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RIAA Reports Sales of Vinyl 45s Grew 99.6 Percent In 2011

Maybe those vinyl snobs we all know and tolerate are actually on to something.

According to new data released by the Recording Industry Association of America, United States-based sales of 45s -- called "vinyl singles" in the data -- skyrocketed 99.6 percent in 2011. This is based on the retail price of units shipped, which means this only includes new discs, not used 45s.

Digital Music News reports that unit-sales increases were actually quite mild, which means 45s are suddenly fetching a bigger price tag. And that signals lots of demand ahead -- a big surprise considering the format had been in decline since 2001.

Also announced is that there seems to be a resurgence in 78s, or 10-inch vinyl records -- basically the sort of records your mother listened to, provided she was born in 1932.

The Tompkins Square label recently started releasing 78s. "A lot of new turntables play 78s, and many 78 collectors listen to their records on modern equipment," label founder Josh Rosenthal told Digital Music News. "Tom Waits, Elvis Costello and Nick Lowe have all recently released 78s. So I thought it would be fun to start a line of them."

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Damian Fanelli
Damian Fanelli

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor, and his non-Pulitzer-Prize-winning stories have appeared in Guitar Aficionado, Vintage Guitar, Total Guitar and countless other publications, including 13.7 metric tons of daily newspapers. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton and Ty Tabor chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas, was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron, a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums (one of which appears in the 2015 Disney film 'Tomorrowland' starring George Clooney and Britt Robertson). He's in two NYC-area bands and plays Teles with four-way switches, B-benders and semi-snazzy aftermarket pickups. He quotes Terry-Thomas twice daily.