06h45 February 12, 2022
At first it was vinyl, but now a CD revival is alive and kicking in Norwich record shops.
But forget the big bucks for Britney Spears – only rare and hot alternative albums.
It comes after online music marketplace Discogs reported a 37% increase in CD sales in 2020, with the NME confirming earlier this week that the recovery is underway.
But many Norwich record retailers say the revival has been going on for a while, perhaps even as long as vinyl.
John Naylor of Beatniks in Magdalen Street said the store had seen a steady stream of CD sales since music lovers returned to physical format in the early 2010s.
He said: “As downloads and streaming became popular, CD sales plummeted.
“They gradually started to appear and about 10 years ago they became popular again, so we sold more, but the revival happened before the NME started talking about it the other day.
“The market has split, you have common CDs that are worthless and then rare stuff, that hasn’t been reissued because they’ve been busy reissuing vinyl, which is the highest price ever seen.
“The amount I’m selling hasn’t changed, it’s stayed at a relatively good level since vinyl came back.”
At Fine City Sounds in Pottergate, Andrew Watson said CDs weren’t always the easiest to sell, saying customers were more demanding with their CDs.
He said: “Common stuff like Britney Spears doesn’t sell, but it does on vinyl. But rarer stuff like prog, indie and Scandinavian metal will make a lot of money on CD.
“The band that sells well on CD is Hawkwind – some of their tracks have never been reissued, so you can get £10 or £15 of them.
“Most of the CD revival is hype.”
But Kevan Alderton of Out of Time on Magdalen Street said the vinyl revival had yet to arrive at his shop.
He said: “CDs have been in a slow decline for 10 to 15 years, since streaming came along.
“If you’re a real music fan, you’ll buy vinyl.
“CDs are cheap if you want something you should buy, the most expensive things are around £3 or £4.
“Bands that sell well on CD are Hawkwind, Pink Floyd and the Beatles.
“The CD revival could be a false dawn – vinyl is still number one.”
If you can find some in your rack, you could make yourself a small fortune.
These are the ten highest-selling CDs on Discogs.
- Reel – live box, sold for £2,375
- Various Artists – Woodstock: Back To The Garden: The Definitive 50th Anniversary Archive, sold £2,128
- Michael Jackson- Smile, sold £2,016
- Bob Dylan- The 50th anniversary collection, sold for £1,956
- Elvis Presley- The complete masters of Elvis Presley, sold £1,472
- Toru Takemitsu – Complete Takemitsu Edition, sold £1,471
- The Grateful Dead – 30 trips around the sun, sold for £1,879
- Pet Shop Boys – 5 Songs From Our History: Pop Art Les Hits, sold for £1,370
- Roger Waters- The wall, sold £1,349
- Richter- The 100th Anniversary Edition, sold for £1,329