Chart Beat

26% of All Physical Albums Sold in 2019 in U.S. Were Vinyl, Led by The Beatles

The Beatles
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From left: Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, and George Harrison of The Beatles, performing in front of a camera-shaped drum kit on Granada TV's Late Scene Extra television show filmed in Manchester, England on Nov. 25, 1963.

The top-selling vinyl LP of 2019 was The Beatles' classic No. 1 album "Abbey Road."

For the 14th consecutive year, vinyl album sales grew to a new yearly high, climbing to 18.84 million sold in 2019 (up 14.5%), according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data (for the tracking period of Jan. 4, 2019 through Jan. 2, 2020).   

Vinyl LP sales represented 16.7% of all album sales in 2019. In 2018, the format accounted for 11.9% of all album sales.   

Further, vinyl LPs comprised over a quarter of all physical album sales (CD, vinyl LP, cassettes, etc.) in 2019 — 25.6%. That’s a new Nielsen Music-era record share for the format, up from 19.1% in 2018. (Nielsen Music began tracking music data in 1991.)   

In the Nielsen Music era, of the top 10 largest selling weeks for vinyl albums in total, five of them occurred in 2019. Further, the top two biggest vinyl weeks came this past December: 973,000 sold in the week ending Dec. 19, and 1.24 million sold in the week ending Dec. 26.  

Leading the vinyl pack in 2019 was The Beatles, as the Fab Four sold more vinyl albums than any other artist, with 471,000 copies sold across its entire catalog.

Rounding out the top 10 selling acts on vinyl in 2019: Queen (No. 2; 345,000), Billie Eilish (No. 3; 250,000) Pink Floyd (No. 4; 217,000), Fleetwood Mac (No. 5; 149,000), Nirvana (No. 6; 141,000), Prince (No. 7; 140,000), Led Zeppelin (No. 8; 134,000), Michael Jackson (No. 9; 127,000) and Frank Sinatra (No. 10; 125,000).

‘ABBEY ROAD’ RULES: The Beatles also lead with the top-selling vinyl album of 2019, Abbey Road. (See list of the top 10 selling vinyl albums of 2019, below.) The set, first released in 1969, sold 246,000 copies on wax in 2019, thanks in part to its deluxe 50th anniversary reissue. The set topped the weekly Billboard 200 chart for 11 weeks in late 1969 and early 1970.

Overall, there were 23 albums that sold at least 50,000 copies on vinyl in 2019 – up from 14 titles in 2018, and eight titles in 2017.

TOP 10 SELLING VINYL ALBUMS OF 2019 IN U.S.

RankArtist, TitleSales
1The Beatles, Abbey Road246,000
2Billie Eilish, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?176,000
3Queen, Greatest Hits139,000
4Soundtrack, Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1123,000
5Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody (Soundtrack)108,000
6Beach Boys, Sounds of Summer: The Very Best Of…107,000
7Pink Floyd, The Dark Side of the Moon92,000
8Michael Jackson, Thriller88,000
9Bob Marley and The Wailers, Legend: The Best Of…84,000
10Fleetwood Mac, Rumours78,000

Source: Nielsen Music/MRC Data, for the tracking period Jan. 4, 2019 through Jan. 2, 2020.