Rock overtakes pop in UK album chart

Arctic Monkeys The Arctic Monkeys' AM was one of the UK's best-selling rock albums in 2013

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Rock music overtook pop in UK album sales last year, winning a bigger share of the market for the first time in five years.

Rod Stewart's Time was the best-selling album to be classified as rock by the Official Charts Company, followed by Arctic Monkeys and Bastille.

In total rock accounted for 33.8% of album sales, compared with 31% for pop, said industry body the BPI.

However, pop records still held the lead in single sales.

Some 36.2% of all single track sales were classed as pop, led by the likes of Katy Perry, Pink and Ellie Goulding.

Analysis

Rod Stewart

Anyone who listens to the radio may well have raised their eyebrows at this morning's news.

The biggest hits of last year were out-and-out pop songs: Daft Punk's Get Lucky and Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines; while the biggest-selling album was Emeli Sande's brazenly mainstream Our Version Of Events.

Rock's resurgence is helped by the Chart Company's rather woolly definition - which includes Mumford and Sons (surely a folk-pop band) and Rod Stewart (better suited to the MOR category).

But acts like Jake Bugg and Arctic Monkeys - the UK's most-streamed band last year - have given rock a much-needed shot in the arm. And forthcoming releases by U2 and Coldplay could see the genre maintain pole position in 2014.

Rock accounted for 21.4% of singles sold last year. It was followed by dance on 16.1%, helped by Daft Punk and Avicii, and R&B on 13.5%, thanks to Robin Thicke, Naughty Boy and Justin Timberlake.

BPI spokesman Gennaro Castaldo said: "While the appeal of pop remains consistent, the popularity of rock music tends to ebb and flow a little more, reflecting the excitement that can quickly build around new acts as they burst through.

"With Arctic Monkeys now taking on near-iconic status, and the likes of Jake Bugg and Bastille to name a few connecting with a new generation of fans, rock music looks set to enjoy another wonderfully vibrant period."

Dance music also fared well in 2013, recording its highest share of album sales since 2006 with 8.3%, thanks to homegrown acts such as Rudimental, Disclosure and Calvin Harris.

MOR/Easy Listening was responsible for 8.1% of album sales, buoyed by big-selling releases from Robbie Williams and Michael Buble.

But R&B dropped to its lowest share since 1995 with 5.7%, while hip-hop accounted for 3.6% of album sales.

Overall album sales in the UK dropped by 6.4% in 2013 to 94 million. It was the first year since the early 1980s that no album sold a million copies.

UK ALBUM SALES BY GENRE - 2013

Source: Official Charts Company / BPI

Rock

33.8%

Pop

31%

Dance

8.3%

MOR / Easy Listening

8.1%

R&B

5.7%

Hip-hop

3.6%

Classical

3.2%

Country

1.7%

Jazz

1.3%

Folk

1.2%

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