Vinyl sales continue to soar with Britons now even turning back to CASSETTES


Meanwhile it is not just vintage records by David Bowie and The Beatles which are fuelling the retro renaissance – new records by the likes of ABBA, Adele and Ed Sheeran accounted for almost 43 per cent of vinyl LP purchases.

The facts and figures are revealed in All About The Music 2022, the 43rd edition of the British Phonographic Association’s annual yearbook.

In terms of being 2021’s top-selling vinyl artist, Bowie, who died in 2016, was top of the pile, with the Fab Four coming in second.

However, Voyage, ABBA’s first record in 40 years, 30, Adele’s first in five, and Sheeran’s latest offering, have also proved popular for collectors, accounting for 100,000 vinyl purchases.

As a result new vinyl album sales surged to 42.9 per cent of the overall total, compared with 30 percent in 2020.

Two more albums – Chemtrails Over The Country Club by Lana Del Rey and Blue Weekend by Wolf Alice – also made the year’s Top 10.

Another 5.5 percent of vinyl LPs sold in 2021 were for albums which were released the previous year. In total, vinyl sales increased by 10.6 per cent to 5.3 million units.

The BPI’s research, which is based on Official Charts Company data, indicates so-called catalogue titles, released in or prior to 2019, still make up the majority of vinyl LP sales – 51.6 percent, compared with 60.9 percent in 2020.

Classics by Queen, Amy Winehouse and Nirvana made the year’s Top 10, while the Top 20 LPs of the year included albums by Pink Floyd and Arctic Monkeys.

Rock was the dominant genre for LP sales, hoovering up 60 per cent of the market, albeit marginally down on the previous year’s figure, 61.1 per cent.

Despite vinyl’s enduring popularity, CDs nevertheless accounted for 59 percent of all album purchases, with 30 selling 150,000 units in a single week last year, and more than 400,000 in the whole of 2021.

Cassette sales were also at their highest annual level since 2003, with 185,000 units sold. New albums by Dave, Wolf Alice and Coldplay each sold more than 5,000 copies in their first week of release.

Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI, BRIT Awards & Mercury Prize, said: “Even though streaming accounts for more than four-fifths of consumption of recorded music in the UK, the continuing demand for vinyl, CDs and cassettes highlights the extensive range of choices fans now have to access their favourite music.

“The LPs seemingly unstoppable resurgence has been one of the industry’s great success stories of recent times and it is fantastic to see an increasing part of this revival is down to new releases.

He added: “And, while the LP tends to grab the limelight when it comes to physical product, we should not forget the CD remains an extremely important format for the industry, making up nearly 60 percent of album purchases in the UK last year.”


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