Adele beats global vinyl shortage after pressing 500,000 copies of new album 30

Adele has overcome a global vinyl shortage after making 500,000 copies of her long-awaited new album, 30.

The handful of vinyl pressing factories still in operation are battling a shortage of PVC, the compound used to make vinyl records.

But Adele’s record label, global giant Sony, used its corporate strength to ensure stores will have enough 30 copies to meet demand when the record releases on November 19.

Lack of vinyl capacity means artists from small independent labels are forced to wait in a queue.

Billy Bragg was forced to postpone the release of his new album, on the Cooking Vinyl label, due to “vinyl manufacturing supply issues”.

Variety claimed that Sony had procured 500,000 vinyl copies of 30, a record for a new release since the “vinyl revival” began in 2007, by limiting the production of its hit record catalog, which would normally be big Christmas sellers.

The UK’s most popular vinyl albums – the 2020 Oasis reprints of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors and What’s the Story (Morning Glory) – sell for 30,000 to 40,000 copies a year.

Adele said she had to give her dossier to the manufacturers six months in advance to make sure the records were pressed on time.

“So many vinyl factories closed their doors even before Covid so I can’t print them anywhere,” complained the singer, who sells a limited edition clear vinyl at 30 for £ 35.

The cost of vinyl to consumers is increasing. Taylor Swift’s re-recorded version of her album Red, released next Friday, is available as a 4 LP and costs £ 50.

Almost 5 million (4.8 million) vinyl records were purchased in the UK in 2020 – a jump of almost a tenth from sales in 2019 and a 13th consecutive year of growth since 2007.

Vinyl records are the most profitable format for artists and record companies. But the pressing infrastructure required to mass produce vinyl was reduced after the compact disc became the most popular format of music in the 1980s.

Sam Fender told fans that vinyl deliveries for his new chart-topping album, Seventeen Going Under, have been delayed by “Brexit customs issues” and “fuel shortages”, which he blamed on Boris Johnson.

The music industry expects an exceptional Christmas with new albums from Adele, Coldplay, Abba and Ed Sheeran driving digital and physical sales.

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