Chicago area record stores past and present (with photos)

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

  1. Fortysomething

    Fortysomething Well-Known Member

    Chicago, Illinois
    It'a a cool little store. Not my cup of tea as it focuses more on punk and heavy metal - and I also buy mostly used while they sell a lot of new. But they seemed well stocked and it was well done.
  2. Fortysomething

    Fortysomething Well-Known Member

    Chicago, Illinois
    PS for Chicago folks:

    There's an antique/vintage mall in the north side that has a fair number of vendors with vinyl records - they are having their semiannual sale from 6/3 to 6/11. I picked up an album there for 35 percent off - different vendors have different discounts but most were 20 or more. May be worth checking out if you are up that way. It's Broadway Antique Market.
    Hogues likes this.
  3. T-Bird

    T-Bird Forum Resident

    My favorites from the 70's and up.

    Swollen Head in LaGrange. I believe that was around Stone Avenue. Wow , my 1st record shop.

    A later shop was on LaGrange Road. Forgot the name. It was downtown LaGrange. I remember being shocked when they transistioned to mainly CD.

    Tape Town near Oak Lawn High School.
    That guy called himself, The Happy Hippie. Small store - loved the 8 tracks. He later moved to Harlem Ave. Bigger store and was buying vinyl then. It lacked the character of the original store.

    Probably, Tempo in Oak Lawn. They had good imports in LP era.

    EJ Korvette in Oak Lawn. This was the bomb for LP and 8 tracks! They had label sales. Example 3 Capitol or Chrysalis Records for 10 dollars. Even a dutch door. You could ask for records back there.

    Rolling Stone... Get a buddy... Roll a doobie... Take that long trip. Worthy.
    Hands down...was Chicago's biggest and best single record store.
    Wonder if it changed hands. No 's' back then.

    Later years.. Crow's Nest had excellent import CDs.

    Hegewisch in Hegewisch. They had plenty of hard to find CD titles. Another long ride.

    Stopped in many shops over the years. Many, came and went..

    Burbank Records was good for a few years.. LP era.

    My earliest records often came from a K-Mart. This was long before I drove. I recall getting new Led Zeppelin albums there. K-Mart would have new release sales.

    The Compact Disc Store was one of the 1st to offer new/ used CDs. Revolutionary at the time. They offered listening stations. Single tray Sony units with headphones. I still have a Sony player like that..stored.

    Last.. Best Buy was great for CDs in the early 90s. The Countryside store would order any CD that I requested. I couldn't reserve it. Those would appear in the store stock. They figured that everything would sell.

    My late Brother and I had big fun on our music missions! Records, 8 tracks, cassettes to CDs. What a gas!
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
    Andrew likes this.
  4. Fortysomething

    Fortysomething Well-Known Member

    Chicago, Illinois
    Their records show up a lot in my vinyl searches. Still shrink wrapped so their tag is still on the shrink.
  5. Planbee

    Planbee Monk Or Wizard?

    Sounds like you and I walked a lot of the same ground.

    Tempo I think was also Wind, on 95th St. I remember ordering an import CD of Queen's Greatest Hits there.

    Crow's Nest I've already written a lot about here. The single greatest music store I'll ever walk into in my life. It was like a punch in the gut the first time I saw their going out of business signs at State & Jackson.

    I remember Burbank Records as a store, and then in the late '80s as a meeting/training space for a S&L that I worked for which is also long gone.

    Was the Compact Disc Store that place located in a strip mall adjacent to Chicago Ridge Mall? Not across the street from the mall where the long-gone FYE was, but basically in the same parking lot.

    And finally, yes, the Best Buy in Countryside was awesome in the early '90s. The Rose Records a few doors down that it put out of business wasn't too shabby, either...
    T-Bird likes this.
  6. Hogues

    Hogues Forum Resident

    There a couple of stores along that stretch of Broadway that have used records. BAM is one and Edgewater antique mall is the other. I've found some good stuff in both.
  7. T-Bird

    T-Bird Forum Resident


    Yes. The Compact disc Store was at Chicago Ridge. An outside strip there.

    Wind sounds right. It was on a corner along 95th. Nice shop.

    The picture is an old cd carry case from the store.

    I moved, before a couple of other places that you mentioned. We were crusin' the same territory!
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2017
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  8. Wingsfan2012

    Wingsfan2012 Well-Known Member

    Junior's Farm, IL
    Loved Flipside just outside of Chicago on McCormick and Devon.....loved the $10.99 any CD price......made CD's more affordable in the early 90's!

  9. Fortysomething

    Fortysomething Well-Known Member

    Chicago, Illinois
    Hey folks, wondering if some of you old timers can answer a question for me.

    There was apparently a record store in Greektown on Halsted (about 300 or 400-ish S Halsted) that was in a building that burned down somewhere 7-8 years ago.

    Does anyone remember anything about this place - the name, who owned it, if they moved or relocated?

  10. showtaper

    showtaper Forum Resident

    My office was in the Howard Business Park by the tracks from 1987 until 2011 when we moved to
    Lincolnshire. I went to Algonquin Records quite a bit. Pretty small but had an OK selection and
    decent service. Want a good burger when you're in the area? Go to Charcoal Delights and get the
    1/2 pound burger (one big patty) with everything. (I'm drooling)

    1090 E. Oakton in Des Plaines IL. The original location is on Foster.......
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2017
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  11. johnfoyle

    johnfoyle Active Member

    Dublin, Ireland
    Elvis Costello and The Attractions outside Rose Discount Records, March 1979. Photo by Keith Morris

    Andrew, John Porcellino and Hogues like this.
  12. airstreamdriver

    airstreamdriver Active Member

    I remember Video Beat very fondly, I still have some of those VHS bootlegs floating around. I stopped by often as a friend of mine worked there worked there. I doubt he has any photos but I can ask; feel free to PM me and I'll see what I can do.

    reverberationmusic likes this.
  13. reverberationmusic

    reverberationmusic Forum Resident

    I used to hit those stores often coming in from Grand Rapids 1-3 times a year (yes those stores moved around a bit), I managed Grand Rapids Compact Disc from 1987-90 (left once the boss decided to get Ticketmaster, not a good idea for us) amazingly I don't have a single pic of our place, got some of us hanging out after a record show. I spent so many hours in there & basically memorized it anyways. It was fun to watch the initial blast of import CD coming into the shop. Pretty sure "Rock Records" downtown was called Rolling Stone records the first time I was there (spring break from high school) back in 1983, I went nuts on the Virgin international (cream labels with pink logos) USA vinyl.
  14. John Porcellino

    John Porcellino Forum Resident

    Beloit, WI
    That was Record Revolution. (I lived in DeKalb from 1986-1990.)

    Rolling Stones in Norridge was where I bought my first LP: The Stranger by Billy Joel, for $5.98. I told my dad I'd pay him back if he got it for me and that night I dumped a pile of loose change on his office desk, my entire life savings!

    Later we moved out to Hoffman Estates and I did my shopping at the Flip Side in Barrington Square Mall and the Rose Records in Schaumburg.

    I have fond and funny memories of the Turntable in Schaumburg, where I bought my first zines and all the underground music I was into in high school.

    In those days before the Turntable opened, my dad worked around the corner from the Civic Center and I'd have him go into the Rolling Stones/Rock Records on Washington to buy punk albums to bring home for me. I still wonder what the clerks thought of the bald guy in the suit who'd come in and buy Black Flag lps from time to time.

    Glad I stumbled across this thread. It was a fun read.
    Hogues, Shawn, This Heat and 3 others like this.
  15. Monasmee

    Monasmee Forum Resident

    Albuquerque NM
    Anybody remember record stores in Elk Grove Village, Arlington Heights, & Mt. Prospect during the 1970s?

    Elgin, Dundee, & Carpentersville also come to mind....
  16. pickwick33

    pickwick33 Forum Resident

    Gotta give it up for the small mom & pop stores on Chicago's South Side.
    Metro Music had two locations in the Chatham area (maybe more?). Looking back, the selection wasn't all that out of the ordinary, but their commercials used to run during Soul Train.
    Even better was Mr. T's, which stocked just about everything that was popular in the black community, even the odd white rock crossover. However, it seemed like their hearts were in jazz and blues - as a teenage blues fan, that's where I went to stock up on Jimmy Reed and Chess reissues. At some point during the 90s, Mr. T (Rob Tennenbaum) died, and the place was renamed Coop's, after the longtime employee who eventually bought it. They lasted until the mid-2000s, the victim of downloading.
    I started buying records as early as age 5. My dim memories of these places include the WVON playlists on the counter, the fact that they smelled like incense, and the older the owners, the more jazz records they were likely to stock. This was the 70s. By the time I was a teenager n the 80s and started seeking out more obscurities, the scene had shifted somewhat - as a connoisseur of older blues and R&B, all the classics I sought were being reissued. I could get these boss new reissues for anywhere between $5 -$8, a good deal. But ten years earlier, either the originals were still in print for $5, or in the cutout bin for $1.99.
    John Porcellino likes this.
  17. Monasmee

    Monasmee Forum Resident

    Albuquerque NM
    One Octave Higher Elk Grove Village 1970's?

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