course.) Even my copy of Mr Manship's latest guide is numbered 995/1000.

Life would be a bit easier if record companies had used a similar system on the labels ... lol

 

Edited by WoodButcher

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6 minutes ago, dave pinch said:

jimmy mac on palmer is not rare at all and comes to the market all the time...ref eddie parker v don gardner.......ask at keele tonight ..or stoke kings hall who has eddie parker and pretty much all the djs will shout up... its a record that all the big boys/deep pocket brigade have..no where near as rare as don gardner

Thanks Dave ,

And now I have "that" scene from 'Spartacus' in my mind but with the chorus of    "I've got Eddie Parker ... " resounding repeatedly ... :facepalm:

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2 hours ago, purist said:

In the days before soul source we had an internet soul list that many collectors/dj's were contributing members of. This subject came up and we discussed a small number of so called rare records. These weren't records we knew were mega rarities and one offs, instead they were ones which some people thought were unfairly listed as " super rare". One I recall was Jimmy Mack My World Is On Fire., and the idea was that every member who owned a copy on that day should shout up. This conversation spread to the record bars of Niters and serious Rare soul Nights. In the end it seemed that loads of people owned a copy, far more than I would have expected, but at that time you never really heard it played out, it had gone out of vogue. I sold my copy soon after, then my mate Max bought a copy for about 150 more than I'd just sold mine for.  Now I'd say that the person who recently paid 1800 or something like that will lose at least 50% - 66% should he or she ever need to sell it some years in the future, because it's a classic case of 'not coming out of a collection anytime soon' rather than "ten copies or less".
Don't forget or get confused by the terminology. When I was a youngster we called it all rare soul, as a way of describing a sound, rather than how common or not it was. When pressings were 65p and 85p a lot of originals got sold in amongst them at the same prices, and some of todays big money items are claimed to have come from soul packs, but the real danger is to follow what's currently hot. I look and see on lists every week records that five years, ten years back, were selling for double what they are listed at today. You'll never find accurate numbers, and its pointless me saying "John Anderson had 200 of them", or " My mate had 98 copies of the Vonnettes on Cobbblestone", I know he did, and sold them all out of his little shop in Wednesfield, along with various other ' rarities in quantity', Dickie Wonder being another example. It's down to whether you can lay your hands on one when you want one at a sensible price today, not 40 odd years ago, that matters, not how many copies in circulation.
p.s. I always respect collectors who say " Never had one, never got near buying one" when discussing records, there are some folk who bullshit massively about what original 45's they own, sadly that's another reason why you will never get a true number count, but don't let that stop you doing your own straw poll around the Niter record bars, just pick a tune and ask away :D

a similar scenario happened recently with papa bear and cubs...dozens of people bought it cheap when gary cape,john anderson and rod dearlove i think it was had them mid 90s...about 30 people came on to say they have it

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Rarity applies to the number or records pressed. Availability pertains to the number of records that come onto the market for sale. I rather like John Manship’s diamond classification in Million Dollars of Rare Soul - OK, not perfect, but nevertheless a solid guide for the most part. Because we communicate with each other and attend events where rare records are spun in public, some of us have a pretty good idea who actually owns the scarcest records. Key dealers also have knowledge of rarity/availability through sales/stocktake figures - their comments are always worth taking note of. Finally, Popsike indicates potential record rarity/availability and should be checked before bidding on expensive items. Bottom line is, if you like the record enough, pay what it takes to own it.

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14 hours ago, chalky said:

There must be around 300 copies of that.  

 

That would still seem scarce to me in the grand scheme of things , of course not extremely rare.

I would assume though that 300 copies would be enough records in circulation for it to be an overplayed disc in the hands of certain djs.

 

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3 hours ago, shinehead said:

That would still seem scarce to me in the grand scheme of things , of course not extremely rare.

I would assume though that 300 copies would be enough records in circulation for it to be an overplayed disc in the hands of certain djs.

 

But not as scare as the recent prices suggest?

You only need half a dozen of the right Djs for something to get hammered.

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Sorry folks I’ve missed the recent phenomenon of ‘Rare’ White label unreleased / reissue ,  10 quid for the sound, twenty quid to have it on a blank label with a certificate of residence and DJ Only printed at the side....

still I can’t say no to spend 20 when I actually only need to spend a tenner, a ‘rare’ occurace indeed !!! Lol

m

 

Edited by Mal C

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On 12/01/2019 at 16:25, tomangoes said:

If you do find out...let me know, but nobody else:)

Shows what I know...i thought Eddie Parker was rarer than Don Gardner!

They will all be cheap as chips one day. Might be a while yet though.

Ed

I think it's already started to gradually slide.

I predict in five years time lots of people will need to sell to top up their (lack of) pensions, and they will be disappointed when they all do it at the same time. It's had it's final 'resurgence' I think...

This will be a positive for us on the whole though :wink:

Back on topic - A lot of records are 'keepers', so are sometimes described as rare, as in rarely available.

All the best,

Len :thumbsup:

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6 minutes ago, LEN said:

I think it's already started to gradually slide.

I predict in five years time lots of people will need to sell to top up their (lack of) pensions, and they will be disappointed when they all do it at the same time. It's had it's final 'resurgence' I think...

This will be a positive for us on the whole though :wink:

Back on topic - A lot of records are 'keepers', so are sometimes described as rare, as in rarely available.

All the best,

Len :thumbsup:

This has pretty much summed it up Len.

Once more and more collections are dispersed some of the current rarities will be much more plentiful. Records that are much sought after therefore 'collection-locked' in a lot of collectors possession are the big rarities not because of numbers pressed but numbers in circulation.

I think 'rarity' as a concept has two meanings, one as in how many are there? And 'How many are available at any given time?'

I've said many times about the parallel with Classic cars, once our generation have gone or relinquished what we own, future collectors won't crave the same things as we did.

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19 hours ago, Mal C said:

Sorry folks I’ve missed the recent phenomenon of ‘Rare’ White label unreleased / reissue ,  10 quid for the sound, twenty quid to have it on a blank label with a certificate of residence and DJ Only printed at the side....

still I can’t say no to spend 20 when I actually only need to spend a tenner, a ‘rare’ occurace indeed !!! Lol

m

 

Or maybe the £50 limited edition that comes with a letter of provenance  , a £10 record tarted up .   

Edited by shinehead

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2 hours ago, LEN said:

 

Back on topic - A lot of records are 'keepers', so are sometimes described as rare, as in rarely available.

All the best,

Len :thumbsup:

I blame it on the people who call it rare soul instead of northern soul.  That's where the problem started. Lets go back to the days when everything played was called northern soul . It was cheap n common not rare and expensive 

Steve 

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3 hours ago, LEN said:

I think it's already started to gradually slide.

I predict in five years time lots of people will need to sell to top up their (lack of) pensions, and they will be disappointed when they all do it at the same time. It's had it's final 'resurgence' I think...

This will be a positive for us on the whole though :wink:

Back on topic - A lot of records are 'keepers', so are sometimes described as rare, as in rarely available.

All the best,

Len :thumbsup:

A lot of collections are already coming to market especially top end items. 

Also worth noting, Some prices are decided by who is playing a record and not by its rarity. 

Edited by chalky

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14 minutes ago, chalky said:

A lot of collections are already coming to market especially top end items. 

Also worth noting, Some prices are decided by who is playing a record and not by its rarity. 

Yes it (finally) gets noticed, others follow, which pushes up the price of the tune ('In demand')

Len :thumbsup:

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17 hours ago, Mal C said:

so what is 'Rare'!!

cheap - there are no cheap records now unless you collect engelbert humperdinck.

nice bit / or soul winner, a common 45 you used to pay 5-10 quid for, lots about you now pay 30/40 for

Rare - a pretty common record you used to get for up to 50 quid now worth upto a ton

very rare - collectible 45 probably nationally released, wait and you will find a copy pretty soon 100 - 200 quid

Super Rare - all the old 250-300 quid records people now sell for double and upto 750

Mega rare - all the 500 plus sounds you now pay 1000 and above for

Seriously rare or top draw the records over 1000 - 3k mark, a lot of these do seem to turn up

Trophy record - still unobtainable and still as pricey as they always were.

so rare is basically Common records, sold as rare for overinflated prices you could get if you could be bothered to shop about...

sorry folks, the word 'Rare' has really become a load of B****ks these days, it really has.

 

Mal:-)

 

 

 

 

 

You forgot ‘Holy Grail’... Is this is the best descriptor for Rarest of the Rare or just eBay sales pitch by an over-optimistic seller who knows little about records?

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6 minutes ago, FRANKIE CROCKER said:

You forgot ‘Holy Grail’... Is this is the best descriptor for Rarest of the Rare or just eBay sales pitch by an over-optimistic seller who knows little about records?

I thought Indiana Jones had the only copy😁

I'll get my coat.

Edited by JulianB

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