Vinyl LP sales in the UK soared by nearly one-third during this year’s National Album Day as a series of classic albums specially released for the event lifted the market.
Jointly organised by the BPI, the representative voice for independent and major record labels, and the Entertainment Retailers Association, this 5th edition of National Album Day took place on Saturday, 15th October with a theme of debut albums. Presented in association with audio partner Bowers & Wilkins and broadcast partner BBC Sounds, and supported by album listening platforms including Classic Album Sundays, Tim’s Twitter Listening Parties, The Record Club and Pitchblack Playback, the annual event celebrates the art of the album, and the continuing cultural and social importance of this much-loved music format.
Marking this year’s theme, some 30 classic debut albums were exclusively released or re-issued on vinyl and CD, including titles by Black Sabbath, The Clash, Jake Bugg, Jamiroquai, Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, Nas, The Police, Supergrass, The The and Wu-Tang Clan. These were available in participating UK indie stores, HMV and Fopp, Amazon and other outlets. Their release had a significant positive impact on the market.
Based on Official Charts Company data, vinyl LP sales last Saturday (15th Oct) increased by 30% compared to the previous Saturday, while CD sales rose by 20%. Over last weekend, half of the 20 biggest-selling vinyl LPs were exclusive National Album Day titles, led by The Clash’s 1977 self-titled debut, which includes the iconic punk band’s first two singles White Riot and Remote Control. It was among the weekend’s 10 most popular vinyl LP sellers where it was joined by debut albums and exclusive National Album Day releases from Black Sabbath (Black Sabbath), Jamiroquai (Emergency On Planet Earth) and Stereophonics (Word Gets Around).
The 20 biggest vinyl sellers also welcomed National Album Day classic first albums from artists including The Damned (Damned Damned Damned), Jennifer Lopez (On the 6), Mariah Carey (Mariah Carey), Supergrass (I Should Coco) and The The (Soul Mining).
The day and supporting promotional activity also acted as a platform for forthcoming debut albums by new artists including National Album Day ambassadors India Arkin, Pip Millett and Sam Ryder.
National Album Day also made its presence felt strongly across socials, trending on Twitter throughout the day itself, with NAD channels reaching over 5 million.
National Album Day spokesperson said:
“At a time when so much of the focus is on individual tracks, National Album Day is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the art of the album and the vital role it plays in shaping the careers of artists and how fans connect to them. This year’s debuts theme has particularly resonated, highlighted by its marked impact in the Official Charts and extensively across media and social channels.
“We would like to thank everyone who enthusiastically backed this year’s National Album Day, including our valued partners Bowers & Wilkins and BBC Sounds; our fantastic ambassadors and their teams, artists and fans; all the record labels, distributors, retailers and digital services; and all the platforms, organisations and album listening platforms who hosted or supported the day in some way.”
Engagement around the event was led by the event’s Artist Ambassadors Franz Ferdinand, Jake Bugg, KSI, The Mysterines, Pip Millett, The Staves and 2022 Eurovision runner-up Sam Ryder who performed live at London’s Lafayette exclusively for National Album Day in aid of charity War Child and to officially launch his debut album There’s Nothing But Space, Man!, which will be released on 18th November. This year’s National Album Day was also supported by industry partners and album platforms, including Classic Album Sundays, Diabolical Media, Pitchblack Playback, The Record Club and Tim’s Twitter Listening Parties.
BBC Sounds provided comprehensive backing for the event across its national and local radio network, including BBC Radio 2 on National Album Day itself broadcasting a two-hour programme hosted by Steve Wright of The Official All-time Debut Albums Top 20, a chart topped by Meat Loaf’s Bat Out Of Hell and with James Blunt’s Back To Bedlam the highest-ranked UK album. BBC Sounds also hosted a collection of debut album themed specials for National Album Day, while BBC Four aired programming featuring Meat Loaf, Mike Oldfield and Sam Smith, who all featured in the All-time Debut Albums chart. Other highlights among many included artist ambassadors Sam Ryder discussing his and other debut albums on the BBC One Show and Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand passionately writing about his love of the album in a piece that prominently featured on the BBC News website, while he was also interviewed at length on BBC Breakfast.
National Album Day also celebrated the debut albums heritage of cities around the UK, including Liverpool and Edinburgh where specially-commissioned murals were created that utilised the artwork of introductory LPs by artists including Elvis Costello, The Fratellis and The La’s.
Iain McNay, Founder Cherry Red Records, and one of the instigators of National Album Day, said:
“It is really quite extraordinary how National Album Day has grown in its reach, its profile and its interest since its inception just 5 years ago. It is now an important day in the music calendar and the reminder it gives of how much thought, creative talent and genius that goes into the making of an album by so many artists is so important. It will grow and grow over the years.”
Renowned audio brand, Bowers & Wilkins, continues its support for National Album Day as official audio partner. Built on a passion for music, Bowers & Wilkins has been on an unrelenting pursuit of the highest quality listening experiences for music fans for over 60 years, always delivering sound that remains true to how the artist intended their album to be heard.
Visit the National Album Day website for details and follow on @AlbumDayUK and #NationalAlbumDay