National Album Day is adopting a 1980s theme for its third edition, set for Saturday, October 10.
This year's event will honour the artists and music genres of the influential decade in the first in a series of campaign themes that will be rolled out annually. Billy Ocean, Blossoms, La Roux, The Psychedelic Furs and Toyah Willcox have been announced as official ambassadors, with further names to be announced in due course.
The initiative is organised jointly by record labels body the BPI and the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA), and is supported across the BBC, along with AIM and other music trade associations, retailers and digital platforms.
ERA CEO Kim Bayley said: “The '80s really had it all – glamour, fun and great music. After a horrible year of lockdown and bad news, National Album Day will be celebrated by digital services and retailers alike to give everyone a real lift.”
For many artists the album remains the ultimate expression of their creativity and the story they want to share
Geoff Taylor, BPI
Geoff Taylor, CEO of the BPI & BRIT Awards, added: “For many artists the album remains the ultimate expression of their creativity and the story they want to share. The '80s were a hugely creative time – musically and across other aspects of our pop culture, and it will be fascinating to engage in this year’s National Album Day through the lens of arguably the most influential decade in pop history.”
Special releases will include new albums, boxsets and classic reissues such as Duran Duran's Duran Duran, Paul Simon Graceland, The Stone Roses' eponymous debut LP and Smash Hits 80s.
Based on Official Charts data, 154 million albums or their equivalent were purchased, downloaded or streamed in 2019 – up 7.7% on the previous year, and even during the first six months of 2020, album equivalent sales have risen by 6.8%.
Iain McNay, chairman of Cherry Red Records, and a founding voice of National Album Day, said: “National Album Day exists to remind everyone of just how brilliant albums can be. The creativity and thought and often pure genius which is poured out by artists when making an album can easily be forgotten in our current world where the attention span is increasingly getting shorter and less focused. So National Album Day invites you to sit down, pour a glass of wine or make a cup of tea, and just listen without distraction to a favourite album... and time and time again you will hear things that you never knew were there.”
Over the past two years, National Album Day has been supported by the likes of Lewis Capaldi, Jess Glynne, Mark Ronson, Elbow, Paloma Faith, Alice Cooper, Novelist, Tom Odell, Mahalia and Orbital, and has hosted a variety of events and activations including Classic Album Sunday and Tape Notes events, in-store artist appearances, record store promotions, and a Network Rail exhibition in major cities across the UK.