Rock turns the tables o pop the BPI survey of music buying tastes reveals.
The fact that Pop, in the shape of three Now compilations (86, 85 & 84 respectively), One Direction (Midnight Memories) and Emeli Sandé (Our Version of Events), accounted for the five best-selling albums of 2013, was still not enough to stop Rock overtaking it as the most popular music genre of last year, according to the latest BPI annual survey of music genres based on Official Charts Company data.
While the upper echelons of the year-end charts were dominated by Pop releases, a mix of new albums and solid catalogue sales across the total number of titles purchased in 2013 helped Rock's overall share of sales inch above that of Pop's for the first time in three years.
Boosted by the likes of Arctic Monkeys (AM), Bastille (Bad Blood), Jake Bugg (self-titled), Mumford and Sons and Rod Stewart, whose album Time sold over half a million copies, Rock music generated a third (33.8 per cent) of all the UK album sales during the 12-month period – its highest share in five years. Pop as a category, which came out on top in the 2012 survey, was not far behind, however, on 31 per cent.
The depth and popularity of Rock music catalogue also contributed to the genre's strong performance in 2013: Of the top 10,000 best-selling albums in 2013, over 4,000 - 40 per cent - were classified as Rock. The revival of interest in the vinyl format, which is often regarded as an extension of Rock culture and in 2013 saw its highest level of sales in over a decade, arguably also supports the overall trend towards Rock music.
Over half of all Rock music purchased in the UK last year was defined as Contemporary Rock (18.8 per cent out of the 33.8 per cent figure), while 7.1 per cent of the total was A.O.R (Adult Orientated Rock) and 6.8 per cent was categorised as Metal/Heavy. Progressive or 'Prog' Rock (0.8 per cent) and Punk (0.3 per cent) made up the rest of the Rock category.