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‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ & Taylor Swift Led Cassette Album Sales in 2023

Mr. Nimbus | 02/19/2024

The Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack franchise and Taylor Swift unspooled big numbers on cassette tape in 2023, as the combined sales of the two accounted for 29% of all cassette albums sold in the U.S. last year, according to data tracking firm Luminate. Further, the top five-selling cassette albums of 2023, as well as six of the top 10, were all Swift and Guardians titles (see list, below).

2023’s top-selling cassette album in the U.S. was the Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 soundtrack, released in 2014, with 18,000 sold. Swift’s 1989 (Taylor’s Version), released last October, was the No. 2-seller, with 17,500 sold.


  1. Soundtrack, Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 (18,000)
  2. Taylor Swift, 1989 (Taylor’s Version) (17,500)
  3. Soundtrack, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2: Awesome Mix Vol. 2 (16,000)
  4. Soundtrack, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3: Awesome Mix Vol. 3 (13,000)
  5. Taylor Swift, Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) (11,500)
  6. Nirvana, Bleach (8,000)
  7. Metallica, 72 Seasons (7,500)
  8. Soundtrack, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Mix, Vol. 1 (6,000)
  9. Soundtrack, Barbie: The Album (5,500)
  10. Phoebe Bridgers, Punisher (5,500)

Source: Luminate, for the tracking period Dec. 30, 2022, through Dec. 28, 2023.

In total, 436,400 cassette albums were sold in the U.S. in 2023, down just 0.75% as compared the configuration’s volume in 2022 (439,700).

Cassettes accounted for a mere 0.41% of the total 105.32 million albums sold in the U.S. across all configurations combined – cassette, vinyl, CD, digital download, etc. Cassettes were once the leading configuration for all album purchases in the U.S. – from the early 1980s until the early ‘90s. In 1994, for example, 40% of all albums sold were on cassette – with 246 million cassettes sold that year of an overall 615 million albums. Though the configuration now accounts for a tiny slice of total album sales, cassettes have staged a mini-comeback in the last decade. The once nearly dead cassette went from just 50,000 copies sold in the U.S. in 2014 to over 400,000 in each of the last two years. Once widely available at retail stores, cassette tapes are now frequently sold exclusively on an artist’s webstore and in collectible editions.

‘Guardians’ & Swift Sizzle on Tape

In 2023, the four Guardians soundtracks available on cassette (three film soundtracks and one TV soundtrack) sold 52,500 copies. As literal mixtapes factor into the story of Guardians of the Galaxy films, it’s not surprising that Guardians’ soundtracks on cassette sell well.

As for Swift, her catalog of albums available on cassette sold 74,500 in 2023.

Combined, the cassette sales of the Guardians albums and Swift’s albums totaled 127,000 in 2023 – accounting for just over 29% of all cassette album sales last year (127,000 of 436,400).

The Guardians albums have been consistent sellers on cassette tape since the first Guardians album, Awesome Mix Vol. 1, was released in 2014. Overall, the four Guardians albums have sold 295,000 copies on cassette, through Feb. 15, 2024.

This post was originally published on this site

Written by Mr. Nimbus

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