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Cassettes are the fastest-growing format of the big three sold on Discogs. They are cheap to produce, making the format appealing to DIY artists looking to release music without investing thousands of dollars. They are also less frequently purchased than Vinyl and CDs, which drives production and supply down. Which, in some cases, can make them phenomenally rare. All of the top 100 most expensive cassettes sold on Discogs are $500 or higher – which is remarkably expensive considering the known physical shortfalls of the format. The vast majority of cassettes do not hit these prices though and they are often more affordable than vinyl equivalents, making them appealing to many physical media enthusiasts.

The cassette market, though growing, is still relatively small. Just 1.8% of all Discogs purchases in 2018 were of a cassette tape, which was up slightly from the year before. There were just about 200,000 cassettes purchased on Discogs in 2018, which is an increase of 24% over 2017. More than a third of these expensive cassettes were sold in 2017 and 2018, with 2019 sales pacing slightly higher than those in 2018.

expensive cassette sales per year

Signs are pointing to a strong high-end cassette market, much like the target=”_blank”>trends we have noted in the vinyl market. For a deep dive into the data of cassettes on Discogs, I recommend reading our article about the comeback of cassettes from coverage of Cassette Store Day.

Cassettes are trendy now too. For many younger folk, they are a trinket to express ironic love of long-forgotten retro culture. Look no further than the most frequent item found on the list, the Beer On The Rug limited cassette release of Macintosh Plus ‎– Floral Shoppe, for evidence of this. The seminal vaporwave album, ironic by design, perhaps has no better format than a cassette. The limited release of 100 paired with remarkable demand has driven the median sale price of the release to nearly $800. Considering hundreds were allegedly ghosted on the bubblegum pink vinyl preorder, maybe the cassette is your best non-bootleg option?

The most expensive cassette on this list was sold for well over $4,000 and is from an artist you almost certainly know. It was handed out to attendees of a Paris Fashion Week show in 1995 and was recently re-released for the first time on Record Store Day 2019. We’ll let you find out what it is on your own below.

Most Expensive Cassettes

  1. $500.00

    Sold: 2019-02-11 / Format: Cass, Album / Label: Air Records

  2. $500.00

    Sold: 2015-06-22 / Format: Cass, S/Sided / Label: Not On Label (The Offspring Self-released)

  3. $500.00

    Sold: 2014-03-02 / Format: Cass, S/Sided / Label: Threshold House

  4. $500.00

    Sold: 2018-07-18 / Format: Cass, EP / Label: Not On Label (Barenaked Ladies Self-Released)

  5. $500.00

    Sold: 2018-11-03 / Format: Cass, Album, Ltd, Promo / Label: Elektra

  6. $500.00

    Sold: 2018-07-11 / Format: Cass, Ltd, Mixed, C60 / Label: The Curatorial Club

  7. $500.00

    Sold: 2018-09-23 / Format: Cass, Album / Label: Deconstruction Canada

  8. $500.00

    Sold: 2016-10-03 / Format: Cass, EP, Ltd / Label: That Was Entertainment

  9. $508.00

    Sold: 2019-03-31 / Format: 2xLP, Album + CD, Album + DVD-V + 2xCass + Box, Co / Label: No Colours Records

  10. $516.00

    Sold: 2014-09-17 / Format: Cass, EP / Label: Not On Label (Metallica Self-released)

  11. $525.00

    Sold: 2019-02-22 / Format: Cass, RE, C46 + Lathe, 7″, Han + 2xBox, Ltd, Num, / Label: Obskyr Records

  12. $525.00

    Sold: 2018-06-18 / Format: Cass, MiniAlbum, Unofficial / Label: Not On Label (Melvins)

  13. $526.00

    Sold: 2016-01-27 / Format: Cass, Ltd / Label: Funny Farm Inc.

  14. $530.00

    Sold: 2017-08-19 / Format: Cass, Ltd, Mixed, C60 / Label: The Curatorial Club

  15. $542.00

    Sold: 2014-07-01 / Format: LP + Cass, Comp + Box, Ltd, Unofficial / Label: Not On Label (The Sisters Of Mercy)

  16. $544.00

    Sold: 2014-06-28 / Format: CD, Album + Cass, Album + Box, Promo, Cro / Label: Parlophone, Parlophone

  17. $548.00

    Sold: 2013-12-30 / Format: Cass, Album / Label: Brand

  18. $549.00

    Sold: 2014-09-01 / Format: Box, Promo + CD, Album + Cass, Album + VHS, Promo, / Label: Mute

  19. $550.00

    Sold: 2017-12-24 / Format: Cass / Label: Rage Against The Machine

  20. $550.00

    Sold: 2017-02-08 / Format: Cass, Album, Ltd, C44 / Label: Beer On The Rug

  21. $552.00

    Sold: 2014-03-10 / Format: Box, Ltd, Num, Promo + CD, Album + Cass + VHS / Label: EMI

  22. $552.00

    Sold: 2012-07-02 / Format: Cass, RE, C65 / Label: The Letter Edged In Black Press Inc.

  23. $553.00

    Sold: 2018-12-25 / Format: Cass, Album / Label: BMG Sweden AB, RCA Victor

  24. $555.00

    Sold: 2016-03-24 / Format: Cass, RE, C65 / Label: The Letter Edged In Black Press Inc.

  25. $561.00

    Sold: 2015-06-25 / Format: Box, Promo + CD, Album + Cass, Album / Label: Sire, Sire, Sire

  26. $561.00

    Sold: 2014-11-28 / Format: Box, Ltd + 3xLP, Comp + 2xCD, Comp + CD, Album + D / Label: Blank Media

  27. $565.00

    Sold: 2019-03-18 / Format: Cass, Album, Dlx, Ltd, Num, S/Edition / Label: The Mary Dorothy Verlag (The Passion Press)

  28. $565.00

    Sold: 2019-03-20 / Format: Box, Ltd + 3xLP, Comp + 2xCD, Comp + CD, Album + D / Label: Blank Media

  29. $575.00

    Sold: 2018-08-03 / Format: Cass, Ltd / Label: Funny Farm Inc.

  30. $576.00

    Sold: 2017-07-20 / Format: Cass / Label: Xeric (2)

  31. $576.00

    Sold: 2017-07-20 / Format: Cass, EP / Label: Xeric (2)

  32. $584.00

    Sold: 2014-05-17 / Format: Cass, Album, Mono + Box, Ltd / Label: Pure Freude

  33. $585.00

    Sold: 2018-07-22 / Format: Cass, Album / Label: ゴモラレコード

  34. $586.00

    Sold: 2017-10-10 / Format: 2xLP, Album, Red + CD, Album, Dig + Cass, Album, P / Label: Lamech Records, Terratur Possessions, Amor Fati (2)

  35. $591.00

    Sold: 2017-10-20 / Format: Cass, RE, C46 + Lathe, 7″, Han + 2xBox, Ltd, Num, / Label: Obskyr Records

  36. $599.00

    Sold: 2016-05-22 / Format: Box, Promo + CD, Album + Cass, Album / Label: Sire, Sire, Sire

  37. $600.00

    Sold: 2015-07-16 / Format: Cass, Album / Label: Filter Records

  38. $600.00

    Sold: 2018-07-22 / Format: Cass, EP / Label: Toolshed Music

  39. $600.00

    Sold: 2017-08-03 / Format: Cass, EP, Ltd / Label: Not On Label (Moe Shop)

  40. $600.00

    Sold: 2012-08-31 / Format: Cass, S/Sided, EP / Label: Not On Label (Metallica Self-released)

  41. $600.00

    Sold: 2018-09-10 / Format: 2xCass, Comp / Label: Seoul Records

  42. $606.00

    Sold: 2016-12-14 / Format: Cass / Label: Not On Label (Korn Self-released)

  43. $607.00

    Sold: 2013-11-07 / Format: Cass, Album, Promo / Label: Beat Records, Warp Records

  44. $609.00

    Sold: 2017-09-26 / Format: 4xLP + Cass + Box, Ltd, Num / Label: Incus

  45. $610.00

    Sold: 2018-01-01 / Format: Cass, Album / Label: Skating Pears

  46. $616.00

    Sold: 2016-09-16 / Format: Box, Promo + CD, Album + Cass, Album / Label: Sire, Sire, Sire

  47. $619.00

    Sold: 2012-08-24 / Format: Cass, Album, Ltd, C40 / Label: Not On Label (Natural Snow Buildings Self-released)

  48. $650.00

    Sold: 2018-05-30 / Format: Cass, EP, Ltd / Label: Not On Label (Moe Shop)

  49. $650.00

    Sold: 2016-05-24 / Format: Box, Promo + CD, Album + Cass, Album / Label: Sire, Sire, Sire

  50. $667.00

    Sold: 2010-10-15 / Format: Cass, RE, C65 / Label: The Letter Edged In Black Press Inc.

  51. $674.00

    Sold: 2015-10-04 / Format: 4xLP + Cass + Box, Ltd, Num / Label: Incus

  52. $678.00

    Sold: 2018-03-24 / Format: Cass, Album / Label: Maskulin Management

  53. $679.00

    Sold: 2011-11-12 / Format: Cass, Album / Label: Simple Machines

  54. $680.00

    Sold: 2014-06-10 / Format: Cass, Album + Box, Ltd / Label: Les Joyaux De La Princesse

  55. $684.00

    Sold: 2013-12-19 / Format: Cass, Ltd / Label: Eisengrau

  56. $698.00

    Sold: 2013-07-20 / Format: Cass, Album, Promo / Label: Beat Records, Warp Records

  57. $700.00

    Sold: 2018-06-24 / Format: Cass, Promo / Label: Beat Scott Records

  58. $701.00

    Sold: 2011-03-05 / Format: Cass, Ltd, Num / Label: Coup De Grace Productions

  59. $730.00

    Sold: 2015-06-02 / Format: Cass, S/Sided, EP, Promo, Dem / Label: Not On Label

  60. $738.00

    Sold: 2019-02-12 / Format: Cass, EP, Dem / Label: Not On Label

  61. $742.00

    Sold: 2016-12-27 / Format: Box, Promo + CD, Album + Cass, Album + VHS, Promo, / Label: Mute

  62. $750.00

    Sold: 2012-07-05 / Format: 4xLP + Cass + Box, Ltd, Num / Label: Incus

  63. $761.00

    Sold: 2018-12-05 / Format: Cass, Album, Ltd / Label: Daupe!

  64. $768.00

    Sold: 2019-04-18 / Format: Box, Ltd, Num + 4xCD, Album, RE, RM + Blu-ray, Blu / Label: Geffen Records, Universal Music Enterprises

  65. $772.00

    Sold: 2016-10-23 / Format: Cass, Album, Ltd / Label: Not On Label (Bushido (2) Self-released)

  66. $799.00

    Sold: 2016-12-30 / Format: Cass, S/Sided / Label: Coldplay

  67. $800.00

    Sold: 2017-10-24 / Format: Cass / Label: Not On Label (Amputation (2) Self-released)

  68. $800.00

    Sold: 2018-03-12 / Format: Cass, Mixed, Mixtape / Label: Hyde Out Recordings

  69. $800.00

    Sold: 2018-12-18 / Format: Cass / Label: Not On Label (Pixies Self-Released)

  70. $800.00

    Sold: 2018-09-16 / Format: 6xCass, Album + Box, Comp, Ltd, Num / Label: Vanity Records (3)

  71. $800.00

    Sold: 2018-06-30 / Format: Cass, Album, Ltd, C44 / Label: Beer On The Rug

  72. $800.00

    Sold: 2015-07-21 / Format: Cass, Comp, Ltd, Unofficial / Label: 腐脳舎

  73. $848.00

    Sold: 2018-01-28 / Format: Cass, Album, Ltd, C44 / Label: Beer On The Rug

  74. $850.00

    Sold: 2016-09-30 / Format: Cass, Album, Ltd, C44 / Label: Beer On The Rug

  75. $857.00

    Sold: 2012-09-16 / Format: Cass, Album + Box, Ltd / Label: Les Joyaux De La Princesse

  76. $860.00

    Sold: 2018-12-05 / Format: Cass, Album, Ltd, C44 / Label: Beer On The Rug

  77. $860.00

    Sold: 2017-08-16 / Format: Cass, Album, Ltd, C44 / Label: Beer On The Rug

  78. $891.00

    Sold: 2013-02-22 / Format: Cass, Album + Box, Ltd / Label: Les Joyaux De La Princesse

  79. $900.00

    Sold: 2016-11-01 / Format: LP, Album + CD, Album + Cass, Album + Box, Ltd, Pr / Label: Mute

  80. $956.00

    Sold: 2011-09-14 / Format: Cass / Label: Not On Label (Honey Is Cool Self-released)

  81. $1,000.00

    Sold: 2018-03-30 / Format: Cass / Label: The Smashing Pumpkins

  82. $1,000.00

    Sold: 2017-11-11 / Format: 6xCass, Album + Box, Comp, Ltd, Num / Label: Vanity Records (3)

  83. $1,010.00

    Sold: 2018-05-28 / Format: Cass / Label: Not On Label (Pixies Self-Released)

  84. $1,048.00

    Sold: 2018-09-29 / Format: Box, Ltd, Num + 4xCD, Album, RE, RM + Blu-ray, Blu / Label: Geffen Records, Universal Music Enterprises

  85. $1,122.00

    Sold: 2011-03-08 / Format: 6xCass, Comp + Box / Label: Broken Flag

  86. $1,200.00

    Sold: 2010-12-30 / Format: 6xCass, Comp + Box / Label: Broken Flag

  87. $1,200.00

    Sold: 2018-10-05 / Format: Cass / Label: The Smashing Pumpkins

  88. $1,200.00

    Sold: 2017-02-12 / Format: Cass, Ltd, Num, C60 / Label: Not On Label

  89. $1,300.00

    Sold: 2018-06-18 / Format: Cass, Album, Ltd, C44 / Label: Beer On The Rug

  90. $1,355.00

    Sold: 2014-12-28 / Format: LP, Album + CD, Album + Cass, Album + Box, Ltd, Pr / Label: Mute

  91. $1,500.00

    Sold: 2015-09-11 / Format: Cass, Album, Comp, Ltd, Box / Label: Warner Bros. Records

  92. $1,500.00

    Sold: 2013-01-19 / Format: 10xCass / Label: Come Organisation

  93. $1,500.00

    Sold: 2013-12-08 / Format: Cass / Label: Not On Label

  94. $1,629.00

    Sold: 2016-01-05 / Format: CD, Comp + LP, Comp + Cass, Comp + VHS, Comp + Box / Label: 4AD

  95. $1,729.00

    Sold: 2017-07-28 / Format: Cass, Album / Label: Not On Label (Buck 65 Self-released)

  96. $1,818.00

    Sold: 2013-05-29 / Format: Cass, Comp, Ltd, Pla / Label: Banana Split

  97. $2,000.00

    Sold: 2017-12-01 / Format: 32xCass, Comp, Ltd, Sui / Label: United Dairies

  98. $2,200.00

    Sold: 2014-10-09 / Format: 26xCass + Comp, Ltd, Num, Sui / Label: Industrial Records

  99. $2,300.00

    Sold: 2017-10-30 / Format: 32xCass, Comp, Ltd, Sui / Label: United Dairies

  100. $4,117.00

    Sold: 2016-08-29 / Format: Cass, Promo / Label: NPG Records, Warner Bros. Records

The post Top 100 Most Expensive Cassettes appeared first on Discogs Blog.

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