Physical media is back. In an age in which it’s hard to keep track of where your favorite movie is streaming, Blu-rays and DVDs are still clutch. And, in a world where music sounds horrible coming out of an iPhone speaker, true lovers of great tunes have made vinyl records bigger than ever. For families, listening to vinyl records is a great activity, a moment where you can buy something together, and share it together, too. Perhaps more than at any other time, young people and their parents are sharing a love of various music, from The Beatles to Taylor Swift to Kate Bush. And, it turns out, the best-selling vinyl records of 2022 reflect that trend: cross-generational appeal.
According to a report released by Statista, these are the top 10 best-selling vinyl albums of 2022.
- Taylor Swift, Midnights
- Harry Styles, Harry’s House
- Olivia Rodrigo, Sour
- Kendrick Lamar, good kid, m.A.A.d city
- Fleetwood Mac, Rumours
- Tyler the Creator, Call Me If You Get Lost
- Taylor Swift, folklore
- Tyler the Creator, IGOR
- Michael Jackson, Thriller
- The Beatles, Abbey Road
Swift was just shy of a million vinyl records, with 945,000 units. Harry Styles was at 480,000, while everyone else was pretty much between roughly 200,000 and 169,000.
This data only reflects new record sales, to be clear. Meaning, these are the contemporary pressings of Rumours and Abbey Road. But what does it all mean?
Well the cynical take is that when it comes to the slightly geeky interest of vinly records, popular things are still popular. Despite the fact that Taylor Swift collaborated with The National back in 2020 (and shes’ set to make an appearance on their new April 2023 album The First Two Pages of Frankenstein) it’s not like those dad rock gods sold more vinly than Harry Styles. And yet, all of these copies of Abbey Road and Rumours can’t just be purchases made for Boomers, GenX, or aging millennials. Presumably, some parents are probably getting their Gen-Z-ish kids into “older” music.
And, on the flipside, a record like Call Me If You Get Lost or Harry’s House is actually great to put on if you have little kids who love to dance. The latter may not be the most brilliant album in the world, but 40 somethings and 5 year-olds can agree, most of the songs are very, very catchy And while parents probably don’t love Midnights as much as some teenagers do, almost every parent can find something to love in Swift’s folklore. And if you can’t get down with Kendrick Lamar or Olivia Rodrigo, then you just don’t like pop music, regardless of your age.
In other words, if this snapshot of vinly record sales proves two things: The kids are all right. And the grown-ups are, too.