Nielsen Music released its mid-year report today (July 2), revealing the year's most successful artists, albums and singles. One total non-surprise: Vinyl sales continued to grow in 2015, showing a 38.4 percent increase from 2014, with 5.6 million units moved year-to-date -- that means 2015 is on track to be the eighth consecutive year that sees vinyl sales grow.
One slight surprise, however, is the album that's topping U.S. vinyl sales this year: Taylor Swift's 1989.
Sure, 1989 is one of the biggest blockbusters the music industry has seen in years, but when you think about the audiophile vinyl nerds fueling the format's resurgence, you don't exactly imagine them listening to Swift's first album of pure pop. Conversely, when you think of a devoted Swiftie, you don't typically imagine them hovering over a Technics turntable, watching the needle caress every groove.
Regardless, 1989 is the year's biggest vinyl seller (so far) with 34,000 units. After Swift are the kind of albums you typically associate with vinyl lovers: the latest LPs from Sufjan Stevens, Arctic Monkeys (still riding high on their 2013 album AM) and Alabama Shakes, in that order.
Interestingly, Stevens return-to-folk LP Carrie & Lowell has moved 32,000 vinyl units in 2015 thus far -- that's a substantial portion of the 105,000 units the LP moved across all formats in 2015. To compare, Taylor's vinyl sales constitute 2.5 percent of her 2015 total, while Sufjan's constitute approximately 30 percent of his 2015 sales total.
Aside from new albums, two all-time classics pop up in the list of 2015's vinyl best-sellers so far: Miles Davis' endlessly celebrated Kind of Blue comes in at No. 5, while Pink Floyd's teenage-rite-of-passage LP Dark Side of the Moon is No. 7. A compilation of '70s classic tracks, the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack, also makes the top 10, hitting No. 8.
Father John Misty's I Love You Honeybear is No. 9 on the list of 2015 vinyl top-sellers, and much like Sufjan Stevens, his vinyl sales make up a hefty portion of his overall 2015 sales: Honeybear's vinyl sales account for 29.6 percent of his 2015 total so far.
Check out the 10 best selling vinyl albums of 2015 so far below.
1. Taylor Swift, 1989 (34,000)
2. Sufjan Stevens, Carrie & Lowell (32,000)
3. Arctic Monkeys, AM (27,000)
4. Alabama Shakes, Sound & Color (26,000)
5. Miles Davis, Kind of Blue (23,000)
6. Sam Smith, In the Lonely Hour (23,000)
7. Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon (23,000)
8. Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack (22,000)
9. Father John Misty, I Love You Honeybear (22,000)
10. Hozier, Hozier (21,000)