dissemination is the name of the game

Es­ti­mated reading time is 4 minutes.

IN REAL ES­TATE, the mantra is Lo­ca­tion! Lo­ca­tion! Lo­ca­tion! It has been as­so­ci­ated with that busi­ness for so long that it feels like it was in­vented along with the con­cept of the re­altor. And of course, while the lo­ca­tion of a house isn’t every­thing, it can seem that way when as­saying prop­erty values or checking out a place to raise one’s family.

In one of my books—all price guides for record collectors—from waaay back in the 1990s, I re­marked that a sim­ilar mantra could be adopted by col­lec­tors: Con­di­tion! Con­di­tion! Con­di­tion!

While the con­di­tion of a record isn’t every­thing, it can seem that way when as­saying the rel­a­tive values of the same record. The orig­inal O’Sullivan Wood­side price guides for record albums—from way back in the pri­mor­dial ooze of the 1970s—gave a ratio of 1:4 be­tween records graded VG and graded NM.


Prices being paid for NM records in NM jackets is con­sid­er­ably greater than the prices being paid for lesser con­di­tion records and is growing daily.


That is, ac­cording to orig­inal au­thors Bruce Hamilton and Jerry Os­borne, a VG copy was con­sid­ered to have one-fourth (25%) the worth of a NM copy of the same record.

By the time of my Gold­mine guides of the 1990s, I had widened the gap to a ratio of 1:5. That is, a VG copy was con­sid­ered to have one-fifth (20%) the worth of a NM copy of the same record.

But the gap be­tween the lesser copies and “top copies” has been growing steadily over the years and has es­ca­lated con­sid­er­ably since the in­tro­duc­tion of the World Wide Web. At the same time, the de­f­i­n­i­tion of Mint has been sharp­ened con­sid­er­ably by dis­cerning buyers.

Ex­pec­ta­tions are higher, con­se­quently, the prices being paid for nearly mint records in nearly mint jackets is considerably—and exponentially—greater than the prices being paid for lesser con­di­tion records.




RCA Victor LPM-1254 was the most im­por­tant and in­flu­en­tial album of the ’50s—perhaps in rock & roll his­tory. Copies can be found with the title on the front cover in varying shades of pink and green. The top copy above has a pale pink ELVIS and a dark green PRESLEY. The bottom copy has a dark pink ELVIS and a pale green PRESLEY. We are un­cer­tain as to whether this is a vari­a­tion in first vs. second print­ings or si­mul­ta­neous print­ings by two dif­ferent printers in two different lo­ca­tions. 1

Elvis meets the Beatles

Let’s use the first LPs by the reigning champs of record sales, Elvis and the Bea­tles as ex­am­ples: in today’s In­ternet market, a first pressing of ei­ther ELVIS PRESLEY (RCA Victor LPM-1254 from 1956) or MEET THE BEA­TLES Capitol T/ST-2047 from 1964) graded VG will not sell for 20% of a NM copy.

Rather, a VG copy of ei­ther might sell for per­haps one-tenth (10%) that of a NM copy. That is a 1:10 ratio—and that ratio will con­tinue to grow until a chasm ex­ists be­tween NM and VG.

These same records in VG+ con­di­tion might sell for two or three times the VG price, meaning that VG+ has a ratio of 2:10 or 3:10 to a NM copy. This is striking as most of us think of VG+ as being worth ap­prox­i­mately half of NM, meaning a ratio of 4:10/5:10.

Sim­i­larly, when I re­searched the ar­ticle “The haircut pic­ture sleeves of the six­ties,” I dis­cov­ered that while VG+ copies of these sleeves usu­ally sold in that range, a couple of the harder-to-find sleeves (In­de­scrib­ably Blue and Long Legged Girl) were reaching the 1:10 ratio with col­lec­tors paying ten or more times the VG value for truly nearly mint copies. This larger ratio has been true for the rarer Bea­tles pic­ture sleeves for decades.




Capitol T-2047 (mono) / ST-20467 (stereo), Meet The Bea­tles, was the most im­por­tant and in­flu­en­tial album of the ’60s—perhaps in rock & roll his­tory. While not as com­pli­cated as the Presley album above, copies can be found with BEA­TLES  in the title on the front cover in ei­ther brown print or green. 2

Dissemination is the name of the game

Now, what in Grommett’s Wholly Name got me thinking about the above? Well, for those of us writing blogs with small au­di­ences (all three of mine), our mantra might be Dis­sem­i­na­tion! Dis­sem­i­na­tion! Dissemination! 

Merriam-Webster de­fines dis­sem­i­nate as “to cause (some­thing, such as in­for­ma­tion) to go to many people” and that is ex­actly what each blogger has to do every day. One of the ways in which I at­tempt to dis­sem­i­nate my writing is via Face­book: I have a reg­ular Face­book page under my name (nealumphred).

A second Face­book page is elvis-atouchofgold and is there to simply to post links to the Elvis ar­ti­cles that I post here. That way, I hope to at­tract ca­sual Face­book readers to my sites, where they might reg­ister as reg­ular readers.

Two of my blogs are set so that when­ever I post a new piece on the blog, a link with a teaser para­graph is au­to­mat­i­cally sent to and posted on Facebook.


Elvis ThatsTheWay wallpaper 1500

HEADER IMAGE: The photo at the top of this page is from the 1970 doc­u­men­tary movie Elvis – That’s The Way It Is. This blue image is ac­tu­ally a form of com­puter wall­paper, free for the down­loading at the Wall­pa­pers Wide website.



1   The color vari­a­tions also occur on EPA-747 and EPB-1254, the seven-inch EPs that were is­sued com­mer­cially con­cur­rently with the twelve-inch LP. The same ex­ists for the covers of SPD-22 (a two-record set) and SPD-23  (a three-record set) that were given away with the pur­chase of RCA’s Elvis Presley record players. All of these al­bums were ti­tled ELVIS PRESLEY.

2   Granted this an ar­ticle for an all-Elvis site, but by in­cluding the Bea­tles in the ar­ticle, I pick up extra hits from the search en­gines, helping to dis­sem­i­nate my writing to an au­di­ence that might oth­er­wise re­main for­ever (bliss­fully?) unaware . . .


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