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2018’s Top-Selling Vinyl Albums & Singles: Amy Winehouse, Prince, A Porg & More

Amy Winehouse, Prince, Michael Jackson and a Star Wars' porg (by way of John Williams) were among the top selling vinyl albums and singles of 2018 in the U.S.

Vinyl music sales in the U.S. continue to make a comeback, as Nielsen Music reports that vinyl album sales rose for the 13th consecutive year in 2018. Vinyl album sales grew 14.6 percent in 2018, as compared to 2017, rising to 16.8 million copies sold — a new one-year Nielsen Era record. (Nielsen began tracking music sales in 1991.)

The Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 soundtrack finished the year as the top-selling LP, with 84,000 copies sold (see top 10 list, below). The year’s top 10 sellers are dominated by older releases and classic titles. The youngest title in the top 10 is Panic! at the Disco’s June 2018 release Pray for the Wicked, which closed out the year as the No. 10 seller, with 59,000 copies sold. The next two youngest releases in the top 10 are the Guardians album (issued in August 2014) and Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black (March 2007).


Notably, the top 10 selling vinyl LPs of 2018 also contain seven former No. 1s on the weekly Billboard 200 chart: Guardians, Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, The BeatlesAbbey Road, Prince and The Revolution’s Purple Rain soundtrack, Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon and Panic!’s Pray.

Rank Artist, Title Sales
1 Soundtrack, Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 84,000
2 Michael Jackson, Thriller 84,000
3 Fleetwood Mac, Rumours 77,000
4 The Beatles, Abbey Road 76,000
5 Prince and The Revolution, Purple Rain (Soundtrack) 71,000
6 Pink Floyd, The Dark Side of the Moon 67,000
7 Bob Marley and The Wailers, Legend: The Best Of… 61,000
8 Queen, Greatest Hits 60,000
9 Amy Winehouse, Back to Black 59,000
10 Panic! at the Disco, Pray for the Wicked 59,000
Source: Nielsen Music, for the tracking period Dec. 29, 2017 through Jan. 3, 2019.

As for the top 10 selling vinyl singles of 2018 (see top 10 list, below), they include a bevy of legends, along with … a porg. (More on the porg in a just a moment.)

The best-selling vinyl single of the year is The Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine” 7-inch picture disc, with 10,000 copies sold. The title was released on July 6, 2018, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the single and its parent film of the same name. The new picture disc’s B-side is “Eleanor Rigby,” just as it was for the original 7-inch plain black vinyl single release in 1968.

Other acts among the top 10 include Prince, with his original take on “Nothing Compares 2 U” on 7-inch vinyl, Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll” / “Friends” on 7-inch yellow vinyl and Chris Cornell’s “When Bad Does Good” on 7-inch vinyl. Many of the year’s biggest selling vinyl singles (including the Led Zep and Cornell offerings) were were released in association with Record Store Day, or, Record Store Day Black Friday initiatives.


Closing out the top 10 selling vinyl singles: John Williams’ “The Rebellion Is Reborn,” backed with “Canto Bight,” from Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The 10-inch single was released by Walt Disney Records and pressed on a porg-shaped picture disc. (A porg is wide-eyed, “flat-muzzled avian” (per StarWars.com) creature that made its debut in The Last Jedi.)

Rank Artist, Title Sales
1 The Beatles, “Yellow Submarine” 10,000
2 Prince, “Nothing Compares 2 U” 9,000
3 Led Zeppelin, “Rock and Roll”/”Friends” 8,000
4 Sleep, “Leagues Beneath” 5,000
5 Chris Cornell, “When Bad Does Good” 4,000
6 David Bowie, “Let’s Dance” (Full Length Demo) 4,000
7 Paul McCartney, “I Don’t Know”/”Come On To Me” 4,000
8 U2, “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” 3,000
9 The Jimi Hendrix Experience, “Burning of the Midnight Lamp” 3,000
10 John Williams, “The Rebellion Is Reborn” 3,000
Source: Nielsen Music, for the tracking period Dec. 29, 2017 through Jan. 3, 2019.