If you have the same passion for alternative rock and collecting vinyl records as I do, you’re probably constantly trying to expand your Tool record collection.
After many years of attempting to cultivate all of Tool’s albums on vinyl, there’s only one missing piece, Aenima. If you’re facing the same problem, you’re probably wondering: why is Tool Aenima vinyl so expensive?
Read on to learn more about why official vinyl records of this album have such a high price tag, as well as how to tell if someone’s trying to sell you a bootleg version.
Why Is Tool Aenima Vinyl So Expensive?
Vinyl records of Aenima, one of Tool’s iconic, best-selling albums, are costly for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the album was only officially released on vinyl two times since it came out in 1996, making it very rare.
This, in addition to the exceedingly high demand for the record, has resulted in official vinyl versions of the album being sold for around $400.
Factors Contributing to Tool Aenima Vinyl Being So Expensive
The main reason behind the extremely high prices of Tool’s Aenima album on vinyl is its limited supply and the incredibly high demand for it.
This album has only been released on vinyl twice since it first came out in 1996. Over two decades later, Aenima is Tool’s second highest-selling album, right after Lateralus, with over 3.3 million copies sold.
Therefore, those who were lucky enough to get their hands on the official vinyl release of the album consider it a crown jewel of their collection. They’re either unwilling to sell it or would only sell it at an obscenely high price.
The album’s level of demand is amplified even more by the fact that Tool is one of those bands whose fan base is incredibly devoted and obsessive. Many of them are willing to pay top dollar to complete their vinyl collection of the band’s discography.
This also explains why the price of Aenima, as well as vinyl records of other Tool albums, has gone up significantly more than vinyl records of other iconic 90s albums.
In fact, the high price of Aenima on vinyl isn’t something new. Vinyl records of the album had a high price tag even when the record was first released in the late 90s.
This disparity between the available supply of official releases and the demand for them is the main reason why it’s almost impossible to find this record sold below a price tag of three figures.
This is especially true for sealed copies of the album, which is understandably the case since they’re scarce. On the other hand, you may find a copy that’s been opened and used by its previous owner at half or even a quarter of the price if you’re lucky.
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As of today, there are only 15,000 official vinyl copies of Aenima in existence. However, there have been rumors that Tool intends to reissue all of their albums on vinyl. If this does happen, it’s expected that the going price for Aenima on vinyl will drop significantly.
How Can You Tell the Difference Between Official and Bootleg Versions?
Due to the incredibly high prices of official versions of Aenima on vinyl, most of the album’s versions sold online and at your local record store are likely to be bootlegs.
If the seller is claiming that the record is the real deal, but the price seems too good to be true, you should consider this a red flag. Most official versions you’ll find will be in the range of $400.
Here are a couple of other things you should look out for when gauging whether a vinyl copy of Aenima is official or a bootleg version.
How the Record Looks
As previously mentioned, there have only been two official releases of Aenima on vinyl. They’re referred to as the first and second pressings of the album, and when it comes to how they look, they’re almost exactly the same.
The official vinyl version of Aenima comes in an all-black gatefold sleeve embossed with the album’s gray, square-shaped artwork at its center. Additionally, the record itself is on fully black vinyl.
The vinyl’s color is the biggest giveaway when it comes to the authenticity of an Aenima record. Any copy you find on sale with vinyl that isn’t black is definitely a bootleg. Most bootlegs you’ll encounter will be on green or yellow vinyl, so it should be easy to know that you’re being scammed.
Another key indicator of an Aenima vinyl record’s authenticity is the catalog number it has on it.
Official versions of the record’s first pressing should have the catalog number: 61422 31087-1.
On the other hand, an authentic second pressing version should have a catalog number of 72445-11087-1.
Any version of Aenima on vinyl you find on the market that doesn’t have one of these catalog numbers on it is a bootleg for sure. Make sure to copy these numbers and keep them on you while buying.
Position of the Seal
If the record you’re trying to classify as official or bootleg is a sealed one, the way the shrink wrap is sealed is another indicator you should keep in mind.
The shrink wrap on official versions of the record is sealed right down the middle of the record’s backside.
If the seal is lopsided or is at another position, there’s a pretty good chance that this version is a bootleg. Or, it may have been used before.
Claiming it’s a Reissue
Bootleggers will often try to lure people into buying fake Aenima vinyl records by printing claims on the packaging that this version is an official reissue of the album. Of course, amateur buyers and people not fully aware of the album’s history may fall for it.
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Any Aenima record that says that it’s a reissue is definitely fake. This is simply because there has never been an official reissue of the album on vinyl.