'Albums matter to artists and fans': National Album Day returns in 2019

'Albums matter to artists and fans': National Album Day returns in 2019

National Album Day is returning this year following a successful inaugural edition in 2018.

As exclusively revealed in the latest edition of Music Week, National Album Day 2019 will take place on Saturday, October 12.

The event is staged by the BPI and ERA with support from industry organisations including AIM and UK Music.

While National Album Day is not billed as a market-boosting initiative, the event had a positive impact last year. Unlike Record Store Day, NAD covers all formats. This year’s theme of Don’t Skip encourages music fans to consume albums in full. 

BBC Sounds will support National Album Day with programming to celebrate the long-player, including new and classic LPs.

While pure sales of albums are down, the BPI’s overall consumption measure showed an increase of almost 6% last year to 143 million units. And 4.2m vinyl LPs were sold – a 2,000% rise since their low point in 2007.

Kim Bayley, chief executive of ERA, said: “After the success of last year's National Album Day, ERA and the Record Store Day team are thrilled to be working with our friends and colleagues at the BPI and BBC again. We have seen first-hand the success that can be achieved when labels, retailers and the industry come together as united force so we’re expecting an even bigger and better celebration to highlight the art of the album and the joy of long-form listening to music fans of all ages.”

Geoff Taylor, chief executive BPI & BRIT Awards, said: “The album is where an artist gives the fullest expression to their creative vision at a given moment in time. It’s a musical novel, where multiple themes can intertwine to deliver a cultural experience deeper than a single song, the summit of a performer’s art. We believe that albums matter to artists and to fans, and after a successful first outing in 2018, we’re excited to step up our celebrations for National Album Day in 2019.”

Paul Pacifico, CEO of AIM said: “As music consumption continues to evolve in the digital age, it’s now more important than ever to celebrate the album format. The holistic experience of long-form listening has defined some of the greatest releases of the modern era, and it remains hugely influential. After the success of the inaugural National Album Day, we can’t wait to see what this year holds.” 

We’re expecting an even bigger and better celebration to highlight the art of the album

Kim Bayley

Iain McNay, chairman, Cherry Red Records, and one of the founding voices of NAD, said:

“As we progress with increasing speed towards a world of shorter and shorter attention spans it is vital we all take the time to listen to the brilliance of our favourite artists. National Album Day is a perfect opportunity to do this. It’s a great chance for people to sit, listen, and allow themselves to fall into the world of somebody else’s genius.”

Artist ambassadors announced for 2019 so far include Lewis Capaldi, Elbow, Mahalia and Mark Ronson.

Elbow said: “Some artists see the album as a collection of short stories, we see the album as a novel. Songs are often included or omitted on account of the balance of the overall record rather than on their individual merits. To suggest the album is under threat because of playlists is to suggest that movies will disappear on account of television, they are two completely different things.”

Mahalia, who releases her debut in September, said: "I've been an 'album girl’ ever since I was a kid. I've always been more interested in a 40-minute listen over a four-minute one. I think it came from the way my parents used to play music around the house and put on different albums at dinner, when I really got into listening to full projects whilst eating together and talking about our days. I found it comforting then and I still do now. 

“I see myself as an 'album artist, which in my world means timeless music that you don't skip past. I want to make whole pieces of work that other little girls like me find comfort in listening to; a 40- to 60-minute dreamland where they can be away from the world. That's why I'm supporting National Album Day. Streaming has changed everything. I want the kids younger than me to feel about albums how I did."

Ronson added: “The other day I was feeling down, wandering through Brooklyn with no direction home, and I happened across the WFMU record fair. I spent a lot of my 20s in record fairs, but hadn’t been to one in a while. Instantly the sight of all the records, mostly in bins, some tacked onto makeshift cardboard dividers, lifted my entire mood. The infinite possibility of stumbling across some random 60s psych record or a rare soul record I had never heard of felt so invigorating. All the dealers with their crazy, wildly nerdy knowledge. This community of people who existed around this one thing – the album. I was so happy to be a part of that. To care so much about one thing. The album has brought me pure joy since I was old enough to remember. I don’t think it will ever stop doing that.” 

Last year’s NAD event coincided with the 70th anniversary of the LP, with artist ambassadors including Paloma Faith, Public Service Broadcasting, Jess Glynne, Novelist, Alice Cooper, and Tom Odell supporting the campaign. It was also celebrated through retail events, Classic Album Sundays artist Q&As and playbacks, and a Network Rail exhibition of iconic album artwork.

A social media campaign at 3.33pm on the day saw fans unifying to listen to their favourite album. Details of NAD 2019 activity will be announced in the coming months – the toolkit for participants is available here.

To read the National Album Day exclusive interviews pick up the latest issue – or subscribers can click here.

To subscribe and never miss an industry story click here.


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