Record Store Day 2022 Drop Sparks Over 1 Million in Weekly U.S. Vinyl Album Sales

Record Store Day 2022 Drop Sparks Over 1 Million in Weekly U.S. Vinyl Album Sales thumbnail

For the second time in 2022, weekly vinyl album sales in the U.S. exceeded 1 million, both thanks to Record Store Day-related festivities.

Following Record Store Day’s June 18 Drop event, U.S. vinyl album sales increased by 51.3% week-over-week to 1.014 million sold in the week ending June 23, according to Luminate. Earlier in the year, following the official Record Store Day (RSD) event on April 23, weekly vinyl album sales surged 74.8% to 1.316 million.

Comparably, the median volume of weekly vinyl album sales thus far in 2022 is 710,000.

The two largest weeks this year for vinyl album sales have, thus far, both been RSD-related (the 1.316 million after Record Store Day, and 1.014 million after the Drop event). The year’s third-largest week for vinyl album sales was the week ending May 26, when 831,000 vinyl albums were sold – pumped largely by the debut of Harry StylesHarry’s House, which accounted for 22% of all vinyl albums sold that week: 182,000 of that 831,000. Harry’s House broke the modern-era record for single-week vinyl album sales in the U.S.

The June 18 Drop event was described by Record Store Day organizers as a “safety net, for titles that are part of the Record Store Day celebration, but for any number of reasons beyond controlling, [couldn’t] make it into stores on April 23.” (Many albums and singles are released specifically for the independent music retailer celebration, including unique vinyl pressings and limited-edition releases.)

Two key titles that were initially slated for Record Store Day on April 23 but were shifted to June 18 were vinyl pressings of Pearl Jam’s Live on Two Legs and Prince’s The Gold Experience. They were the top two-selling RSD-exclusive albums among the June 18 Drop titles (see list, below).

Live on Two Legs was originally released in 1998 and captured performances from Pearl Jam’s U.S. tour that year. The new vinyl pressing is on crystal-clear double vinyl. Thanks to the sales of the new RSD-exclusive variant, Live on Two Legs re-enters the Billboard 200 chart at No. 33 (it debuted and peaked at No. 15 in 1998) and jumps back onto Billboard’s Top Album Sales chart at No. 5 (a new high). It also debuts at No. 1 on Billboard’s Vinyl Albums and Tastemaker Albums charts (which rank the week’s top selling vinyl releases, and top-selling albums overall [across all formats] at independent and small chain stores, respectively).

Pearl Jam, 'Live On Two Legs'

Pearl Jam, ‘Live On Two Legs’
Courtesy of Record Store Day

First released in 1995, The Gold Experience was reissued as a double LP on gold-colored vinyl (paying homage to a promotional version of the set released on vinyl in the U.S. in 1995). On Billboard’s charts, The Gold Experience continues to be credited to The Artist (Formerly Known as Prince), as the album was originally billed to his then-stage name, an unpronounceable symbol. Its new vinyl pressing also credits the symbol.

In the week ending June 23, vinyl comprised 48.1% of all albums sold in the U.S. (1.014 of 2.107 million). Vinyl’s share of physical album sales for the week totaled 58.8% (1.014 million of 1.726 million). Year-to-date, vinyl albums comprise 41.4% of all albums sold in the U.S. (18.651 million of 45.096 million). Vinyl’s share of physical album sales, year-to-date, stands at 53.1% (18.651 million of 35.098 million).

Meanwhile, 36.7% of all albums sold in the U.S. in the week ending June 23 were sold via independent record stores (771,000 of 2.107 million). Further, 58.6% of all vinyl albums sold in the week were sold at indie record stores (594,000 of 1.014 million). Year-to-date, 29.9% of all albums sold in the U.S. were sold via independent record stores (13.457 million of 45.096 million). And, 51.9% of all vinyl albums sold in the U.S. thus far in 2022 have been sold at indie record stores (9.683 million of 18.651 million).

Top Record Store Day June 18 Drop Exclusive Albums at Independent Record Stores in U.S.
Rank, Artist, Title
1. Pearl Jam, Live on Two Legs (crystal clear double vinyl)
2. The Artist (Formerly Known As Prince), The Gold Experience (translucent gold colored double vinyl)
3. Viktor Vaughn AKA MF Doom, Vaudeville Villain (double vinyl)
4. Soundtrack, The Royal Tenenbaums (sky blue and olive green colored double vinyl)
5. Kali Uchis, Sin Miedo (Del Amor y Otros Demonios) (clear vinyl)
6. Miles Davis, Miles Davis Live: What It Is, Montreal 7/7/83 (double vinyl)
7. The Jerry Garcia Acoustic Band, Ragged But Right (double vinyl)
8. Gerard Way, Hesitant Alien (blue colored vinyl)
9. The Who, It’s Hard (orange and yellow colored double vinyl)
10. Peter Gabriel/The New Blood Orchestra Conducted by Ben Foster, Live Blood (blood red colored triple vinyl)
11. Wilco, Cruel Country (double CD)
12. Collective Soul, Disciplined Breakdown (translucent red colored vinyl)
13. My Morning Jacket, Live From RCA Studio A (Jim James Acoustic) (vinyl)
14. Nicki Minaj, Beam Me Up Scotty (red marbled colored double vinyl)
15. Sun’s Signature, Sun’s Signature (vinyl)
16. The Kinks, Waterloo Sunset (yellow colored vinyl)
17. Voivod, Nothing Face (pink with blue swirl colored vinyl)
18. Various Artists, Sweet Relief: A Benefit for Victoria Williams (double vinyl)
19. Various Artists, 50 Years of TV’s Greatest Hits (multicolor splatter colored double vinyl)
20. Various Artists, Go Ahead Punk …Make My Day (orange splatter colored vinyl)
21. The Brand New Heavies, Heavy Rhyme Experience: Vol. 1 (orange vinyl)
22. Paul Butterfield, The Original Lost Elektra Sessions (triple vinyl)
23. Ray Charles, Genius Loves Company (double vinyl)
24. Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators, Live at Studios 60 (double vinyl)
25. Billy Bragg, Life’s a Riot With Spy Vs Spy (colored vinyl)

Source: Luminate, for the week ending June 23, 2022.

Read More