Vinyl Records Score Best U.S. Sales Week in History

2021-01-02

The vinyl music format just celebrated its biggest sales week ever.

Story by Charles Ken, photo by Anne Erickson

Vinyl records are hot again, as the music format just celebrated its biggest sales week since Nielsen/MRC Data started tracking sales information in 1991

Vinyl sales have been on an upward trend the past several years, and now, vinyl has officially had its best sales week of all time. As reported by Billboard reports, 1.842 million LPs were sold in the United States during the week leading up to Christmas, ending on Dec. 24. That marks the largest sales week for vinyl since Nielsen/MRC Data started tracking sales information in 1991. The previous record came just a week before then, with 1.445 million vinyl records being sold between Dec. 10 and Dec. 17. Granted, vinyl peaked in popularity before Nielsen started charting its sales in 1991, but it’s still significant to see the format’s growth over time.

In general, 2020 has been a fantastic year for vinyl sales. For the first time in 34 years, LP sales topped CDs during four weeks in 2020, all of which happened to fall in September. Vinyl sales have been increasing every year for 13 years now, and that trend seems to be continuing.

What helped bolster vinyl sales even more in the week leading up to Christmas was the new album from Paul McCartney, “McCartney III,” which Billboard reports pushed 32,000 units, the highest number for any current release and third-highest for a specific album since 1991. Just under 40 percent of all vinyl sales were at local, independent shops, to boot.

When it comes to what genre of artists thrive on vinyl, it goes without saying that classic rock dominates. Releases from The Beatles and Pink Floyd are among the best-selling vinyl albums of the past decade, but younger artists are starting to release their records on vinyl, too. According to Amazon’s best-selling vinyl list for Dec. 28, Harry Styles took the No. 1 spot with a vinyl version of “Fine Line.” The rest of the list includes classic rock staples such as Queen, Nirvana, The Beatles and Pink Floyd, as well as the McCartney set.

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Posted by Charles Ken | Music, Rock, Rock News