The Most Expensive Music I Ever Bought [part 1]

The other day I was grousing about the trend towards high priced, deluxe packages by my favorite artists. By and large these are poised near the $100 price point. That got me thinking about the most expensive things I have bought over the years. There have been $50 12″ singles like the Claudia Brücken “Absolut[e] [bastille mix]” UK 12″ promo that didn’t come cheap.

Island | UK | 12" | 1990 | 12 ISX 471

Claudia Brücken: Absolut[e] UK 12″ Promo

  1. Absolut[e] [shooting star mix]
  2. Absolut[e] [bastille mix]

I bought that from Espirit in the UK. They are an occasional last resort for the rare stuff that GEMM searches won’t turn up. They are pricey, but in my experience, the vinyl is always flawlessly pristine. You get what you pay for.

Then there was the German only 7″ of “The Frozen Ones” from the 2nd Ultravox album, “Ha! Ha! Ha!”

Island | GER | 7" | 1977 | 11 815 AT

Ultravox: The Frozen Ones Ger. 7″

  1. The Frozen Ones
  2. The Man Who Dies Every Day [ver. 2]

I found out about this unique single in the mid-90s and made the effort to finally snag a copy. This was more than just a German-only single with a unique PS. The B-side was an alternate version of my favorite song from the “Ha! Ha! Ha!” album from whence the A-side came. In other words, price was no object. I recall that it set me back about $65; mail ordered, of course.

In 2010, both of these rare tracks that I paid over $100 for are now on remastered CDs by the artists involved. However, the cost was worth having the super rare cuts for many, many years. And the Brücken CD also has a copy remastered from vinyl since the master tape did not turn up. I’ve yet to A/B my remaster with headphones but I’m confident there’s not a vast quality difference apparent. Are there records I’ve paid more for than these? Sure.

Going back to Espirit, in the late 80s I ran across an ad of theirs touting a Japanese CD of Spandau Ballet’s “12” Singles Collection.” What made it intoxicatingly desirable to me was the fact that it was two discs, not the single disc available in the UK and Europe. So I had to call the UK at 5 a.m. and order that puppy on my credit card at the time! It set me back $80 and when it arrived, it had two more tracks than the more common, single disc. It also contained the 12″ mixes of “Paint Me Down” and “She Loved Like Diamond.” Thus, it replicated the running order of the 2xLP version.

Toshiba/EMI | JAPAN | 2xCD | 1986 | CP25-5340, CP25-5341

Spandau Ballet: The 12″ Singles 2xCD Japanese Version


  1. Gold [12″ mix]
  2. Lifeline [12″ UK mix]
  3. Round + Round [LP version]
  4. Only When You Leave [12″ mix]
  5. Instinction [trevor horn remix]
  6. Highly restrung
  7. True [LP version]


  1. Communication [club mix]
  2. I’ll Fly For You [LP version]
  3. To Cut A Long Story Short [12″ mix]
  4. Chant No. 1 [I Don’t Need This Pressure On] [12″ mix]
  5. She Loved Like Diamond [12″ mix]
  6. Paint Me Down [12″ mix]
  7. The Freeze [club mix]
  8. Musclebound [12″ version]

Alas, my tale with this release has a sad end. A friend was DJ’ing at a favorite club and asked me to bring goodies. I took the disc to the club but it never returned with me. I never saw another copy of this for sale anywhere.

Next week: The Post-Punk Monk pays even more for music!

Same Monk Time – Same Monk URL!

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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8 Responses to The Most Expensive Music I Ever Bought [part 1]

  1. ronkanefiles says:

    I’ll look for the Spandau 2CD for you next time I go to Japan – alas, it won’t be soon, at 80 yen to the dollar!

    I usually top out at about $50 – $60 for my ‘spensive favorites, but have not had to do so lately. These days, I buy a few $30 LP’s, but…they’re usually ones that I haven’t seen in 30+ years…Egg “Civil Surface”, Robert John Godfrey “The Fall of Hyperion”, a Spanish pressing of Zappa’s “Hot Rats”…all not seen very often.


  2. Brian Ware says:

    Seems like the most expensive ones I can recall were the XTC “Science Friction” German ($80) and French ($45) picture sleeves. Both totally unique covers and in perfect condition. Lots more disposable income back in those days…


    • postpunkmonk says:

      @ BrianWare – Re: Disposable income – You’ve got that right! Still, you were a madman back in the day. At most I only dropped $20-30 for a unique PS during my Duran Duran collecting days [pre-internet]. I’ll bet many of those discs could be had for a song now. I only crossed the $50 line for a unique mix or track.


  3. Tim says:

    I was chatting with someone about this topic on a Swing Out Sister forum (I’ve done my re-made and re-modeled treatment to a few of their albums). I had just sprung $10 for a single for one track, not my most egregious purchase but it made me wonder what others have spent. This guy had dropped $250 (no typo there) on a Canadian Tears For Fears single (The Hurting era track).
    We chatted back and forth for a post or two and finally I thought to ask him, is the track significantly different than any other mix you have? (I can just imagine spending $250 and oh…..drag….it’s the radio mix!)

    For me these days it isn’t so much how much I can spend but just what can I find that makes me go wow! between rarity and price. My wife and I were in the Twin Cities visiting a friend and we found some awesome resale shops. One had the most comprehensive library of laser disks for sale (and I worked for a while for a place that rented and sold laser) and a corner of the story with a lot of vinyl, all in pretty much M/M shape with really reasonable prices. I passed on an old Julie London (another artist I collect) disk that I had already via Amazon d/l and then checked it out on eBay when I got home and the cheapest one going was about 3x the cost the vendor in the cities wanted.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Tim – I’m still working on the S.O.S. BSOG. There’s a lot remaining but in the last few years I’ve been hitting the vinyl singles I didn’t buy when current. That was during the mid-late 80s when I almost completely eschewed vinyl – hard to believe!

      You’d better believe there’s lots of laserdisc love in The Monk’s Cell. All of that Japanese laser action is what tipped my hand to the format in the late 80s. Good lord, the things in my collection astound even me some times. Still – I never got that JPN Arcadia LD and I had all of the other Duran titles. It’s been interesting to see some of the more rare items get a DVD airing… 20-30 years later! I’m thinking Visage video album and titles like Blancmange’s “Hello, Good Evening.” I never went three figures on OMD’s “Live @ Drury Lane” due to that title being legendary for laser rot. Now I have it on DVD – mastered whole realms better than was possible 25+ years ago! Memo to self – laserdisc blogs in the near future!!


  4. Tim says:

    My late brother was sold a used record store in the late 1980’s. The owner had family business to attend to and turned over all the stock to my brother for $1. The biggest PITA for my brother was the lease on the store as turning over enough money to live on and pay the bills with a used record shop isn’t always easy.

    One of the perks for me was the guy who sold it to Rob had some connects to Japanese laser disks like I had never seen before and I went nuts. My brother ordered anything I wanted and sold it to me at cost so I bulked up the collection. Somewhere somewhen I lost only one title, a King Crimson concert I would watch religiously at the video store I worked at. Couple years back I bought a dvd burner and burnt all of my laser disks to dvd save for maybe 10. It had a 90 day warrenty and died on day 91, but I worked that thing for three months.

    Back to SOS, I’ve really had fun redoing their albums. This probably makes me a heretic, but I really don’t much care for the tune ”Breakout”. The RM/RM of the first album closes with a medley of ”Another Lost Weekend” and ”Breakout” that pretty much redeems the song a lot for me. So far I have done RM/RM to ‘It’s Better to Travel.’ ‘Kaleidoscope World’ ‘Get in Touch With Yourself’ and ‘Shapes and Patterns’ although I intend to revisit the last one if I can ever get my hands on the ‘We Could Make It Happen’ cd single.

    Would love to find a copy of Private View, I don’t do Facebook or Paypal so a copy has eluded me.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Tim: – If it’s “Three Of A Perfect Pair – Live In Japan,” I have that KC title! It’s now on DVD with the Frejus [Roxy Music opening act set] show that was VHS only, as far as I know. Fripp on “Satori In Tangier” where he’s almost gyrating off of his stool is transcendental for me!!! There was a JPN LD vendor in So.Cal. and I’d get a fat JPN LD catalog [$10/issue] with cover art and cat no. info every month showing everything in print! What a resource that was! I’d then order tons of LDs from it.


  5. Tim says:

    Three of a Perfect Pair it was. I have no idea what happened to it. Had hundreds of LD and if I lost one in all these years I guess that isn’t so bad.


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