Townsend Music 2022 Year In Review - Part 2
Despite the ongoing popularity of music streaming, UK sales of vinyl have grown for the past 15 years, with figures reaching £116.8m in 2022. We at Townsend Music are proud to play a role in the ongoing evolution of physical music consumption, delivering the goods directly to fans from hundreds of online Artist and Label Stores. To take us into another jam-packed January, here's Part 2 of our 2022 Year In Review, including all the amazing campaigns, goings-on and chart action that we were honoured to be a part of in the second half of 2022.
Townsend Music's summer heated up when we had the pleasure of welcoming Deaf Havana into Townsend HQ, here to sign copies of their new album The Present Is A Foreign Land. While the Norfolk alternative rockers were in the building, we took advantage of our unique space by hosting a live stream on the Deaf Havana Instagram account. The band performed special versions of 'Kids' and 'On The Wire', answered live questions from fans and offered strictly limited exclusive Deluxe CDs of their new album for a special price. We saw this thrilling performance as the perfect chance to re-launch the Townsend Music YouTube Channel and kicked things off with a video of the full performance.
Also in July, Kippax indie-rockers The Music announced a live album to be released on limited edition signed formats in partnership with Towsend Music D2C+. Store bundles included signed setlists from their rapturously received comeback show at Leeds Temple Newsam Park. The month rolled on with album launches from Tom Chaplain, The Cult and A-Ha, plus a huge reissue campaign for Oasis' 1997 behemoth Be Here Now. Featuring store-exclusive 12" picture disc and cassette editions, (and a replica of the original 1997 tour VIP sticky pass included in every bundle) the re-release climbed to Number 6 on the Official UK Album Charts the following month.
"Be Here Now stands as a unique album in the Oasis catalogue with its unrepentant excess and supersize swagger"
Summer 2022 also saw us revamp our own social media output with an increased focus on short-form videos. Our Release Of The Week posts are at the forefront of this strategy; July saw our most popular Instagram Reel of the year via a collaboration with pop royalty Bananarama, celebrating the vinyl edition of their newly-released Masquerade album.
Our renewed focus on short-form video continued through the second half of the year with the growth of our Townsend Music TikTok channel, offering product videos, 'Throwback Thursdays', unboxings and more. Our most popular video so far is our homage to the 7-inch vinyl and cassette reissues of 'Especially For You' by Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan, featuring a sneaky shot of the Neighbours finale!
August's Artist Store launches included an 11-LP retrospective from The Alan Parsons Project, a new album from Supergrass's Danny Goffey and our biggest campaign of the year: Faith In The Future by Louis Tomlinson. The former One Direction member hyped his 14-track sophomore album with the singles 'Bigger Than Me' and 'Out Of My System' and the album was made available to pre-order from the Official Store on exclusive limited edition formats including deluxe double marble-coloured vinyl, picture disc and three colour cassettes. August also saw the publication of our most-read feature article on the blog this year. 6 Super Side-Effects Of Record Collecting recounts what happens when you dust off a record player after a decade of streaming music and jump head-first back into the world of vinyl and proved very popular among our community. The presence of Townsend Records' trusty guard dog Frank as the cover image couldn't have hurt either!
September saw plenty of cause for celebration in the Official UK Album Charts with Top 10 showings for Mark Owen, D-Block Europe and Suede, whose Autofiction climbed to Number 2. Also in the Top 10 in September were British indie legends Embrace with How To Be A Person Like Other People, released in partnership with Townsend Music D2C+ on the band's own Mo'betta Records imprint.
BBC Radio 2's Album Of The Week on release, How To Be A Person Like Other People was a critical and commercial success with the Artist Store-exclusive formats all personally signed by the band during a trip to Townsend HQ.
“There’s little to match the shivering mood created by the heroic bombast in every note” - (Record Collector)
Another September highlight was the launch of the South Yorkshire indie rockers The Reytons' Artist Store, offering their highly-anticipated second album What's Rock And Roll? on no less than six chippy-themed coloured vinyl formats.
The band's fierce DIY philosophy and independent approach have made them the perfect partners for Townsend Music D2C+ services, allowing the band to maintain artistic control and retain their own publishing rights while enjoying the world-class D2C fulfilment, e-commerce stores and digital marketing that the Townsend Music platform offers. Look out for the new album at the end of January 2023; essential listening for fans of rabble-rousing anthems from the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Milburn and The Sherlocks!
For even more D2C+-related Yorkshire indie-rock action this month, we had the pleasure of The Music's company, who popped into Townsend HQ to sign copies of their Live At Temple Newsam album.
Alongside album campaign launches for DMA's, You Me At Six and Hundred Reasons, October saw the launch of one of the most unique products on Townsend Music this year. Placebo teamed up with British artist Stuart Semple to develop a unique colour of paint and a very special limited edition double A-Side 7” vinyl record, featuring two of Placebo's most beloved cover versions.
In this unprecedented collaboration, the band worked with the visual artist to author an entirely new colour, aptly named PLACEBO. PLACEBO paint, available exclusively on the Official Store, changes from a deep purple hue, through black, into a shimmering blue. The artwork of the 'Shout' / Running Up That Hill' 7" single, also by Semple, enacts a physical concept that enables you to interact with the packaging to extend the figure's shout... literally!
Official UK Album Chart successes in October boasted Top 10 hits for Craig David, The Big Moon and Simple Minds and Townsend Music D2C+ releases included Collabro's Be Still My Soul and Betty Boo's Boomerang. Both labours of love for Townsend Music, Betty's comeback album was available to pre-order on exclusive pink vinyl and CDs, signed by Ms. Boo on a visit to Townsend Music HQ.
“She’s having a good time, we’re having a good time – and we wouldn’t have it any other way!” (Retro Pop) ★★★★★
Our biggest album campaign of the year finally dropped on the 11th of November with Louis Tomlinson's Faith In The Future (BMG). This huge global release topped the Official UK Album Chart and also landed at Number 1 in Belgium and Spain, Number 2 in Australia, Germany and The Netherlands, and went Top 10 in Italy, Sweden, New Zealand, Ireland, USA and more... a busy week in the warehouse picking and packing those international orders!
Another Top 5 Official UK Album Chart triumph came from Luke Evans with A Song For You, the Welsh singer-songwriter's second album, featuring duets with Charlotte Church and Nicole Kidman.
Artist Store launches in November included Badlands On Fire, the debut solo album from The Music guitarist Adam Nutter, plus live releases from rock and pop legends Del Amitri and James. James' brand new album was recorded at Blueprint Studios in Manchester with a 22-piece orchestra and a gospel choir, arranged and conducted by Joe Duddell, featuring brand new versions of many of the band’s greatest hits. We also had our second Townsend Music HQ live session of the year when Dea Matrona visited us to sign their new release and treat us to a few songs, direct from the warehouse floor. As this video attests, these ladies are an upcoming act with the vocal talent and songwriting chops to back it up!
Meanwhile at our sister shop Townsend Records, the shelves were being stocked, ready for Record Store Day Black Friday 2022. On the big day, customers could take a flick through limited edition releases from the likes of David Bowie, Duran Duran, Joe Strummer, Madonna, Yard Act and many more, with all remaining releases open for online orders on Townsend Music Store early the next morning.
With the end of the year in our sights, we burnished the winter months with tasty reissue campaigns from The Blow Monkeys, A Flock Of Seagulls and 2-Tone Records' Dance Craze. Oasis memes and memories continue to be amongst our most favoured content; a last-minute contender for our most popular Instagram post of the year arrived on 18th December with our simple tribute to Oasis's 'Whatever' single, originally released on 19th December 1994. The many fansites who remain dedicated to keeping the Oasis flame burning - and the Manchester band's profile as elevated as ever - include oasisfansclub, who Collaborated with Townsend Music's Instagram account to share this image.
One last surprise that 2022 held in store was an Official UK Singles Chart Number 1 with LadBaby's (and money-saving expert Martin Lewis's) reworking of the iconic Band Aid song ‘Do They Know it's Christmas?' A limited edition signed CD single of the track was available on LadBaby's Official Store with all proceeds donated to Trussel Trust and The Band Aid Trust to tackle food poverty ❤️
"Mark and Roxanne Hoyle are the first act in UK chart history to claim five Christmas Number 1 singles, undeniably cementing them in the history books" - OfficialCharts.com
Finally, we thank you, our customers and community, for all the support you've shown us in 2022. Here's to a happy and healthy 2023! Read Townsend Music 2022 Year In Review - Part 1 here.