The reputation of Mark E Smith and The Fall seems to have grown in quite an extraordinary fashion since his death back in January 2018. Nobody seems to have a bad word to say about him, and there’s even been a bit of critical reassessment of some of the more awful and near-unlistenable albums to the extent that the cost of picking up any vinyl via the second-hand markets could well be edging towards silly money.

Looking at my own purchasing history on Discogs going back to 2008, I can find the following examples when it comes to The Fall:-

15 Ways – 10″ on clear vinyl : September 2013 – cost £2.75
Free Range – 12″ Ltd Edition, Numbered : October 2014 – cost £3
Totally Wired : The Rough Trade Anthology – 2 x CDs : July 2015 – cost £4
Hey! Luciani – 12″ : January 2019 – cost 5.80 euro (from Germany)
There’s A Ghost In My House – 7″ : July 2020 – cost £3.29
Oh! Brother – 12″ : October 2020 – cost £7.50
Hi Tension Line – 12″ : May 2022 – cost £9.10

None of these were ordered as stand-alone purchases – in other words, I’d have gone deep into whatever else the seller had on offer, and they would all end up in a package alongside as many as nine other records/CDs.  The fact that the prices in October 2020 and May 2022 were much higher than the previous five purchases got me thinking that I was likely to find big increases if looking to buy today.

15 Ways – 10″ on clear vinyl : February 2023 asking price – 16 euro (from Spain)
Free Range – 12″ Ltd Edition, Numbered : February 2023 asking price – £8
Totally Wired : The Rough Trade Anthology – 2 x CDs : February 2023 asking price – £5
Hey! Luciani – 12″ : February 2023 asking price – 4.50 euro (from Germany)
There’s A Ghost In My House – 7″ : February 2023 asking price – £3.99
Oh! Brother – 12″ : February 2023 asking price – £11
Hi Tension Line – 12″ : February 2023 asking price – £10.50

Six out of the seven are more expensive today; the surprise was that buying a piece of vinyl from Germany would be marginally cheaper today, but any savings would be more than swallowed up by the huge rise associated with shipping costs in the post-Brexit era.

I paid approx £34.75 for the seven items between 2013 and 2022.   To pick them up today, it would be approx £56.50.   That’s an increase of 62.5%.

I’ll admit that I was expecting it to be more, but then again, except for the 10″ of 15 Ways, none of my purchases have been of things that are difficult to find, which probably means there are still some second-hand records by The Fall out there at prices which won’t break the bank.

The expensive ones are those that had limited releases on vinyl in the era when CD was dominant.  For instance, Susan vs Youthclub can be had on CD for £2, but the asking price for the one copy of the 7″ version currently on sale is $60 (US).

There’s an obvious song for today’s posting

mp3: The Fall – F-oldin Money

Funny enough.  One of the more expensive CD-only singles out there on the market at approx £8 a pop.


2 thoughts on “THE INSANE COST OF SECOND HAND VINYL? (Issue #6)

  1. Like you I’m surprised prices haven’t gone up more, maybe Fall fans never went for CD’s and stuck with vinyl throughout

  2. I recently offloaded a stack of The Fall’s later LPs to my local 2nd hand store and I think they contributed a healthy proportion of the credit I received (and am still trying to spend my way through). There are obviously fans out there keen enough to buy the likes of Middle Class Revolt, Cerebral Caustic and The Light User Syndrome. I carried on buying in the wake of Code Selfish and The Infotainment Scan which I still enjoy but I realised that I never had any inclination to play those later albums any more. Levitate was the end of the line for me.

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