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03 May 2022

David Bowie Revealed As UK’s Top-Selling Vinyl Artist Of 2021

David Bowie Biggest Selling UK Vinyl Artist
Photo: Gijsbert Hanekroot
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Reissues and archive material helped David Bowie to finish again as 2021’s top-selling vinyl artist, ahead of The Beatles, according to a report in Music Week.

In a vinyl snapshot earlier this year, Music Week had Bowie at No.3 vinyl artist overall based on the top 10,000 sellers of 2021, but he ultimately managed to finish at No.1 across total vinyl LP consumption. Bowie was also No.1 in 2020 and is on top for 21st century vinyl sales.

While Bowie’s substantial and consistent sales are down to his incredible catalogue, he made an impact earlier this year with a new album release, Toy, which had been recorded more than two decades earlier.

According to Music Week analysis, Bowie’s Toy Box edition is the biggest physical seller of his for the year to date with 10,086 units (total sales 11,352). David Bowie’s limited edition ‘Toy’ EP, released for Record Store Day, is pushing for the Top 20 this week.

The streaming-powered Legacy collection is the biggest overall so far in 2022 with sales of 34,683. It has total sales of 723,804.

Bowie’s The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars is No.3 so far in 2022, with sales of 9,099 (including 4,378 physical copies).

During 2021, the Top 10 vinyl artists had a strong female showing led by Taylor Swift at No. 3. Lana Del Rey and Adele also made the Top 10, alongside mixed-gender groups ABBA and Fleetwood Mac.

Rock remained the dominant genre for LP sales, making up 60.0% of the market, down slightly from 61.1% the year before. The biggest sellers on the format included albums by bands such as Mogwai, The Lathums and The Snuts who last year all reached No. 1.

Pop claimed 18.9% of LP sales, up from 16.9% in 2020, and Hip-Hop/Rap’s share grew from 4.6% to 4.7%.

While catalogue still rules vinyl, new releases dominate the biggest-selling CDs. All of 2021’s 10 biggest-selling albums on CD were released during the calendar year. These were led by Adele’s 30 which sold more than 150,000 CDs in a single week last year and became the only album to top 400,000 sales on the format by year end.

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