Vinyl albums are on track to achieve their biggest sales for almost two decades, expected to pass the million mark by the end of the year.

New figures compiled by the Official Charts Company show that almost 800,000 vinyl albums have been sold in the first nine months of this year, which has already outstripped last year's total of 780,674.

The last time vinyl - which once looked close to extinction - hit seven-figure sales was in 1996 when they shifted 1,083,206 albums and The Score by Fugees was the year's biggest long-player.

The data, released by music industry body the BPI, shows that September has proved to be the busiest month of the year so far with 112,000 vinyl albums sold.

And last year's biggest seller - AM by Arctic Monkeys - is continuing to notch up the highest sales for 2014, ahead of Jack White's Lazaretto.

Vinyl albums hit an all-time low in 2007 with only 205,000 copies - a fifth of this year's predicted sale. The format fought back the following year as the vinyl revival began and the tally has continued to nudge upwards.

So far this year, 112 releases have sold in excess of 1,000 copies, more than double the 50 which had done so in the first nine months of last year. Only one of the top 10 vinyl albums for this year was actually released for the first time in 2014 - the self-titled debut album by Royal Blood.

BPI spokeswoman Lynne McDowell said: "Vinyl may once have been considered a by-product of a bygone era but it is now well and truly a flourishing format making a come-back in a digital age. In an increasingly-digitised world, it appears that music fans still crave a tangible product that gives them original artwork, high audio quality, and purity of sound.

"Vinyl enthusiasts are now able to enjoy the renaissance of the format with a string of releases being made available on the format from emerging and established acts.

:: Biggest sellers so far in 2014:

1. AM - Arctic Monkeys

2. Lazaretto - Jack White

3. Definitely Maybe - Oasis

4. Royal Blood - Royal Blood

5. Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin

6. The Stone Roses - The Stone Roses

7. Led Zeppelin III - Led Zeppelin

8. The Dark Side Of The Moon - Pink Floyd

9. Led Zeppelin II - Led Zeppelin

10. Whatever People Say I Am That's What I'm Not - Arctic Monkeys