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Elton John Tumbleweed Connection White Matte RIAA Gold LP Award - RARE

Regular price $2,800

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RIAA Gold LP "white matte" award for Elton John's Tumbleweed Connection LP, which was released in January 1970 in the U.S. It was certified Gold® by the RIAA on March 22, 1971 for one million dollars worth sold.

Elton's third full length release, the concept album peaked at #5 on the Billboard Albums chart and #2 in the U.K. It featured popular tracks "Burn Down The Mission" and "Ballad of a Well-Known Gun" among others. By 1998 it had been certified Platinum as fans discovered his earlier material long after Elton had become a worldwide superstar.

*Avoid paying auction fees/buyer's premiums by buying our RIAA awards here on our site before they go to auction. We take select RIAA awards to auctions a few times a year.

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Item Highlights:

  • RIAA Gold LP award with white matte, gold disc, album miniature, and gold info plate
  • In VG condition with some typical scratches and mars on the frame (see more detail below)
  • A first presentation award from 1971
  • Presented to Uni Records executive Pat Pipolo
  • Has original back although has been opened on three sides. Has original manufacturer's sticker and all internal components appear all original (see detail below)
  • "White matte" awards (obviously so-named due to the white matte used) were made from from 1964-1974
  • RIAA white matte awards numbered only 5-25 plaques worldwide for any given single/album 
  • Award measures approx. 17" x 21"
  • Beautiful and rare collector's item
  • FREE insured shipping to continental U.S.
  • International shipping available

Detailed Item Description: This RIAA Gold LP award must have been made in 1971 given the album's certification date. All components appear correct to support this being an original, first presentation award. It features Elton John's early label, Uni Records, and has a gold disc made by Disc Award Ltd. with its distinctive dragon logo engraved in the dead wax area (see detail image). 

The award is presented to Pat Pipolo, a record label promotions executive who worked at Uni with Russ Regan. Regan discovered and signed Elton John to his first major label contract. See Tweet sent by John below after Regan passed away in 2018:

Elton John Tumbleweed Connection White Matte RIAA Gold LP Award - RARE

The award features the correct style presentation plate reading "to commemorate more than one million dollars worth of the Uni Records long-playing record album..." etc. The wood frame appears to be the correct and original white matte-style frame.

This award is 48 years old but is in very good to excellent condition, considering its age. There are a few mars and scratches on the wood frame as is expected. The presentation plate is in very good condition and the plexiglas is clear with only a few very minor scratches.

The original backing paper is present although cut on three sides likely to allow access for a professional cleaning or minor restoration such as re-attaching the presentation plate. (We don't know what, if anything, was done to the award, this is just conjecture). The top side of the backing paper remains attached and uncut, showing it to be the original and a New York Frame & Picture Co. sticker is present at the top as well. See detail images.

This is a rare opportunity to acquire a coveted RIAA white matte award for one of Sir Elton John's classic early releases.

Interested in knowing more about RIAA awards and what makes them great to add to your collection? Read our article here.

Notes on the condition of all vintage RIAA awards like this one: Please do not buy this item if you want a brand new piece of memorabilia. These are historical artifacts from the year they were produced. As a result they may show signs of wear. Frankly, if you see a 50-year-old award purported to be in 100% perfect condition, it might be too good to be true. After all, an antique should have "good' wear. If not, you might want to question the piece.

As to where they came from, they could have been displayed in record label offices, recording studios, artist manager's offices, radio stations, private collector's homes and yes, of course, possibly the artist's or songwriter's home. Typically, we don't know all the places they may have been over the years other than what we've stated in the description.

Finally, a word on photos: Our photos are zoomable so you can get a very good look. Do let us know if you want photos of any other details on our pieces and we'll be happy to provide.

*RIAA sales data source: RIAA.com