Sales Surge After Record Store Day

Limited edition releases by the Arctic Monkeys and David Bowie helped boost sales of vinyl on Record Store Day.

Record Store Day is an annual campaign to get fans to visit their local independent music shop, with musicians supporting the campaign by releasing dozens of exclusive tracks and rarities. Last Saturday, a rare Noel Gallagher EP was the most popular release and some special highlights included a hard-to-find remix of ABBA's Voulez-Vous and a limited-edition coloured vinyl by the White Stripes.

Around 230 record stores took part in the campaign and according to organisers, all of the top 10 physical singles sold last week were Record Store Day exclusives. Noel Gallagher was at the number one spot with his limited edition four-track EP that compiled b-sides from his High Flying Birds project. Other highly popular releases were the purple vinyl edition of the Arctic Monkeys' latest single, R U Mine, followed by a re-release of the Sex Pistols Anarchy In The UK.

Newly launched for the event was the Official Record Store Chart, which tracks album sales in independent record shops, which saw the chart being dominated by Record Store Day releases. In fact, 7 of the top 10 records in the chart were exclusive releases, with The Beatles 4-disc vinyl box set of their numbers one singles reaching number 3.

Completing the chart run down was Leonard Cohen's Live In Frederiction at 4 and Metallica's Beyond Magnetic at No. 5, but the real top-seller was the new record, Sweet Heart Sweet Light by Space-Rockers, Spiritualized, pushing Alabama Shakes into second place.

Record Store Day coordinator, Spencer Hickman, who also runs the Rough Trade East in London, has been amazed at how busy Record Store Day was this year.

"With vinyl sales again on the rise for the fifth year in a row, indie record stores and RSD are proving to be more relevant than ever for the discerning music buyer."

So the good news is that vinyl record sales reached a six-year high in 2011. A total of 341,000 albums were sold, with Radiohead's The King Of Limbs the best-selling record of the year.