Chicago area record stores past and present (with photos)

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

  1. saturdayboy

    saturdayboy Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago
    you did!!! rose records on wabash was the gold standard in chicago. i was happy that tower took it over after it closed, but it was never as good.
     
  2. pickwick33

    pickwick33 Forum Resident

    That was my spot, too. I was a student at Loyola University across the street, and was a regular customer from '85-'89. Until that fatal day in January 1990, when the upstairs department was closed for good. This is where their used record department was, and where I spent half my time at the store. I turned to the guy behind he counter (who I had gotten to know by then), and he had grumbled that the CD revolution caused Round to phase out their vinyl. By the next year they moved to a smaller space up the street (under the roof of the Flatts & Sharps music store), selling a modest selection of CDs and tapes. Another year after that and they were gone altogether. That was a great shop while it still existed, though. I still have to resist the temptation to walk inside whenever I pass the old Round building.
     
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  3. Hogues

    Hogues Active Member

  4. q89747

    q89747 New Member

    Location:
    Illinois
    Greetings! Just found this thread and read all the way through it.

    Whilst digging through my late father-in-law's records recently I came across one with a Swollen Head sticker on it. He was a one-time La Grangian. Unfortunately I don't think the pics will come through...

    There was a place in the NW 'burbs called Import Export. One buddy and I used to go there a bit, mainly in search of Mute singles. The first CD I ever bought was from there: the 'Get the Balance Right' import single. I recall the shop having three different locations (Bloomingdale? Roselle? Palatine? can't remember). I got my cassette copy of Hatful of Hollow there (when it was still UK-only-- it wasn't officially released in the US until a few years later).

    On the east side of Wheaton, at Roosevelt and Lorraine roads, is a strip mall which used to have a FlipSide that I frequented in high school. A lovely girl in the year ahead of me worked there, and amazingly she was pretty nice to me whenever I came in, I can only assume due to my peerless taste in music... Anyway, the FlipSide eventually turned into Rose Records, and Rose Records was gone before long...

    A few years later, this space was taken over by In-a-Groove Records. It was run by an older, sideburned dude named Bill, who apparently had previously had a shop in Oak Park by the same name. There wasn't a lot of modern stuff in there, but I got some nice copies of Sandie Shaw, Francoise Hardy, Monty Python and John Barry 12"s there (yes, still got 'em). Bill was an affable chap, and it wasn't hard to get a good story out of him-- the ones I recall, and won't repeat here, have to do with his days as a Chicago cop...

    After a couple years, a younger dude named Jim, who had been working for Bill at the shop, got together enough dough to buy it. Bill was retiring and moving to Tennessee to be closer to his daughter. Anyway, as soon as Jim took over he started to bring the inventory more up to date, getting in some tasty reissues etc. Jim was an affable chap too and turned me on to bands like This Heat and Swell Maps. I still have the Spacemen 3 CD I bought there, recommended by Jim. Once I went into the city with him and a buddy of his and caught Modest Mouse at the Bottle-- this is when they were still on Up Records, before they went really big. The shop went bust within a few years though, and the space is now a nail joint or some damn thing. Jim, if you're out there, I hope you are well sir.

    Tower Records in Stratford Square had a good import section; the first Can I bought (Tago Mago on CD) was there.

    Record Swap had a location in downtown Naperville, and indeed they had a good import (CD) section too.

    Also in Naperville (in some other strip mall) was Crow's Nest. They had a sweet deal: three cassettes for $25. I was a cassette holdout for a long time and stocked up for as long as I could.

    Also in Naperville was Bizzy Bee. I think they had only CDs there. But they also sold the promo 12" flats that they got from record companies; three of the ones I got there (Trompe le Monde, Ritual de lo Habitual, Soft Bomb) are framed and on the wall at my house.

    The one thing I know I bought at the long-gone Quaker Goes Deaf in Wicker Park is the 7" of "Cache Coeur Naif". It seemed they competed for a while with the old, much smaller Wicker Park branch of Reckless for a while... until there was a flood that damaged a bunch of inventory and before long they were gone. Now that space is a B of A.

    Permanent Records in Ukie Village has some good stuff, and they're charging for it. And for the love of God why do you have to stamp every inner sleeve?

    A friend of mine once said that real music fans remember where they bought their music. To me, that's all the truer today than when he said it back twenty-odd years ago.
     
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  5. Hogues

    Hogues Active Member

    Great first post, q!
     
  6. kevinsinnott

    kevinsinnott Forum Coffeeologist

    Location:
    Chicago, IL USA
    I enjoyed your entire post, but wanted to respond. The man who owned Bizzy Bee ended up selling tube amplifiers. I really enjoyed his place. Anyone else remember a place called Algonquin Records? Dan and his brother Steve still own it. I occasionally stop there and visit when I see my mom, who's 95 and lives nearby.
     
  7. saturdayboy

    saturdayboy Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago
    I do the same
     
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  8. Fortysomething

    Fortysomething New Member

    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    Great to hear about all these old places in Chicago - and I loved Sam the Record Man in Toronto too.

    Multiple posters have covered most of the decent places remaining in Chicago (and characters like Dave at Dave's Records and Val at Val's Halla) but one place that may be worth a visit is a place called Vintage Quest. It's primarily a vintage furniture/tchotchke place, but he has a small offering of albums, and that selection, while not super deep, has always yielded some nice (and affordable) surprises when I've checked it out.
     
  9. Carlsongsltd

    Carlsongsltd New Member

    Location:
    Chicago
     
  10. sons of nothing

    sons of nothing Forum Resident

    Location:
    Illinois
    Bill was a great character. I worked at a placed called Record Dugout (run by Steve B) for awhile, and he was one of the regulars. I'm sure the Record Dugout is still open for business. Peeps always found cool garage, rockabily, and doo wop 45's at this place. Bill's shop was pretty cool, though I've always been about cds and I never found too much at his place when it was in Joke Park, but yeah, great stories. IIRC, he also ran a monthly show as well. Plus,I think it was next to Chicago Digital, which was close to the old location of Val's Halla. 3 cool stores within a mile of each other on the same street. You couldn't beat it.
     
  11. Tapehoarder

    Tapehoarder New Member

    Location:
    Chicago
    I came here originally to ask if anyone remembered what the little record store inside of the metro was. After looking through some old business cards I remembered it was hi-fi. I enjoyed everyone's comments and photos. I'm sure I have some pics of a few stores somewhere but I definitely will post some of the cards very soon.
     
  12. pickwick33

    pickwick33 Forum Resident

    There were at least two stores that preceded it (Pravda in the 80s, Rave in the very early 90s), plus another that succeeded it (I forget the name).
     
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  13. jamesc

    jamesc Formerly Known as Undertow

    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    I remember going to Pravda. Got some good stuff there.
     
  14. EddieMann

    EddieMann Forum Resident

    Location:
    Geneva, IL. USA.
    Flipside records on Foster was my drug of choice. They had the BEST R&R tee-shirts as well. Oh, BTW...Gordon Tech class of '74. :agree:
     
  15. EddieMann

    EddieMann Forum Resident

    Location:
    Geneva, IL. USA.
    A friend of mine used to work at Appletree Records out in Dekalb IL. He has recreated that store in the basement of his Victorian Mansion home. Here are a few pics...

    [​IMG]

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  16. I should ask, off topic (sorry), but are you privy to the submarine joint Boborinos on Central north of Irving Park...Kings 2 gyros on Milwaukee near Foster...Suzie's on Montrose (best fries you'll ever have) just west of Elston...or LaPalapita burritos on Milwaukee just north of Montrose (now closed)?

    I still drive into the city to enjoy the favorite flavors I recall from my youth.
     
  17. saturdayboy

    saturdayboy Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago
    That man is my hero!!!!
     
  18. EddieMann

    EddieMann Forum Resident

    Location:
    Geneva, IL. USA.
    I'm a Father and Son (Milwaukee at Sacremento) and Pete's (Western and Grace) pizza kind of guy. For a great sub I turn to Capt. Nemos and of course, Heroes across from Lane. Also McDucks hot dogs at Kimball and Belmont, and any taco joint that has tacos al pastor. For beefs its Roma's on Cicero. I regularly look for new (and old) beaneries before and after Cub games. :righton:
     
    Chris from Chicago likes this.
  19. saturdayboy

    saturdayboy Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago
    All great choices, but La Pasadita has the best burritos, no contest.
     
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  20. EddieMann

    EddieMann Forum Resident

    Location:
    Geneva, IL. USA.
    You should see the rest of the house. Its like a museum.
    [​IMG]
     
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  21. LaPasadita (Milwaukee and Ashland) and LaPalapita are from the same family. Brothers and sisters. That steak. That sauce. Really. Now that Palapita is closed, I have to make the trek to Pasadita. Damn. They don't make food like that in the burbs.
     
    EddieMann likes this.
  22. Shawn

    Shawn Forum Resident

    I did my undergrad work at NIU and shopped at Appletree quite a bit - brings back memories. There used to be another record/CD store almost directly across from it on Lincoln Hwy but I can't recall the name. This was in the late 1980's.
     
  23. pickwick33

    pickwick33 Forum Resident

    I should mention that La Pasadita is a block away from Dusty Groove, one of Chicago's best current record stores.
     
  24. EddieMann

    EddieMann Forum Resident

    Location:
    Geneva, IL. USA.
    One of my only complaints about living out in Geneva is that they roll the restaurant sidewalks in around 9 pm. I mean, I'm already in my pajamas at 8 o'clock...but still. :p
     
    kouzie likes this.
  25. Well...the world continues to remain a small one, brother Eddie. My parents live in West Chicago. I am there every weekend. Geneva just west of County Farm rd.
     

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