The music industry experienced some incredible changes during the 60s, from the rise of Beatlemania and British invasion to the Woodstock festival and the influence of psychedelic rock and new genres. The record industry also experienced some major shifts, from vinyl records to 8-track tapes, cassette tapes, and digital downloads. The decade also saw a shift in the structure of the music industry, with a new emphasis on youth culture and market research. With these changes came new sales records for singles, albums, and other recorded music. The sixties remains one of the most dynamic decades when it comes to music sales.
Beatles' "Hey Jude"
The Beatles' "Hey Jude" remains the biggest-selling vinyl single of all time. The ballad was recorded during the groups' "Let It Be" sessions, which took place in early 1969. Originally released as a single in August, "Hey Jude" spent a total of 11 weeks at the top of the US charts, becoming the group's longest-running number one hit. The single also topped the charts in the UK and several other countries. The song was released on vinyl, as well as seven-inch and ten-inch vinyl discs. "Hey Jude" has sold an estimated three million copies on vinyl since its release. The song's length (7 minutes and 29 seconds) and unusual structure – with no chorus – also contributed to its high sales figures. The vinyl single of "Hey Jude" features one continuous track, without any breaks. The song's length also made it impossible to release it on one vinyl disc, meaning buyers had to purchase two records to own the full song. The Beatles' "Hey Jude" is also the best-selling vinyl single of all time when adjusted for inflation.
The Beatles - Hey Jude
The Rolling Stones' "Let's Spend the Night Together"
The Rolling Stones' "Let's Spend the Night Together" remains the biggest-selling vinyl single by a British group. The song was released in June 1967, roughly one year after the group's previous chart-topper, "Get Off of My Cloud". "Let's Spend the Night Together" spent five weeks at the top of the UK charts and reached number four in the US. The single was released on vinyl and 7-inch discs and has sold an estimated one million copies. Although vinyl singles account for only a fraction of overall music sales, vinyl records remain an important part of the record industry. Many new releases are also issued on limited edition vinyl. The vinyl record industry is the second-largest source of revenue for the music industry. Vinyl record sales continue to grow each year.
Rolling Stones LIVE - "Let's Spend The Night Together" TOTP '67
Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge over Troubled Water"
Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge over Troubled Water" is the biggest-selling album of all time, having sold approximately 33 million copies worldwide. The folk rock duo recorded "Bridge over Troubled Water" between April and October 1969, mostly in New York City. The album features the hits "Bridge over Troubled Water", "Cecilia" and "The Boxer". It was the duo's final album together, as they split shortly after its release. "Bridge over Troubled Water" was released on vinyl and cassette tapes, as well as 8-track cartridges and reel-to-reel tapes. It has sold an estimated 33 million copies. The album has been certified diamond by the RIAA and is one of only three albums to be certified diamond by the organization (the other two are Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and the Soundtrack for "Grease"). "Bridge over Troubled Water" is also the best-selling folk rock album of all time.
Simon & Garfunkel - Bridge over Troubled Water (from The Concert in Central Park)
Bill Cosby's "Summertime"
Bill Cosby's "Summertime" is the biggest-selling children's album of all time, with an estimated sales figure of five million. The album, which features classic children's songs, such as "The Wheels on the Bus", "Old MacDonald", "This Land Is Your Land", and "The Bunny Hop", was released on vinyl in September 1967.
Groovy Gravy - Quincy Jones & Bill Cosby
Elvis Presley's "Only You" and "Good Luck Charm"
Elvis Presley's "Only You" and "Good Luck Charm" are the biggest-selling singles by an artist whose main occupation was acting. The songs were released as a double A-side in the UK in 1962 and reached number three on the charts. "Only You" and "Good Luck Charm" were released on vinyl and have sold an estimated three million copies. Elvis Presley was one of the biggest pop stars of the 1960s and remains one of the best-selling artists of all time. His singles and albums have sold an estimated 650 million copies worldwide. The King of Rock 'n' Roll may have been an actor by trade, but his music sales are definitely worthy of a spot in this list.
Elvis Presley's Only You
The music industry saw a lot of changes during the 1960s. British bands such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones dominated the charts, and the folk rock scene also flourished. This decade also saw the rise of Motown, psychedelic rock, and other genres. The format of music releases also changed, with the introduction of vinyl and the decline of shellac records. The record industry also experienced some major shifts, from vinyl records to 8-track tapes, cassette tapes, and digital downloads. These changes had a significant impact on sales figures. The decade also saw a shift in the structure of the music industry, with a new emphasis on youth culture and market research. With these changes came new sales records for singles, albums, and other recorded music.