In this piece Sunny Stuart Winter takes on the question of why vinyl (now in its best year since 1991) has such appeal for collectors, and what the demographic of record collectors looks like in the wake of Record Store Day 2018.
Guest post by Sunny Stuart Winter
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According to the BPI (British Phonographic Industry), in 2017, sales of vinyl records hit their highest level since 1991, with over 4 million vinyl albums sold in the UK. As Record Store Day 2018 came around, I took to the streets of London to interview those queuing to hear the long and short of their long-play passion.
While the demographic of the typical collectible is likely to be middle-aged, surely some of the resurgence in record sales owes much to younger generations who, with an almost infinite array of recordings at their disposal through streaming services, have sought connection with the physical format? Limited edition over limitless; the crackle over the click.
Eyeing over the top selling vinyl of last year (see below), you’d be remiss to mistake the list for an NME ‘best albums of all time’ list. David Bowie, Amy Winehouse, Oasis, The Beatles, Nirvana, Queen, Stone Roses and Pink Floyd with a light dusting of modern mainstream artists filling the voids. That isn’t to take away from the mammoth success of Ed Sheeran or Liam Gallagher, who sit at #1 and #2 respectively.
With Record Store Day in its 11th year, I had an absolute blast chatting with fellow music fans about their connection and their fascination with the format. Shot by Joel Gravell, it was a chance to truly focus on my interaction instead of juggling mic and camera, and personally, I think it shows. Expect more of the same soon.
Vinyl now forms roughly 3% of all music consumed; so why do people buy it? What makes them shed pound from their pockets when Industry suggests premium streaming is the way to go?
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For those of you curious about what made the list, here is The Official Top 40 biggest selling vinyl albums of 2017:
01 ED SHEERAN: ÷
02 LIAM GALLAGHER: AS YOU WERE
03 FLEETWOOD MAC: RUMOURS
04 GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY OST: AWESOME MIX 1
05 AMY WINEHOUSE: BACK TO BLACK
06 RAG'N'BONE MAN: HUMAN
07 PINK FLOYD: THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON
08 BEATLES: SGT PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND
09 OASIS: (WHAT'S THE STORY) MORNING GLORY
10 DAVID BOWIE: LEGACY
11 RADIOHEAD: OK COMPUTER
12 BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS: LEGEND
13 NOEL GALLAGHER'S HIGH FLYING BIRDS: WHO BUILT THE MOON
14 THE STONE ROSES: S/T
15 NIRVANA: NEVERMIND
16 BEATLES: ABBEY ROAD
17 QUEEN: GREATEST HITS
18 NIRVANA: UNPLUGGED IN NEW YORK
19 GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY OST: AWESOME MIX 2
20 DAVID BOWIE: THE RISE AND FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST
Until next time