May 1, 2024 2 min read

Taylor Swift and Record Store Day push UK vinyl sales reach highest level since 1994

Over 300,000 vinyl albums and singles were sold in the UK last week. Taylor Swift and Record Store Day created a spike that pushed sales figures to their highest in three decades. This “shows physical music can stand tall alongside streaming”, say distributor Drew Hill

Taylor Swift and Record Store Day push UK vinyl sales reach highest level since 1994

The double hit of Record Store Day and the release of Taylor Swift’s ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ album has helped to push UK vinyl sales to their highest level for 30 years. Over 300,000 LPs and singles were sold last week.

Just under a quarter (24.7%) of all the vinyl albums sold over those seven days were copies of ‘The Tortured Poets Department’. Swift’s ‘Midnights’ and ‘1989 (Taylor’s Version)’ also completed the top three. Record Store Day exclusives accounted for 37.2%, while artists including Arctic Monkeys, Harry Styles and Abba also made strong showings. 

“Even considering the extra push from Record Store Day and Taylor Swift, the idea that vinyl can rack up a week’s worth of pre-digital era sales shows physical music can stand tall alongside streaming”, Utopia Music Deputy CEO Drew Hill tells CMU. “By continuing to breathe new life into record retailers up and down the country, music fans’ long abiding love affair with the format is placing it back at the heart of release campaigns from world-leading superstars”.

Kim Bailey, CEO of entertainment retail trade group ERA, adds: “Indie record shops were first to realise that the growth of streaming would paradoxically provide an opportunity for the most physical of physical formats, and vinyl has sat at the heart of Record Store Day’s celebration of indie record shop culture since 2008”.

“Taylor Swift has long been a supporter of indie record stores and served as Record Store Day’s global ambassador in 2022”, she goes on. “Her support has undoubtedly helped drive even more younger fans to indie record shops, helping sustain the stores which are one of the most vibrant elements of the music ecosystem”.

Here are the top ten biggest selling albums in the UK last week (sales figures in brackets):

  1. Taylor Swift - The Tortured Poets Department (66,388)
  2. Taylor Swift - Midnights (61,948)
  3. Taylor Swift - 1989 (Taylor's Version) (61,791)
  4. Arctic Monkeys - The Car (37,866)
  5. Harry Styles - Harry's House (36,041)
  6. Abba - Voyage (29,891)
  7. Liam Gallagher - C'mon You Know (29,558)
  8. The Rolling Stones - Hackney Diamonds (27,371)
  9. Arctic Monkeys - Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino (24,478)
  10. Taylor Swift - Speak Now (Taylor's Version)
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