Vinyl records have made an astounding comeback over the last decade. The bulky but lovable medium continues to soar in popularity and just enjoyed its biggest sales week ever. Well, since Neilsen/MRC Data began tracking sales information back in 1991.
Billboard reported the official tally, which was provided by the long-time sales tracker, at 1.842 million units moved immediately before Christmas for the week ending Dec. 24. This was good enough to best the previous record — 1.445 million — that had been set just one week prior.
These two record-setting figures are not the only historic footnotes of 2020 for vinyl.
In that week leading up to Christmas, vinyl also outsold its miniature competitor — the CD — by a margin of 1.841 million (Billboard denotes a slight difference between this statistic and vinyl's record 1.842 million units mentioned earlier) to 1.671 million. Since 1991, this is only the fourth time vinyl sales have outpaced CD sales over a one week period and the three previous instances occurred earlier this year.
Although the pandemic has disrupted the music industry on a wide scale in 2020, even causing album sales to plummet 23 percent in the first half of the year (reported by RIAA), events such as Record Store Day in September in addition to the holiday season have certainly propped up overall numbers.
Timely releases from powerhouse rockers helped inflate the total too.
We don't have the official figures on vinyl sales for AC/DC's Power Up album, but it's fair to presume that a No. 1 album didn't hurt vinyl's sales overall. Beatles legend Paul McCartney dropped a new album, McCartney III, and set a record for the third largest sales week in vinyl history (dating back to 1991) at 32,000 copies sold.