Led Zeppelin ‘Houses of the Holy’ Reel-to-Reel Sells for Big Bucks on eBay
Titles released on reel-to-reel have long been a prize of sorts for collectors -- especially since even in their heyday, they never sold all that well. The format was first introduced in 1949, and had pretty much died out by the early '70s. There were, however, a few random titles still being manufactured at the time, including the fifth Led Zeppelin album, 'Houses of the Holy' -- a copy of which recently sold in an eBay auction for $239.50, with a total of 46 bids coming in.
Though vinyl has made a grand resurgence in recent years, we aren't betting on the same thing happening for reel-to-reel tape. The format never gained ground the way portable tapes did. Cassettes -- and the ever-popular 8-tracks -- became the standard non-vinyl formats of the era, with reel-to-reel mostly being associated with classical titles. Throughout the '60s, however, many pop and rock titles were released on reel-to-reel tape.
Doing a quick search on eBay turns up over 3,000 listings for reel-to-reel tapes, with everything from Deep Purple's 'Fireball' to Love's 'De Capo' showing up. There is even a quadraphonic Doobie Brothers reel listed! With most of these, it's the artifact and the packaging itself that makes it of value, rather than the audio quality -- though there is probably a small tribe of audiophiles out there somewhere who swear that original reel-to-reel tapes deliver the utmost in sound quality.