More money was spent on vinyl albums in the UK last week than digital downloads

Sales of vinyl records have rocketed in the last few years, and last week the UK saw the vinyl revival break new ground. More money was spent on vinyl albums than LPs purchased digitally, that is according to The Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA), who represent multimedia retailers across the country.


Around £2.4 million was spent on vinyl records last week, presumably boosted by Christmas gift buyers, as opposed to £2.1 million that changed hands in regards to digital downloads. Compared to the same period last year, vinyl album sales have doubled.

Last week saw Kate Bush’s live album Before The Dawn top the Official Vinyl Albums Chart, with more fans choosing to pick up the collection on vinyl rather than on a digital format.

Big albums stocked in a variety of supermarkets such as Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black and Guardians of the Galaxy – Awesome Mix 1 also performed strongly to boost total sales for the market, while Busted fans picked up their new album Night Driver.

Snatched from:

Of the top 5, numbers 2,3 & 4 are available at Sainsbury’s supermarket, I’ve seen them, I even bought one from there (Curtis Mayfield – Super Fly – Orange vinyl exclusive to Sainsbury’s!) . It would seem that one of our biggest supermarkets is having a major impact on vinyl sales, however, never forget the store you got your vinyl from before the big guns stepped in, I won’t.

Bring Back The Old Grey Whistle Test

I miss OGWT, there is nothing like it on TV today, in fact, music in general is sadly under represented on TV nowadays. BBC Four and Sky Arts have the odd programme that is worth a watch but so much is a load of talking heads being nostalgic interspersed with too short clips. MTV should re-brand itself, Music Television it is not.

OGWT was the album version of Top of the Pops. The 45’s appeared on TOTP but it was 33 1/3 on OGWT and much the better for it. The first time I ever saw the show was in the Seventies, when presented by ‘Whispering’ Bob Harris, who it is fair to say, had difficulties with the punk scene around 1977 as it developed on independent label 45’s on bob_1943392cnot on the major labels, and not albums. He left in 1978, or was more likely moved on, to be replaced by Annie Nightingale, who I thought did a marvellous job of presenting the show. Not so her replacements though. From 1982 the show was presented variously by  Andy Kershaw, David Hepworth, Mark Ellen and Richard Skinner but I never really took to them. Not that there was anything I could put my finger on about them exactly, I think it was more to do with it being different from what I had first seen and I never really got used to it.

There were some amazing performances on this show, the sort of thing you couldn’t really see anywhere else at the time. I put the following forward as an example (and don’t forget, there were only 3 TV channels available in 1973):

Where else could you see this? I would suggest nowhere. I had a look at a 1973 top 30 chart run down, 29 white acts and the Detroit Spinners at number 10 (Gary glitter was number 1, oh dear) and not just that, the style of music wasn’t really represented either, along with others. Here’s the chart run down which you can see for yourself if you like:

Although unless you are already immune to the cheesiness of Tony Blackburn it might be better not to watch it.

There is a huge amount of music out there currently which is massively under represented. I know we have youtube and other places to view things now, but I have always liked a show, properly structured, along the lines of ..Later With Jools Holland but including some documentary and on location films. The OGWT could really fill that gap.

Here are some performances from the show that I’ve liked, not all of them, there are loads, just some:

There’s a list of who was on which show here if you are interested: