Vinyl Turns the Table as UK Sales Have Biggest Market Share Since 1990 | Vinyl

For many people, placing a record on the turntable will always be the ultimate musical experience.

Slide a shiny black record out of a sleeve and jacket, drop it on the turntable platter, then the unmistakable crackle and low, almost imperceptible analog rumble as the needle slides into the groove.

Before the digital revolution, vinyl was the first choice for listening to music. But the format’s surge in popularity over the past few years shows no signs of abating, with new numbers expected to show sales to hit their highest level in more than three decades.

According to the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), more than 5 million vinyl albums have been purchased in the UK in the past 12 months, up 8% from sales in 2020 and for the 14th consecutive year of growth since 2007.

By the end of the year, vinyl will have accounted for nearly one in four album purchases – the highest proportion since 1990 – according to BPI estimates.

But why? Vinyl has tactile, sensual and theatrical qualities that make it a unique format, said Andy Kerr, director of product marketing and communications for Bowers & Wilkins, a UK manufacturer of audiophile speakers.

Popular streaming services used digital file compression to reduce Internet bandwidth, which “tends to make the sound sizzle,” Kerr said. “Vinyl is the opposite of that. This tends to make the sound lush and warm.

But Kerr said he didn’t think the renewed interest in vinyl was led by audiophiles. “I think a lot of what happens with vinyl isn’t about the sound at all, it’s the theater, it’s the experience,” he said.

“The LP record requires you to [experience], you don’t tend to skip every 30 seconds because you don’t like the way the song plays, you tend to listen to it all the way through.

Tom Fisher, record buyer at Rat Records, a second-hand record store in Camberwell, south London, said the lockdowns had led to “a frustrated demand for music as a cultural thing.”

“If you can’t go to a band, you can buy an album or a t-shirt, [that satisfies you] in a way that digital doesn’t fill, ”he said.

Noting that his comments were about the second-hand vinyl record business, Fisher said, “The only thing I would say about the renewed interest in vinyl is that it’s not really that good for vinyl. creative music and art, because the interest in vinyl is retro. “

A common joke at Rat Records was that they could never get enough copies of Rumors by Fleetwood Mac, The Wall by Pink Floyd or Born in the USA by Bruce Springsteen, all culturally mainstream products from a similar era. People weren’t interested in records made before about 1968 because they didn’t have a production quality suitable for modern speakers and headphones, Fisher added.

“I find it hard to understand why people are so interested in vinyl and when they are so interested in these cultural monoliths, like Rumors, when they could go and listen to an underground hip-hop track or something else. part of the world that was never available before, ”Fisher said.

Ultimately, vinyl’s new hit would eat itself up, Fisher suggested. “If everyone wants records and they all want the same, then it can’t be really cool and the avant-garde is going to move on,” he said.

Geoff Taylor, Managing Director of the BPI, Brit Awards and Mercury Prize, said: “Now is the perfect time to be a music fan, with more choice than ever, backed by great value for money.

“With record companies’ investment in new music and talent, fans can buy and collect the music they love most on vinyl, CDs and even cassette tape, while enjoying access to more. 70 million songs to instantly stream when and how often they want, in turn empowering a new generation of artists to create music and pursue successful careers in a global marketplace.

The BPI will publish its final music consumption figures on January 4, 2022.

Foreseen best-selling vinyl albums for 2021

1 ABBA Trip
2 Adele 30
3 Fleetwood Mac Rumors
4 Ed sheeran =
5 Amy winehouse Back to black

Best predictedsell cassette albums for 2021

1 Olivia rodrigo Sour
2 Dave We are all alone together
3 Lana del rey Chemtrails on the Country Club
4 Queen The biggest hits
5 Cold game Music of the Spheres

(Based on official map data since the start of the year)

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