The BBC is selling off rare Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, The Beatles and er, Bathory albums from its Gramophone Library if you want to expand your vinyl collection

BBC vinyl auction
(Image credit: Omega Auctions)

The BBC is to auction off a fraction of its vast vinyl collection over the course of 2024, offering collectors an opportunity to acquire rare and valuable records by The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, David Bowie and more 'specialist' acts such as Bathory, Budgie and Cirith Ungol.

Fear not, these albums will not be deleted from the corporation's playlists, as the 285,000 records being made available are duplicates of records already in the BBC's vinyl vaults. 

The first batch of the collection - over 400 lots - will be up for auction from January 30 from the Omega Auctions website, where details of the records can be viewed.

The Bowie albums up for grabs are likely to sell for considerably more than their £200-£400 estimates. One, Lot 152, is an 'original UK stereo LP pressing' of his 1969 album David Bowie (later known as Space Oddity) with a gatefold sleeve: the other, Lot 153, is a 'scarce, original UK stereo LP pressing' of The Man Who Sold The World, from 1970, with an original 'dress sleeve' cover, and with producer Tony Visconti credited as 'Tonny' Visconti.

The Beatles set, Lot 52, contains what is being sold as "a curious selection of 6 LP copies of Please Please Me... varying pressings", while the Black Sabbath set, Lot 198, features 'Vertigo Swirl' pressings of the band's self-titled debut album, Paranoid and Master of Reality. The Sabbath set has an estimated price of £100-£150, while The Beatles collection will undoubtedly sell for significantly more than its pre-auction £100-£150 estimate. This is less than the £150 - £200 estimate for what Omega Auctions call a "cracking selection of the first 4 x studio LPs from Swedish Black Metal icons Bathory", and considerably less than the estimated top bid estimate of £600 for a copy of the self-titled debut album from short-lived heavy-blues rock group Megaton.

Fare pressings of Pink Floyd's The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and A Saucerful of Secrets are also available, the latter significant for the mis-spelling of Let There Me More Light.

The auction begins at 9am on January 30.

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.