The Old CDs On Your Shelf Could Be Worth Thousands Of Dollars

By: Julia Mehalko | Last updated: Jul 15, 2024

Many people may not go out of their way to buy CDs as they used to, thanks to the creation of MP3s, smartphones, and streaming services like Spotify. However, some still like to collect CDs, just as many enjoy buying old vinyls.

Thanks to time, vintage CDs from the 1990s have become popular once again. People will spend quite a lot of money to own some of these items!

Bob Dylan’s 50th Anniversary Collection

There are a lot of Bob Dylan fans out there — and these fans will spend a lot of money to own the rare CDs the icon put out back in the day. Dylan’s 50th Anniversary Collection is one rare find that many seek, as only 100 copies were made and released.

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An old black and white photo of Bob Dylan.

Source: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

As a result, you could make a pretty penny if you have this CD and are looking to sell it. This CD collection alone could bring in more than $2,500.

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Nirvana’s Pennyroyal Tea

It doesn’t look like Nirvana will ever run out of fans. Even more than two decades after the band’s height of fame, younger people all over the world still adore them.

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A close-up of Nirvana’s Pennyroyal Tea CD.

Source: Sweetcide/Wikimedia Commons

Likely for this reason alone, Nirvana CDs sell well — especially the rare ones. Pennyroyal Tea, the single version, is one of those rare finds. Released in April 1994, the single was taken off the shelves after lead singer Kurt Cobain’s death. Now, it can go for more than $1,500.

Bruce Springsteen’s The Future of Rock and Roll

Bruce Springsteen released The Future of Rock and Roll as a promo-only compilation in Japan in 1988. Immediately, this Japanese release became rare.

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Bruce Springsteen holding a microphone performing at a concert in 2023.

Source: Dharmabumstead/Wikimedia Commons

Because it’s hard to find, Springsteen fans and music collectors have spent a lot of money to own it themselves. This CD can go for up to $2,200 today.

Paris Hilton’s Paris

Here’s an interesting one for you! Paris Hilton’s Paris CDs from 2006 can sell for up to $1,000. Why? While Hilton has undergone a recent renaissance, thanks to Gen Z’s adoration of her, this CD is mainly considered a collectible item because it includes artwork by Banksy.

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Paris Hilton in 2006.

Source: © Glenn Francis, www.PacificProDigital.com/Wikimedia Commons

Anything Banksy touches tends to turn to gold. Therefore, this CD is incredibly valuable.

Valerie Carter’s Midnight Over Honey River

Ever heard of Valerie Carter? While the American singer may not be as well remembered today, her CDs remain incredibly popular. In fact, Midnight Over Honey from 2003, which was only released in Japan, is one of the most valuable CDs around right now.

Many CDs stacked on wooden shelves.

Source: Mick Haupt/Unsplash

This CD was once even sold for $3,250 — a feat indeed.

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Prince’s My Name Was Prince

Ready for another album only released in Japan, therefore making it incredibly unique — and very expensive? Prince’s My Name Was Prince, issued in 1993. Only 50 copies of the CD were put out in Japan.

Prince playing the guitar and performing at Coachella in 2008.

Source: penner/Wikimedia Commons

Because of its rarity, collectors will spend an ample amount of money to own one copy. Some will even pay up to $5,000 for it!

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Rolling Stones’ Steel Wheels Japan Tour 1990

As many Japanese CDs will often go for quite a lot of money, it should be no surprise to see Rolling Stones’ Steel Wheels Japan Tour 1990 CD on this list.

Rolling Stones band members at a concert together in 2018.

Source: Raph_PH/Wikimedia Commons

This live CD is in such favor that people will spend more than $2,000 on it! It’s a bit rare, so Rolling Stones fans seem to be okay with dishing out this much money for one CD.

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The Cure's Wish

British rock band, The Cure, formed in 1978 and any English rom-com would be lost without their work.

The Cure in concert.

Source: Taylor Ramos/Wikimedia Commons

CDs will often sell for more when they are still sealed and covered with the original stickers on the plastic. A long box CD of The Cure’s 1992 album, Wish, has been sold on eBay for $499. Long boxes were the original way that CDs were packaged.

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Runner's Falling Hearts

The band Runner is extremely obscure given that the British band formed in 1978, lasted only one year, releasing just a solo album, before splitting over musical differences.

A row of electric guitars.

Source: Mohrez Labaf/Unsplash

On the off chance you might have their 1991 South Korean release of their 1978 album, Falling Hearts, you could get in on one of the most expensive CDs ever, valuing at up to $2,999.

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AC/DC's Powerage

Having formed in 1973, you can imagine that the legendary Aussie rock band, AC/DC have plenty of old merchandise that could go for an eyewatering amount.

AC/DC performing in Wellington. New Zealand.

Source: Wendy Collings/Wikimedia Commons

A copy of their 1987 CD, Powerage, can go for around $521. The copies that will make the most money are those that were pressed in Australia, making them even more valuable. Sometimes the country CDs were pressed in can make all the difference to their market value.

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Michael Jackson’s Smile

Michael Jackson CDs, merch, and other memorabilia continue to sell well in today’s society. Rare items, such as the CD Smile, can bring in quite a lot of money. This CD alone can sell for more than $1,500.

Michael Jackson in concert in 1993.

Source: Constru-centro/Wikimedia Commons

This single CD was only released — and then withdrawn — in Austria. Today, many fans consider it one of the most sought-after Jackson pieces of all time.

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Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here

Pink Floyd’s 1982 CD album, Wish You Were Here, is not a particularly highly valued item until you look at where it was released.

Wish You Were Here vinyl record and cover.

Source: Badgreeb RECORDS/Wikimedia Commons

The copies released in Japan with gold tinted top are among the most expensive CDs of all time, closely following Michael Jackson’s Smile. Copies of the album currently go for up to $2,799. It is definitely worth checking if it is gathering dust on your shelves!

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David Bowie's Sound + Vision

Genre-defying superstar, David Bowie, shook the world from the very beginning of his career. But with scarce copies in circulation, his Sound ­+ Vision album from 1989 is making the rounds on eBay.

David Bowie.

Source: RCA Records/Wikimedia Commons

One sale of the album earned the seller £4,099, or $5,314 in 2013. Only 350 copies of the compilation were ever made. The reason it is so valuable is because on top of 49 tracks, it contains a mix of studio and live recordings and a 72-page booklet.

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Depeche Mode's World Violation

A British synth-pop band, Depeche Mode are still going strong since they formed 44 years ago and are still performing. With a recent revival of their song, Enjoy the Silence, on goth TikTok, owners of an obscure album of theirs could be sitting on a jackpot.

Depeche Mode on stage.

Source: Nir Nussbaum/Wikimedia Commons

Depeche Mode’s Japan release of their 1990 album, World Violation, sells for a small fortune, starting at hundreds of dollars, maxing at over $1100.

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Celine Dion's Have A Heart

Celine Dion has long been part of our cultural zeitgeist, her influence forever cemented after her contribution to the soundtrack of the movie Titanic.

Celine Dion performing

Source: Anirudh Koul/Wikimedia Commons

However, her most valuable CD is from further back in her career to her 1991 album, Have A Heart, with sales reaching up to $1,247. This particular album mentions the release of a home video of her song, Unison.

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Mariah Carey's One Sweet Day / Open Arms

Instantly recognisable by voice, name, and look, Mariah Carey has earned herself the title of one of the world’s most beloved divas.

Mariah Carey performing.

Source: Raph_PH/Wikimedia Commons

Although her most iconic song was her smash Christmas hit, All I Want For Christmas With You, in terms of collectible items, it falls short of her Japan release of her 1995 album, One Sweet Day / Open Arms. The most it has sold for is $1,047.

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Paul McCartney/Rolling Stones/Queen's The Greatest 3

Three of the biggest British names in the music industry, it was only inevitable that Paul McCartney, Queen, and the Rolling Stones would make a joint appearance for one of the most sought-after collectible CDs.

Paul McCartney performing.

Source: Jimmy Baikovicius/Wikimedia Commons

Greatest 3 is a boxset of CDs from 1995 sampling the legends’ work that was only released in Japan and so is notoriously hard to come by. This trio album will go for a staggering $5,078.

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Madonna's Love Don't Live Here Anymore

Unforgettable pop sensation Madonna is a slightly more unique case as one of her most valuable albums is not an original album, but a remix.

Madonna in concert.

Source: Jonlo168/Wikimedia Commons

The Taiwan release of her remixed 1995 album under Warner Bros., Love Don’t Live Here Anymore, has previously be sold for over $1900. There are currently a few copies for sale with asking prices starting from $798.

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Coldplay’s The Safety EP

This one might shock you. Coldplay’s first album, The Safety EP, is one of the most valuable CDs that you may have in your own collection.

The band Coldplay seen in concert in 2021.

Source: Raph_PH/Wikimedia Commons

The band only released about 500 copies of this CD, so it’s incredibly unique. As a result, it can go for more than $1,000 today!

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Eminem’s Slim Shady EP

Different music genre fans act differently when it comes to music collection. For example, underground rap fans tend to be known as devoted collectors.

Eminem seen performing in concert in the 1990s.

Source: Mika-photography/Wikimedia Commons

This can be seen in the desire of many to own Eminem’s Slim Shady EP, which remains an incredibly rare CD. Today, this item can go for $12,000.

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Taylor Swift’s Teardrops on My Guitar Promo

While a lot of the CDs on this list are of older acts, even younger, more modern acts have valuable CDs out there. Taylor Swift’s Teardrops on My Guitar promo CD is a great example of a very valuable item that fans will spend a lot of money on.

Taylor Swift playing guitar and performing in 2007.

Source: Brian Cantoni/Wikimedia Commons

There weren’t many of these promotional copies made, so it’s considered a rare find by Swifties. As a result, it can go for more than $1,200.

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Super Mario Soundtrack

Surprisingly, some of the most valuable CDs out there are not just the work of our most beloved singers and bands but are also the soundtracks to landmark videogames.

Mario Bros logo.

Source: Universal Pictures Germany/Wikimedia Commons

A CD of the original Super Mario RPG soundtrack has been sold for $999. These are so sought after because they would have only been available in Japan or the in U.S. stores that would have imported them in.

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Jackie Evancho's Prelude to a Dream

While not as well-known as some of the other musicians on this list, Jackie Evancho was recognised as a musical prodigy from a young age and has nine albums under her belt at the age of 24.

Jackie Evancho's label in a record store.

Source: HAO2DOSMT Hsom/Wikimedia Commons

Her very first album, Prelude to a Dream, was self-released in 2009. The album was quickly withdrawn from sale when Evancho signed a contract with SYCO/Sony/Columbia Records, making this album a rare commodity, valuing at around $1,900.

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