Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Bowie bests Adele: ‘Blackstar’ tops list of most-sold vinyl in 2016

Just as David Bowie’s final album Blackstar finishes racking up appearances on virtually every “Best albums of the year so far” list industry wide — including our own — the singer’s estate has more than just critical praise to buoy its mid-year spirits. Blackstar is the best-selling vinyl record of the year so far, with 57,000 plastic discs sold in the first six months of 2016.

The album has already outsold all but two of last year’s releases on the format, Taylor Swift’s 1989 and Adele’s 25, and looks to continue selling well throughout the rest of this year, especially given the massive amount of critical success it will probably have in upcoming year-end polls.

That, and vinyl sales are up 11 percent this year, a fact that will certainly aid in overall sales of this year’s top LP.

Even though it was released last year, Adele’s 25 has still been hugely successful on the analog format, with 36,000 units sold in the first months of this year, compared to 116,000 sold in 2015 (for which it was only available for the last few months, as it was a late-year release).

Rounding out the top five list is Twenty One Pilots’ latest album Blurryface (31,000 units sold), and two posthumous releases: Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black (27,000 sold) and Bob Marley & The Wailers’ Legend: The Best of Bob Marley (23,000). Rapper Kendrick Lamar barely missed the top five, with 22,000 copies of hip-hop masterpiece To Pimp A Butterfly moving from store shelves this year.

Increased vinyl sales are indicative of a society which wants to feel more physically in touch with the music it enjoys. Vinyl has further been buoyed by a slew of industry initiatives, from the ever-popular Record Store Day to programs like Local Natives and Spoon’s recently-announced Vinyl Gratification program.

As vinyl continues to rise in popularity, the demographics of popular albums will probably shift with it — so we’ll likely be seeing less and less re-released material as time goes by.

Editors' Recommendations

Parker Hall
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Parker Hall is a writer and musician from Portland, OR. He is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Oberlin…
The 6 best smart speakers for music lovers
amazon echo studio 3d smart speaker lifestyle2

We spend plenty of time talking about how smart today’s smart speakers are — but if you love high-quality audio and uncompressed music, you’re probably interested in the speaker part. What smart speakers will actually give you a worthwhile sound experience as well as extra features that work well with your smart home?

We’ve rounded up the top smart speakers you should look at if you’re serious about your music — starting with Amazon’s own Echo Studio, a speaker dedicated to high-performance sound setups.

Read more
What is spatial audio? Apple’s 3D sound feature fully explained
Person listening to spatial audio using Apple AirPods Max headphones.

At WWDC 2021 (Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference), Apple officially added support for spatial audio with Dolby Atmos Music for Apple Music. It quickly became a popular format among consumers, too: Apple estimates that by February 2022, playback of spatial audio tracks had quadrupled from just a few months prior as people experimented with the format. But what exactly is spatial audio? How is it different from (or the same as) Dolby Atmos? And what kind of audio equipment do you need to listen to it?

There's a lot of ground to cover, and some of it is a bit technical, but we're going to break it all down in easy-to-understand terms. You'll be a spatial audio expert in minutes, and you'll know exactly how to access this growing trend in movie and music streaming.
What exactly is spatial audio?

Read more
The best podcasts of 2022
best podcasts

Whether you've already stored all your favorite podcasts in your app of choice, ready for listening, or are new to the world of podcasts, there's no denying their popularity. Podcasts are everywhere these days and have become some of the most beloved entertainment and education mediums worldwide. Whatever you're into, from tech and video game chat to world news and politics or true crime, there are plenty of specialized interest shows to choose from.

With so many podcasts available, there’s no way that you can listen to all of them. To help you out, no matter your interests, we've gathered a variety of shows to turn you on to your next great listen.

Read more