Discogs, the bottomless music reference site and music marketplace, has released a list of the 100 most expensive records sold on its platform, and the Number One sale is a fittingly obscure one: a special 12-inch promo vinyl released by the British DJ Scaramanga Silk.
Scaramanga Silk’s 2008 self-released debut, Choose Your Weapon, was released as a promo gatefold with a 12-inch vinyl and a CD-Rom, both of which contain the title track. The release also comes with “an art print by Immyart and a poem on acetate.” Only 20 copies of Choose Your Weapon exist and the Discogs record-breaker sold for $41,095.891.
Little is known about Scaramanga Silk, who has been releasing music at a slow and steady clip since 2008, including a debut album, Designer Scribble, that arrived in 2016 via Micro Scribble. The artist does, however, keep a pretty active Facebook page filled with what one would affectionately describe as “dad jokes” (an example: “Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe used to come into the record store I worked at. They never bought any music but would always come over and stroke my head! They pet shop boys”).
The story of how the Choose Your Weapon release earned its $41,000 price tag is equally unclear, although the record seems to have been a collectors’ item since its arrival due to the limited number of copies pressed (years ago, a copy sold for $654 on eBay).
Coming in at Number Two on Discogs’ list is a rare copy of Prince’s 1987 record, The Black Album, which sold for $27,500 (and was the site’s previous record-holder). That LP’s whopping price tag, as Discogs notes, has a much clearer origin story: Prince was set to release the album in 1987 under the name The Funk Bible, but he made a last-minute decision to pull it. By that point, however, some promotional copies had already been sent out, and they’ve been a much-coveted — and very expensive — collector’s item ever since.
Other notable releases in the Top 10 of Discogs’ list include a promo copy of the Beatles’ debut seven-inch, “Love Me Do,” which fetched $15,410.96; a seven-inch of the Sex Pistols’ “God Save the Queen,” which went for $15,060.24; and a special promo copy of Pink Floyd’s 1970 album, Ummagumma, which went for $14,457.83.