How much were vinyl records selling for?

Does anyone know what the list price for records was when
CD's took over?
about 2.99 to 5.99 if I remember,with imports around 6.99 to 8.99.
It depended on the label. I think $5.99 or thereabouts was list for most things. Hard to remember as I was either buying them as a dealer or my usual method of buying on closeout or sales. What I do remember was how we were assured that the price of CDs would be lower because of the reduced manufacturing costs. I also remember that the record companies use to spend more on the jacket than the record.
I worked in a record store in the mid 70's. List price then was $5.98 with specials at the $3 mark.
I believe by the early to mid 80's the list price was about $7.98. That was what I remember paying.
I paid $19.99 ca. 1980 for Half Speed Mastered recordings. That was big money back then. I bought more of them in later years cheap in the sellout bins.
In 1987 when I waited table across the street from Cactus records (and down the street from Sound Warehouse) and had to decide wether to buy a record or a CD with the cash in my pocket after a shift ($80-150), the records were 8.99 and the CD's were 12.99.
domestic list prices were 7.99 to 8.99 but there were midlines for 5.99 and less. imports were all over the place.
WHAT'S GOING ON....WHEN DID CDS TAKE OVER?......Where the Hell was I???
If I remember correctly, back then you could still get a brand new VW Super Beetle for about $2K. I'm not sure what that means to this thread. :-)
Oooo. I may have been going too far back. Let's say it was still below $3500 by the time ceedees became really popular.
In 1986 I bought a luxman lv105 and went and bought some albums before I came home to hook it up. I still have the luxman and the original bill I threw in an envelope in the box with the manual. I also put the receipt for the lps in that same envelope for some reason ( probably laziness) . Cd's were from 14.99 to 24.99 here . The bill for lps 3.99 each for Pink Floyd Animals, The Wall, ZZ Top Tres Hombres, Ian Hunter "You're never alone with a schizophrenic", Flash and The Pan(no bar codes on any of them ). Plus the last two Msfl copies he had in the store, Dark Side of the Moon and Steve Miller Fly like an Eagle both what I thought was expensive then at 15.99 each. Plus I got 10% off for buying 5 or more lps for the original pressings but not on the Msfl copies. Still have them all and all in great shape. Bought them to replace the first ones I bought that were not handled well during crazy parties and some of the covers stained with one ellicit libation or another. Was,t ME though, thats my story and I,m sticking to it just like that brownish stuff smeared on the front of that BIG BAMBOO album ! Cheers
I was getting ripped off!! I still have a bunch of my records with the price on the plastic. I obviously didn't shop well, it was convenience I guess. Cactus was open until 1 am.
It was Peaches in the southeast. We paid a little premium, but they got the releases before most any other vendor back then. Even on our relatively modest system back then, most of us still resisted ceedees well into the 90's. And only then as an additional source.

Thanks for sparking the memories! My wife and I are having a good laugh at the thoughts of the age of our kids back then along with the memories of good times and good friends!
I worked in a record store in 1978 and list price for a single LP was $8.98; my store sold that lp for $5.49. CD's were introduced in 1982 with a list price of something like $15.98 or $16.98. Can't tell you what they sold for, 'coz I didn't get a CD player until the early 90's.

I do remember killing some time in a mall in Minneapolis (not the Mall of America) and stopping in to a stereo shop there when CD's were new. The salesman played 'Dark Side of the Moon' on a Sony CDP and it was amazing how you could stop and start the music with a touch of a button on the remote. We now take it for granted, but lp's never did that. The sound quality on that Sony was crap, BTW.
around $4.99 or so
In the late 70's the big record store chains (National Record Mart, MusicLand, The Record Theater, etc) the LIST price was around $6.99 to $7.99. At K-Mart, Woolworths or Eckerds or similiar, maybe sometimes $4.99 or $5.99. Then there were "cutouts" for sometimes $2.99 and $3.99, Then in the early or mid '80's came "the nice price" stickered pressings, usually for $4.99 or $5.99. I remember regular records, regular price in Tower Records in late '80's going for $7.99 or $8.99. Classical Boxed sets higher of course.
The art and tooling for Lp production far exceeds that for CD. The price for CDs went to ~$15 at startup. A straight in your face rip-off. A real big question is why Beatles and Stones CDs go for $18 a pop now. Wanton greed. Easy a pie run them off the mill production just reaping in the bucks. I can see why Mr Jackson needs that income. But why Mick and the boys? Nasty.

/rant off
Hey, how about maxell reel to reel tapes, how much were they going for ?
There is a wide range of responses on the price of LPs "when CDs took
over" because it took about 5 years for CDs to take over, and LPs had a
broad price range, from the bargain bin cutouts making way for the new
format to the last of the new releases.

The first CDs were produced in 1982, but CDs didn't overtake the LP--that
is, they didn't outsell the LP--until 1987. By that time, new LPs were running
about $7.99-8.99, while there were plenty that could be had cheaper, though
not the newest releases.

Having bought Sheffield D2D LPs in the mid-'70s for $10 ea., my reaction
when CDs came out at $15-18 was, "well, at that price an LP would
sound better yet--if the money went into better recording, mastering and

I'm basing my pricing on the vintage LPs I've bought over the past few years.
A few have had still been sealed and more have had the original shrink and
price tags on them. The good ones from the mid-'80s were going for around

As for the $3.99-5.99 range, I distinctly remember in 1969 when I bought
the self-titled Creedence Clearwater and Blood, Sweat, & Tears albums, that
the MSRP was around $4.99, but they sold at my local department store for
$3.19, and they had the best prices in town. Within 3-4 years new LPs were
going for $4.99 at Tower and The Wherehouse. In 1975-6 when I sold audio
equipment commercial LPs were around $4.99-5.99 and the audiophile
Sheffield LPs were $10.

BTW, adjusted for inflation, those last LPs in 1987 at $8.99 were about the
best bargain--they translate to $16 in 2008 dollars, whereas a $5 LP in 1972
is equivalent to $24.53 today. So the price of LPs today is about the same in
real dollars as what they cost in the golden age of analog.
In Canada back then LP's sold for $9.99-$12.99 Cdn. as typical. My first CD cost me $24.99 Cdn. in June 1984.
As a young lad in the late 1960's one of the very first Lps that I purchased with my own money was the Beatles White double Lp.
I vividly remember what the price was, $11.00 and change. It took all that I earned from delivering news papers.

A single average price of a popular first release Lp back then was about $6.00.

This was the early days of the golden era of Rock.

By the early part of the 1970's prices for Lps weren't that much more, still under $10.00 for popular music.

One of the first concert's I attended in the early 1970s was Pink Floyd, their Dark Side of the Moon tour, and what a concert it was!
Ticket prices were about $18.00.

The Wall tour I believe was under $40.00 per ticket as was other Rock concert ticket prices at the end of that decade.

By this time Lp prices averaged $10.00 or so for a double issue.

A trip to the United Kingdom around the same time revealed Lp prices about the same as here in North America.

Now going back in time for prices of Lps I recently bought a collection from an estate sale, among them I found a handful of treasures, for me at lease.

Sealed first release some with Simpsons price stickers still on them.

Nat King Cole and His Trio, After Midnight $3.25

The Dave Brubeck Quartet, Jazz, Red Hot and Cool $3.15

Sarah Vaughan, After Hours with Sarah Vaughan $3.25

Nat Cole, The Nat King Cole Story Volume 1 $3.93

This one made my heart jump a beat as I thumbed through the collection at the auction, I hoped there were more sealed Blue Notes or even used.

I was the only one interested in the Lps at the auction, they weren't even listed in the ad for the estate sale.

Dexter Gordon, One Flight Up, No price sticker

Whom ever this fellow was, the rest of his record collection is sure in great condition, a rare find for so many Lps.
The other few hundred are run of the mill including dozens of box sets.

Fun thread BTW, brings back a lot of memories.
My memory of the intro of CD was that in general, Cd prices were TWICE LP prices at introduction.. (the factories said "as soon as we start selling enough, the CD prices will drop") after a few years the CD list prices increased. (So much for promises.)
With the launch of cds onto the market a new and revolutionary play back medium was born that promised the world.

The excitement of a new advanced technology with overall convenience of ease of use which towers over vinyl play back is a significant selling point.

Early play back of digital was horrendous but that didn't matter.

As the years went by sales of machines and cds grew by leaps and bounds out pacing vinyl by a good margin simply because of convenience for the end user and slick industry marketing promising superior sound.

Records were about half of what they wanted for a CD.

For some of us... we've watched as compact disc (red book) came, and hopefully we will watch as it soon leaves.

I just couldn't give up my vinyl.

It's ironic that ipods and servers will probably kill the compact disc.

and I will just keep buying vinyl...

What sucks though is that Fm radio (higher-rez) started out commercial free and format free in the beginning and now satellite or internet radio (lower-rez) may well kill it off only to become plagued by advertisement.

Another reason to keep buying vinyl, I guess.

Happy Listening!
early eighties -
japanese imports $13 - $17 and worth every penny