As an avid vinyl record collector, I’m constantly trying to expand my collection. My most recent quest has been to complete my collection of the entire works of the Smashing Pumpkins. After months of trying, I’m proud to say that I’m almost there.

However, only one album stands in my way. That album is the one and only Mellon Collie. If you’ve seen the prices that this record is going for on the market, you’re probably wondering: why is Mellon Collie on Vinyl so expensive?

Read on to find out more about why official vinyl records of Mellon Collie are so expensive, as well as how to tell the difference between original and bootleg copies of the album.

Why Is Mellon Collie Vinyl So Expensive?

There are several reasons contributing to the high price of official vinyl versions of the Smashing Pumpkins’ iconic Mellon Collie album.

The main reason the first issue and the reissues of this record are so expensive is their scarcity in the market combined with the incredibly high demand for them.

In addition to this, the status of vinyl records of this album as collector’s items has led to people being prepared to pay top dollar for them. In turn, this has helped maintain their high price.

Factors Contributing to Mellon Collie Vinyl Being So Expensive

Let’s take a more detailed dive into the reasons behind the high price tag of official vinyl copies of Mellon Collie.

Simple Economics


When it comes to the original, 1995 first-pressing version of the Smashing Pumpkins’ iconic album, the high price tag is due to simple economics.

The first issue of Mellon Collie on vinyl was a limited one, with only 5000 copies released. In turn, this version of the album is incredibly rare.

In addition to this, Mellon Collie is the Smashing Pumpkins’ highest-selling album ever. This 28-song masterpiece has sold over 10 million copies. Therefore, it goes without saying that the demand for this album is through the roof.

This high demand, coupled with the aforementioned scarcity of the album, has led to it being sold for prices over $800.

You may be asking yourself, why are reissues of the album also so expensive? The answer to that question lies in the fact that these reissues sell out at lightning-fast rates.

This can be attributed to the devotion of Smashing Pumpkins fans, as well as individuals buying large quantities of the record to resell it and capitalize on people’s willingness to pay top dollar for it.

The Extras

An item will only stay expensive if people are happy to pay the high prices. So, why are people willing to dig so deep into their pockets for the official version of Mellon Collie on vinyl?

There’s a pretty simple reason. Original vinyl copies of Mellon Collie feature two tracks that aren’t available on the CD version. These two tracks are “Tonite Reprise” and “Infinite Sadness.”

Users also read: Why Is Tom Petty Wildflowers Vinyl So Expensive?

The former is an acoustic rendition of the iconic “Tonight, Tonight,” and the latter is an instrumental track featuring a Mellotron.

More Than Just a Record

Another contributing factor to the high price of an official vinyl copy of Mellon Collie is that it’s more than just a record.

The official vinyl of this album is simply a work of art; it’s an item that music aficionados consider a valuable collectible. From the album’s impeccable cover art gracing its sleeve to the aesthetic of the vinyl itself, a Mellon Collie record is truly a sight to behold.

The record also comes with an extensive, 12-page insert. This insert is packed with beautiful pieces of art that build on the iconic illustration gracing the cover.

How Can You Tell the Difference Between Official and Bootleg Versions?

As with most classic 90s records, the bootleg market for vinyl copies of Mellon Collie is in full swing.

With the scarcity of the first issue and the reissues selling out in the blink of an eye, trying to find an official copy of Mellon Collie can be incredibly frustrating.

Bootleggers try to take advantage of your frustration by making their fake copies closely resemble the original and charging top-shelf prices for them.

We’re here to make sure you don’t fall into this trap. Here are some guidelines to help you tell the difference between original and bootleg vinyl versions of Mellon Collie.

couple holding a vinyl

The Cover

The first thing you should take a close look at when gauging whether a vinyl copy of Mellon Collie is genuine or fake is the cover.

The cover of an original copy of the album will have a white rectangular box near the bottom right. This box can either contain a number or be empty.

The absence of this box is a telltale sign that a given copy of the album is a bootleg.

Additionally, the cover of authentic copies has the record’s unique catalog number printed on it. This number should be 7243 8 41655 1 2. Bootleg versions will have another number printed on them or might not have a catalog number altogether.

You should also take a close look at the cover art. The genuine version’s starry sky background has a distinctly deeper, more vibrant shade of blue than the bootleg.

The Vinyl

Another thing you should inspect closely is the vinyl itself. All official issues and reissues of Mellon Collie have been pressed on black vinyl.

If the copy in question has vinyl that’s any color but black, then it’s definitely a bootleg. Common bootleg versions that have been circulating the market have red, yellow, or brown vinyl.

Related: Why Is Slipknot Iowa Vinyl So Expensive?

However, some bootleggers have used black vinyl. In this case, you should take a close look at the colored labels at the center of the three discs. There should be a pink one, a yellow one, and a light blue one.

Each one of them should have what resembles a baby’s face with a bizarre expression. If you find something else, it’s your cue to ditch the record because it’s likely fake.