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Medellíam
post Jul 31 2019, 11:10 AM
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The cassette comeback continues: sales are at their highest in 15 years
31 July 2019 | By Rob Copsey

We reveal the best-selling cassettes of the decade and of 2019 so far.

The unlikely comeback of the humble cassette continues to grow in 2019, with sales at their highest since 2004, OfficialCharts.com can reveal.

Spurred on by the vinyl revival, music buyers are steadily returning to the cassette for its retro appeal, collectability and its novelty value. The format’s return coincides with the 40th anniversary of the Sony Walkman this month, celebrated in a new exhibition at the Sony museum in Tokyo, which runs until September 1.

Sales remain small in the context of the overall music market according to music industry trade body the BPI, representing a miniscule 0.2% of albums sold in the UK this year, but sales are on a small-but-steady increase, so far up 112% year-on-year. The final quarter of 2018 was also the biggest for cassette sales in the UK since 2004 and so far in 2019 36,000 have been sold according to the BPI and Official Charts Company data.

Looking down the Top 20 best-sellers on the year to date below, it’s clear cassette sales favour those artists who have harnessed a fanbase of avid collectors, regardless of genre.
The current biggest is Billie Eilish’s When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?. The cassette, which has sold 4,000 copies, was released in a variety of limited-edition colours: black, orange and UV green. Ironically, cassettes were considered all-but-defunct when 17-year-old Billie was born in 2001.


Cassette sales by calendar year since 2004

Other ‘big’ sellers this year are Catfish & The Bottlemen’s third album The Balance, Madonna’s Madame X, Kylie’s Step Back In Time and Lewis Capaldi’s chart-topping debut Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent.

Looking at the best-sellers of the decade (since 2010), The 1975 are on top with their 2018 Number 1 record A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, with 8,000 sales. Just over 7,000 of those sales were in its first week, making it the fastest-seller on the format since July 2002.

Another popular release is the Guardians Of The Galaxy soundtracks, which appear at 2 and 4 on the decade chart. Inspired by the films, the first collection of ‘80s classics was released in 2014, playing a significant role in spearheading the format’s return. They’ve sold 6,800 and 6,100 on cassette respectively.

Kylie Minogue is also a big seller on the vintage platform, shifting 6,300 tapes of her Number 1 album Golden. Following its initial release, Kylie also released a Collector's Edition and a Winter Collector's Edition on cassette. The singer’s recent chart-topping best of, Step Back In Time, places tenth.

The Official Top 20 best-selling cassettes in the UK since 2010
POSITION TITLE ARTIST
1 A BRIEF INQUIRY INTO ONLINE 1975 8k
2 GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY - AWESOME MIX 1 ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK 6.8k
3 GOLDEN KYLIE MINOGUE 6.3k
4 GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY - AWESOME MIX 2 ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK 6.1k
5 WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP WHERE DO WE GO BILLIE EILISH 4k
6 THE BALANCE CATFISH & THE BOTTLEMEN
7 MADAME X MADONNA
8 NO TOURISTS PRODIGY
9 SHE - THE BEST OF CHARLES AZNAVOUR
10 STEP BACK IN TIME - THE DEFINITIVE KYLIE MINOGUE
11 DIVINELY UNINSPIRED TO A HELLISH EXTENT LEWIS CAPALDI
12 SWEETENER ARIANA GRANDE
13 WASTELAND BABY HOZIER
14 HAPPINESS BEGINS JONAS BROTHERS
15 BLOSSOMS BLOSSOMS
16 RIPPLES IAN BROWN
17 MAPPING THE RENDEZVOUS COURTEENERS
18 DELTA MUMFORD & SONS
19 SUCKER PUNCH SIGRID
20 143 BARS & MELODY

The Official Top 20 best-selling cassettes in the UK of 2019 so far
POSITION TITLE ARTIST
1 WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP WHERE DO WE GO BILLIE EILISH 4k
2 THE BALANCE CATFISH & THE BOTTLEMEN
3 MADAME X MADONNA
4 STEP BACK IN TIME - THE DEFINITIVE KYLIE MINOGUE
5 DIVINELY UNINSPIRED TO A HELLISH EXTENT LEWIS CAPALDI
6 WASTELAND BABY HOZIER
7 HAPPINESS BEGINS JONAS BROTHERS
8 RIPPLES IAN BROWN
9 SUCKER PUNCH SIGRID
10 SHINE A LIGHT BRYAN ADAMS
11 GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY - AWESOME MIX 1 ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK
12 THE VERSACE EXPERIENCE PRELUDE 2 GOLD PRINCE
13 MY HAPPY PLACE EMMA BUNTON
14 THANK U NEXT ARIANA GRANDE
15 GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY - AWESOME MIX 2 ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK
16 FATHER OF THE BRIDE VAMPIRE WEEKEND
17 FALSE ALARM TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB
18 A BRIEF INQUIRY INTO ONLINE 1975
19 AMO BRING ME THE HORIZON
20 BIG BAD GIGGS
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WhoOdyssey
post Jul 31 2019, 06:23 PM
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Bars & Melody sneaking in there laugh.gif
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1990
post Aug 1 2019, 04:23 PM
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I get the vinyl revival, but cassette? I would never buy one.

It’s like having a VHS revival.
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gavindeejay
post Aug 1 2019, 05:05 PM
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QUOTE(1990 @ Aug 1 2019, 05:23 PM) *
I get the vinyl revival, but cassette? I would never buy one.

It’s like having a VHS revival.


Probably a nostalgia thing. I bet most people don't have anything to play them on any more laugh.gif
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WhoOdyssey
post Aug 1 2019, 05:07 PM
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A lot of them come with bundles as well.
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Bjork
post Aug 1 2019, 06:34 PM
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they're not even cheap, Lana del Rey is selling them for 8.99 pounds... she's made two different ones, clear and lime green ohmy.gif and yes lots of bundles cd + cassette, vinyl + cassette, cd+vinyl+cassette
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777666jason
post Aug 1 2019, 08:07 PM
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Suprised kylie didnt take this with all her cassette limited editions laugh.gif
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Brett-Butler
post Aug 1 2019, 08:58 PM
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QUOTE(Medellíam @ Jul 31 2019, 12:10 PM) *
9 SHE - THE BEST OF CHARLES AZNAVOUR


This is the real oddity of the top 20 tapes since 2010. Why is it that a 1996 Greatest Hits album, that presumably hasn't got a re-release on tape in the past 10 years, sold so well on the format? Would be interesting to get to the bottom of this - perhaps it is one single store that bought thousands of them by accident and couldn't return them, so have been slowly dwindling down their collection over the years with some very targeted marketing.
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Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 22nd November 2019 - 02:39 PM