Why vinyl is Top of the Pops... thanks to Daft Punk, Bowie and Led Zeppelin

Those funny round discs that went so out of fashion are a big hit again. So is it time to dig out that record player?

Vinyl records are storming up the charts. Amazon UK today reveals that Daft Punk's latest album has become its biggest-selling record ever on the site, adding to ever growing signs that the music format once thought of as obsolete is re-entering the mainstream.

Amazon say vinyl sales are up by more than 100 per cent compared to this time last year and Daft Punk's album Random Access Memories, released just five months ago, has already eclipsed Adele's 21 to become the best-selling vinyl ever on the site, which launched its music store in 1999.Once ghettoised as the preserve of only serious DJs, sales of the format in the UK have been growing rapidly over the past few years and the value of the vinyl album market increased from £3.4m in 2011 to £5.7m in 2012, according to the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA).

The ERA also found that independent record shops, which account for 50 per cent of all vinyl sales, saw a 44 per cent increase in album sales in the first half of 2013.

Paul Firth, the head of music at Amazon.co.uk, said: "There's the obvious impact of one very big release this year – Daft Punk – but beyond that there's a general support for vinyl amongst the labels right now. Most big releases come with a vinyl edition now, which hasn't always been the case.

"If you look at our vinyl chart right now, four of the top five albums are new releases and the other is a pre-release that's just been announced - the Rolling Stones' live album from Hyde Park."

The format has come back into fashion thanks to initiatives such as Record Store Day, started in 2007, and the move by trendy retailers such as Urban Outfitters to stock records, and Mr Firth admits this has played a part.

"There is an element of it being trendy," Mr Firth says. "The very fact that in the Daft Punk videos they feature the vinyl very strongly shows that actually it can have a fashion element to it." Nigel House, who works at record shop Rough Trade West in London, says: "We've always sold a lot of vinyl but in the last couple of years it's been noticeable. The price of it is quite expensive but people don't seem to care."

Gennaro Castaldo, a spokesman for the record industry's trade body the BPI, says they see two main types of vinyl fans: "There are baby boomers who grew up with it all their lives and there's a generation of younger kids who see it as sort of an art form to be coveted and collected."

Mr Castaldo worked at HMV prior to joining the BPI and says he saw a similar up-tick interest in the mid-00s with the popularity of bands like the White Stripes, the Strokes and the Arctic Monkeys – "a lot of those bands see vinyl as a badge of honour."

Mr Firth says rock music is the most popular genre of vinyl bought on Amazon, with David Bowie, Black Sabbath, Vampire Weekend and Led Zeppelin all among the top 10 bestselling vinyls of the year so far.

What's perhaps most incredible about vinyl sales is their outperformance of CDs. While sales of the format surged 15 per cent last year to reach their highest level since 2004, CD sales declined nearly 20 per cent.

It's the same in the US, where sales of the format rose 33.5 per cent in the first half of the year.

But despite the figures, vinyl is still a niche product. UK album vinyl sales last year were 389,000, compared to CD sales of 69.4 million. Amazon did not disclose specific sales numbers but Mr Firth indicates sales on the site are still in the thousands.

Mr Castaldo admits vinyl is still less than 2 per cent of all music sales, but adds: "The industry feels there could be very optimistic times."

It seems the long play may have life in it yet.


Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian and Noel Fielding backstage at the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts
musicKasabian and Noel Fielding attack 'boring' musicians
peopleLynda Bellingham's tragic final Loose Women appearance moves audience to tears
Arts and Entertainment
'Right Here' singer Jess Glynne is nominated for Best Newcomer at the MOBO Awards 2014
musicExclusive: Jess Glynne hits out at 'ridiculous' criticism of white artists nominated for Mobo Awards
Arts and Entertainment
The last great picture - Winner 'Black and White' and overall 'Wildlife Photographer of the Year'

Powerful images of strays taken moments before being put down

Arts and Entertainment
S Club 7 pose for Children in Need 2001
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella

Arts and Entertainment
Separated at birth? Frank Sivero (left) claims The Simpsons based Mafia character Louie on his Goodfellas character
arts + entsFrank Sivero sues Simpsons studio over allegedly basing mobster character on Frank Carbone
Carl Bernstein (left) and Bob Woodward (right) with former 'Washington Post' executive editor Ben Bradlee

The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon


Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014

ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Real Staffing

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant Birmingham

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: The SThree group is a world lea...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £Competitive: SThree: SThree Group and have be...

Helpdesk Analyst

£23000 per annum + pension and 22 days holiday: Ashdown Group: An established ...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London