Saturday, January 28, 2012

Where to buy vinyl records

Note: I update this from time to time, but best to check the store is still there before you set out. 

On my travels, I am always searching for places to buy good quality records. Of course there are second hand record shops all over the place, but here's a list of physical vinyl stores I have visited in the UK, the US, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Most of these stores sell new and second hand pressings. Happy hunting!

Flashback - 50 Essex Road, London, N1 8LR. A five minute walk from Angel tube station
The basement of the store is all vinyl and they have a really good and varied selection, and not over-priced like the Soho stores tend to be. Well worth a visit.

Out on the Floor - 10 Inverness Street, London, NW1 7HJ. Close to Camden Town tube station.  This three-level, three-shop operation has a good selection of 60s and 70s rock, folk and soul. 
(Now moved across the road) Sister Ray - Berwick Street, London, W1. Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus tubes. Along this one stretch in Soho, you have two choices. Sister Ray has a good quality vinyl selection (but pricey) and a few doors down there is Revival Records with a good stock of rock, soul and jazz vinyl. 

Record & Tape Exchange - Notting Hill Gate. Rock and folk downstairs, soul and jazz upstairs. Worth investigating as their stock is surprisingly varied and good quality for RTE. 

Honest Jon's - 278 Portobello Road, London, W10 5TE
The vast majority of the vinyl here is new pressings - the store specialises in soul, reggae and jazz. 

The best shop for old vinyl in Portobello is downstairs at Rough Trade on Talbot Road.
There are also several market stalls selling second hand vinyl under the Westway flyover.  

Lots of choice in Brighton, but these are the ones I have been to, bearing in mind I am looking for second-hand vinyl.

Across The Tracks - 110 Gloucester Road, Brighton BN1 4AF
A very good selection and reasonable pricing, here's a link:

The Record Album - 8 Terminus Road, BN1 3PD
Tucked away behind the railway station, this has a good selection, with a special section on music from the shows. Pricing was a bit steep, I thought.

Wax Factor - 24 Trafalgar Street, BN1 4ED
Another one with a good selection for those looking at original second-hand vinyl

Empire Exchange - 1 Newton Street, Manchester M1 1HW
Have a look at this website for details

Vinyl Revival - 5 Hilton Street, Manchester, M4 1LP
A good selection of different styles of music

Sifters - 177 Fog Lane, Didsbury, Manchester M20 6FJ (Nr Burnage Station)


Spillers -
31, The Morgan Arcade, Cardiff, CF10 1AFA long-established oasis for record collectors. I first went there in the 1980s to buy a CD copy of Todd Rundgren's 'Todd' for £4.

Bleecker Street Records – 239 Bleecker St, Greenwich Village
Downstairs they have a vast array of vinyl. It is worth taking the time to look around because while some of the records are expensive, especially new pressings, you can find some absolute bargains, old vinyl, often mint for a two or three dollars.

And not far away in the East Village, two other shops worth visiting:
Good Records – 218 East 5th Street, New York, NY 10003
Gimme Gimme – 345 E. 5th St. New York, NY 10003

There are two good second-hand vinyl shops in Central district. One is on Cochrane Street at the junction with Lyndhurst Terrace, just down from the Lush store. You can see it from the escalator. It's called Wall of Sound. It's up 3 flights of stairs. 

The other store is at 74 Stanley Street, opposite the street food vendors, on the second floor. It's called Classic Shop and also sells hi-fi gear.

There's also a second-hand book and CD shop, Collectables, recently relocated to City Hall in Central. which has a lot of second hand vinyl, not very well categorised and overpriced for the so-so quality of much of the stock. 

Then there's the HMV store in Causeway Bay, which has a large stock of second hand rock and pop albums of varying quality. The value is in the jazz vinyl, which is mostly Japanese imports, in better condition that the rock vinyl and reasonably priced.  

Kowloon-side, there are various vinyl shops in the Yau Ma Tei/Prince Edward area along Nathan Road.

Old Sound Collection (13F, Sino Centre, 582 Nathan Road) has boxes of vinyl, loosely ordered but worth a browse. The owner will normally give you a good discount for multiple purchases. 

In the same building, there are two or three other vinyl record shops. Check the shop listings board on the ground floor.

White Noise Records (1F, 720 Shanghai Street, Prince Edward) has a mix of new and used vinyl, with good selection of Jazz, Prog Rock and Indie. 

Shun Cheong Record Showroom (8th Floor, Wing Lung Bank Centre, 636 Nathan Road) has only new vinyl but a very extensive selection, including Mobile Fidelity and other high quality pressings at reasonable prices. They also have a store just off Queens Rd in central.

Real Groovy - 438 Queen Street, Auckland
Auckland may be a bit out of your way, but if you are in the city and looking for a top class vinyl emporium, you would be hard-pressed to find a better one anywhere. All the vinyl is well categorised, with sale items separated from quality and collectable items. Very good pricing policy and an additional 10% discount for every NZ$200 you spend. 

In Wellington, check out Slow Boat Records (183 Cuba Street), who have a good stock of classic and collectible vinyl. Of course, you don't need to be in NZ to check them out. Both these NZ stores have good websites where you can browse their stock.

Mojo Music - 73 York Street (near Wynyard Station)
This store has second hand vinyl only and a club in the basement playing vintage records. It is well worth a visit as they have a good selection of jazz, blues, funk and soul, as well as many good quality rock rareties. 

Red Eye Records - 143 York Street (behind the QVB)
Here you will find a mix of new and used vinyl - a wide selection including bootlegs. Not the cheapest place but worth visiting if you are also interested in unofficial live DVDs.


I have found many amazing rare bootlegs in the shops around the Nishi-Shinjuku area of Tokyo. Shops such as Back Trip, Airs and Shinjuku Records. This blog page has a comprehensive guide to record shops in the city.

I will update this listing whenever I find new shops worth checking out.
Here's a list of
'18 record stores every music lover needs to visit at least once':

And here's a list of websites dedicated to vinyl enthusiasts:

For a list of quality vinyl classics to look out for, check out this blog post:

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