A Vinyl Release Returns Tyler, the Creator to No. 1 After 10 Months

Forty-three weeks ago, in June 2021, the rapper, singer and Baudelaire-referencing cultural omnivore Tyler, the Creator released “Call Me if You Get Lost,” his sixth studio album.

Critics were fascinated by its high-concept throwback to the style of mid-2000s mixtapes, and fans embraced Tyler’s return to straight-up rap after a detour into neo-soul on “Igor,” his previous album. “Call Me” opened at No. 1, appeared on numerous year-end critics’ lists, and this month took home the Grammy Award for best rap album — just as “Igor” did two years ago.

But something had been missing since the initial rollout of “Call Me”: its vinyl edition. As early as August of last year, Tyler had hinted at his frustration with the delay. “Call Me,” like so many other pandemic-era albums, had seen its vinyl version pushed back by many months. The reason for Tyler’s delay was unclear, but many other artists found their LPs held up by supply-chain chokeholds and the limited production capacity of the overtaxed vinyl industrial complex.

Now “Call Me” has finally been released on vinyl — and returned to No. 1.

The album tops the latest Billboard album chart with the equivalent of 59,000 sales in the United States. Of those, 49,500 were for the vinyl version of “Call Me” — on two LPs — which were sold only through Tyler’s website. It is the biggest week for a hip-hop album on vinyl since 1991, when reliable data used to track music sales began by SoundScan, a predecessor of Luminate, the name of the data service that now powers Billboard’s charts.

The total sales figure for “Call Me” also incorporates 11.5 million streams and about 1,500 other sales of CDs, cassettes and album downloads, according to Luminate.

Also this week, Morgan Wallen holds at No. 2 with “Dangerous: The Double Album,” while Lil Durk’s “7220,” last week’s chart-topper, falls to No. 3. The “Encanto” soundtrack is No. 4 and Olivia Rodrigo’s “Sour” is No. 5.

Album sales have been slow lately, with “7220” last week notching the lowest sales for a No. 1 album in three years. But that may change soon, with a string of high-profile new releases expected in coming weeks by Jack Harlow (due May 6), Kendrick Lamar (May 13), Harry Styles (May 20) and BTS (June 10).

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