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Cheap vinyl records January 2021: Top vinyl records on sale in rock, metal, prog and more

Cheap vinyl records December 2020: Top vinyl records on sale in rock, metal, prog and more
(Image credit: Martin Bureau/AFP - Getty)

Collecting vinyl has never been more appealing thanks to the resurrection of the format in recent years, but getting your hands on cheap vinyl records can sometimes be a struggle. But that's where we come in, as we've gathered together some of the top bargains available to buy online right now.

It doesn't seem that long ago that vinyl was being written off due to the introduction on the CD – and the doom mongers were out in force again when music streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal entered the fray. But the good news is that not only has vinyl managed to weather the storm, but it's blossoming once again.

Artists have been quick to embrace the format – either reissuing old favourites with added bells and whistles, or bringing out their latest releases on eye-catching and limited-edition coloured vinyl, with a host of bonus tracks, demos, live cuts and more.

But, as any vinyl fan knows, the prices have been increasing along with the format’s new-found popularity, but we've come up with a list of some of the very best vinyl record deals in rock, metal, prog, alternative and more currently on the market.

And that's not all. Here, you'll also find information about what to look for when purchasing vinyl, whether buying new is better than grabbing a dusty old second hand copy, investing in vinyl, and much more.

Today's top cheap vinyl record deals

Latest UK deals

Guns N’ Roses Greatest Hits: Was £31.98, now £29.99
This limited edition 2LP release on gold vinyl with red and white splatter has been selling out since it first launched in 2020. Amazon have cut the price by a couple of quid - and we recommend grabbing it while you can as it won’t hang around for long.View Deal

Bruce Springsteen: Western Stars: Was £27.59, now £14.73
Amazon have cut 47% from the price of Bruce Springsteen’s brilliant Western Stars album, so if you’ve yet to pick it up, now is the perfect chance to grab it.View Deal

Muse Simulation Theory Film Box Set: Was £99.77, now £70.10
This deluxe edition box set is packed with extras, with Amazon knocking 30% from the RRP. There’s a pink/blue marbled LP with live cuts from Muse's 2019 show at London’s O2, a Blu-ray containing a HD master of the film, a comic book, poster and more.View Deal

David Bowie: Loving The Alien: Was £169.19, now £160.09
Amazon have slashed the price on this fabulous Bowie box set which captures his material recorded between 1983 and 1988 and is spread across 15 discs.View Deal

Metallica: S&M2: Was £89.99, now £74.99
There’s a nice saving of £15 on the 4LP edition of Metallica’s all-conquering S&M2 live album at Zavvi right now. An absolute audio treat for fans of the thrash icons.View Deal

Killing Joke: Singles Collection: Was £52.86, now £47.65
Spread across four coloured vinyl, this collection encapsulates Killing Joke’s singles from between 1979 and 2012. Amazon have lopped 10% off the RRP so you can relive classics like Eighties, Wardance and Love Like Blood for less.View Deal

The Beatles Singles Collection: Was £146.47, now as £133.49
There’s a nice wee saving on this brilliant Beatles box set over at Amazon. The Singles Collection gathers 46 tracks which have been pressed across 23, 180g seven-inch vinyl, with the package also including a 40-page booklet.View Deal

Led Zeppelin: The Song Remains The Same: £133.39, £114.11
Amazon have shredded 14% from the RRP on this Led Zeppelin super deluxe box set. This version of the 1976 classic includes 4 180g vinyl, 2CD, 2 DVDs, a book, high quality cover print and more.View Deal

Parkway Drive: Viva The Underdogs: Was £44.99, now £29.99
You can grab EMP’s exclusive red/orange vinyl pressing of Parkway Drive’s brilliant Viva The Underdogs for 33% less right now. Along with the vinyl, this package also features a CD. We’d recommend picking this up ASAP.View Deal

Soundgarden: Badmotorfinger: Was £20.99, now £12.99
Rough Trade have cut the price of this 1991 Soundgarden classic. Top to bottom, Badmotorfinger is crammed full of gems including Jesus Christ Pose, Outshined and Rusty Cage.View Deal

Motorhead: Bastards: Was £14.99, now £10.99
EMP have knocked a few quid off the the Motorhead Bastards picture disc. The record initially came out back in 1993 and features the brilliant Born To raise Hell. A great  addition to your Motorhead collection.View Deal

Status Quo: the Vinyl Singles Collection: £149.99, now £81.99
There’s a whopping saving of 45% on this Quo box set featuring 16 discs of material the band recorded between 1990 and 1999. It’s not often you see this reduced by this much so dive in.View Deal

Cocteau Twins: Four Calendar Cafe: Was £20.99, now £12.99
Cocteau Twins released this, their 7th studio album, three years after the spellbinding Heaven Or Las Vegas. It’s perhaps not as well known, but Four Calendar Cafe is a beautiful record and you can get it for a cut price right now at Rough Trade.View Deal

Slayer: Repentless 6x6.66 box set: Was £62.99, now £41.99
Slayer’s famous Repentless 6x6.66 box set has been reduced by 33% by the team at EMP. That means you’ll get a collection of 7-inch singles covering all 12 tracks from the band’s last-ever studio album. This is bound to go fast.View Deal

David Sylvian: Gone To Earth: Was £39.99, now £24.99
David Sylvian’s Gone To Earth is, we think, his finest ever solo album. The former Japan frontman brought in artists including King Crimson’s Robert Fripp for the record, which is perfect late night listening. Zavvi have reduced the price on this remastered version which also features remixes.View Deal

Blink-182: Enema Of The State: Was £23.99, now £12.99
Save over a tenner at Rough Trade on this 180g vinyl pressing of the album that gave us What’s My Age Again?, All The Small Things and Going Away To College. Enema Of The State was also Blink’s first album with Travis Barker on drums and it helped propel the pop-punks to superstardom.View Deal

Metallica: Load: Was £35.99, now £24.99
This reissue of Metallica’s 1996 Load album has been reissued on double black vinyl, with EMP reducing the price by 30%. Buy it, spin it, and play it loud!View Deal

The Glove: Blue Sunshine: Was £29.99, now £9.99
Attention fans of The Cure and Siouxsie & the Banshee - Zavvi have chopped £20 off the RRP of The Glove’s brilliant Blue Sunshine album. To have this unique collaboration on vinyl is a real treat.View Deal

Ghost Infestissumam: Was £24.99, now £21.99
Here we go! Ghost’s second studio album Infestissumam has been reissued in limited edition blood red vinyl. Grab it before it disappears over on EMP.View Deal

Slipknot: Day Of The Gusano: Was £48.99, now £46.99
OK, so there might only be a couple of quid off this record documenting Slipknot’s first visit to Mexico City back in 2015, but this isn’t just any old release: This is the triple transparent vinyl edition which also comes with a DVD. Get over to EMP ASAP!View Deal

Ayreon Universe: Best of Ayreon Live: Was £27.99, now £22.99
This sprawling 3LP set brings together 28 tracks by Ayreon mastermind Arjen Lucassen which were captured live in September 2017. The album sees guest appearances from 16 vocalists, including Floor Jansen, Anneke van Giersbergen and Damian Wilson – and EMP have chopped the price.View Deal

Megadeth: Warheads On Foreheads: Was £75.99, now £54.99
Megadeth’s Warheads On Foreheads was released in 2019 to celebrate the band’s 35-year career and is packed with classics. This 4-disc package currently has 27% off the RRP at EMP.View Deal

Foo Fighters: Concrete And Gold: Was £29.99, now £18.99
The Foos ninth and most recent studio album originally launched in 2017 and features fan favourites The Sky Is A Neighbourhood, Run and The Line. Concrete And Gold even features a guest appearance from Beatles legend Paul McCartney and it could be your for even less thanks to EMP.View Deal

Red Hot Chili Peppers: Californiacation: £24.99, now £17.69
Red Hot Chili Peppers' Californication was a smash hit when it launched back in 1999 – and if you don’t have it on vinyl, here’s your chance with chopping a chunk of change from the RRP.View Deal

Bryan Ferry: Live At The Royal Albert Hall: Was £120, now £80
A must for fans of Bryan Ferry, this box set recorded in 1974 comes bundled with a host of extras including a signed and numbered print, a CD, replica ticket stub, eight postcards and more. Even better, Townsend Music have slashed the price dramatically.View Deal

Latest US deals

The Beatles: The Singles Collection: Was $229.98, now $157.42
There’s a brilliant saving on this brilliant Beatles box set over at Walmart. The Singles Collection gathers 46 tracks which have been pressed across 23, 180g seven-inch vinyl, with the package also including a 40-page booklet.View Deal

Deftones: Ohms: Was $22.99, now $19.99
Best Buy have knocked a few dollars from the RRP of Ohms – the latest album by Deftones. If you haven’t checked it out, now is definitely a good time. It's pretty damn good!View Deal

ZZ Top: Goin' 50: Was $99.98, now $66.08
This celebration marking ZZ Top’s 50th anniversary is spread over 5LP and features a total of 50 tracks, including the classics Gimme All Your Lovin’, Sharp Dressed Man and Legs. There's a decent saving to be found at Walmart.View Deal

Guns N' Roses: Locked N' Loaded Box Set: $999.99, now $737.99
Guns N’ Roses massive Appetite For Destruction box set is on sale right now over at Best Buy. You can save $262 on this 20 LP collection which comes with an incredible amount of bonus content, including b-sides, EPs, live cuts and more.View Deal

Tool: Opiate: Was $7.49, now $5.34
Tool introduced themselves to the world with the Opiate EP back in 1992 - a full year before their debut album Undertow. It features tracks including Sweat, Hush, Part Of Me and live tracks and it's available for an ultra low price at Walmart.View Deal

Metallica Vinyl Set - Walmart exclusives
OK, so this isn’t on sale yet, but pre-orders are now open on this Walmart exclusive set, so we thought we’d bring it to your attention. Here we have Kill ‘Em All, Ride The Lightning, Master Of Puppets, …And Justice For All, the Black album and Hardwired… To Self Destruct - all pressed on a variety of coloured vinyl. All can be purchased separately, but this set has everything for $149.88.

More cheap vinyl records deals

The latest vinyl deals and more (UK)

The latest vinyl deals and more (US)

Buying online

What to look for when buying cheap vinyl records online

The advantages of buying records online are many. It’s convenient. You can be laser-focused. No worries about the weather. Online exclusives. No one need ever know you collect both Slayer and Westlife records...

Disadvantages include additional postage costs, risk of damage from poor packaging or rogue couriers apparently training for national frisbee tournaments. 

There are also intangible things you may miss from not visiting your local record shop – new music tips, the chance to dig through bargain bins or crates marked “New Arrivals” before anyone else. It’s tougher to smuggle records in the house without your partner noticing when buying online, especially when the postman asks you to sign for huge record-shaped parcels every day. 

However, despite such challenges the convenience of buying online is indisputable, so here are some tips to make your online experience more successful...

Where should I buy vinyl records online?

Deciding the best places to buy records depends on whether you are buying new or second-hand vinyl. When buying new, the main players in the market are as follows:

Artist’s Own Store: What better way of supporting your favourite artists than buying (often exclusive) releases directly from their website, especially if they are an up and coming band? 

Online Vinyl Specialists: Generally outlets run by large record companies. These vendors often have access to exclusive signed or limited editions. 

Generalist Internet Retailers: Well-known names such as Amazon who are efficient and offer back up should things go wrong. 

Independent Record Stores: You may prefer to support independent record shops who also sell vinyl online. There are many excellent independent stores, including Rough Trade, Brighton’s Resident Records, Manchester’s Piccadilly Records, Glasgow's Monorail Music, Southend’s South Records and Totnes’ Drift Records. While not “independent” in the same way, let’s not forget the HMV chain either. Buying records from these outlets supports the high street.

If you prefer to buy second-hand, the biggest online marketplace for vinyl is Discogs, a specialist online marketplace for record dealers and individuals which lists every version of every record you can imagine.

(Image credit: Jim Davis/The Boston Globe - Getty)

Investing in vinyl

Is vinyl a good investment?

It really depends. If you had bought a first pressing of Led Zeppelin’s debut album in 1969 with turquoise sleeve lettering and Superhype Music/Jewel Music Publishing credits labels, congratulations: that record is now worth over £1000.

More recently, Royal Blood released 800 copies of their 2014 debut album on white vinyl. These copies are now fetching £75 online, while the regular version averages just £16.

However, first pressings of Van Halen’s debut album generally fetch just £5. One of the greatest debut records of all time, and it’s a fiver! So it's less about the music than relative scarcity. There weren’t many turquoise copies of Led Zeppelin’s debut LP printed, but Van Halen albums aren’t rare. Use this knowledge when considering whether to buy new or used. Sometimes an original copy is cheaper than a reissue.

New or second-hand vinyl?

New vs second-hand

One of the best things about used vinyl is that it can be cheaper. You can buy used records by many big 70s and 80s rock bands relatively cheaply because their records sold in large quantities. Part of the fun is knowing that old gatefold-sleeved Hawkwind album has probably been to more parties than you have.

Used vinyl can also have special qualities. For example, the original UK version of AC/DC’s Powerage had a different tracklist to the European release. To compare the different versions, Discogs and eBay are your best bet. 

Also, those 70s albums will be pure slabs of analogue. No digital re-mastering, no 16-bit-processing – it didn’t exist back then, so this is straight from the master tape on to vinyl. 

However, buying used vinyl can be a minefield. Not being able to see the condition of what you are buying is the biggest disadvantage to buying used vinyl online. Take time to familiarise yourself with how vendors grade albums, using abbreviations such as NM for Near Mint, VG+ (or Ex), VG and G. VG is generally worth half the value of something Mint. 

Buying used vinyl shouldn’t mean your collection is full of snap, crackles and pops. Unless you like your LPs sounding like a bowl of Rice Krispies, avoid sub-standard vinyl. “Good” in record collecting parlance is defined as having been “played so much that the sound quality has noticeably deteriorated”. So that’s “bad”, then. 

Where new vinyl can have the edge is when older records become scarce and expensive. Why spend hundreds on an early copy of Led Zeppelin II when Jimmy Page went to so much trouble in 2014 to remaster it so beautifully?

(Image credit: Dogukan Keskinkilic/Anadolu Agency - Getty)

Shipping vinyl

Is vinyl safe to ship in the post?

This is a key question. Expect vendors to use specialist record mailers that protect fragile items from damage. Search social media or look at consumer review sites such as Trustpilot if you haven’t used a vendor previously. On Discogs or eBay look at sellers’ previous feedback. Do your diligence! 

Vinyl quality

Vinyl record thickness explained

The sound of a record is affected far more by the mastering process (and dust) than the thickness of the vinyl it is pressed on. A badly mastered record won’t sound any better if pressed on “luxury” 180g vinyl than if it were on a regular, thinner pressing, so our advice is not to get too focused about record thickness. 

The cost of vinyl

How much do vinyl records cost?

In 1987, Def Leppard’s Hysteria cost £6.99, which adjusted for inflation is £21 today. This compares well to the average price of vinyl now – around £20 at the time of writing.

Expect to pay more for double LPs, and sometimes £1 - £2 more for limited editions. Sometimes the extra might be worthwhile, just to have something collectible and fun (not to mention potentially more valuable).

Coloured vinyl nowadays sounds little different to regular black vinyl. From a sound quality perspective, you may wish to avoid picture discs, which are made differently and tend to have inferior sound, even if they do look very pretty. 

For super-fans, the box set is a luxury product showcasing a particular artist or sometimes a particular album. Such items can sell for £75 plus – up to £250 and beyond! They certainly provide an immersive experience for the fans, but how much different music could you listen to for the same outlay?

Steve Carr is the author of Every Record Tells A Story: A Vinyl Handbook