Frank Ocean – Blond, 2xLP black vinyl

Frank Ocean’s 1,000-limited run of his modern R&B classic, Blond, is a dream find for record collectors and a rewarding listen to boot…

Rarely do albums become worth 10 times their retail price within a matter of days, but such was the case with Frank Ocean’s 2016 release Blond. Also styled as Blonde, it was the songwriter’s first album since Channel Orange in 2012.

After the digital release alone, the album was attracting significant attention, and it became one of the most critically acclaimed releases of the year. Ocean used it to explore his sense of romance and confusion, while often remaining ambiguous and introverted. Blond is left open to interpretation for the most part, and is musically dense, with an intoxicating vibe that weaves in and out of every track – and the subtle hooks and melodies given enough space to breathe. It’s unlike anything else released in 2016.

Blond’s physical release came three months later, on RSD Black Friday. It had already been bootlegged, with several poor-quality coloured pressings, but the authentic pressing was manufactured to stand out. It was a one-time run of 1,000 copies on double black vinyl, with a black and white sleeve as opposed to the full-colour image used on the digital release.

Naturally, the album sold out within minutes of going on sale exclusively through Ocean’s website, and copies appeared online for extortionate prices, within minutes. Two years on, the price has stabilised somewhat, but you’d be hard pushed to  nd a sealed copy for less than £300. It’s a modern collector’s item that will only grow in value and is one of the most important R&B releases of the last few years.

Glen Bushell