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Vinyl revival increasingly powered by new releases, says BPI

By | Published on Thursday 29 December 2022

Taylor Swift

As the vinyl revival marches on in the UK music market, new releases on the format are accounting for an increasing amount of the growth, whereas in the past it was people buying catalogue albums that often boosted overall sales of vinyl records.

Or so says UK record industry trade body the BPI which has published some end-of-year stats about album sales in 2022, all based on Official Charts Company data, including some figures relating specifically to the sale of vinyl albums, or ‘LPs’ if you prefer.

Of the ten biggest selling vinyl albums in the UK over the last twelve months, eight were records released this year. Last year only half of the top ten vinyl albums were new releases – and five years ago it was just three. Not particularly rigorous analysis, admittedly, put a nice simple illustration of a definite trend.

Says BPI boss Geoff Taylor: “Vinyl’s revival has been one of the most welcome success stories of recent times. While initially this renaissance was built largely on older music fans reconnecting with treasured past albums and on younger generations newly discovering classic releases, increasingly the ongoing rise in LP sales has been driven by brand new releases”.

“A diverse and growing number of contemporary artists have recognised the enduring magic of this most beloved format”, he adds, “from global superstars such as Taylor Swift and Harry Styles to breakthrough UK talent including Wet Leg and Yard Act. As the LP marks its 75th anniversary in 2023, it’s as relevant as ever, highlighting that, in an age of streaming, physical music purchases remain an essential and healthy part of the music market”.

In case you wondered, the eight new releases that feature in the top ten vinyl albums of the year are – in order of chart ranking – Taylor Swift’s ‘Midnights’, Harry Styles’ ‘Harry’s House’, Arctic Monkeys’ ‘The Car’, Liam Gallagher’s ‘C’mon You Know’, Wet Leg’s ‘Wet Leg’, The 1975’s ‘Being Funny In A Foreign Language’, Fontaines DC’s ‘Skinty Fia’ and Muse’s ‘Will Of The People’.

Arctic Monkeys also have one of the older albums that made it into the vinyl top ten this year, with 2013’s ‘AM’ at number nine, while Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumours’ – from 1977 – is at number six.

Having begun its big delve into this year’s chart data, the BPI has also taken a look at the regional spread of UK artists who had number one albums in 2022. The outcome of that investigation is here. The BPI’s overall consumption stats for the UK recorded music market in 2022 will follow next week.