Posted on 15th April, 2019


Casually observing the attendance across the country at independent record and participating Hi-Fi stores on Saturday, the now hugely successful Record Store Day proves vinyl is back in the big time.

Figures culled by ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) show Vinyl album sales worth $21.7 million in 2018. That’s an increase of about $3 million over sales of Vinyl in 2017 and the $15.1 million worth of sales for the format in 2016. 

These incremental increases may seem small, but if you looked at Vinyl’s upwards trajectory in 2016, you'd find sales were worth $15.1 million which represented a ballistic increase of 70 per cent when compared to sales worth $8.9 million in 2015.

You can thank hipsters, dedicated audiophiles and a legion of contemporary turntable manufacturers for Vinyl’s renaissance, or you sheet home Vinyl’s resurgence to nostalgia.

ARIA Chief Executive, Don Rosen believes emotion is just one of several factors steering Vinyl back into record stores and onto our turntables.

He said:

The renewed love affair of Australian music fans with Vinyl albums has been a phenomenon over the last few years. There is a major sense of nostalgia to the experience of Vinyl. The format is tangible and collectable, often with original and numbered artworks.

Artists are increasingly using physical formats such as Vinyl as a way to give their fans a substantial way of showing their fandom, often working hand in hand with the digital and streaming version for the artist.

Whatever and whoever needs credit for Vinyl's current and increasing popularity, ARIA thinks the format was significant enough to warrant the launch of its first official Vinyl Albums Chart to coincide with the recent Record Store Day.

2018 ARIA Vinyl Albums Chart

  1. Queen, Greatest Hits
  2. Guardian of the Galaxy, Awesome Mix Vol. 1
  3. Nirvana, Nevermind
  4. Arctic Monkeys, Tranquillity Base Hotel & Casino
  5. Amy Winehouse, Back To Black
  6. Gang of Youths, Go Farther In Lightness
  7. Queen, Greatest Hits II
  8. The Beatles, Abbey Road
  9. The Beatles, The Beatles (White Album)
  10. Pulp Fiction, Original Soundtrack

Vinyl’s continuing success begs an obvious historical question: Why are records also known as “Albums”.

The answer relates to the double-sided 78 rpm record released in 1903, and that had an impoverished 4-minute playing time per side.

Back then an entire 35-minute symphony required up to a dozen records. To keep track of these many discs, stores had a handy sideline selling wallets to store the separate discs.

Because these wallets resembled the kind of book people back in the day used to store photographs, consumers came to know the wallets as albums.

Follow the ARIA Vinyl chart here.


Peter Familari's avatar

Peter Familari

One of the veterans of the Australian HiFi industry, Peter was formerly the Audio-Video Editor of the Herald Sun for over two decades. One of the most-respected audio journalists in Australia, Peter brings his unparalleled experience and a unique story-telling ability to StereoNET.

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Posted in: Music
Tags: aria