What Makes a CD Collectible, Part 2

Before we begin, there’s something key to point out here: any CD can be collectible, in the sense that it can be a part of your beloved Bob Dylan collection or your neighbor’s endless collection of ‘80s dance music. What we’re really talking about here is what makes a CD valuable. Although someone may be highly impressed by that ‘80s dance music collection, they’re unlikely to pay top dollar for it. We dug up what makes CDs the most valuable when being sold, traded and archived.

In the internet age, music aficionados have noticed a troubling trend: with so many CDs being sold online, it’s become increasingly easy to slap a “collectible” label on a CD and jack up the price. While there are lots of questionably valuable CDs floating around on the internet, there are four tried-and-true criteria that guarantee that that CD you have your eye on is the real deal.

1. Artist signature or inscription

If the CD is signed by the creator his/herself, you’re looking at a valuable, collectible CD. Just make sure the signature is authenticated!

2. Limited edition packaging/pressing

Occasionally, artists will release copies of a disc with rare, limited-edition packaging in just a select few copies. This is especially common with anniversary releases, like a “40th Anniversary Edition”. Verifying that the artwork matches that limited edition release is another surefire way to know you have a collectible.

3. CDs originally released on vinyl/other formats with limited release on CD

Many albums were originally released on vinyl, and had only a limited release in CD form. As a result, the few CDs available are considered collectible! One example is the album Love, Love by Julian Priester, which was only released in CD form in Germany.

4. Import-only albums

A CD that can only be imported into the US, rather than released here, is considered a collectible. For example, Japan-exclusive editions of albums—often including bonus tracks on major label releases—are common.

What does this mean for me?

If you’ve identified any of these types of valuable CDs in your collection, that’s awesome. That’s also where we at Murfie can help you out. When you send your CD collection to be ripped for downloading and streaming, we keep your same physical copy of your disc in our warehouse. That means that if you send us a collectible, you don’t lose that signed disc or other feature that makes it valuable (unless you decide to sell it in our marketplace!). It’s yours to keep, sell or trade as you choose. Happy collecting!

Special shout-out to John Kruse for his help with this blog post!

What Makes a CD Collectible, Part 1

What makes a CD collectible is to some degree a totally personal question. CDs play such a huge emotional role in our lives, and it’s easy for a disc that critics might not consider music’s greatest work of art to hold an irreplaceable spot in your collection. Examples of this include the Avril Lavigne CD that’s still on my bookshelf 10 years later. But from a more objective level, what really makes a CD collectible? I dug up one class of CDs that are widely classified as collectible items. What’s more, many of them can be found on Murfie!

Target CDs

Target CDs are a class of CDs that were released by Warner-Elektra-Atlantic in the 1980s. Their name comes from the design WEA used, which resembles a target. They’re also easily identifiable by the bright colors used on the label side in their jewel cases. What really makes Target CDs collectible, however, is the fact that they are original issues. In the world of CDs, these are historical artifacts.

Here’s an example of what a Target CD looks like.

In addition to being relics of the early days of the compact disc, Target CDs also caught collectors’ eyes (and ears) because of their pure sound quality. These CDs are a “flat transfer” of the original tapes, and have not been subjected to compression or noise reduction. The sounds you’ll find on a Target CD are most true to how the artist intended.

If you’re a CD collector, check out this comprehensive list of Target CDs available out there. Here are a few albums on Murfie that were once issued as target CDs, and have later been re-released in the past few decades. You can’t go wrong if you listen to them in FLAC:

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Dire Straits (Dire Straits)                         Houses of the Holy (Led Zeppelin)


Hearts and Bones (Paul Simon)                  90125 (Yes)

If we come across discs that are rare or valuable on Murfie, we’ll give you a heads up so that you know about it! Then you can know to hang onto them, or even sell them for a higher price. It’ll surprise you what gems you’ll find!

Target CDs are not the only kind of collectible discs out there, but more on that later…