The first ever National Album Day has been announced for October 13 to mark 70 years since the release of the first LP.
The day will be supported by a full week of events and activities aimed at celebrating the UK’s love for the album format.
Organised by BPI (British Phonograph Industry) and ERA (Entertainment Retailers Association) with support from BBC Music, activities have been planned for the week leading to the day, including dedicated programming from BBC Music, retail events, artists appearances and interviews and online listening parties.
The programme will also celebrate and pay tribute to the album sleeve as a work of art, and the huge contribution artwork has had to the album’s iconic appeal over the years.
The British public, including stores, radio stations and public spaces, have also been invited to nominate, share and play their favourite albums in full at 3:33pm on the day.
3.33pm has been selected as the time for this collective play through because of the speed at which most LP vinyl records are played – 33 1/3 rpm.
Music fans are encouraged to get involved by sharing their albums with the hashtag #NationalAlbumDay and following @AlbumDayUK on Twitter.
A focus is also to be given to the artists and producers who create these bodies of work, letting them lead the national conversation around the day.
One such artist, Paloma Faith, was one of the first artists to give support to the day and become an ambassador for the organisation. She said: ‘The way we engage with music may be changing, but for me the album remains the ultimate expression of the songwriter’s craft.’
As the official broadcast partner for the day, BBC Music has planned an extensive schedule of planning for the week building up to National Album Day which spans the majority of it’s radio channels including Radio 1, Radio 6 Music and 1Xtra.
The BBC will also be screening some it’s most celebrated music documentaries on BBC Four and on the BBC iPlayer.
James Stirling, head of Content commissioning, BBC Music, said: ‘BBC Music is proud to support the first National Album Day. The role of the album has evolved over 70 years – through vinyl and beautiful artwork to current streaming consumption – yet the story behind a great album remains an important part of British culture. We look forward to exploring the album in all its glory and telling these stories across the BBC.’
The first ever 12″ LP was released by Columbia in 1948 and was Mendelssohn’s Concerto in E Minor by Nathan Milstein on the violin with the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Bruno Walter.
The announcement of National Album Day comes at a time in which the format continues to show positive sales figures, proving the album itself is an enduringly relevant part of music culture.
Organisers plan to continue to grow National Album Day and hope it will become a keenly anticipated part of the music industry calendar.