Blur (2LPs) released on the Food Record label, 1997, value £40

READERS often ask,"how long will the current trend for vinyl records last?" writes MICHAEL BROOKS. Let us examine the facts. In 2017 more than two million vinyl albums were sold in the UK alone. This year that figure is expected to rise to at least three million, an increase of more than 40 per cent. These figures do not include 7inch and 12inch singles which are also in demand. This trend is not just boosted by teenagers but includes people in their 20s, 30s even 40s all buying vinyl for the first time. Sales of record players are continually soaring through the roof; since 2015 they have been one of the most popular Christmas presents to buy.

Many new albums now come with a free download card so that buyers can own digital versions as well. This allows young people who grew up in the digital age to enjoy their music on I-phones or computers as well as owning and playing vinyl albums at home. So the answer is, probably another ten years at least, possibly forever!

The band Blur fronted by Damon Alban were at the forefront of music that became known as Britpop. In the nineties the UK press attempted to concoct a Blur versus Oasis campaign when both acts released singles on the same day; in the event Blur won the chart battle with Country House but remained diplomatically silent. But in the long run it was Oasis who took over the headlines on a daily basis. Blur disappeared to Iceland to work on material for this, their fifth album. On its release it disappointed both critics and fans alike but has become acknowledged as containing their greatest work. Inspired by bands of the sixties, the best track is Beetlebum a homage to The Beatles.

This album, although a relatively small collectable value, reached No1 in both the UK and USA charts, helped by the innovative sleeve design; first pressings will increase in value in the years ahead. Damon Alban created an almost parallel musical world with comic book cartoonist Jamie Hewlett. They founded a band featuring themselves, including four animated characters who were never seen physically. Their music videos contained images of cartoon characters. The group mastered the problem of live performances by remaining hidden behind a screen ensuring that they remain part of the animated scenery. Blur fans will know them as The Gorillaz.