Another week, another new Taylor Swift milestone: this time, she’s broken Jack White’s long-held vinyl sales record.
As reported by Billboard, after dominating the digital and streaming world, Swift is now winning with vinyl. The new vinyl version of evermore incredibly sold more than 40,000 copies in just the first two days of sales. That figure means that Swift has overtaken the all-time record for vinyl sales in a single week. In just two days. Who knows how many sales she’ll end up with by the end of the week.
The previous record holder was alternative rock shredder Jack White – he set it in 2014 when his solo LP Lazaretto sold 40,000 copies in its first week.
This news should be taken with a pinch of salt though. As Stereogum explains, Billboard has been using MRC Data (formerly known as SoundScan) to track chart sales since 1991.
So, classic albums such as Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles no doubt sold more vinyl back in 1967, when vinyl was far more ubiquitous. It would be more proper, then, to say that she’s broken the modern-era vinyl sales weekly record.
Swift’s album also relied heavily on pre-orders from excited fans, which all count towards those first-week sales. As evermore was a shock release in 2020, it’s taken a long time for vinyls to be manufactured, hence why it’s just been released last week.
Vinyl has been steadily making a comeback over the last decade though (cassette tapes, wait your turn). According to Billboard, 27% of the albums sold in the US last year were vinyl, a sizeable share.
That Swift now holds the first-week sales record rather than an older rocker like White indicates that the average consumer of vinyl is changing, perhaps skewing younger. Gen Z does love a nostalgic trend or two.
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