Scalpers are charging up to $1,400 for latest 9 LP Bob Dylan release, a few months from now the price will be $150
By Stephen Pate – Last Friday Sony released 1,000 copies of the BOB DYLAN Limited Edition 50th Anniversary collection 1964 9 LP Box Set. The copies were scattered like dry leaves at 1-5 copies per vinyl record shop across the European Union.
Right away this set off a frenzy of people looking for the 9 LPs which contain all of Bob Dylan’s studio and concert recordings during 1964. At 99£ that’s only $155 US. That is cheap for 9 vinyl LPs which generally cost $25 each.
Add to low-priced is the exclusivity that comes from having only one of 1,000 copies in the world. People, myself included, were scrambling to find the few copies all over Europe.
1964 was the last year Bob Dylan only sang folk and protest songs. By 1965 he was on his way to becoming a rock and roll icon.
Featured image caption: BOB DYLAN Limited Edition 50th Anniversary collection 1964 in a Belfast, Ireland record shop, courtesy Alan Fraser/Facebook
Frantic emails and phone calls with equally frantic pleas went across the Atlantic from North America but to no avail. I found more than 10 stores that had a copy but they refused to sell it over the phone or online. Sony mandated it had to be sold to walk-in customers.
A friend in Norway drove an hour to Oslo to see if he could find a copy. We sent a mutual friend to the store in Manchester only to find the last copy sold. Rise Records in Bristol; Gibert Joseph on Boulevard St Michel, in Paris; Banquet Records in Kingston upon Thames; Platebutikken Big Dipper in Oslo Norway; Stereo Studio Kundeservice in Copenhagen; Jumbo Records in Leeds – the list of record shops and cities is endless.
Obviously the next thing to try is people selling the LPs on eBay. At first the prices were double at about 180 £ but quickly climbed to 260£ and up to 899£. Time to quit I decided. I could buy a new turntable for that kind of money.
Just before I gave up, I spotted last year’s Bob Dylan 50th Anniversary 1963 on sale for the paltry sum of €133.90 (US $168) from a chap in Italy.
Last month the 1963 set was selling for $400 or more. With the latest Bob Dylan extravaganza on the market, the 2nd market has to unload old inventory.
Click, ipso facto presto, I was the proud owner of 6 LPs and 4 CDs of last-years-mad-scramble for the latest rare Bob Dylan 50-year-old recordings.
So there’s the lesson: if we all back off the scalpers and let them sell a few copies at 10 times what they paid they will get more realistic about pricing. Price for any item is a combination of perception and supply and demand. As long as people want something bad enough, sellers are entitled to charge what the traffic will bear.
The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11(Deluxe Edition) along with the 3 vinyl LP The Basement Tapes Raw: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11 (Vinyl) to enjoy over an over, plus a stack of 20 new/old CDs and 5 vinyl box sets that are in my queue to review.
Added to the music mix – I just got a new Bluetooth portable speaker the Bose SoundLink Color Bluetooth Speaker (Mint) that allows me to hear decent music from an iPad or Windows Phone anywhere in the house.
I’ve stuffed all my favourite music on my mobiles so I can hear music like Foo Fighters – Sonic Highways in the shower. What a jump jam Foo Fighters is first thing in the day. Something from Nothing at full tilt!
Oh and by the way, the only reason Sony released this set is to protect Bob Dylan’s copyright for the next 70 years. That’s the copyright law in the EU.
So scalpers, have your day. I’ll be back but only when your profit margin does not deplete my bank account.
You can also subscribe and automatically receive notifications of new stories by email. We do not share your email with advertisers. The subscription form is on this page in the left and right columns.
By Stephen Pate, NJN Network