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David Bowie is the best selling vinyl artist of the 21st century


Vinyl has made a remarkable comeback in the lives of music fans over the past two decades. In the latter part of the 2010s, vinyl sales began to rise for the first time since the 1980s. Just last year, vinyl outsold CDs for the first time in over 30 years, with major artists like Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo, and Adele making their new albums widely available in the old school format. But the old school is still at the top of the vinyl mountain.

As revealed by a recent evaluation from Music Week’s chart analyst Alan Jones, David Bowie is the best selling vinyl artist of the 21st century in the United Kingdom. Bowie has sold 582,704 individual vinyl records since the year 2000, putting him just above The Beatles in terms of total sales. The Fab Four weren’t that far behind, racking up 535,596 sales.

When it comes to the first two years of the 2020s, Bowie was once again the top seller, having notched 134,237 sales over a two-year span. The Beatles once again show up in second place, having sold 113,613 records of their own. Credit should go to Bowie’s monumental reissue campaign, which has seen an increase in releases over the past two years.

In 2021, vinyl had its biggest year in nearly three decades, and The Beatles were unbeatable. With 58,567 physical vinyl sales, the Fab Four were officially the highest-selling vinyl artists in the UK. Bowie wasn’t even in second, with that distinction going to Taylor Swift and her 56,917 sales of vinyl. Bowie placed a respectable third, with 53,181 physical album sales accounted for.

When it comes to tallying 2022’s numbers, don’t be surprised if Adele’s name pops up. That’s because 30 sold 318,000 vinyl copies in the US for the last two months of 2021 alone. It was the only album in America to sell one million physical copies that year, and it caused a massive blockade amongst other artists who were looking to produce more modest amounts of their own vinyl records.

It looks as though vinyl is truly going to be a force to be reckoned with as artists continue to look for additional revenue in their music. If Spotify isn’t going to begin paying more out to artists for streams, then perhaps the recent vinyl craze can offer up a solution.