These Are the Most Valuable Cassettes Out There


Nirvana. I'm about to get into the most valuable cassettes out there, and the numbers may surprise you.

Here are the most valuable cassettes out there – Author Charles Ken, Nirvana photo via Chris Cuffaro

When you think of music formats that could be worth a lot of money, you probably think of some vintage vinyl record that only had a few pressings. That makes sense, and that’s the first thing that comes to my mind, too. But, I’m about to get into the most valuable cassettes out there, and the numbers may surprise you. These aren’t even autographed. So, don’t ignore your vintage, 1980s cassette collection when you’re looking for some valuables.

These Are the Most Valuable Cassettes

Vinyl has made a comeback quite a bit, and many artists release their music on vinyl these days. But, cassettes are also starting to come back. In fact, when Record Store Day does its annual event, it used to be that only vinyl was offered. Now, you’ll find cassettes, CDs and more. But, especially cassettes are starting to make a comeback, even more than CDs. That’s probably because CDs still aren’t that old of a trend, so there’s much more nostalgia with cassettes.

So, what cassettes are among the most valuable? According to the U.K.’s Sun (, the world’s most expensive cassette is a self-titled, self-released album by nu-metal band Linkin Park under the group’s original name, Xero. That’s according to music collecting experts at marketplace Discogs, via The Sun. “The demo tape is one of the only recordings from the group before they changed their name, which is why one fan was willing to fork out $4,500 – or £3,740 – for the super rare cassette,” they note. That’s a lot of cash for a little cassette.

While cassettes are known for being huge in the 1980s, it appears the 1990s cassettes are more valuable. That’s likely because there were fewer pressings of cassettes in the ’90s than ’80s, so they are a bit more rare. The grunge boom created some cassettes that are among the most valuable today. notes that Pearl Jam’s famed debut album, “Ten,” which was also the band’s most commercially successful album, could get you up to $4,000 on eBay. The kicker is that to get that much money, it has to be a sealed, first pressing of “Ten.” Even if you don’t have a perfect pressing of the record, it’s worth asking your local record store owner or manager what it might be worth.

The experts at also note that Nirvana’s groundbreaking sophomore album, “Nevermind,” could also garner some big bucks. The album really changed music history when “Smells Like Teen Spirit” became a hit. With that song, hair metal died and grunge was born to the mainstream. According to the article, the cassette could get up to $1,500 on eBay. It’s one of the most valuable cassettes available.

A separate article on states that the No. 2 most expensive cassette, next to the Linkin Park one mentioned already, is “The Versace Experience – Prelude 2 Gold,” from The Artist (Formerly Known As Prince). It came out in 1995. They note that, “‘The Versace Experience – Prelude 2 Gold’ was originally given away to attendees of the Versace collection show at Paris Fashion Week in 1995.” It sold for $4,395. A few other expensive cassettes that could get you cash if you have them are Alvvays with “Adult Diversion,” Psycho with “Split Personality” and Dirty D with “Tha Intro.” So, those are the most valuable cassettes out there. If you have one of them, consider yourself very lucky.

Charles Ken
Posted by Charles Ken | Alternative, Grunge, Music, Rock, Rock News