A daily dose of Hughes; Jimmy Hughes aka James Michael Hughes

Oscar Wilde

knew a thing or two about human nature. And he was right on the money when he spoke of people knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing. Value has very little to do with price. It’s possible to buy something that costs a lot but has little real worth. Equally, some things are relatively low cost yet possess inestimable value. Take recorded music for example. The price of CDs (and used LPs) has never been lower. We’re almost talking ‘giveaway’ here. Recorded music has never been so cheap.

And while there are still some shops valiantly attempting to sell CDs at something like the ‘proper’ selling price, most outlets discount heavily. Certainly, the big retailers like HMV and Virgin seem to have a near permanent all year round Sale going on. Shops selling LPs are now fairly few and far between – though the Soho area of central London has quite a few vintage used vinyl specialists. But, for those into classical music, there are few places left selling vinyl.


Of course, some old LP records are very collectible and still fetch high prices. You still hear of ridiculous sums being paid for some recordings. Yet, this is growing less common and becoming increasingly rare as time passes. Even ‘desirable’ Decca Widebands are selling cheaply. Sanity has been restored. The days when you could sell any old piece of beaten-up ‘collectable’ vinyl for a King’s Ransom are gone. Which means that those who bought LPs as a long-term investment have lost out. Big time.

Speaking personally, I never regarded my own vinyl collection as an investment – certainly, not in the financial sense. For me, the ‘value’ was always in the music and the performance – not the fact that a particular disc had a rare or unusual sleeve, or the recording in question was deleted quickly after issue and therefore very uncommon. The value was the enjoyment it gave and the pleasure that resulted. If the disc in question also happened to be rare and financially valuable, that was an added bonus.

To be continued