Taylor Swift helps send vinyl sales to a record high - Kevin Buckle

Taylor Swift will begin the European leg of the Eras Tour in MayTaylor Swift will begin the European leg of the Eras Tour in May
Taylor Swift will begin the European leg of the Eras Tour in May | SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP via Getty Images)
​I was determined not to mention Taylor Swift again in this column until June’s gigs, but the big news of the week in the music industry was that the week of Record Store Day saw the highest vinyl weekly sales in 30 years.

Normally, of course, this would be because of the vast number of Record Store Day releases, but this year there was also a new Taylor Swift album and as I’ve predicted before, quite incredibly Taylor proved to be almost as big as all the Record Store Day sales put together.

Data from the Official Charts Company show 269,134 vinyl albums and 37,656 vinyl singles were sold making a total of 306,791. This is higher than in any week since week five 1994, when current statistics began.

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Just under a quarter (24.7 per cent) of the week’s vinyl album sales were for the new Taylor album, The Tortured Poets Department while Record Store Day itself accounted for an estimated 37.2 per cent of the vinyl albums market.

There was much rejoicing about the resurgence of vinyl but no mention of the underlying dangers and implications these figures reveal.

One point is that young people are now coming into record shops because of Taylor and while this is certainly true, the thing about Swifties, as Taylor’s fans are known, is that their purchases are nearly always limited to Taylor’s albums and no other artist.

Avalanche is certainly seeing more and more youngsters coming in the shop, but there is a clear difference with fans of other female artists such as Mitski, Lana Del Rey and Fiona Apple not limiting themselves to just the one artist.

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One thing I have recently found a little disconcerting is how much her fans identify with Taylor, whose personal life I knew next to nothing about.

However, I stumbled on an article on her relationships and she has certainly had her fair amount of break-ups, which it turns out can directly be linked to the songs on her albums.

The last artist to have bigger week one sales than Taylor is Adele and her fans were clearly women who identified with her songs of heartbreak.

What is strange about the majority of Swifties is that they are far too young to identify with the trials and tribulations of a 34-year-old woman.

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I’ve always felt the vinyl revival is very much nostalgia for older folk, but for youngsters it is more of fad and one that for them at least will one day end. We are seeing more and more youngsters buying CDs, so they won’t be lost to us completely.

Similarly all history tells us that the Taylor Swift phenomenon will end one day and if nothing else you would hope she finds true love, which will limit the source material for any new albums.

For Avalanche we do very well with vinyl as we always have and do now sell a fair amount of Taylor Swift albums. But I’ve made sure they are not something we rely on completely.

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