In a year of unprecedented lockdown challenges for physical retailers, one album in particular has thankfully kept the tills ringing for the independent record shops of the UK.
Ultra Mono by IDLES not only delivered the Bristol band their first Number 1 on the Official Albums Chart upon its release in October, but it became the fastest-selling vinyl release of the year too, and a firm favourite for indie record store shoppers, finishing just ahead of Yungblud to top the end-of-year Official Record Store Chart of 2020. (See full Top 10 below)
The weekly Official Record Store Chart was launched in 2012 in partnership with Record Store Day UK, polling 100+ of the UK’s top independent record shops, counting sales of CDs, vinyl and other formats across seven days. In 2021, the Official Charts Company reacted swiftly to set up tracking of home delivery sales for these independent outlets when many were forced to pivot their businesses online during the pandemic.
IDLES’ Mark Bowen reacts to the news with a video message of support for indie record shops:
“Just want to thank the Official Charts Company for recognising Ultra Mono as the greatest album of the 21st century…that’s not true, only joking…we’re Number 1 on the Official Record Store Chart 2020 which means that lots of people that did go out and buy the album did so supporting their local record store which is something that’s really important at the minute. If you’re going to buy a record, support independent local businesses, they need it as much as possible. Thanks to the fans, shout out to independent record stores. We’re top of the pops, Number 1 in the shops, a wop bop a loo bop a lop bam boom!”