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David Bowie’s ‘Blackstar’ Is Top-Selling U.K. Vinyl in 2016

Alex Livesey, Getty Images
Alex Livesey, Getty Images

Vinyl continued its resurgence in 2016, particularly in the U.K.. According to a new report, sales of vinyl increased 53 percent over the previous year, with Blackstar, the final album released by David Bowie in his lifetime, as the top-seller in his native country.

The British Phonographic Industry released its year-end study and found that 3.2 million pieces of vinyl were sold last year — the most since 1991, when Simply Red’s Stars topped the chart. This marks nine consecutive years that there has been an increase in vinyl sales. However, that only accounted for 2.6 percent of the sales of all music in Britain. Sales of CDs and downloads dropped 11.7 percent and 29.6 percent, respectively, while 45 billion streams were served, an increase of 68 percent, across most major platforms.

“We believe this performance is indicative of the promise of a new era for music,” said Geoff Taylor, the Chief Executive of BPI, “where recorded music’s investments in a digital future fuel compelling benefits for fans, artists and the entire music ecosystem.”

Although the individual sales figures weren’t given, they reported that Blackstar, released only two days before Bowie’s death, led the way, with only two other recent albums — the soundtrack to Guardians of the Galaxy and Radiohead‘s A Moon Shaped Pool — making the Top 10 for vinyl. The remaining seven titles were evergreen catalog records by such artists as Amy Winehouse (Back to Black), the Stone Roses (self-titled), Nirvana (Nevermind), the Beatles (Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band) and another recently departed legend, Prince (Purple Rain). Bowie also placed four other albums in the Top 30.

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