The UK’s first weekly vinyl chart has been launched by the Official Charts Company as sales of vinyl albums and singles continue to soar.
Despite predictions that CDs – then MP3s and streaming – would render vinyl obsolete, sales reached an 18-year high in 2014, at 1.29 million.
Figures show sales of vinyl albums are set to grow by another 70% this year.
Chasing Yesterday by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds is 2015’s biggest-selling vinyl album so far.
The weekly vinyl albums and singles charts, published on the Official Charts Company website, are being introduced ahead of Record Store Day on 18 April.
The first official vinyl albums chart is topped by All Time Low’s Future Hearts – echoing the week’s UK album chart broadcast on BBC Radio 1 yesterday.
In the first official vinyl singles chart the number one spot was taken by Underworld vs Heller & Farley’s track Baby Wants to Ride.
The charts company said it was responding to “the huge surge of interest” that has seen vinyl sales climb from a low of 0.1% of the albums market in 2007 (205,000) to 1.5% in 2014 (1.29m).
“Yes, it’s still a small part of the business,” admitted chief executive Martin Talbot.
“But what makes this so unusual is that usually you see new formats arrive and grow in popularity, reach their peak and then they decline and kind of disappear.
“Here you’ve got something that has grown in popularity back in the 60s and 70s, declined in popularity through the 80s and 90s, got right the way down to the bottom and then started climbing back out again.”
Mr Talbot put the appeal of vinyl down to a mixture of “nostalgia”, sound quality and wider availability.
“We’ve seen specialist music shops start to stock more vinyl, we’ve seen fashion retailers start to stock vinyl, and there are now mail order services where you can get vinyl much more easily than maybe 10 years ago,” he said.
So far this year Noel Gallagher has sold the most albums and singles on vinyl, but classic acts such as Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan and Led Zeppelin are also among the year’s biggest vinyl albums.
Brit Award-winners Royal Blood, Arctic Monkeys and The War on Drugs also feature in the top 10 of the year, while bestselling singles include David Bowie’s Young Americans and Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ hit Uptown Funk.
“There’s the audiophiles who swear by the sound of vinyl, the people who like owning it as a collectors’ piece, and then groups like our fans who buy a vinyl of our record simply so they can hang it on their wall.”
Underworld’s Karl Hyde said they were “honoured” to top the first vinyl singles chart with their charity record in honour of late DJ and house music legend Frankie Knuckles, describing it as “a fitting tribute”.
“Vinyl has always been a hugely important part of what we do as Underworld,” he added.
The new chart coincides with the build-up to Record Store Day, which is in its eighth year in the UK.
Gennaro Castaldo, from industry body the BPI, said the new vinyl chart made “perfect sense”.
“The chart will not only help us to better understand which artists and type of music are driving this resurgence, but will also help guide a new generation of younger, but emotionally-engaged, fans as they contemplate the vinyl delights that await them.”
“Yes, it’s still a niche audience,” added Mr Talbot. “But to grow at the rate it is, there’s clearly something happening here.”