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Pop albums outsell rock LPs for first time in seven years


Story by Jack Foley

BUOYED by the success of artists such as Adele (pictured) and Jessie J, pop albums outsold rock LPs in 2011 for the first time in seven years.

According to figures released by the Official Charts Company, seven of the top 10 selling albums of 2011 were classified as ‘pop’, giving them a 33.6% share of album sales overall.

And perhaps even more worryingly, sales of those albums classified as rock fell to 29.4% of the marketplace… the lowest they’ve been since 2003.

And this was despite the release of big-selling albums from Coldplay, Foo Fighters and both Beady Eye and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – the new acts from the disbanded Oasis.

Pop single sales also rose to outsell their rock rivals by two to one across the year.

Another genre that enjoyed a rude 2011 was folk music, which saw its share of albums sales rising to 1.6% thanks to the success of acts like Laura Marling and Bellowhead.

Commenting on the figures, BPI Chief Executive Geoff Taylor said: “2011 was a vintage year for pop albums so it is hardly surprising that the genre has elbowed rock aside as the nation’s favourite. Although rock’s share is the lowest for eight years, it still accounts for three in ten of every albums sold so recent reports of its demise are premature.”