Pink Floyd have helped push vinyl sales through the million mark for 2014 – their highest level since 1996.
Floyd’s new album The Endless River became the fastest-selling vinyl release since 1997 earlier this month. With overall sales of LPs hitting the million milestone in the UK for this year, the prog heroes are at the centre of a resurgence in the format that will see The Official Chart Company launch a new vinyl chart in the coming weeks.
Although The Endless River has sold a relatively small number of vinyl copies so far – around 6000 – the music industry is seeing the format as a real money maker again.
Martin Talbot, managing director of the Official Charts Company, tells the BBC: “In an era when we’re all talking about digital music, the fact that these beautiful physical artefacts are still as popular as they are is fantastic.
“It’s really remarkable. We’re seeing it come back as a significant earner for the music industry as well. Only five years ago this business was worth around £3million a year. This year it’s going to be worth £20m.”
Talbot adds that while vinyl sales fell away sharply in the 1990s, it was kept alive by bands like The Killers and Arctic Monkeys in the early 2000s.
Rough Trade’s Nigel House believes there will always be a demand for vinyl. He says: “Certain styles of music, they need that warmth. They need that feeling. Soul, reggae, hip-hop, even punk - they sound so much better on vinyl.
“Some records, I like the way they degrade. It’s like a photograph fading, it’s part of the whole beauty of vinyl.”