We love to buy records and Monsieur Aznavour loves to make them - again and again ...

Research carried out on albums and singles released this year shows that the number of recordings put on to the market reached an all-time high. There are also some startling statistics, for example the artist with the most album releases in 1996 was discovered to be French crooner Charles Aznavour. He was responsible for no fewer than 28 albums, including re-releases and compilations.

There was a big increase in spoken-word albums, the highest number of which featured various journalists interviewing the The Beatles.

And the welter of releases gave plenty of scope for confusion. For instance there was little similarity between Shirley Bassey Sings The Movies, a budget album of vintage recordings on the Music For Pleasure label, and Shirley Bassey Sings The Movies, a full-price album by Polygram with new recordings.

But even this was less confusing than rock and roller Carl Perkins, who was the subject of three different compilations on different labels, all at different prices but all entitled Blue Suede Shoes.

The research, by Entertainment Research & Analysis and published in Music Week magazine, shows that the number of albums released in 1996 was 16,148 - 26 per cent up on 1995's previous record number of 12,845. Releases of singles increased 16 per cent to 6,939. There were an average of 311 albums and 133 singles released each week.

Much of the increase in singles production was due to the continuing popularity of dance music, which accounted for 56.4 per cent of the year's output.

In the albums market, the researchers recognised 138 genres, though by far the most popular fields were rock, with 27 per cent of releases, jazz, with 13 per cent, and dance with 10 per cent - dance music showing up as notably less popular on albums than singles. However, the huge increase in the number of releases by hopeful record companies is not mirrored by actual sales.

Singles and albums are, in fact, selling fewer copies than ever before. The average 1996 album sold 12,000 copies and the average single only 10,644 copies, both all-time lows.

The most prolific artist was Charles Aznavour, with jazz musicians Charlie Parker and Duke Ellington close behind. Frank Sinatra, who was 1995's most prolific artist with 21 releases, just missed the top 10 this time. He had a paltry 15 titles out during the year.

The number of spoken-word releases more than doubled to account for 4 per cent of the albums market with most still released on cassette - the BBC in particular being notably reluctant to make the move to CD.

The corporation's landmark Radio 4 History of Britain, This Sceptered Isle was spread over 20 cassettes. Readings of poetry, fiction and biographies increased markedly with John Le Carre topping the table with eight cassettes, all of his own material. - but still lagging behind the 13 CDs of Beatles interviews.

Interview discs seems to be increasingly popular. In addition to The Beatles, there were six titles featuring The Rolling Stones, five of Queen and three each with Nirvana and Oasis.

Artists with most

album releases

Charles Aznavour: 28

Charlie Parker: 25

Duke Ellington: 23

Billie Holliday: 21

Tangerine Dream: 20

Black Sabbath: 19

Glenn Miller: 19

Ella Fitzgerald: 19

Edith Piaf: 19

Gregory Isaacs: 17

Benny Goodman: 17

Miles Davis: 17

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
books...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
Sport
Jose Mourinho on Sky Sports
footballEXCLUSIVE COLUMN Paul Scholes: It was not a leg-breaking tackle, as the Chelsea manager had claimed
Sport
Romelu Lukaku scored twice to add to the hat-trick he registered in the first leg in Switzerland
football
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
tv
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Brand Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Do you wish to be part of an exciting journey ...

Guru Careers: Talent Manager

£30-35k (P/T - Pro Rata) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienc...

Recruitment Genius: Print / Warehouse Operative

£17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join ...

Beverley James: Accounts Payable

£23,000: Beverley James: Do you have a background in hospitality and are you l...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower