Sunday, March 7, 2010


Old fashioned album sales topped 2.8million in 2009, up a million on the year before in the US. And British sales are rising fast too, jumping 5.2 per cent last year. But music experts believe the true figures are even higher, as official statistics only include sales from shops that report to the Official UK Charts Company. Smaller record shops and albums sold at concerts are not included. Trendy indie labels are leading the way, with some axing CDs to release on seven inch single, vinyl album and downloads only.

Others are issuing tracks only on vintage-style cassettes.Over the last decade, most vinyl has been bought by DJs and dance music fans, but now the most vinyl records are sold to rock and country music fans. At the same time, CD sales have dropped 20 per cent, with some manufacturers predicting they will soon axe CD player production.

Rare records and vinyl dealer Steve Clancey, from Brixton, said: "Downloads are quick and easy but nothing beats the joy of holding a heavy piece of vinyl. Vinyl sounds richer and there's something special about the cover art and sleeve notes which you cannot get with digital tunes."

The revival began in New York, with teenagers snapping up old vinyl, leading to a boom in record player and turntable sales. Music website is now stocking over 250,000 vinyl albums to meet demand, with bestsellers including new music from Florence and the Machine and The Courteeners plus reissued albums from Jimi Hendrix and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Music fans are also once again buying seven-inch singles, with bands including The Wombats and Franz Ferdinand releasing tracks on the old-fashioned format. Seven-inch sales peaked in the UK in 1979, when a staggering 89 million of them were sold. But sales plummeted to below 180,000 in 2001 as CDs became popular. After a jump in the mid 2000s, sales were 223,000 in 2009.

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