£54,000 hammer price sets new record for White Label Auction

£54,000 hammer price sets new record for White Label Auction

Date published: 07/06/2023

The White Label Auction in Aid of The BRIT Trust – the world’s only known auction of “white label” test pressings has set a new record for such a sale, achieving a total of £54,310 for the 231 lots that went under the hammer on 6 June.  It means that the White Label Auction in its four editions to date since launching in 2019 has now generated nearly £150,000 for the music industry charity, The BRIT Trust.

The star item proved to be a rare white label test pressing of the classic 1984 album by Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Welcome to the Pleasuredome, signed by the whole band and went for £3,500. The artists that contributed the most overall, however, were The Cure – their 10 albums in the sale, including Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me and Pornography, were all signed by iconic front-man Robert Smith and realised an amazing £12,350 in total. Madness’ Can’t Touch Us Now LP, released in 2016, made an impressive £1,500.

Dozens more LPs each brought in hundreds of pounds, including classics and more recent releases by New Order, Celeste, Paul Weller, Neneh Cherry, The Jam, Louis Tomlinson, Marianne Faithfull, Motorhead, Mark Knopfler, Koffee, The Charlatans, Jamie T, Sandie Shaw (with The Smiths), The Who, Beth Gibbons, Underworld, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Blind Faith, Derek & The Dominoes, The Sex Pistols and The Verve, among many others.  

The auction was hosted by music memorabilia and vinyl records specialists Omega Auctions from their Newton-Le-Willows  base. Full catalogue details, including the individual prices achieved can be found here.

The UK’s record labels led by Universal Music UK, who founded and organise the annual event with the BPI, along with BMG, Domino Recordings, Cherry Red, Sony Music UK, Warner Records UK and others, each year join forces to curate a great selection of white label auction lots to raise funds for the vital work of music industry charity The BRIT Trust – which promotes education and wellbeing through music and the creative arts to support causes that include the BRIT School and Nordoff and Robbins. 

Johnny Chandler, A&R Director at Universal Music Recordings, who founded the White Label Auction, said:    “My sincere thanks to everyone that helped to achieve this brilliant total for The BRIT Trust – the team here at Universal UMR, our label partners and the BPI, Omega Auctions, Julian Stockton and, not least, the many artists, their managers and PRs, and all the bidders that participated in the auction. Here’s looking forward to 2024.”

Read Johnny Chandler’s BRIT Trust Diaries entry for how the White Label Auction came about in full here.

Tony Wadsworth CBE, Chair of The BRIT Trust, said: “The BRIT Trust and its trustees are blown away by the incredible sum raised by this year’s White Label Auction.  It will help to make a real difference to the many causes and the great work that we support around the country to transform lives through the power of music and the creative arts. Our profound thanks go to all the artists and to Johnny Chandler and Universal Music UK, and to all the other UK record labels and the BPI for their amazing efforts and continuing generosity.”