Shkrelli was attacked for inflating AIDS drugs prices by over 5,000%
Andrew Trendell

15:00 9th December 2015

Much mystery has surrounded who the owner of Wu-Tang Clan's Once Upon A Time in Shaolin might be. The cream for any collectors of their albums, only one copy of the record was made - and sold for millions. Now, it looks album was bought by none other than controversial AIDs drug profiteer, Martin Shkreli - using his epic net worth to bag the rarity. 

Shkreli met great controversy and worldwide anger when his company obtained the manufacturing license for AIDS drug Daraprim, before raising its price by 5,455% - from $13.50 to $750 per tablet. Ouch. 

Turing Pharmaceuticals' Shkreli was also an investor in No Devotion and Thursday's Geoff Rickly's Collect Records - who have since severed ties with the businessman. 

If you want to hear the album, you'll have to wait until 2103. Now, meddling in the music world again, it looks like he's the lucky owner of the much-sought-after Wu-Tang record. Taking to Twitter to confirm the news, he said: 

Bloomberg Business also wrote of the acquisition: 

"Shkreli heard about Once Upon a Time in Shaolin and thought it would be nice to own, too," a source claims. "He attended a private listening session at the Standard Hotel hosted by Paddle8 co-founder Alexander Gilkes. Shkreli, who describes himself as a bit of a recluse, recalls Gilkes telling him that if he bought the record, he would have the opportunity to rub shoulders with celebrities and rappers who would want to hear it. 'Then I really became convinced that I should be the buyer,' Shkreli says. (Paddle8 declined to comment, citing their policy of client confidentiality.) He also got to have lunch with RZA. “We didn’t have a ton in common,” Shkreli says. “I can’t say I got to know him that well, but I obviously like him.”

Speaking of his concers about Wu-Tang's reaction, he said: "I was a little worried that they were going to walk out of the deal. But by then we’d closed. The whole kind of thing since then has been just kind of ‘Well, do we want to announce it’s him? Do we not want to announce it’s him?’ I think they were trying to cover their butts a little bit."

Most annoyingly, it is reported that Shkrelli 'hasn’t listened to Once Upon a Time in Shaolin yet', adding that 'he’s saving that for a time when he’s feeling low and needs something to lift his spirits'.

“I could be convinced to listen to it earlier if Taylor Swift wants to hear it or something like that,” said Shkreli. “But for now, I think I’m going to kind of save it for a rainy day.”

Well, Merry Christmas to him, we guess. 

  • 11. Frank Wilson - 'Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)': £ 25,000: Wilson wrote and produced for Motown artists including Marvin Gaye, The Supremes and The Temptations. He released one single as a vocalist in 1965, but only two or three copies survived. One copy was sold at an auction for more than £ 25,000 in 2009 [Source: BBC]

  • 10. Aphex Twin %u2013 Caustic Window: $46,30 - A test pressing of Aphex Twin%u2019s 1994 Caustic Window double compilation album was sold in 2014 on eBay for $46,300 after receiving 110 bids. [Source: eBay]

  • 9. The Beatles 'Love Me Do' : $50,000 - $100,000 - The original acetate of the Beatles%u2019 first single is thought to be worth anywhere between $50,000 and $100,000. The only unedited version of the 1962 single can be distinguished by an audible count-in. [Source: Record Collector 404]

  • 8. The Beatles - Silver Decca Audition: £ 35,000 - The Fab four's infamous 1962 audition tape that led to Decca's company boss telling them that the group was 'on their way out' and that they had 'no future in show business'. A Japanese collector bought the alleged original tape for £35,000 in 2012. However, it is believed that the master tape only had 10 songs, whereas the edition that was sold had 15. It is thought that the master tape is sitting in the possession of the Beatles Apple Corps [Source: Telegraph]

  • 7. The Jimi Hendrix Experience - 1968 Woburn Music Festival performance: £ 48,050 - The rare 1/4 inch reel-to-reel master soundboard tape recording of the Jimi Hendrix Experience and other acts performing at the Woburn music festival 1968 was sold in a Christie's auction in London, 2008. [Source: Christies]

  • 6. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards - earliest recordings: £ 50,250 - The earliest recordings of the Rolling Stones duo was sold at Christie's auction house in London in 1995. The 1961 recordings were thought to have been purchased by Mick Jagger himself. At the time, the band was known as 'Little Boy Blue & The Blue Boys'. [This Day In Music: An Every Day Record of Musical Feats and Facts, Source: Neil Cossar]

  • 5. The Quarrymen %u2013 live recordings: £ 78,500 - A tape recording of John Lennon singing and playing the guitar with the Quarry Men in 1957 was bought by EMI Records for £ 78,500 in September 1994. [Source: BBC]

  • 4. The Beatles - Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band: $290,500 - A signed copy of the Fab-four's most psychedelic record, Sgt Pepper's, almost doubled its last record sale of $150,000. All four of the Beatles' signature appears on the record's sleeve, but was only estimated to be worth $30,000 at the time of the auction. Instead, the record was sold for just under $300,000 in Texas in 2013. [Source: Vinyl Factory]

  • 3. Elvis Presley - 'My Happiness' : $300,000 - Ex-White Stripes rocker, Jack White, bought the King's 1956 acetate for his first ever recording, My Happiness, for $300,000 in January 2015. White later re-released it through his own record label, Third Man Records, on Record Store Day 2015. [Source: Record Collector 437]

  • 2. The Quarry Men - That%'ll Be The Day/In Spite Of All The Danger' £ 200,000 - On 12 July 1958, The Quarry Men made a recording that unbeknownst to them at the time would send a shockwave through the vinyl market. The Quarry Men were comprised of Beatles-to-be John Lennon and George Harrison as well as John Huff Lowe and Colin Hanlon. Paul McCartney bought the recording for 11 or 17 shillings and 6d. John Duff Lowe also sold the acetate of the recording to McCartney in 1981 for an undisclosed sum and it is now thought to be worth £ 200,000. [Source: Guardian]

  • 1. Wu Tang Clan 'Once Upon A Time In Shaolin': offers up to $5 million - There is only one existing copy of the 2013 31-track Wu Tang Clan album, which was sold in May 2015 by online auction house Paddle8. Whilst the exact sum remains undisclosed and the buyer remains under the pseudonym of 'American collector', it is to be believed that the record was sold in the range of millions. The album is presented in a silver-and-nickel box created by British-Morrocan artist Yahya. [Source: BGR]

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