Wu-Tang Clan Sell 'Rarest Album Ever' for Millions

Sole copy of 'Once Upon a Time in Shaolin' went up for auction
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2015 12:21 PM CST
Wu-Tang Clan Sell 'Rarest Album Ever' for Millions
This 2013 photo shows Robert Fitzgerald Diggs, aka RZA, left, and Clifford Smith, aka Method Man, of Wu-Tang Clan performing at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, Calif.   (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP, File)

Wu-Tang Clan just sold what they're calling the rarest album ever created: Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, just a single copy of which exists. The record, which took from 2006 to 2013 to make and features contributions from every surviving member of the group, has been stored in a vault in Morocco for most of the time since it was completed. Now, Paddle8 auction house says an American buyer purchased the sole copy for "millions," though no further details about the sum were given, the Guardian reports. Forbes notes that the price was agreed to back in May, but the announcement wasn't made until this week because contracts and legal agreements were being sorted out.

"We hope that the impact of this historical sale will echo through the ages and maybe remind us every now and then that music is a great art form that should be valued as such," says Wu-Tang founding member RZA, who says a significant portion of the proceeds will go to charity. Before its sale, the MoMA PS1 art gallery hosted a listening event at which an audience heard a 13-minute medley of the album's tracks, the only time the public heard any of the 128-minute record. The terms of the sale dictate that the buyer not make the album public for at least 88 years. Prior to this, the priciest single record ever sold was a rare acetate recording of Elvis Presley's first song, which Jack White bought for $300,000. (More Wu-Tang Clan stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.