DESPITE a global vinyl shortage and the ubiquity of streaming, sales of vinyl records last year were the highest seen for 30 years. More than five million vinyl records were sold in 2021.

Hold on a moment, this all sounds a little familiar.

Perhaps. The truth is vinyl sales have been growing for more than a decade now. Last year’s 8 per cent rise in sales marks the 14th consecutive year of growth for the format. Vinyl album sales haven’t been this high since 1990.

There can’t be that many people who don’t have their Beatles albums on vinyl now, surely?

I don’t know about that, but I do know that ABBA’s new album Voyage was the year’s best-selling vinyl album, followed by Adele’s 30. In fact, eight out of 10 sales of the album 30 in December were of physical copies – vinyl, CDs or cassettes – rather than via streaming.

You can still buy cassettes?

You can, and nearly 200,000 were sold last year.

Pity I don’t have a cassette player anymore. What about CDs? Are they "Down the Dumper" yet?

Someone else used to read Smash Hits. No, not at all. Some 14 million CDs were sold last year, so it remains the most popular physical format, though, in truth, it is just a drop in the ocean compared to streaming.

How so?

The public streamed the equivalent of 132m albums in 2021, which makes up for around 83% of sales in the UK over the last 12 months. Total album sales in 2021 amounted to 159m, up 2.5% on the year before.

Who was top of the pops then?

That would be Adele, who sold more albums across all formats than anyone else. Ed Sheeran had the bestselling single with Bad Habits and his album = (pronounced Equals in case you are in any doubt) was runner-up to Adele in album sales. Rapper Dave, Dua Lipa and Elton John were all in the top 10.

This all sounds good for the music industry.

Well, yes. But probably even better for the streaming industry. Remember, an artist needs to get 1,000 online streams to generate the same royalties as he or she would receive for one CD sale.

Ouch. So, who was the bestseller back in 1990 anyway?

That would have been …But Seriously by Phil Collins. Did you buy that one back in the day?

Cheeky. I was raving in 1990.

And Adele would have been a toddler. Just in case you need to be reminded.