Chart Beat

These Are the Top-Selling Albums & Singles of Record Store Day 2017, As Vinyl Album Sales Surge 213%

Record Store Day
Burak Cingi/Redferns via Getty Images

Record Store Day

The 10th installment of Record Store Day (April 22) continued to drive big sales of music at independent retailers, according to Nielsen Music. The company reports that in the tracking week ending April 27, album sales at indie stores increased 194 percent compared to the previous week -- the largest weekly gain in the retail sector in the history of Record Store Day.

The annual indie music retailer celebration traditionally offers a robust slate of exclusive and limited-edition vinyl albums and singles, generally only found at indie stores (and in limited quantities). Thus, it’s no surprise to see that vinyl album sales grew 213 percent to 547,000 sold (across all retailers, not just indies). That’s the biggest non-Christmas season week for vinyl albums since Nielsen began electronically tracking point-of-sale music purchases in 1991.

Specifically, at indie retailers, there were 409,000 vinyl albums sold in the week ending April 27 (up 484 percent).

The top-selling Record Store Day-exclusive vinyl album during the week was Grateful Dead’s P.N.E. Garden Auditorium… (see Top RSD Exclusive Albums chart, below). It was followed by The DoorsLive at the Matrix and The Black AngelsDeathsong at Nos. 2 and 3, respectively.

Record Store Day exclusives are not limited to vinyl albums, as there were a bevy of vinyl singles that were issued for the event. The top three sellers, according to Nielsen (see Top RSD Exclusive Singles chart, below), were U2’s “Red Hill Mining Town,” The Beatles’ “Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever” and Pink Floyd’s “Interstellar Overdrive.”

Fast facts on Record Store Day 2017 sales & the top-selling RSD-exclusive titles:

- Vinyl album sales grew 213 percent in the week ending April 27, rising to 547,000 sold. That’s the biggest week for vinyl album sales outside of the Christmas season since Nielsen Music began tracking sales in 1991.

- Total album sales at indie retailers rose 193 percent (to 649,000), while vinyl album sales at indies grew 484 percent (to 409,000). Both increases are the largest weekly gains for the respective formats in the retail sector in Record Store Day’s 10-year history.

- In the week ending April 27, independent record stores’ overall album sales grew 1.4 percent as compared to the week ending April 21, 2016 (reflecting last year’s RSD on April 16, 2016). Sales grew from 640,000 to 649,000. In terms of just vinyl album sales, the format grew 3.8 percent -- rising from 383,000 to 409,000.

- The 649,000 albums sold at indie record stores during the week was the highest non-Christmas season sales week for the retail sector since 2006.

- Independent stores represented 31 percent of the total industry’s physical album sales for the week -- the sector’s highest weekly share ever -- up from 27 percent during RSD week of 2016. Prior to RSD 2017, indie record stores had accounted for 14 percent of all physical album sales in 2017.

- Vinyl 12” singles sales grew 4,350 percent to 89,000 for the week -- compared to just 2,000 in the week previous. Of the 89,000 vinyl 12-inch singles sold, nearly all of them (88,000) were sold at indie stores.

Top RSD Exclusive Albums at Independent Record Stores
1Grateful DeadP.N.E. Garden Auditorium…
2The DoorsLive at the Matrix
3The Black AngelsDeathsong
4Jason Isbell and the 400 UnitLive From Welcome to 1979 (EP)
5The CureGreatest Hits
6SantanaWoodstock: Saturday August 16, 1969
7Stevie NicksRarities
8The CureGreatest Hits Acoustic
9RushCygnus X-1 (EP)
10Various ArtistsReally Rock 'Em Right: Sun Records…
11David BowieBowie: Cracked Actor (Live Los Angeles '74)
12VangelisBlade Runner (Soundtrack)
13Fleetwood MacAlternate Mirage
14David BowieBowpromo
15Dave Matthews BandLive at Red Rocks 8.15.95
16Drive-By TruckersElectric Lady Sessions
17Elton John11/17/70
18The Head and the HeartStinson Beach Sessions
19SiaSpotify Sessions (EP)
20Alice in ChainsGet Born 93/99 (EP)
Source: Nielsen Music, for the week ending April 27, 2017.


Top RSD Exclusive Singles at Independent Record Stores
1U2Red Hill Mining Town (2017 Mix)
2BeatlesPenny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever
3Pink FloydInterstellar Overdrive
4Pearl JamState of Love and Trust
5The SmithsThe Boy with the Thorn in his Side
6John WilliamsMain Title - Star Wars: A New Hope
7Jimmy Page & Black CrowesMisty Mountain Hop (Live at Jones Beach)
8PrinceLittle Red Corvette/1999
9Patti SmithHey Joe
11Def LeppardRide Into the Sun (The Def Leppard EP)
12The LumineersAngela (Song Seeds)
13Jane's AddictionBeen Caught Stealing
14Sharon Jones/E.L. Fields Gospel WondersHeaven Bound
15Deee-LiteGroove Is In the Heart
16Frank ZappaRollo
17The War on DrugsThinking of a Place
18SpoonHot Thoughts
19PrinceSign 'O' the Times
20Against Me!Stabitha Christie
Source: Nielsen Music, for the week ending April 27, 2017.