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Rocker Jack White Takes Vinyl Revival to the Next Level

We already know there's a vinyl revival going on, with new record shops popping up in cities from London to New York, but rocker Jack White, previously of The White Stripes, is taking it to the next level.

His latest album "Lazaretto" broke the record for the largest first-week sales for a vinyl album since NielsenSoundScan began tracking sales in 1991.

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Jack White performs during the performs during the 2014 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival on June 14, 2014 in Manchester, Tennessee.
Tim Mosendfelder | Getty Images
Jack White performs during the performs during the 2014 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival on June 14, 2014 in Manchester, Tennessee.

The vinyl LP version of the album, which is the second No. 1 album for the singer, sold 40,000 copies, beating the debut of Pearl Jam's "Vitalogy," which sold 34,000 vinyl LPs in its first week in 1994, according to Billboard.

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Billboard also noted that the album sold a grand total of 138,000 copies during the week ended June 15. Vinyl sales of the album accounted for 28.9 percent of those first-week sales, nearly beating the 41,000 CDs sold, which accounted for 30 percent. Digital sales still trump both those older formats, though, as 57,000 downloads of the album accounted for 41.1 percent of sales.

This is obviously a win for Black, who's managed to make his vinyl appealing to listeners by counting on more than the simple nostalgia factor. The vinyl version of "Lazaretto" offers extra features, including hidden tracks, the ability to play the LP at three different speeds, and the possibility to play side A from the inside to the outside of the record. The record also has a hologram.

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Even so, big wins when it comes to album sales just aren't what they used to be: As Rolling Stone concluded, "138,000 is sparse for one of the year's biggest rock albums."

—Marine Cole, The Fiscal Times

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