While the 10? LP is a favorite category of Sinatra collectibles, I have a real soft spot for the 45 RPM EP record. These are records that are the size of the 45, but that usually contain 4 tunes instead of the normal two you’d expect with a single. Thus, the name EP, or Extended Play. Some were released containing small collections of songs not otherwise released on LP while others were released in multi-part sets containing the same tracks as found on the standard 12? LP.
This is absolutely my favorite overall category of Sinatra collectible for several reasons. First, they’re small and don’t take up a lot of storage space. Second, they have great artwork, much of which is entirely unique – you haven’t seen a lot of these covers. Finally, they’re all collectible – every last one of them. While not all can be considered rare, they’re definitely in the ‘not something you find every day’ category, even when it comes to the cheaper titles.
There were EPs produced for all three of Sinatra’s main recording labels: Columbia, Capitol, and Reprise. As with the 10? LP, the most collectible titles are the ones released on Columbia. Because these records aren’t nearly as breakable as 78s, they’ve stood the test of time much better – you can actually drop one and still pick it up in one piece. (In contrast, 78s are so brittle I’m often afraid to even breath around them.)
Perhaps the nicest thing about Sinatra EPs is that, while all of them are collectible, they hardly command high prices. To my knowledge, most sell for between $5 and $35 dollars with but a handful selling for more than that and certainly none over $100.
In the coming days I will profile some of the more interesting titles, beginning with a few examples from the Columbia era.