Record Store Day

Record Store Day

Burak Cingi/Redferns via Getty Images

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
Rank Artist Title
1 Grateful Dead P.N.E. Garden Auditorium…
2 The Doors Live at the Matrix
3 The Black Angels Deathsong
4 Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit Live From Welcome to 1979 (EP)
5 The Cure Greatest Hits
6 Santana Woodstock: Saturday August 16, 1969
7 Stevie Nicks Rarities
8 The Cure Greatest Hits Acoustic
9 Rush Cygnus X-1 (EP)
10 Various Artists Really Rock 'Em Right: Sun Records…
11 David Bowie Bowie: Cracked Actor (Live Los Angeles '74)
12 Vangelis Blade Runner (Soundtrack)
13 Fleetwood Mac Alternate Mirage
14 David Bowie Bowpromo
15 Dave Matthews Band Live at Red Rocks 8.15.95
16 Drive-By Truckers Electric Lady Sessions
17 Elton John 11/17/70
18 The Head and the Heart Stinson Beach Sessions
19 Sia Spotify Sessions (EP)
20 Alice in Chains Get Born 93/99 (EP)
Source: Nielsen Music, for the week ending April 27, 2017.

 

Top RSD Exclusive Singles at Independent Record Stores
Rank Artist Title
1 U2 Red Hill Mining Town (2017 Mix)
2 Beatles Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever
3 Pink Floyd Interstellar Overdrive
4 Pearl Jam State of Love and Trust
5 The Smiths The Boy with the Thorn in his Side
6 John Williams Main Title - Star Wars: A New Hope
7 Jimmy Page & Black Crowes Misty Mountain Hop (Live at Jones Beach)
8 Prince Little Red Corvette/1999
9 Patti Smith Hey Joe
10 Prince Partyman
11 Def Leppard Ride Into the Sun (The Def Leppard EP)
12 The Lumineers Angela (Song Seeds)
13 Jane's Addiction Been Caught Stealing
14 Sharon Jones/E.L. Fields Gospel Wonders Heaven Bound
15 Deee-Lite Groove Is In the Heart
16 Frank Zappa Rollo
17 The War on Drugs Thinking of a Place
18 Spoon Hot Thoughts
19 Prince Sign 'O' the Times
20 Against Me! Stabitha Christie
Source: Nielsen Music, for the week ending April 27, 2017.