Beatles top vinyl record sales charts for 2017

The biggest seller in USA, not so in the UK.

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 in USA for the resurgent format. Vinyl records sold the most amount ever in the USA since 1991, 14,3 million – an increase of 9 per cent since 2016.  Vinyl LPs comprise 14% of all physical album sales, an all-time Nielsen music high. The two Beatles albums which topped the charts was no surprise. 1. The Beatles: “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” – 72,000 copies of this anniversary release and 2. The Beatles: “Abbey Road” – 66,000 copies. “Abbey Road” has topped the year-end sales charts in previous years. Obviously, it’s now the 2012 remastered pressing which is shifting copies.

In the UK however, you will have to look further down the year-end sales charts to locate the Beatles.  The top two are both new albums, with Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” being the first retro album on number 3. “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” can be found at no. 8, just below Pink Floyd’s classic “Dark Side of the Moon”, whereas “Abbey Road” is at a modest no. 16. We don’t have the figures for these albums, but Ed Sheeran’s album at no. 1 sold 51,700 units. Sales of vinyl in Great Britain were up 26.8 per cent, a tenth consecutive year of growth, with 4.1 million purchased in 2017 compared to 205,000 in 2007. Vinyl sales now account for almost 1 in 10 of all physical music sales there. If you compare the two top ten charts from these countries, only four albums can be found on both sides of the Atlantic.

USA year-end-sales charts:

1. The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

2. The Beatles, Abbey Road

3. Guardians of the Galaxy, Awesome Mix Vol. 1

4. Ed Sheeran, ÷ (Divide)

5. Amy Winehouse, Back to Black

6. Prince, Purple Rain (Soundtrack)

7. Bob Marley and the Wailers, Legend: The Best of…

8. Pink Floyd, The Dark Side of the Moon

9. Soundtrack, La La Land

10. Michael Jackson, Thriller

UK year-end-sales charts:

1. Ed Sheeran, ÷ (Divide)br />
2. Liam Gallagher, As You Were

3. Fleetwood Mac, Rumours

4. Guardians Of The Galaxy, Awesome Mix Vol. 1

5. Amy Winehouse, Back To Black

6. Rag’n’bone Man, Human

7. Pink Floyd, The Dark Side Of The Moon

8. The Beatles, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

9. Oasis, What’s The Story Morning Glory

10. David Bowie, Legacy

For the USA, only the top ten can be found on Nielsen’s report on 2017 (pdf), but in the UK, the official charts company lists the top forty biggest vinyl sellers. No further Beatles albums to be found there, though.

Surprisingly, in the USA there was a 35 per cent increase in cassette tape sales versus 2016, with 174,000 units sold in 2017 marking the largest sales for the format since 2012. See? I told you there was a cassette revival!

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