Britain Organizes National Album Day

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If you still prefer to listen to your classic rock music collection by playing an entire album rather than skipping around, you’ll be happy to hear you’re not alone. The British Phonographic Industry has announced a new annual event – the first-ever National Album Day on Saturday, October 13, 2018, in conjunction with BBC Music.

From the July 23 announcement: “National Album Day will mark the culmination of a week-long series of events and activity around the country that will celebrate all aspects of the U.K.’s love of the album – new releases and classic recordings across all genres of music. It will also pay tribute to the sleeve artwork that contributes to the album’s iconic appeal. This inaugural event comes in a year that coincides with the 70th anniversary of the album.”

Planned activities will include dedicated BBC Music programming and editorial support; retail events and artist personal appearances; and, at 3.33pm on Oct. 13, fans, stores, radio stations and public spaces will be invited to play their favorite album in full.

James Stirling, Head Of Content Commissioning, BBC Music, said: “BBC Music is proud to support the first National Album Day. The role of the album has evolved over 70 years – through vinyl and beautiful artwork to current streaming consumption – yet the story behind a great album remains an important part of British culture. We look forward to exploring the album in all its glory and telling these stories across the BBC.”

Related: So what are the U.K.’s all-time best-selling albums?

More from the announcement: “Demand for albums remains strong, underlining the format’s cultural and commercial significance and its enduring appeal at the heart of British recorded music. In 2017, 135 million albums, or their equivalent, were either purchased, downloaded or streamed in the U.K., a rise of 9.5 per cent on the previous year. 4.1 million of these were on vinyl – the highest level since the start of the 1990’s. The British Phonographic Industry estimates that a staggering 5 billion albums have been sold in the U.K. since the format’s advent in 1948.”

National Album Day is being organized jointly by ERA (Entertainment Retailers Association), representing the nation’s music retailers and digital/streaming platforms, in partnership with record labels body, the BPI.

Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive, BPI & BRIT Awards, added: “It is fitting that, in this 70th anniversary year, we should look to create a special moment that celebrates the U.K.’s love of the album and the huge role it plays at the heart of our popular culture. The album has underpinned the phenomenal success of recorded music the world over, providing artists with a compelling medium through which to express their creativity and fans the freedom to engage with all shades of music through the stories that it tells.”

The organisers plan to grow National Album Day organically into an annual event, in much the same way as Record Store Day.

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