In 2016 more than 3.2 million LPs sold, more than double 2015 sales, making last year the best year for vinyl since Simply Red topped the charts in 1991. Amazingly, It was also the first year that LPs sold better than digital downloads.
As The Guardian reports, the extraordinary comeback may be partly due to the many deaths of legendary musicians in 2016, with people turning more to records as mementos. In fact, David Bowie was, posthumously, made the best-selling vinyl artist of 2016.
The statistics, gathered by the British Recorded Music Industry (BPI), also show, however, that record sales have been growing for the past nine years straight.
It’s growth that many attribute to events such as Record Store Day, a nationwide movement to increase vinyl sales and support independent music stores worldwide.
Record Store Day, which began in 2007 and happens every April (this year on April 22nd), coincides with the release of about 400 limited edition LPs by record companies to indie music stores only.
“You can’t buy [these limited editions] on Amazon or at chain stores,” says Rusty Gordon, owner of the iconic Canterbury Records on Colorado Boulevard at Hudson Avenue and son of the man who opened the store in 1956.
Gordon shares photos and videos he has of Record Store Day 2015 where people were “wrapped around the corner of the building and up past the alley.”
Some people got in line at 1 am and sat all night in chairs till the doors opened at 9 a.m., waiting for that special title. In 2015 the first people in line were there for Brand New Day’s album Deja Entendu. The store had only four.
The campout is somewhat about business, at least for some, as a quick check on eBay shows that album going now for roughly $440.
“Record companies produce small quantities these days, so the prices go up,” explains Gordon. “In fact, LP prices are way more now than CDs due to the resurgence.”
At Canterbury Records, though, you don’t get robbed.
“We’re big enough to buy directly from the record companies, which keeps the prices low,” says Gordon. “We don’t inflate prices.”
Canterbury Records is a “full catalogue shop” selling all categories, from LPs to CDs, Blue Ray/DVDs and soundtracks, some current, some used.”
“Rock and pop are the biggest sellers” but Canterbury has it all with “tons of classical, rock, hip hop, rap, jazz and vocals.”
Our advice: Consider going on any day other than April 22 and treat yourself to a piece of ‘art’ if you don’t have a record player.
If you thought vinyl disappeared, you were wrong.
Canterbury Records is located at 805 E. Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena. For more information, call 626-792-7184 or visit www.canterburyrecords.com.