How to shop for Elvis Presley LPs and Vinyl
One of the brightest rock stars to ever grace the stage, Elvis Presley was known as the King for good reason. With crossover into country and gospel, there are few genres that Elvis didn't excel at, and when it comes to collecting his records, there is truly something for everyone. From holiday RCA Elvis Presley vinyl to extremely rare releases, such as some releases of "Elvis' Golden Records," there are songs for the beginning collector to the seasoned pro. The Basics: What Are Differences in 33, 45, and 78 RPM? If you're just starting out in the world of record collecting, there may be some confusion or question over what the different RPMs (Revolutions Per Minute) stand for.
- 78 RPM - As of 1925, this was the accepted and gold standard. First introduced by RCA, these vinyl records only offered three minutes per side at the outset, but eventually offered several more songs. Keep in mind that these older albums do not work with most contemporary record players or machines. Before you buy a 78, make sure that you have a machine that is able to play it. Because of their collectibility, some record players in the modern age do offer 78 speeds. You'll find many more besides the RCA label with 78s, and many more artists beyond Elvis.
- 33 RPM - This is the most common type of vinyl LP released throughout history. This vinyl looks similar to its predecessor, the 78, however, it fit more media onto each side (and is also much thinner). Virtually any player (except those made in the 1930s and 1940s) is capable of playing 33 records, and this is where you'll find most of Elvis Presley's work.
- 45 RPM - These smaller recordings were created later on, especially to release singles. With one side known as an A side and one known as a B side, these little discs were incredibly popular in their day. However, keep in mind, if you're looking for Elvis Presley vinyl on 45s, these should play on a "regular" record player; however, you may need a special insert in order this vinyl.
What Are Some Elvis Fan Favorites? Elvis spent many of his early years with RCA, and there are many RCA releases from there. However, his first few recordings were with Sun Records, and these are some of the rarest. When it comes to fan favorites, there are many Elvis hits that are a great idea to add to your collection.
- Look for rare vinyl records and vinyl LP discs:If you want to start out with some of the brightest, look for some of the early Sun Records releases. Some of these include "Mystery Train and Baby, Let's Play House." Another early and rare find is on the RCA label, and is called :"Elvis' Golden Records." There are many versions of this album in existence, so look for the RCA, mono, "first pressings" version for the rare copy.
- Look for popular vinyl LPs that made Elvis Presley famous: Even the casual Elvis fan has heard of "Aloha in Hawaii," or "Jailhouse Rock," two popular Elvis Presley releases.
- Work on a collection of 45s: Having Elvis Presley singles is certainly a conversation starter, and you'll often find a lot of rare music on the B side (side 2) of these gems. Popular Presley 45s include "Guitar Man," "Bossa Nova Baby," "Crying in the Chapel," and many others, such as "Hound Dog," or "Love Me Tender."
- Buy an existing collection: If just collecting music (and not the rarity of it) is more your speed, look for vinyl LPs and collections already released, such as compliations. You'll find Elvis Presley vinyl that includes collections like "The Sun Years" or "Elvis Presley's Best."
How Do I Search for Rare Records? It's always a concern of collectors, especially new ones, to know if their album is rare or not. Sometimes, it's simply a proud moment as a collector to have a real gem in the collection.
- Import: If you've come across an Elvis Presley LP from another country, such as Japan, it may be a rare pressing. It's never a guarantee, but this type of vinyl may be rare.
- Reissue: Some of these are highly sought after collectors' items and some are not. In most cases, an "original pressing" is the collectible, but that's not always the case. Sometimes reissues were printed in limited quantity, making them more desirable than the original.
- Condition: Just like buying anything antique or vintage, condition is expressly important. You will want to look for ones that are mint, VG (very good), or sometimes G (good).
- Sealed/unsealed: The more complete an Elvis LP is, the more collectible it is. You may find albums that are still sealed, although this is rare.