Final Bowie album sells out on vinyl as grieving Millennials rush to purchase copies
Record stores across the world have sold out of the vinyl version of David Bowie’s new album, Blackstar, after grieving Millennials rushed to purchase copies following the announcement of his death at age 69.
The highly distinguished and intensely private British musician passed away on January 10th at his home in Manhattan, New York after an 18-month battle with liver cancer. Blackstar, his 26th and final studio album, was released two days prior, on his 69th birthday.
Geraldine Mendez, a spokesperson for Columbia Records, the company that manufactured and distributed the album, said they “totally did not anticipate” such an unusual surge in demand for the album on vinyl.
“In North America, we only pressed 20,000 copies, and all of them just flew off the shelves after David died,” said Mendez. “Our market research shows majority of the copies were snapped up by social media-savvy Millennials.”
Raine Melvin, 26, is among those lucky enough to secure a copy. The part-time Starbucks barista, who doesn’t even own a record player and currently lives with his mother in Portland, Oregon, immediately posted a selfie of himself holding the album on Facebook, accompanied by the caption “RIP Sir David Bowie. You were swell.” The post has already garnered over 200 likes.
Others, like 25-year-old public relations associate Vivian Kors, were less fortunate. Kors, who lives in Birmingham, United Kingdom, said she combed through every record store in town but could not find a single copy.
“I am really bummed. All of my mates as we speak are getting tons of likes on Instagram and Facebook with their Blackstar selfies while I’m sitting here not mourning David Bowie properly,” said Kors.
Kors said she doesn’t own any of Bowie’s music catalog but wants to get Blackstar specifically because “all of Twitter is talking about how great it is.”
“It’s supposed to be this final parting gift from him to his fans, because he knew he was going to die,” she said. “I think that’s rather brilliant and amazing.”
Mendez said Columbia Records has already ordered another vinyl pressing of 100,000 copies in North America alone.
“Hopefully, record stores will carry the vinyl again within 6 to 8 weeks. We certainly hope this new batch meets the demand from Millennials who want to post selfies of themselves with David Bowie’s final masterpiece,” said Mendez.
Industry forecasters in the United States of America expect Blackstar to move 130,000 copies and debut on top of the Billboard Hot 100 next week.
Watch the video for Blackstar track “Lazarus” below.