Arizona and New Mexico record stores

Discussion in 'Music, Movie and Hardware Store Guide' started by jlc76, Apr 7, 2011.

  1. LordThanos1969

    LordThanos1969 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    I remember those days. Best Buy and Borders were also near there for years. Rockaway Records was my favorite store in the city at one time. When they left, it was the beginning of the end for music shopping in the area.

    The Gilbert Rd. FYE store is mediocre at best. If you want to overpay for a DCC, they have a Linda Ronstadt there. I have found a few interesting CDs there over the years, but not much. That store also limits you to how many CDs you can check out of those stupid plastic bags they use. If you are looking for vinyl, don't bother, as they don't carry any.

    I grew up near that area of Mesa in the mid 1980s, and it is almost shocking to see how far downhill it has gone. Fiesta Mall is a shell of what it once was, and I see no reason to ever go there again.

    The Bookman's on Country Club is mediocre, but it is much better than the Bookman's on 19th Avenue and Northern, which quite possibly has the worst selection of CDs and vinyl in the entire city.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2013
  2. LordThanos1969

    LordThanos1969 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    I have an update on Tucson, as I went there today to look for CDs and vinyl. There are essentially five stores left in this town: three Bookmans and two Zia Records. Bookmans only sells used product, while Zia Records offers used and new. This review only focuses on used product.

    Vinyl: None of these stores had anything approaching a decent selection of vinyl; in fact, even their best records were pretty lame. I didn't expect much from the Bookmans stores, given the lack of quality of their Phoenix area stores, and wasn't disappointed, but even the selection at the Zia Records stores was awful. I did not buy any records on this trip. If you are looking for vinyl, I suggest bypassing Tucson altogether and going straight up I-10 to Phoenix.

    CDs: Bookmans was a complete strike out for me. There wasn't one early pressing or audiophile CD worth purchasing at any of their locations. I did see a few Targets, but they were scratched-up common ones. I had a bit more luck at the two Zia Records stores. The location on Oracle Road yielded one MFSL CD and three early pressing CDs, while the location on Speedway yielded two early pressing CDs. Overall, Tucson is not a great town for CDs either.
     
  3. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    Location:
    Arizona
    It's a shame to see what has happened to the Tucson market. Foe me, it really ended when the original PDQ owner decided to sell. Twist and Shout was the final death blow. I pass by there and i'm still in shock.

    The last time I was at Zia on Speedway, they has a LOT of assorted used vinyl. The new titles weren't very diverse, but the used stock was interesting, to me, anyway. If you're telling me that it's gone, there's just no point. It's strange that, for years the used vinyl market in the Phoenix area had dried up, only to see a revival today, especially in the East Valley.

    I concur. But, it does sort of depend on what one is looking for. I don't necessarily look for audiophile titles, though I may come up on an occasional AF title, some dating back years! I primarily look to R&B titles, and for those, I just go to a Phoenix area branch. I have better luck up there.

    Sometimes I get the feeling that Tucson is a dying city, and the only thing it has going for it anymore is the UofA. Their fault. The residents resisted growth for decades and its coming back to bite them in the ass now. Phoenix, on the other hand, planned for growth, and made itself accommodating to business. But, I digress...
     
  4. LordThanos1969

    LordThanos1969 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    Just to clarify, the Zia on Speedway does still have used vinyl, but it has been compressed into a small, cramped part of the store. The quality of what they had was on par with a typical Bookmans location. If you were looking for some low grade records at a low price, you might be able to find something.
     
  5. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    Location:
    Arizona
    I guess they moved it in the last month since I was there. They did have it in the front, and it took up some floor space, only because they has a bunch of vinyl. And, looking through it, I saw a lot of stuff in great shape.

    I guess the best stock moved quickly.
     
  6. mwheelerk

    mwheelerk Believe In Music

    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    Hey guys in the Phoenix area. There were two large CDs collection traded in this past weekend at the Zia's on Camelback. I saw tons of good stuff. Lots of titles I rarely have seen (Renaissance - Turn Of The Card), at least one Target, I think (Joni Mitchell - Court And Spark, made in WG with smooth sided jewel case) some DVD -Audio (T Rex Electric Warrior), a bunch of SACD (Elton John, Derek and the Dominos, The Who Tommy, more at $8.99 to $13.99), one DCC with slipcover (Paul McCartney Red Rose, expensive $99) and multiple MFSL some of the newer at $17.99 (Little Feat, Yes) and some older at $29.99 (The Kinks Showbiz, Supertramp Breakfast and "silver" The Flying Burrito Brothers).
     
    warren likes this.
  7. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    Location:
    Arizona
    I plan to be there sometime this weekend.
     
  8. warren

    warren Active Member

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Dude, thanks for the heads-up! I don't know how soon I'll be there, but I've loved that for quite some time I've been able to go in there expecting to see new (re-)releases from AF, MFSL and the like. They've got a Hoffmanite (or someone who knows about Hoffmanites) working there!
     
  9. LordThanos1969

    LordThanos1969 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    This article was recently published by The New Times regarding their choice for the 10 best record stores in town:

    http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/uponsun/2014/04/post_61.php

    Their choice for number one is laughable. Revolver used to be good, but both stores put together would not be in my top five let alone number one.

    The article mentions a new store called Record Revival. It originally opened up as Guitar Tree Records around Thanksgiving of last year. When they first opened up, their inventory consisted of a large collection they had purchased from the northwest and there were some decent deals to be found there. Unfortunately, that changed at the beginning of the year when they relaunched as Record Revival. It has become more of a front for an eBay store with some of the most ridiculously high prices I have ever seen in a brick and mortar record store.
     
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  10. mwheelerk

    mwheelerk Believe In Music

    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    Andy at the Revolver in Tempe is a good guy, former Hoodlum's employee. I'm a CD guy and there wasn't much to my liking but the article is about vinyl and their Phoenix store.
     
  11. LordThanos1969

    LordThanos1969 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    Actually, the article mentions both Revolver stores. Unfortunately, I do not find either location good for vinyl or CDs anymore.
     
  12. Bad Samaritan

    Bad Samaritan Active Member

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    I don't have much issue with that article. At least we have some options for B&M's, whereas many on this forum can only get their music fix at Best Buy, BN, etc. these days.

    I'm only a digital guy, but here's my take on some stores mentioned, and others.
    Revolver - I seem to always find something of interest at the downtown location, so I rate it fairly high. The Tempe store pales.
    Zia - I buy the most here, mainly because they have the largest selection and # of locations, although I rarely find any collectible gems.
    FYE - Only stop here when they have a decent used sale. Run of the mill selection for the most part, but I've actually found more rare OOPS, targets, DCC/Mofi golds here than anywhere else, by far. The Gilbert road store has been better for me overall.
    Bookmans - I don't even bother anymore. Pure junk
    Asylum - Limited selection, higher prices, haven't been for several months
    Stinkweeds - cool store, if I was into vinyl I'd probably drop a lot more cash here.

    I haven't been to Double Nickel/Ghost of Eastside yet, but I always found something at previous Eastside incarnations.
     
  13. LordThanos1969

    LordThanos1969 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    I should slightly amend my comment on Record Revival. While they do have some high prices, the store manager is very friendly and willing to negotiate on the prices a bit.
     
  14. mwheelerk

    mwheelerk Believe In Music

    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    I just spotted something at Bookman's in Mesa I thought a local might be interested in.

    Donald Fagen
    The Nightfly
    Made in Japan Target CD
    MINT (it was incredibly clean)
    $8.00
     
  15. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    Location:
    Arizona
    +1 That was about ten years ago. The area is just a shell of what was. It's depressing. Just ten years ago, strip malls and restaurants that were thriving are now just rows of empty buildings.

    I passed by there last week and didn't even realize I was passing it. There was Best Buy, In & Out, and something else, but I don't even notice the mall now. And, news is that 50 Sears stores will be closing. I'll bet that's one of them.

    All Bookman's stores have mediocre music selections. If I want something, I go to Zia's or any number of used record stores in the region.
     
  16. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    Location:
    Arizona
    I haven't been music shopping in Tempe in a long while. Revolver near downtown Phoenix is great for vinyl, but the CDs? Not so great.

    My favorite spots are on Camelback in Phoenix, and the one Warner in Tempe. I have never been to the one on Thunderbird.

    I'll have to check that one out.

    Once in a great while, i'll find a record album, but it's priced too high.

    Ditto.

    As far as PDQ in Tucson is concerned, I was told that the stuff is still sitting in there collecting spider webs. But, I go into Zia's over on Speedway and keep finding lots of used records with PDQ stickers on them.
     
  17. mwheelerk

    mwheelerk Believe In Music

    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    The PDQ thing is crazy. Maybe a year ago out of curiosity I pulled over and looked in the windows. It looked like they were just waiting to open with everything that was in there. They're still waiting.
     
  18. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    Location:
    Arizona
    Not good. That sounds like the old Memory Lane store in Tempe. They had a great selection, but the owner found out he could make more money online, and his prices were getting too high.
     
  19. LordThanos1969

    LordThanos1969 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    I saw that there today. If I didn't have multiple copies, I might have picked it up. It is very rare that Bookman' s has anything worthwhile or mint.
     
  20. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    "Nightfly" has to be one of the more common targets, IMO. I have multiples and no one ever wants them in trade! :help:

    Like you, I don't buy 'em any more...
     
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  21. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    Location:
    Arizona
    "The Nightfly" also doesn't sound very good on CD. The tone is strange.
     
  22. mwheelerk

    mwheelerk Believe In Music

    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    Another heads up notice for local buyers. Someone traded in a slew of Japanese Mini LP CDs and a few SHM-CDs. At Zia's in Tempe. I saw 25 or more titles. They are easy to spot sticking up above the regular jewel cases. I can't remember all artists but saw at least four Genesis titles, John Lennon, Stones etc. prices were $13.99 - $19.99
     
  23. Mr. LP Collector

    Mr. LP Collector Well-Known Member

    Good morning people! Just noticed this thread! Am still pretty new to this forum but I see several good comments on this thread. For this post I'll weigh in on what I've been aware of for some time, that being a touchy subject>>> reshrinking albums.

    When I went through Albuquerque in the 1980's I would always stop at whatever record shop I could find, in the early 1980's the best shop going was Merlin's Workshop (East Menaul near Eubank.) In the late 1980's (am thinking 1988) Merlin's was dealing with a nasty problem of damaged vinyl in the bins. It took well over a year to find the scumbag who was responsible. What the guy was doing was pulling out the vinyl out of the paper sleeve and would put a deep scratch across a few songs. And later when someone else would spot a record that was damaged he would bring it to the counter to let the owner/manager know about it. After a few months this got to be a real problem because several dozen lp's were damaged.

    What was maddening about it was it wasn't just your basic $2.99 classic rock 80's selection, but mid range collectibles got damaged as well. How was it done? When he got caught he was wearing a ring with a small piece of pot metal welded onto a ring he was wearing. And when no one was looking he would take his finger and go zzzzzssstt to the album he had in his hands. A lot of mid range collectibles in the $15 to $50 range got damaged. And the vinyl, sad to say, had to get tossed. The album covers were still saved. From what I heard thankfully after a few months the guy was caught.

    Right after that the store started shrink wrapping used albums. At that time the owner of the store knew there would be some criticism as to this new policy but what he did was paste a sign on the wall explaining why he had to do this. The local collectors certainly understood but traveling collectors were somewhat put off by the policy, but once they got the story about that decision they understood. At that time Merlin's was on the south side of Menaul about a block and a half where they relocated to, which was the strip mall just west of Eubank where Taco Sal restaurant was located.

    It was sad to see Merlin's shut down when they did but it was for reasons other than this issue I'm talking about here. Will address that later!
     
  24. Grant

    Grant A Musical Free-Spirit

    Location:
    Arizona
    Why in the world would he do that? Was he mentally ill, or something?
     
  25. Mr. LP Collector

    Mr. LP Collector Well-Known Member

    A pretty good guess. From what I remember he wound up with a police record and a whole bunch of time regarding community service. Might have served a tad bit of jail time, am not sure there. As more record stores opened up in the 1980's (Charlie's, Natural Sounds, Bow Wow Wow) those stores picked up on that policy.

    I'd kind of like to see the stores cut back a tad on that policy. Anymore the cost to run a business and go with storefront space is so damn expensive I would think stores who can afford it would have security camera systems. The cost of having a business--ugh!
     

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