2021 Black Friday sales and general holiday shopping promotions helped yield an eye-popping week for vinyl album sales in the U.S.
In the week ending Dec. 2, vinyl album sales totaled 1.46 million (up 39%) – marking the second-biggest week for the format since MRC Data began tracking sales in 1991. The only larger week in the MRC Data era for vinyl album sales was registered in the week ending Dec. 24, 2020, when 1.84 million albums were sold.
Overall, in the week ending Dec. 2, vinyl LP sales accounted for 46% of all albums sold in the U.S. (1.46 million of 3.17 million). Further, of just physical album sales (vinyl LP, CDs, cassettes, etc.), vinyl LP sales represented 54% of all albums sold for the week (1.46 million of 2.7 million).
Vinyl’s influence can be seen in the latest top 10 of Billboard’s Top Album Sales chart (dated Dec. 11), where most of the titles in the region benefit greatly from vinyl sales.
Billboard’s Top Album Sales chart ranks the top-selling albums of the week based only on traditional album sales. The chart’s history dates back to May 25, 1991, the first week Billboard began tabulating charts with electronically monitored piece count information from SoundScan, now MRC Data. Pure album sales were the sole measurement utilized by the Billboard 200 albums chart through the list dated Dec. 6, 2014, after which that chart switched to a methodology that blends album sales with track equivalent album units and streaming equivalent album units. For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.
Adele’s 30 leads Top Album Sales for a second straight week, selling 225,000 copies across all formats (down 68%). Of that sum, vinyl sales represented 50,000 – the seventh-largest sales week for an album on vinyl in the MRC Data era, and the biggest second week for an album on vinyl. After only two weeks, 30 is the ninth-largest-selling album on vinyl in 2021, with 158,000 copies sold. (The year’s top-seller on vinyl is Taylor Swift’s Evermore, with 215,000 vinyl copies sold through Dec. 2.)
Swift’s chart-topping Red (Taylor’s Version) holds at No. 2 on Top Album Sales with 46,000 copies sold (down 31%). Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour climbs 8-3 (21,000; up 53%) and Billie Eilish’s Happier Than Ever moves 9-4 (20,000; up 52%) – both are former No. 1s.
TWICE’s previous leader Formula of Love: O+T=<3 is a non-mover at No. 5 with 19,000 sold (down 9%). It’s the only album in the top 10 that is not also available on vinyl. It was only released commercially on CD and as a digital album.
The Beatles’ chart-topping Let It Be vaults 21-6 on Top Album Sales (18,000; up 115%), following the Nov. 25 premiere of the Disney+ documentary series Get Back, which chronicles the making of the Let It Be album.
Vince Guaraldi Trio’s soundtrack to the animated TV special A Charlie Brown Christmas jingles 13-7 with 16,000 sold (up 44%), Swift’s Fearless (Taylor’s Version) bumps 11-8 with just over 15,000 (up 30%), Swift’s Evermore zooms 18-9 with just over 14,000 (up 46%) and Michael Bublé’s Christmas closes out the top 10, ascending 14-10 with 14,000 (up 28%).