The Beatles Take Top Two Spots in 2017 Vinyl Sales
The vinyl revival continued in 2017 — and people clearly needed more Beatles records for their turntables, because the band took the top two spots on the year-end sales chart for the resurgent format.
Citing Nielsen data, Billboard reports that vinyl sales hit another peak in 2017, moving 14.32 million units and edging up 9 percent over last year's previous high. That total represents the largest number of vinyl albums that's been purchased in a year since 1991 — the year the company's SoundScan sales data was incorporated into Billboard's chart methodology, starting a new era in the process.
The year saw healthy vinyl sales for a variety of acts — the report notes that nearly 80 albums in all moved more than 20,000 units in the format — but the top of the charts remains unsurprisingly skewed toward rock. The Beatles took the top two spots, with Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band selling 72,000 copies and Abbey Road close behind with 66,000 copies. Catalog titles took up a fair portion of the Top 10 overall — Pink Floyd's perennial bestseller The Dark Side of the Moon placed seventh, joined on the list by long-running favorites like Prince's Purple Rain (No. 6) and Michael Jackson's Thriller (No. 10).
All in all, vinyl accounted for 8.5 percent of all album sales in 2017 — a two-percent jump over 2016 — and grew to 14 percent of all physical sales, up from 11 percent the year before. The format continued to be a bright spot in a changing market, shoring up numbers as consumers migrated away from digital album sales (down 19.6 percent) and toward streaming (up a whopping 50 percent, according to a report published by data firm BuzzAngle Music). You can take a deep dive into the numbers in Nielsen's year-end report, posted at this PDF.
2017's Top Selling Vinyl Albums
1. The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - 72,000 copies
2. The Beatles, Abbey Road - 66,000
3. Soundtrack, Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 - 62,000
4. Ed Sheeran, Divide - 62,000
5. Amy Winehouse, Back to Black - 58,000
6. Prince, Purple Rain (Soundtrack) - 58,000
7. Bob Marley and the Wailers, Legend: The Best of... - 56,000
8. Pink Floyd, The Dark Side of the Moon - 54,000
9. Soundtrack, La La Land - 49,000
10. Michael Jackson, Thriller - 49,000