The Ultrasounds Collection is the result of one determined collector’s 35 year quest to relentlessly seek out the rarest and finest quality Pacific Northwest concert posters. Many of the posters in the collection were designed by the legendary concert poster artist, Mike King.
The posters in the collection were issued from the late 1970’s through the early 2000’s, with the bulk of the collection focused on the highly coveted and historically important period of 1985 - 1995.
Here’s why collectors are so excited this historic collection is finally coming to market.
1)The most important bands of the era –
The Ultrasounds Collection features posters created to promote shows from historically important bands of the era including Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, The Ramones, and countless others.
Much like the psychedelic acts of the 1960’s, the influence of these bands reached far beyond music … shaping and changing the attitudes, fashions and values of an entire generation.
2) The most important artist of the era - Mike King,
Many of the posters in this collection were created by the highly regarded poster artist, Mike King. King is widely considered to be the most prolific poster artist in the history of the United States, having created over 6000 posters.
Like the bands featured on his posters, King is unquestionably the most important concert poster artist of the era, and his works are highly sought after amongst collectors. In addition to concert posters, King has designed album covers for major bands such as Ben Harper, Jack Johnson, Elliot Smith, and others.
3) World Class Art –
Historically important bands are a crucial first ingredient, but it’s the insanely great art that appears on these posters that make this collectible so irresistible. Like the most popular artworks by Andy Warhol, King produced super smart work that brilliantly references Popular Culture.
Mostly produced using offset lithography and measuring 11” x 17” (the perfect size to be posted on telephone poles) King’s clever collages display the edgy, irreverent attitude of the moment. The paper King used was extremely thin and easily damaged, noticeably thinner than concert posters from the 1960’s and 1970’s.
4) Tiny Quantities Issued –
These posters were produced in tiny quantities for small venues on very short notice. We definitively know from printing records and first hand accounts by King that these posters were issued in quantities of 25 – 750, with the most common print runs being just 175, 250, or 350.
5) Very Low Survival Rates –
These artworks were produced in a hurry and put up on telephone poles and walls in a hurry. Ask anyone that was walking the streets at the time and they’ll tell you it was commonplace to see these posters stapled one on top of another, totaling 3-5 inches thick!
The daily rain and humidity of the region took care of the rest, resulting in very low percentages having survived in undamaged, Museum Quality condition!
6) No Official Reprints!
Unlike many of the most popular and sought after concert posters from the 1960’s and 1970’s, there were no official Reprints of these posters that are still readily available in big quantities today. This means collectors are forced to chase down the few surviving Original First Printings.
7) Museum Quality Condition!
The Ultrasounds Collection was painstakingly assembled over 35 years by the most fastidious of condition freaks. No stone was left unturned in this collector’s quest to unearth the rarest and finest condition issues. Each acquisition was carefully stored to maintain its Museum Quality condition.
The Ultrasounds Collection represents collector’s first and best chance to finally acquire these sought after artworks in pristine, undamaged condition.
8) Huge Demand from an Unsurpassed Demographic!
The collectability of these concert posters has long since been established. There are literally millions of fans of these bands all over the world. These individuals, who were 15-25 years old at the time, are now in their prime earning years, and now 45-55 years old.
Collectors in this key demographic are the movers and shakers of every collectibles market, and the ones with the disposable income and time available to enjoy memories of their youth.
Knowledgeable collectors understand that collectibles featuring the bands of this era routinely command record prices at auction. Paul Allen’s Museum of Pop Culture, featuring this material, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Seattle.
And to top it off, Maximum Plunder – The Poster Art of Mike King, a retrospective book of Mike King’s work, was an instant sell out and today is an impossible to find, highly sought after collectible itself, commanding multiples of its’ original cover price!
9) Undervalued Affordable Prices!
Make no mistake about it, these concert posters are generally currently commanding 10-20% of what concert posters of similar rarity and desirability from the 1960’s and 1970’s command.
This is a highly attractive proposition for collectors.
While the very rarest and most sought after 1960’s concert posters routinely command many tens of thousands of dollars, posters from the Ultrasounds Collection era start at around $100 -- and the best of the best and the rarest of the rare can be acquired for just $1,000 to $2,000! This price level is super affordable, especially when you consider that other collectibles from these very same bands from this era often bring prices over $10,000!
10) Independent CGC Authentication and Grading Presents True Ground Floor Opportunity!
In recognition of the unsurpassed historical importance, quality, and provenance of this collection, CGC has agreed to independently authenticate and grade the Ultrasounds Collection – the very FIRST concert posters from this era to be evaluated by CGC … creating a TRUE ground floor opportunity.
11) CGC Protects Against the Unauthorized Reprints and Fakes That Exist!
While no official reprints exist, independent authentication by CGC protects against two different minefields that could potentially harm new, or inexperienced collectors of this material.
First, because no reprints were officially released, and because collectors and fans of this music have always thought these artworks were super cool, some kids at the time created their own copies of these posters simply to have and display of their walls. These copies were made for pure love and with zero guile or ill intent.
Secondly, like every collectible, as the rarity and collector appeal of these artworks began to be recognized, counterfeits of the most desirable issues have been made to cash in on rising values.
It is for this very reason that independent authentication of collectibles exists in the first place.
CGC, in consultation with Mike King himself, now provides collectors with the confidence to know they are receiving exactly what they bargained for.
12) CGC Grading Usually Produces an Explosion in Interest, Demand and Values
Collectors understand that independent third-party authentication and grading leads to an explosion of interest and demand from collectors interested in this material, but do not feel that they have the expertise and confidence to start collecting it without an unbiased opinion.
In the past, this explosion in interest and demand has led to higher prices, making NOW the best time to assemble a collection at today’s super affordable price levels.
Want to learn more?
Psychedelic Art Exchange has always implored collectors to “buy the book before you buy the collectible”. A knowledgeable collector always gains the most enjoyment from the hobby. In this regard, we recommend the following:
Maximum Plunder – The Poster Art of Mike King (a major collector's item, out of print)
Everybody Loves our Town – An Oral History of Grunge
Instant Litter: Concert Posters from the Seattle Punk Culture
All Ages- The Rise and Fall of Portland Punk Rock
VH-1 Documentary on Grunge