David Bowie tops 21st century vinyl sales as three albums impact the charts | Labels
David Bowie’s Long Lost Toy Album finally appeared and it delivered a Top 5 result with strong physical sales.
Based on Official Charts company data and music week To analyse, the album cemented David Bowie’s leadership position for UK vinyl sales in the modern age.
music week revealed the album release strategy – recorded in 2000 and then shelved – which was finally released the day before Bowie’s 75th birthday. The music icon‘s estate teamed up with labels for a Bowie75 celebration of his career, including a series of albums remixed in 360 Reality Audio by producer Tony Visconti.
Toy, released in a Toy Box edition, features re-recordings of material David Bowie first recorded between 1964 and 1971. All 12 tracks were included in the Brilliant Adventure box set last month (pic #24 – 8,373 sales to date including 3,897 from streams). They are accompanied in the Toy (Toy Box) by 26 other recordings including alternate mixes, demos and B-sides. The Toy release debuted at No. 5 on Friday, January 14.
The turnover of the toy project will be considerable as Rhinoceros moved nearly 1,000 (989) copies of the box of six 10-inch vinyls which retails for almost £120 on the official website. Total first week sales for Toy were 7,400, including vinyl sales, 5,851 CD box sets priced at £26 (currently sold out on the official store) as well as 240 downloads and 304 streams equivalent to sales.
Toy is Bowie’s 73rd Top 75 album and 35th Top 10 album (including the Tin Machine releases). It was the week’s biggest seller on physical formats (based on substantial CD volume), but another Bowie LP – one of three Top 40 entries – garnered the most sales. vinyl of all albums in the last week.
Hunky Dory, released to mark its 50th anniversary in late 2021, re-entered at No. 31 – its highest position since 2017 – with 2,081 of its 2,550 sales in the week of vinyl, mostly the Anniversary Pictures Disc version. Hunky Dory, one of Bowie’s most revered albums, had post-1994 sales of 536,368, including 444,214 physical copies.
The third album appearance on the latest chart is the 2016 Bowie compilation Legacy, which jumped from 38 to 19 (3,231 sales), reaching its highest position for exactly one year in the middle of the Bowie75 campaign activity.
The Legacy version is delivering strong streaming results (2,485 equivalent sales last week), which contributed to 83% of its 103,263 sales in 2021. Legacy was No. 42 overall in the top 100 albums last year, while its sales to date since 2016 reached 694,525 (including 296,983 physical copies).
The impressive sales performance will further establish Bowie’s pre-eminence in the vinyl market, where he tops the sales chart for the decade and century to date. As revealed by music weekAlan Jones, Chart Analyst, in his latest column, Bowie’s 2000s vinyl sales of 582,704 (calculated through January 6) put him ahead of the only other act to exceed half a million units on the format – The Beatles (535,596 sales).
In the 2020s, the same two acts lead the way with Bowie on 134,237 sales and The Beatles out of 113,613. Based on the top 10,000 vinyl sellers of 2021, Bowie was actually third (53,181) behind The Beatles (58,567) and Taylor Swift (56,917). But it’s ahead of vinyl for two years in the decade so far, thanks to a hit reissue campaign.
Although Bowie and the Beatles failed to break into the Top 10 vinyl sellers last year (led by ABBA), the the extent of their catalog allowed them to edge out other artists for combined sales during the current vinyl revival.
The vinyl format has known 14 consecutive years of growth, according to the BPI. In the United States, vinyl surpassed CD in unit sales for the first time in decades.
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