A Record Collector's Guide

SP23 Nirvana


Love Buzz b/w Big Cheese

Sub Pop SP23 7", released November 1988 (U.S.)

Sub Pop Singles Club #1

Nirvana's legendary first single. 1,000 hand-numbered copies, 200 additional copies with red marker across the number space on the sleeve. All are on transparent black vinyl. The value fluctuates a bit on this record, but $2000 is the minimum these days. Even if you catch it in a downswing, though, it will cost you an awful lot of money. For some reason, the "red stripe" copies seem to sell for more than the numbered ones, which never made any sense to me. It's the same record...these were just theoretically used as promos. Of course, the most valuable copies are the low numbers. Again, it's the same record. People just like low numbers.

There are more complete guides out there, but the basic ways to recognize a real one are: 1. The names Alice Wheeler and Susan Sasic on the back of the sleeve are legible. 2. The side A trail-off wax reads: Why don't you trade those guitars for shovels? L-31540 SP-23-A kdisc; side B reads: L-31540X SP-23-B kdisc.

Check out the Love Buzz owner's list over at, recently reconstituted from the sadly defunct

Please note that there are MANY bootlegs out there. They are not terribly difficult to spot once you know what to look for. Remarkably, the bootlegs also sell for a considerable amount of one point back in 2008, the fakes were going for over $300. Asinine.

Version Value ($) Scarcity Price Trending
SP23 Translucent Black - Hand-numbered Sleeve 2200-2500 5 Stable
SP23 Translucent Black - Red marker stripe Sleeve 2000-2500 7 Volatile
Test Pressing
Sleeve Paper foldover, hand-numbered or w/ red stripe in place of a number
Test Pressing Black vinyl, small hole, plain white labels

This page was last updated on October 17, 2019.

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Scarcity Score Definition
10 Near impossible: Fewer than 50 copies or publicly sold every few years
8-9 Very rare: 50-199 copies or publicly sold 1-2 times per year
6-7 Rare: 200-499 copies or publicly sold a few times a year
4-5 Medium: 500-999 copies or publicly sold ~10 times a year
1-3 Common: 1000+ copies, readily available, or publicly sold 20+ times a year

Estimated values are based on recent auction results or online sales. Commercial use of images on this site is not permitted. Non-commercial use of images permitted, with attribution to Pette Discographies. All images copyright their respective owners.