Music Industry

The vinyl shortage is about to get worse. Blame Adele.

For the last several months, vinyl records have spiked in price as supply chain shortages get worse. Everything has been disrupted: manufacture of the lacquer discs need to press records, raw polyvinyl chloride, pressing plants that are old and busted, new pressing equipment that’s on forever backorder, and some weird COVID fallout. It’s awful. And it’s about to get worse.

With Adele about to release her 30 album in a couple of weeks, her label, Sony, has an order for 500,000 vinyl editions (and given the chances of this being a record-breaking release, that’s probably nowhere near enough).

Getting those records into stores by November 19 is going to be a challenge. To free up production, Sony has moved the pressing of non-Adele stuff to its overseas plants. That, of course, will just delay their releases. Some acts report having to wait nine or more months for their order to come in.

Interesting point: To have these records ready, Adele would have had to turn over the finished songs to Sony at least six months ago. That there haven’t been any reports of leaks is incredible.

Also not helping are new vinyl releases from Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, Taylor Swift, and Elton John.

I found this quote from Variety interesting. This is from Carrie Colliton, one of the founders of Record Store Day.

There are things you don’t ever think about happening. Like, there is a shortage of pellets because Dallas was cold, and because lumber is expensive, more people are putting vinyl flooring in their houses. And it’s the same materials, and it’s a hell of a lot easier to sell vinyl pellets to the flooring companies. Those are all things nobody thinks about when they can’t get their record made or can’t pick up the record they preordered because the stores got allocated. Some of the reasons this is happening are just kind of mind-blowing.

Looks like it’ll be a rough Christmas for vinyl fans.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37921 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “The vinyl shortage is about to get worse. Blame Adele.

  • why position this as blame on an artist and not the label. seems like a short-sighted statement to blame the female artist and not the multi-nation corporation.


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