UK vinyl sales at highest level since 1990 – as Taylor Swift leads the way

More vinyl LPs were bought this year than at any time since 1990 and are growing at their fastest rate this decade.

With just a few more days to go to year-end, the vinyl market has increased by nearly 12%, rising for the 16th year in a row, according to analysis of Official Charts data by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).

Over a quarter of a million vinyl albums were sold in the week before Christmas, the highest sales for the format this century.

Continuing her domination of the music industry and pop culture as a whole, Taylor Swift‘s 1989 (Taylor’s Version) was the best-selling vinyl album, and the 33-year-old star took two more slots in the top ten with Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) and Midnights.

The Rolling Stones took second place with Hackney Diamonds, their first album of original songs in 18 years.

Ed Sheeran, Lana Del Rey, and Blur also made the top ten, which featured seven new releases.

British artists featured heavily in the 100 most-purchased vinyl LPs of 2023, accounting for more than 40% of the sales.

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Events including Record Store Day, which is held every April, have helped boost vinyl sales.

The increased demand for music releases in a physical format has been reflected by the re-opening of music and entertainment chain HMV’s flagship shop on London’s Oxford Street in November.

(left to right) Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen from Take That attend the premiere of Greatest Days, at Odeon Leicester Square in central London. Picture date: Thursday June 15, 2023.
Take That: Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen

And it’s not just vinyls that are enjoying a resurgence – nearly 11 million CDs – which remain important commercially and to Official Charts success – were sold across the year (its smallest annual decline in nearly a decade).

Take That’s This Life was the year’s top CD, having sold more than 100,000 copies in its first week of release in November.

Meanwhile sales of cassettes topped 100,000 for the fourth consecutive year.

Dr Jo Twist, BPI chief executive, said the boost in sales of physical products underlined the resilience of the UK market, at a time when streaming consumption was still on the rise.

She said: “Whilst LP sales have now been on an upward path for the past 16 years, it is encouraging to see a stabilisation in demand for CD, as well as new generations of music fans falling in love with the cassette. It is giving people more choice than ever in how they enjoy their favourite music.”

Top 10 best-selling vinyl albums 2023

Taylor Swift – 1989 (Taylor’s Version)

The Rolling Stones – Hackney Diamonds

Lana Del Rey – Did You Know There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd

Taylor Swift – Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)

Fleetwood Mac – Rumours

Blur – The Ballad Of Darren

Pink Floyd – The Dark Side Of The Moon

Taylor Swift – Midnights

Olivia Rodrigo – Guts

Lewis Capaldi – Broken By Desire To Be Heavenly Sent

Top 10 best-selling compact disc albums 2023

Take That – This Life

Taylor Swift – 1989 (Taylor’s Version)

The Rolling Stones – Hackney Diamonds

Lewis Capaldi – Broken By Desire To Be Heavenly Sent

Ed Sheeran – – (Subtract)

P!nk – Trustfall

Foo Fighters – But Here We Are

Metallica – 72 Seasons

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Council Skies

Kylie Minogue – Tension

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