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Radiohead, Neutral Milk Hotel Help Vinyl Sales Almost Double In 2008

1/8/09, 2:05 pm EST

Photo: Getty

While CD sales continue to decline, vinyl is still experience a renaissance: 89 percent more LPs were sold last year than in ‘07. Part of the leap can be attributed to Capitol Records’ decision to reissue many of their most famous albums on vinyl, as the Beatles’ Abbey Road was the year’s second-highest-selling vinyl album, Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon ranked seventh and Radiohead’s OK Computer rounded out the Top 10. Radiohead’s In Rainbows, an album that began its career as a free download, was 2008’s biggest vinyl seller, a position that was no doubt aided by the fact that the album came out on January 1st of last year and therefore had plenty of time on shelves.

Other shockers: Neutral Milk Hotel’s 1998 classic In The Aeroplane Over the Sea came in sixth, ahead of Dark Side, Fleet Foxes and Metallica’s Death Magnetic. Guns n’ Roses’ Chinese Democracy, while struggling to sell CDs, sold enough vinyls to place third on the Top 10 list. But the biggest surprise: The B-52’s’ new album Funplex was the year’s fourth best-selling record as it bridged the gap between people who probably owned record players decades ago and the new class of vinyl buyers.

As we examined back in June in our “Vinyl Returns” feature, the death of the CD and the influx of the MP3 — with its varying degrees of less-than-CD-quality sound — have opened the door for vinyl to be relevant again. Plus, the artwork for Aeroplane looks so much better on a larger canvas. In all, the number of records sold last year leapt from 988,000 in ‘07 to 1.88 million in ‘08. Still, the sales from vinyl only made up 0.1 percent of the music sales in 2008, a year that saw a 14 percent decrease across the board.

Related Stories:

Vinyl Returns in the Age of MP3
EMI/Capitol Catch Vinyl Fever with Radiohead, “Pet Sounds” Reissues
What Will the Music Industry Look Like in Five Years?

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Marc Bolan | 2/28/2009, 10:56 am EST

I penned a song for this place.


A. C. | 2/13/2009, 10:54 am EST

Truly an exquisite store. Been shopping there since the early ’90s. The owner is quite sage. Much respect to Vintage Vinyl Evanston.

Curvey | 2/2/2009, 2:52 pm EST

This looks like…..Heaven…
and God is in the space between the grooves.

Shirley Hawthorne | 1/16/2009, 12:57 pm EST

I have lots of singles and albums.
Old Rock, Country. I’d be happy to sell them.

Vintage Vinyl | 1/12/2009, 6:27 pm EST

Also, we have in stock all the titles listed in the article except the Gun’s N Roses title, but that should be in stock next week.

Vintage Vinyl | 1/12/2009, 6:25 pm EST

The picture they use up there is of our store.
There’s plenty of vinyl reissues coming out, it’s actually rather promising. Plus the sheer amount of vinyl already around, it’s a collector’s dream.

Matthew | 1/12/2009, 4:40 pm EST

Best music industry -related news in a long time!

Steve | 1/12/2009, 3:16 pm EST

There’s a vain side to us “it sounds better on vinyl” snobs: it looks better, too.

Anna | 1/10/2009, 6:46 pm EST

I am a die hard vinyl junkie — have a 30 year collection and love it. It’s great to be able to buy new stuff on vinyl.

Anonymous | 1/9/2009, 9:37 pm EST

I keep hearing Sony is supposed to re-issue their entire back catalog on vinyl.

drew carey | 1/9/2009, 1:34 pm EST

long live vinyl!

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