Marking a historic day in album gimmickry the likes of which haven’t been seen since Michael Jackson floated a statue of himself down the River Thames, a mystery buyer has reportedly bought that extremely limited edition—as in there’s only one copy—Wu-Tang record, Once Upon A Time In Shaolin. Online auction house Paddle8, which handled the sale, confirms that the album, which came encased in a silver and nickel box, had been sold, but wouldn’t say who bought it or how much they paid for it.
Forbes, for its part, says the buyer was American and the album’s price was “in the millions.” (RZA, the Wu-Tang member responsible for the stunt, originally said he expected it to sell for $5 million or more.) If true, that would make Once Upon A Time In Shaolin the single most expensive album ever sold, handily beating the previous record set by Jack White when he paid $300,000 for Elvis Presley’s first-ever vinyl recording.
But while White has stated his intent to release Elvis’ first record to the public, no one really knows what’s going to happen to Once Upon A Time In Shaolin. The terms of the sale dictate that the album can’t be released commercially for 88 years, but the buyer could make it available to hear at museums or galleries. Or they could just listen to it once, decide it’s not very good, and put it back into the vault with all the other dumb shit they bought online, presumably while drunk. Even the insanely wealthy drunk shop sometimes.
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