Our weekly column "White Whale Vinyl" spotlights the most sought-after rare vinyl in the heavy-music universe. Shop for vinyl, including a selection of limited-edition Revolver-exclusive variants, via our store.
Punk has a long and messy history of rarities, botched pressings and highly collectible vinyl. But perhaps no band is more collectible than the Misfits. With their grinning Crimson Ghost, highly infectious horror-themed tunes and a killer array of colored vinyl, the band's early singles go for big money in their original pressings. Of course, it doesn't hurt that the group's fearless leader, Glenn Danzig, went on to fame and fortune with his eponymous band a few years after the Misfits broke up.
Truth be told, the Misfits' catalog has more than its fair share of white whales. But the one we're going to focus on today is the "Horror Business" single. Originally released in 1979 on Danzig's own Plan 9 Records, the 7-inch was pressed on yellow vinyl and features what would become two of the band's most famous songs: the title track and "Teenagers From Mars," with the excellent "Children In Heat" thrown in for good measure. According to Discogs, there were 2,000 copies pressed back in '79, and you can expect to pay at least $1,000 for an original today.
But, like many Seventies punk classics, there are variants. 100 original copies of "Horror Business" include a back sleeve that was rejected by the band for poor print quality. One of these sold on eBay for $3,499 in August 2020. According to the listing, the seller purchased it — and two others, one of which is for sale on eBay as of this writing — directly from former Misfits drummer Bobby Steele.
Then there's the mispress with the A-side labels on both sides — apparently only 20 of these exist. At least one of these white whales was signed by Danzig and sold on eBay for $6,772 in November of 2019.
Last but not least, there's the test press version. Pressed on black vinyl as opposed to yellow, only 25 were made. A copy autographed by Danzig sold on eBay in January 2008 for $14,301. But even without Evil Elvis' sweet John Hancock, expect to pay a fortune: A non-autographed copy sold on eBay for $8,239 in December of 2004.
There's always hope, though: Somehow, a mint copy sold on Discogs in 2011 for just $500.