Minimum Gauge: Vinyl is On Pace to Outsell CDs Very Soon

Plus, Lana Del Rey lashes out at venerable music critic Ann Powers over kind and thoughtful review and John Legend stirs a presidential tweetstorm after not showing appreciation for Trump's work on criminal justice reform

click to enlarge Minimum Gauge: Vinyl is On Pace to Outsell CDs Very Soon
Photo: Nihal Demirci
HOT: Vinyl vs. CDs

The recent mid-year sales report from the Recording Industry Association of America revealed that streaming now accounts for 80 percent of revenue in the music business. Meanwhile, vinyl sales have grown slightly as well over the past year, but already low CD sales have become stagnant. Barring some sort of CD renaissance, it’s likely that vinyl sales will outpace CDs as soon as by the end of this year. Several outlets, including Rolling Stone, say it will be the first time vinyl has outsold CDs since 1986. It’s still a relatively small slice of the sales pie. Despite the growth, vinyl sales still only accounted for 4 percent of all music revenue in the first half of 2018.

WARM: Lana vs. Critic

Thanks to the decline of critical music outlets and the ease of sharing knee-jerk reactions on social media, artists seem to be more frequently hitting out against music critics these days (and — usually unintentionally — sending their army of followers to them for follow-up attacks). It’s more understandable when the angry response is to a negative review, but Lana Del Rey recently attacked legendary writer Ann Powers over a nuanced, thoughtful and ultimately glowing review that even some legacy acts would kill for. Powers’ essay about Del Rey’s new Norman Fucking Rockwell! seemed to trigger the singer with a relatively off-the-cuff mention of her use of personas in her career. “I don’t even relate to one observation you made about the music,” Del Rey sniped at Powers on Twitter in a Mean Girls-ish attempt to belittle one of the greatest music writers of all time.

COLD: Trump vs. Legend(s)

On a recent episode of the Twitter reality show that is Donald Trump’s presidency, POTUS aimed his ire at “boring musician” John Legend, who’d just appeared on an MSNBC special about criminal justice reform. As is often the case, Trump was angry that he was not properly praised for his contributions (namely for signing the bipartisan First Step Act into law and, presumably, for helping to free a prisoner at the request of Kim Kardashian West), so he singled out Legend and his wife Chrissy Teigen, who he referenced as only Legend’s “filthy mouthed wife.” Legend later tweeted, “Melania, please praise this man,” while Teigen wrote, “lol what a pussy ass bitch. tagged everyone (in the Tweet) but me.”