Are you, like me, one of the millions of devoted Tom Petty fans? If you are, you’re probably trying to complete your collection of the iconic singer’s albums.
If you’re in the process of acquiring his entire discography on vinyl, you’ll find that the biggest obstacle facing you is the Wildflowers album. You may have seen the prices it’s going for, and you may be wondering: why is Tom Petty’s Wildflowers on vinyl so expensive?
Read on to find out more about the reasons behind this record’s exceedingly high price, as well as how to tell if you’re being hoodwinked into buying a bootleg version at a premium price.
Why Is Tom Petty Wildflowers Vinyl So Expensive?
The main reasons vinyl records of Tom petty’s Wildflowers are so expensive are the record’s rarity and the exceedingly high demand for it.
Due to the decline in vinyl record sales in the early 90s, Warner Bros. only released a limited number of copies of Wildflowers on vinyl.
In addition to the album’s high popularity (which increased even more after Petty’s death), this has led to sealed copies of the record being sold at over $1000.
Factors Contributing to Tom Petty Wildflowers Vinyl Being So Expensive
Here are some of the reasons why original versions of Tom Petty’s Wildflowers album on vinyl are so expensive.
They’re Incredibly Rare
The main reason Tom Petty’s Wildflowers album has such a high price is that official vinyl versions of it are tough to come by.
There has only been one official release of the album on vinyl since it came out in 1994. Even then, the number of copies pressed on vinyl was very small. There are only about 5000 official copies of the album to this date.
You may be wondering why Warner Bros. didn’t release more vinyl copies of such an iconic album.
The answer revolves around the fact that CDs had begun to overtake vinyl records as the number one music-playing medium in the world. In turn, releasing more copies on vinyl didn’t make sense for the company.
However, after years of legal battles, the Tom Petty estate announced that there would be an official reissue of the album on vinyl.
Wildflowers was indeed reissued in October 2020. However, that doesn’t change the fact that the first official issue of the album is very hard to come by.
Therefore, although you can expect the price of the record on the market to gradually go down to more reasonable levels, it’s likely to remain high.
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Demand & Supply
Another reason for the exorbitant prices of official vinyl records of Tom Petty’s Wildflowers is the good old laws of demand and supply.
As we’ve established, the available supply of the record is incredibly scarce. On the other side of the coin, demand for Wildflowers is exceedingly high.
This is to be expected since Wildflowers is Tom petty’s third highest-selling album ever. It only trails Greatest Hits and Full Moon Fever and has sold over 3.4 million copies.
Interestingly enough, the more popular Full Moon Fever is available online and in record stores all over the country at regular prices. This is because it was released in 1989 before CDs took over the music industry. In turn, over 100,000 vinyl copies of it were issued.
This massive disparity between the supply and demand for the album on vinyl is the perfect storm for it to be priced so high.
Those lucky enough to have the original vinyl record of the album are either completely unwilling to part ways with it or will only sell it at ridiculously high prices. They consider it a crown jewel of their vinyl record collection.
Sealed vinyl records of the album sell for over $1000. You can also find copies of the record that aren’t in mint condition at around $600.
Tom Petty’s Death
The gap between the demand and supply of Wildflowers has also been significantly widened by the iconic singer’s death. When Tom Petty passed away due to cardiac arrest in 2017, demand for Wildflowers, and all of his albums, went through the roof.
When Tom Petty died, his music sales skyrocketed by a whopping 6216%. This should give you an idea of the colossal impact of the legendary rock star’s death.
Surprisingly enough, the love and passion for an iconic singer don’t stop after his death. Michael Jackson is one of the best examples of that, still trending worldwide more than a decade after his death.
How Can You Tell the Difference Between Official and Bootleg Versions?
Due to the low supply level of official Wildflowers vinyl records, many bootleg versions have popped up to try to satisfy the incredibly high demand for the record.
Unfortunately, many of these bootleggers try to take advantage of the situation and pass off their fake versions of the record as the real deal. They also charge ridiculously high prices.
To avoid falling into this trap, you should know how to distinguish between official and bootleg versions of Wildflowers.
First of all, if you’re searching for the record online and you find one on sale for a suspiciously low price, there’s a pretty good chance that it’s a bootleg.
Another way you can tell if a Wildflowers record is fake is the way it looks.
The original version of the record comes in a parchment-colored sleeve with the circular, pink logo of the album at the bottom left. The sleeve also has a black square-framed picture at its center. Additionally, the record is pressed on black vinyl.
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As for bootleg versions, you’ll find them in gold or white sleeves. Plus, you’ll often find them on vinyl that isn’t black.
Furthermore, you can tell if a Wildflowers record is official or a bootleg by the catalog number printed on it. The official vinyl version of Wildflowers has the catalog number: 945759-1. Any version you come across that has a different number printed on it is definitely fake.