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Adele Causes Global Vinyl Shortage with New Album 30

An order of 500,000 vinyl copies of Adele's new album has led to manufacturing delays across the industry

Adele vinyl
Illustration by Ben Kaye
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    There’s been a major delay in vinyl production lately, and it’s largely Adele’s fault.

    OK, that may be overstating it just a bit. But according to a new report in Variety, the songstress had to turn her upcoming album 30 in six months ago in order to have vinyl ready for the day the album drops — to the detriment of nearly every other new album release in the industry.

    “While the company declined official comment, Sony Music sources tell Variety that more than 500,000 vinyl copies of 30 have been manufactured in the months leading up to the album’s November 19 release, with the company pushing catalog titles off its overseas pressing plants to ensure there won’t be any shortage of Adele LPs going into the holidays,” the article reads.

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    Delays in the production process have been just one unfortunate side effect of the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing labor shortage’s affect on the supply chain, and artists the industry over are feeling the squeeze. “If you’re in a band and you DON’T finish recording a new album in the next 3 months the vinyl won’t come out until 2023. No pressure though,” tweeted Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! earlier this week.

    Meanwhile, Ed Sheeran recently dished on the vinyl conundrum in an interview while promoting his new album =, saying, “There’s like three vinyl factories in the world, so you have to do it like really upfront — and Adele had basically booked out all the vinyl factories, so we had to get a slot and get our album in there. It was like me, Coldplay, Adele, Taylor [Swift], ABBA, Elton [John], all of us were trying to get our vinyls printed at the same time.”

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    While Sheeran’s assertion about the number of vinyl pressings plants in the country is a bit off — there are actually dozens — his point about the competition to get the LPs made still stands. Additionally, increased demand for vinyl in general and unique colorways outside of the standard black, as well as big box stores like Target and Walmart wanting exclusives have also contributed to production delays.

    In the lead-up to 30‘s release later this month, Adele has unveiled the album’s tracklist, which includes lead single “Easy on Me” and well as uber-relatable album cut “I Drink Wine” and a collab with Chris Stapleton. She also announced her first pair of tour dates in more than half a decade. The shows are currently set for next July at London’s Hyde Park.

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