Chicago area record stores past and present (with photos)

Discussion in 'Music, Movie and Hardware Store Guide' started by larry333, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. Skoegahom

    Skoegahom Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Ozarks
    I lived in Wheaton in the early 80's. This thread has been a great ride down memory lane! It's been many years, but I can remember buying albums at a store near Lisle maybe on Ogden that had a pretty good selection, and possibly a Crow's Nest in Joliet(?), and for the life of me, one that I can only remember spending a lot of time and cash at near a Gino's East Pizza over by Randhurst Mall, but probably not that far north, at least that's what I remember? I spent my fair share of time at Tower on Wabash... But the store I miss the most on subsequent trips to Chicago is Virgin. They had a stunning import section that always cost me hundreds of dollars every time I got the chance to walk through those doors.
     
  2. Shawn

    Shawn Forum Resident

    There was a store in Arlington Heights in the same strip mall as a Gino's East called Orange Records (if I remember correctly) in the 1980's. They had a decent import section and I bought a lot of Kinks imports there. It was near the intersection of Golf and Algonquin roads. Maybe that was the place you're thinking of?
     
  3. jamesc

    jamesc Formerly Known as Undertow

    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Yep, Oranges Records. I bought a lot of records there and ate a lot of pizza at that Gino's East! There were several locations around Chicago. I worked at the Spring Hill Mall one for a while. Same chain as JR's Music Shop which also had multiple Chicago locations including one in Woodfield Mall.
     
  4. jamesc

    jamesc Formerly Known as Undertow

    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    My favorite stores were Wax Trax and Record City (I think it was the Northbrook location). There were so many great records stores around Chicago but I have so many fond memories of those stores in particular. Record City always had a ton of Japanese vinyl for good prices. I remember buying the Joy Division CDs that came with the car sleeves at Wax Trax.
     
  5. pbuzby

    pbuzby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, US
    Beverly Records isn't my favorite but I have found a few gems there. Hyde Park Records is great, especially for r&b and jazz.
     
    kevinsinnott likes this.
  6. Planbee

    Planbee Negative Nellie

    Location:
    Chicago
    Actually, to a Chicago lifer like me, I find it depressing every time this thread gets kicked up because I remember all the old places and how nowadays the huge Chicagoland area is somehow total complete crap as far as CD retail goes. I get that the vinyl scene is healthy, but I lived in the LP era as a kid and no way would I ever want to go back to them.

    And I tend to agree with you about Beverly Records. I get that CDs are an afterthought to them, but flipping through binders to try to find CDs is not my idea of a fun way to shop. Same goes for that place in Oak Park where you have to wade through Amazon printouts.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2014
    Larry Johnson likes this.
  7. oddsbodkins

    oddsbodkins Member

    Location:
    Chicago
    Ah, so many memories. Grew up in Glen Ellyn/Wheaton and spent a lot of money at the Bloomingdale Tower, Crest Hill Crow's Nest, Flip Side on Geneva Rd and Schmale Ave, Rose Records in Bloomingdale Court and Pickwick Place and the old Sound Warehouse on Roosevelt next to the Sportmart in Glen Ellyn/Lombard. They had the best selection around... loved Sound Warehouse. LOVED.
     
  8. Planbee

    Planbee Negative Nellie

    Location:
    Chicago
    Damn you people, quit reminding me of these places! :winkgrin:

    That was an awesome store. They had another great location on 75th & Lemont Rd. in Darien, too. I remember standing in line for hours there for Prince tickets sometime in the '90s. I think there was also a Sound Warehouse (it was a Warehouse something, anyway) on LaGrange Rd. basically across the street from Orland Square Mall. They weren't there very long. Now, it's either a bank, or more likely vacant space. Or Cash for Gold. Can't have enough of THOSE places... :rolleyes:
     
  9. kouzie

    kouzie Forum Resident

    Location:
    Batavia, IL
    That Sound Warehouse also used to sell their promo copies for cheap too. Still have my copy of The Smiths' Louder Than Bombs I bought from there.

    There was another great indie store directly across the street from that Sportsmart mall called Records Records Records. I picked up tons from there.
     
  10. kouzie

    kouzie Forum Resident

    Location:
    Batavia, IL
    Is that store on Ogden you're thinking of Remember When? It formally went out of business about 2 years ago, but has reopened in the same location (under a different name and owner) that's now a hybrid record store/pawn shop.
     
  11. Skoegahom

    Skoegahom Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Ozarks
    Honestly, I though it was a Rose's or something like that because it was a pretty good size. But I really don't remember... I just remember it being big and having glass all across the front. And I always found stuff I wanted! We lived in some small apartment off of Ogden just before you get to Naperville the first year we lived there. The record store was the opposite direction of Naperville. I tried to find the apartments using Google maps, which I think I did, but it's been 30 years! Sad but true! I miss the shows up there as well! I saw Billy Joel and Styx (not on the same night) at the Rosemont Horizon and the Cars at some kind of outdoor amplitheatre and too many smaller bands to remember. Wang Chung opened for the Cars. I was always amazed that people dressed up for for concerts in the Chicago area. Everyone around me had suits on at Billy Joel in the 10th row! They stayed seated for most of the show and golf clapped. I stood in my chair the whole night at the Mr. Roboto show on the 13th row because the floor was just a sea of people! The Cars show was somewhere in between, but they never said a word to the audience the whole show. I'm guessing they were wasted?! I had a lot of fun in Chicago! And it's a great place to visit!
     
    jamesc likes this.
  12. kouzie

    kouzie Forum Resident

    Location:
    Batavia, IL
    That Cars/Wang Chung show you were at was at Poplar Creek in Hoffman Estates (I was at the same show). Sadly Poplar is no longer there, but that place should have a message thread of its own. Hands down the best outdoor venue I've ever been to. Growing up, I saw countless shows there...
     
  13. kevinsinnott

    kevinsinnott Forum Coffeeologist

    Location:
    Chicago, IL USA
    I still stop off at Hyde Park Records. They always seem to have jazz titles I don't see anywhere else. I haven't been to Disc Replay in Crest Hill (near Joliet) for a while, but they have an enormous stock, the closest thing to a superstore. There are other Disc Replays, but that's their best store. Always crowded too. There's an energy there.
     
  14. kevinsinnott

    kevinsinnott Forum Coffeeologist

    Location:
    Chicago, IL USA
    Hank sold Remember When. It is currently owned by a guy named Dan. Hank seems to hang out there pretty often to help out. The old set up is changed, but I'm more and more impressed with their stock as I'm learning my way around it. They also have some decent used sound gear (I picked up a great set of AR speakers I'm using in a bedroom system now). The market has changed. So must the stores.
     
  15. GuyDon

    GuyDon Forum Resident

    There was a Rose Records on Ogden in Westmont (it was across the street and down a little ways from Remember When Records). It closed sometime around '95 or '96 if I remember correctly.
     
  16. kevinsinnott

    kevinsinnott Forum Coffeeologist

    Location:
    Chicago, IL USA
    There was also a Chicago Digital store just west of Cass on Ogden in Westmont in the north side of the street.
     
  17. Planbee

    Planbee Negative Nellie

    Location:
    Chicago
    I've seen a comment similar to yours about the CH DR (probably upthread somewhere). Is this location really that big? I've been to their stores in Orland, Countryside, and Downers Grove/Lombard on 22nd St. and they're OK, but no great shakes. Certainly no energy in any of them...

    I'm not averse to making a 60-mile round-trip hike to Crest Hill (I did it several times for the late, great Crow's Nest), but am hesitant about doing it for Disc Replay. Especially when I'm pretty sure there's major road construction on I-55 around there.
     
  18. grbl

    grbl Just Lurking

    Location:
    new york
    I did a lot of damage at Record City from about '78 to '82. That was the store in which my music addiction was born. Used to go there with two of my best friends in high school. Later on I discovered Rolling Stone Records, which used to have fantastic sales (via coupons in the Chicago Reader). Also frequented 2nd Hand Tunes a lot when
    I went to Northwestern. Miss those days.
     
  19. GuyDon

    GuyDon Forum Resident

    Yes, I remember that. Only made it there once and that had to be 1990 or 91.
     
    kevinsinnott likes this.
  20. PhoffiFozz

    PhoffiFozz Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, 60173
    I used to spend a lot of time at Rolling Stones & Rose Records in Schaumburg. I was a manager at Tower in Schaumburg for about 5 years!
     
  21. Shawn

    Shawn Forum Resident

    I really liked the Schaumburg Tower Records. I worked at one of the office buildings behind the strip mall it was in so I used to stop by regularly. I even saw Walter Payton shopping there once, sounds like he made the rounds at music stores in the area! That store was also great for carrying local music too.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2014
  22. PhoffiFozz

    PhoffiFozz Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, 60173
    Thanks!

    Ah! Yes, Walter used to come in all the time. I got to know him pretty well. That's crazy.

    I loved working there, that store was rough though, we had such a high turnover rate and heavy traffic, it was hard to keep good people working and the customers happy! It was still a lot of fun though.

    Tower in general was very supportive to the local scenes. Well, I obviously can't speak for each store, but it should have been company wide. We supported local bands whole-heartedly!
     
    John Porcellino likes this.
  23. kevinsinnott

    kevinsinnott Forum Coffeeologist

    Location:
    Chicago, IL USA
    I got a lot of classical and imports at Tower. That was a nice store!
     
    PhoffiFozz likes this.
  24. jamesc

    jamesc Formerly Known as Undertow

    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    I worked in a computer software store in the 80s that was part of the space eventually used by the Schaumburg Tower Records. I do miss that store. I worked at Tower in Northridge, CA in the early 90s.
     
    PhoffiFozz likes this.
  25. noyoucmon

    noyoucmon Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago
    I loved the ALS benefits at Old Orchard. They lasted until 2002, though.
     

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