Vinyl Album Sales Soar Past The 1m Mark For The First Time In Nearly Two Decades

Annual sales of vinyl albums have exceeded the one-million mark for the first time since the Britpop era of the 90s according to Official Charts data released today by the BPI – the trade body which represents the nation’s record labels.
 
The milestone was achieved at the weekend. The figure is already comfortably ahead of the 780,674 sales posted in 2013, and with the key Christmas trading period still to come, it’s likely the final total for 2014 will rise towards a figure of 1.2m unit sales – a level of vinyl consumption not seen since 1996, when 1,083,206 LPs were purchased.  
 
The best-selling vinyl album of the year to date is ‘AM’ by Arctic Monkeys, although the current Official Vinyl Chart No.1 for this landmark week is, perhaps fittingly, the David Bowie best of – ‘Nothing Has Changed’, just ahead of Pink Floyd’s first album in 20 years, ‘The Endless River’ – last week’s No.1 album, whose first week vinyl sales of over 6,000 copies are the highest of any LP released since 1997, making it the fastest-selling vinyl album this century.

Official Charts Chief Executive, Martin Talbot, comments: “In scoring the biggest opening week for a vinyl album this millennium, Pink Floyd’s The Endless River illustrates the British public’s renewed love for this format, which is on course to become a £20million business this year – an incredible turnaround from barely £3m just five years ago. This resurgence also underlines music fans’ continuing fascination with the album.”

Releasing music on vinyl appeals to a growing number of artists, who see it as a ‘badge of honour’ that symbolises the very essence of Rock ‘n Roll culture. Unsurprisingly Rock music is by far the dominant genre at the heart of the vinyl revival, with an exciting new crop of bands including the likes of Royal Blood, whose self-titled debut release on Warner Bros. is so far the year’s fourth best-seller, and indie group Temples helping to lead the way.  Among the year’s best-selling titles are also a number of classic recordings by heritage artists, including by Oasis – the only act to feature in the 1996, 2014 and current top 10s – Led Zeppelin, who have three LPs in the year’s top 10 to date, and Pink Floyd, who have two.  

The BPI’s Gennaro Castaldo comments: “We have entered an exciting best-of-all-worlds era where there is space and scope for all kinds of music to be discovered and enjoyed in every type of way, including on vinyl once again.  Many of us assumed it had become an obsolete format, but while the flame may have flickered, it never quite went out, and we are now seeing a burgeoning resurgence in demand led by exciting new acts such as Royal Blood that is likely to keep vinyl on our high streets for many more years to come.”

Vinyl still remains a niche product, accounting for just 2 per cent of the UK’s recorded music market compared with a 10 per cent share for the fast-growing audio-streaming sector, but sales of the much-loved physical format have shown a remarkable fivefold increase since 2009, and show little sign of slowing down.
 
In part made popular again by annual events such as the Record Store Day held by independent music retailers each April, vinyl is regarded by many as an art-form long valued for its authentic audio quality as well as its iconic cover art and sleeve notes. 

Burgeoning demand is coming not just from core ‘baby-boomer’ music fans, who grew up with vinyl recordings and have ‘kept the faith’, but increasingly from a new generation of younger fans eager to appreciate its appeal for the first time alongside the seamless versatility and convenience offered by digital music.  In fact we appear to be entering a more pronounced multi-channel era, where streaming music day-to-day and collecting physical recordings of your favourite artists can be seen as complementary passions.   
 
Record labels are also helping to boost the popularity of vinyl with increased promotional activity – Universal Music UK, for example, is offering independent music retailers an early seasonal boost in the form of 12 exclusive vinyl releases to roll out onto their shelves from December 1st.  The “12 Days of Christmas” initiative includes gems from the Universal Music catalogue such as a heavy-weight etched and numbered 7” of The Who’s ‘Be Lucky’ – never previously available on vinyl – and a limited release of The Beatles’ ‘Long Tall Sally’, which is back on 7” vinyl 50 years after it was first released. 

ENDS

Official Vinyl Albums Chart – current top 10 artist albums (w/e 22 November 2014):

Position

Title

Artist

1

NOTHING HAS CHANGED - THE VERY BEST OF

DAVID BOWIE

2

THE ENDLESS RIVER

PINK FLOYD

3

SONIC HIGHWAYS

FOO FIGHTERS

4

AVONMORE

BRYAN FERRY

5

FOUR SYMBOLS

LED ZEPPELIN

6

SUN RESTRUCTURED

TEMPLES

7

X

ED SHEERAN

8

ABATTOIR BLUES/THE LYRE OF ORPHEUS

NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS

9

AQUOSTIC - STRIPPED BARE

STATUS QUO

10

WHAT'S THE STORY MORNING GLORY

OASIS


Official Vinyl Albums Chart – year-to-date top 10 artist albums (up to & incl. w/e 22 November 2014):

Position

Title

Artist

1

AM

ARCTIC MONKEYS

2

LAZARETTO

JACK WHITE

3

THE ENDLESS RIVER

PINK FLOYD

4

ROYAL BLOOD

ROYAL BLOOD

5

DEFINITELY MAYBE

OASIS

6

THE STONE ROSES

STONE ROSES

7

THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON

PINK FLOYD

8

LED ZEPPELIN

LED ZEPPELIN

9

LED ZEPPELIN 3

LED ZEPPELIN

10

LED ZEPPELIN 2

LED ZEPPELIN

  
Official Vinyl Albums Chart – 1996 top 10 artist albums:

Position

Title

Artist

1

THE SCORE

FUGEES

2

1977

ASH

3

(WHAT'S THE STORY) MORNING GLORY?

OASIS

4

SECOND TOUGHEST IN THE INFANTS

UNDERWORLD

5

EXPECTING TO FLY

BLUETONES

6

ANTHOLOGY 2

BEATLES

7

ENDTRODUCING.....

DJ SHADOW

8

ARKHAM ASYLUM

SASHA

9

ANTHOLOGY 3

BEATLES

10

K

KULA SHAKER


Official Vinyl Albums Chart – album sales 1994 – 2014 *

LP Sales

Market Share

1994

1,453,718

2.2%

1995

1,410,905

1.6%

1996

1,083,206

1.0%

1997

817,018

0.7%

1998

642,102

0.5%

1999

672,866

0.6%

2000

751,857

0.6%

2001

761,558

0.5%

2002

657,127

0.4%

2003

579,248

0.4%

2004

453,254

0.3%

2005

351,224

0.2%

2006

250,926

0.2%

2007

205,292

0.1%

2008

208,526

0.2%

2009

219,449

0.2%

2010

234,471

0.2%

2011

337,041

0.3%

2012

388,768

0.4%

2013

780,674

0.8%

2014

1,200,000 *

2.0% *

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