Ed Sheeran said that Adele’s much-anticipated 30 influenced the rollout of his own album Equals (stylized as “=”) on Friday (October 29), three weeks before Adele’s fourth album is slated for release.
During an interview with an Australian radio show last Friday, he revealed that he hurried to finish Equals two months in advance so it could be released on vinyl. When it comes to unveiling his new music, Sheeran says he doesn’t get nervous because he “can’t do anything more on the writing, recording side.”
“The album wasn’t, like, finished this week and then handed in. I handed it in in July ’cause it had to get printed on vinyl,” he said. “There’s like, three vinyl factories in the world, so you have to do it really [early]. And Adele had basically booked out all the vinyl factories, so we had to get a slot and get our album in there.”
Sheeran also mentioned Coldplay, Taylor Swift, ABBA, and Elton John, since they were all “trying to get vinyls printed at the same time.”
Vinyl records regaining popularity in the last decade has caused major issues for manufacturers, and the handful of remaining pressing plants around the globe aren’t able to meet the high demand, Insider reports.
Vinyl factories are unable to keep up with the current demand of about 400 million units, with the “capacity to manufacture 160 million albums a year.” On top of that, there’s only one company left that produces the lacquer discs essential to the vinyl stamping process, which is located in Japan. The one other company that produced lacquer discs burnt down in February.
He said that he’s been working hard to promote the record. “Honestly man, there’s really no stone left unturned. I’m doing every media outlet that I can fit in, I’ve prerecorded a load of content,” Sheeran said on the Australian radio show. “I can’t do anything more. If it’s big, I’ve done everything I can. If it’s not big, I’ve done everything I can.”
“The preorders alone are like 600,000, so the label are happy,” he continued. “I don’t know if it’s going to be Divide level, although Divide did less than that on preorders, but it’s just a different world now. People consume music in a different way and I just want people to listen to the record. And I’d love for people to actually listen to it on vinyl. The record originally was 17 tracks but I cut off 3 of them so it could fit on one vinyl.”
Watch the clip below: