The White Label Auction in Aid of The BRIT Trust has set a new record for a sale of LP test pressings – with a total hammer price of £43,540.
Net proceeds will now go to support the work of The BRIT Trust – the music industry charity that supports causes that promote education and wellbeing through the power of music and the creative arts, such as The BRIT School and Nordoff Robbins music therapy among many others.
It means that the White Label Auction hosted by the music memorabilia and vinyl records specialists Omega Auctions has now raised a total approaching £100,000 for The BRIT Trust over its three editions to date.
Each of the 175 lots of ‘white label’ LP test pressings, some of them signed or personalised by the artists, sold, with many typically going for hundreds of pounds and eight lots commanding four-figure sums. See here for full list/details and images.
With just a handful of white label LPs produced by record labels ahead of the full release of any new album, these first-off-the-press copies typically go to archive, and can be highly prized by collectors and fans alike.
The highest price paid in the auction was £5,500 for a white label reissue of The Cure’s acclaimed 1989 studio album Disintegration, signed by frontman Robert Smith – believed to be a new record for a Cure LP; contributing to a remarkable total of £12,250 generated by five Cure lots in the sale.
Two 7” test pressings of the Sex Pistols’ God Save The Queen – first released in 1977 but re-issued in limited edition blue and platinum coloured vinyl to mark the Platinum Jubilee between them raised £2,550.
Other lots to attract significant bids include a 2019 test pressing of Cocteau Twins’ Four Calendar Café (£1,800), The Police Every Move You Make 6-LP set (£1,200), OMD’s Souvenir signed by Andy McCluskey/Paul Humphreys (£750), Cream’s Disraeli Gears (£700) and a signed copy of Mark Knopfler’s Sailing to Philadelphia (£600). White label LPs of the Spice Girls’ Spice (£440) and Greatest Hits (£340) brought in £780, while sought after lots by Doves, Iron Maiden, Adele, Wet Leg, Mike Oldfield, Magazine and Roxy Music each generated over £400.
The white label discs were donated by major and independent record labels and their artists led by Universal Music UK/UMC (including A&M, Chess, Fiction, Island, Motown, Polydor and Virgin), Cherry Red, Cooking Vinyl, Domino Records, Sony Music Entertainment UK, Warner Records, and others, supported by the BPI.
Johnny Chandler, A&R Director at UMC, Universal Music UK, who devised the concept of the White Label Auction and whose colleagues collated the items across the donating record labels, said:
“Once again the response to the auction from artists, managers and labels has been incredible - today’s wonderful result, which will see funds raised go to support the work of The BRIT Trust and the charities it supports right across the UK, is down to them and the ongoing love affair fans have with vinyl. Special thanks to Dan Hampson, Gennaro Castaldo, and their respective teams at Omega Auctions and BPI, Julian Stockton and all at UMC for helping make this possible.”
Tony Wadsworth CBE, Chair of The BRIT Trust, said:
“Once again we see people’s love of vinyl combine with the power of music to create something of real worth that will benefit the many causes we support across the UK, whether it’s the next generation of creators from The BRIT School, music therapists from Nordoff Robbins or professionals who work with mental health charities like Mind and Music Support. We are grateful to all the artists and labels for generously contributing their test pressings, and to Johnny Chandler and the Universal UMC team for pulling it all together.”
Dan Hampson, Auction Manager at the auction house Omega Auctions, which specialises in music memorabilia and vinyl records, said:
“Tt’s been a pleasure to once again work on this excellent sale, one that all of us here in the Omega office enjoy putting together, especially bearing in mind where the funds will end up. The continuing revival of the vinyl sector shows no signs of slowing down and that was reflected in today’s stunning results, with more bidders and more bids than any of the previous White Label sales. We are sure that the signed Cure Disintegration LP represents a record price paid for a Cure record, anywhere in the world.”