'Rare albums are at the highest price ever' - CD revival hits Norwich

Kevan Alderton of Out of Time on Magdalen Street.

Kevan Alderton of Out of Time on Magdalen Street. - Credit: Casey Cooper-Fiske

First it was vinyl but now a CD revival is alive and kicking in Norwich's record stores.

But forget getting big bucks for Britney Spears - only rare and alternative albums in vogue.

It comes after online music marketplace, Discogs, reported a 37pc rise in CD sales during 2020, with the NME confirming earlier this week that the revival was on.

But many of Norwich's record retailers say the revival has been going on for some time perhaps even as long as vinyl.

The CD racks on Beatniks on Magdalen Street.

The CD racks on Beatniks on Magdalen Street. - Credit: Casey Cooper-Fiske

John Naylor of Beatniks in Magdalen Street said the store had seen a steady stream of CD sales since music lovers made the move back to the physical format in the early 2010s.

He said: "When downloads and streaming became popular sales for CDs dropped right down.

John Naylor of Beatniks on Magdalen Street.

John Naylor of Beatniks on Magdalen Street. - Credit: Casey Cooper-Fiske

"They gradually started coming up and about 10 years ago they became popular again so we have been selling more but the revival happened before the NME started reporting on it the other day.

Beatniks on Magdalen Street.

Beatniks on Magdalen Street. - Credit: Casey Cooper-Fiske

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"The market has split, you've got common CDs which are worthless and then rare stuff, which hasn't been reissued because they've been busy reissuing vinyl, which is at the highest price it's ever been.

The CD racks of Beatniks on Magdalen Street.

The CD racks of Beatniks on Magdalen Street. - Credit: Casey Cooper-Fiske

"The quantity I sell hasn't changed it's stayed at a relatively good level since vinyl came back."

At Fine City Sounds in Pottergate, Andrew Watson said CDs weren't always the easiest sell, saying customers were more choosy with their CDs.

Andrew Watson of Fine City Sounds.

Andrew Watson of Fine City Sounds. - Credit: Casey Cooper-Fiske

He said: "Common stuff like Britney Spears isn't selling but it does on vinyl. But rarer stuff like prog, indie and Scandinavian metal will make good money on CD.

A selection of CDs in Fine City Sounds.

A selection of CDs in Fine City Sounds. - Credit: Casey Cooper-Fiske

"The band that sells well on CD is Hawkwind - some of their stuff has never been reissued so you can get £10 or £15 for it.

"Most of the CD revival is hype."

Fine City Sounds on Pottergate.

Fine City Sounds on Pottergate. - Credit: Casey Cooper-Fiske

But Kevan Alderton at Out of Time on Magdalen Street said the vinyl revival hadn't arrived in his shop yet.

Kevan Alderton of Out of Time on Magdalen Street.

Kevan Alderton of Out of Time on Magdalen Street. - Credit: Casey Cooper-Fiske

He said: "CDs have been in slow decline for 10 to 15 years, since streaming came in.

"If you're a proper music fan you'll buy vinyl.

Out of Time on Magdalen Street.

Out of Time on Magdalen Street. - Credit: Casey Cooper-Fiske

"CDs are cheap if you want something you should buy it, the most expensive stuff is like £3 or £4.

"Bands that sell well on CD are Hawkwind, Pink Floyd and the Beatles.

CDs on display at Out of Time on Magdalen Street.

CDs on display at Out of Time on Magdalen Street. - Credit: Casey Cooper-Fiske

"The CD revival might be a false dawn - vinyl is still number one."

CD treasure troves

If you can find any of these in your rack you could make yourself a small fortune.

These are the ten CDs which sold for the most cash on Discogs.

  • Coil - Live Box, sold for £2,375
  • Various artists - Woodstock: Back To The Garden: The Definitive 50th Anniversary Archive, sold for £2,128
  • Michael Jackson - Smile, sold for £2,016
  • Bob Dylan - The 50th Anniversary Collection, sold for £1,956
  • Elvis Presley - The Complete Elvis Presley Masters, sold for £1,472
  • Toru Takemitsu - Complete Takemitsu Edition, sold for £1,471
  • The Grateful Dead - 30 Trips Around The Sun, sold for £1,879
  • Pet Shop Boys - 5 Songs From Our History: Pop Art The Hits, sold for £1,370
  • Roger Waters - The Wall, sold for £1,349
  • Richter - The 100th Anniversary Edition, sold for £1,329