If you grew up with vinyl and imagined that one day it would be a piece of musical history, superseded by CDs and unknown to the youth of the future, you’d have been wrong. Last week, the BPI and Official Charts Company released their end-of-year figures showing the state of the recorded-music industry. While CD albums continue to make way for digital sales and streaming (which doubled last year), sales of vinyl were positively booming.
And it’s young people who are causing its resurgence. Sales of the 66-year-old format may have been steadily rising over the past nine years, but last year saw an explosion in which vinyl sales doubled what they were in 2012. The 780,000 LPs shifted in 2013 meant that sales were the greatest since 1997. “The LP is back in the groove,” stated BPI’s chief executive Geoff Taylor. “We’re witnessing a renaissance for records – they’re no longer retro-mania.”
A week doesn’t seem to go by without another band or pop artist releasing a special limited-edition vinyl. This week it was Jack White’s Third Man Records that announced the release of a collection of singles from The White Stripes’ fourth album, Elephant, as a vinyl box-set. In a further pointer of how fashionable the format is, in November Bloc Party frontman Kele Okereke released a single on the first 3D-printed vinyl in a promotional project with rum brand Bacardi.
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