Ranking U.S. metro areas for record shopping

Discussion in 'Music, Movie and Hardware Store Guide' started by steelydanguy, Jan 15, 2015.

  1. steelydanguy

    steelydanguy Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Arlington, VA, USA
    Best U.S. metropolitan areas for record shopping

    I don’t travel as much as I’d like to, but whenever I do, I like to check out independent record stores in different parts of the country. I even try to keep track of the record store scenes in various cities via Web sites such as Yelp and this one, stevehoffman.

    Which U.S. metropolitan areas (cities and surrounding suburbs) have the best shopping for CDs and vinyl? I don’t know whether anyone can definitely answer that question, but I’ll take a crack at giving it my best guess.

    1.) The heavyweights

    Los Angeles -- It’s not a surprise that the entertainment capital of the U.S. would be a good place to buy records. The humungous Hollywood branch of Amoeba seems to win the unofficial title of “best independent record store” in the U.S. Then there are other shops such as Record Surplus, Rockaway Records, Fingerprints and many more that are keeping the L.A.-area record store scene vibrant. I haven’t been to L.A. since the early 2000s (the now-closed Aron’s was one of the stores I visited) but would love to get back to do some record shopping and see some of these well-regarded stores.

    San Francisco Bay Area -- The Bay Area in Northern California is a pretty great place to go record hunting, too. Not one but two Amoeba branches (in San Francisco and in Berkeley) highlight a region that includes other stalwarts such as Aquarius, Mod Lang, Rasputin’s, Rooky Ricardo’s, Down Home Music, Village Music and Streetlight Records, among others. It seems that L.A. and the Bay Area might be Nos. 1 and 2 in the U.S. for record shopping, in some order. I haven’t been to the Bay Area in 10-plus years either but am aiming to visit this year.

    Chicago -- The nation’s third-largest metropolitan area has a lot of worthy record stores, including specialty shops like Jazz Record Mart (great for blues and jazz). Other stores with strong reputations include Dusty Groove, Permanent Records, Gramaphone Records, Dave’s Records and Laurie’s Planet of Sound. These are just some of the many options in the Windy City, where vinyl is very much back in style.

    New York City --I’ve been reading a lot (including on this forum) about the decline of the record store scene in NYC. But I have to believe that even a weakened New York market is still better than most.Stores that tend to receive the most praise these days include Other Music, Academy Records & CDs, Permanent Records and Human Head Records. The NYC region still has plenty of record shops. I’m hoping to make a visit to see for myself sometime.

    Portland, Ore. -- I’ve always heard that this city might even have better record shops than its Pacific Northwest neighbor to the north, Seattle. I visited Music Millennium about a decade ago, and it was a highly impressive store. But there’s more. Portland’s options are really deep for a metro area that’s relatively small. Mississippi Records, Everyday Music, Green Noise Records, 2nd Avenue Records, Jackpot Records and Exiled Records are just some of the other shops in a city that might have more record stores per capita than anywhere else in the U.S.

    Seattle -- There are also no shortage of record shops in the Emerald City. Easy Street Records, Sonic Boom, Jive Time Records, Bop Street Records, Everyday Music, Singles Going Steady and Spin Cycle are just some of the many options. Between Seattle and Portland, the Pacific Northwest has a bunch of good record stores.

    2.) The contenders

    Atlanta -- I have only passed through this large metropolitan area -- “the capital of the South”
    -- but stores such as Criminal Records, Wax ‘N’ Facts, Moods Music, Wuxtry Records and Fantasy Land Records all appear to have very solid reputations. It’s a city I’d like to check out sometime.

    Austin, Texas --
    A great music town with great record stores. I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Waterloo Records a few times in the past decade. That Austin institution was definitely deserving of its inclusion in Rolling Stone’s 2010 ranking (see link below) of the best independent record stores in the U.S. Huge CD selection at Waterloo, and a great place to pick up albums by Texas artists. Good vibes, too, with friendly service and occasional free beer in the store.I haven’t been to any other shops in the Austin area, but several of them generate positive buzz, including End of an Ear, Breakaway Records and Antone’s.

    http://www.rollingstone.com/music/pictures/the-best-record-stores-in-the-usa-20100916

    Baltimore --
    The Sound Garden in Fells Point is a fantastic store that rightly was included in Rolling Stone’s 2010 list of stores. Large selection of CDs especially, and the prices are often great. Celebrated Summer Records and the True Vine Record Shop are other favorites of record store aficionados in “Charm City.”

    Boston --
    Newbury Comics is probably the most well-known store in the region (it was in Rolling Stone’s 2010 list of top stores). But the Boston metro area has many other shops that draw favorable reviews, including In Your Ear Records, Nuggets, Weirdo Records, Planet Records, Somerville Grooves and UndergorundHipHop.

    Cincinnati --
    Makes it this high because of Shake It Records, which I’ve heard nothing but positives about. People really seem to love that store. It was part of Rolling Stone’s 2010 list. Everybody’s Records is another Cincy store with positive reviews.

    Denver --
    Twist & Shout is a very fine store, maybe top 10 in the country. It had one of the biggest CD selections I’ve ever seen when I visited a few years back and also featured a large separate room for vinyl. Wax Trax, Second Spin and Black & Read are other stores that help make the Denver area a pretty great place for record shopping.

    Inland Empire (Calif.) --
    I’m not very familiar with this metro area east of L.A., but I know that it’s highly populated and, judging by a Yelp search, has its share of great record stores. I have heard of the Rhino Records store in Claremont, and by all accounts it’s outstanding. Other shops with glowing reviews include Dr. Strange Records in Alta Loma, Mad Platter in Riverside, Groovers in Riverside and Katz Alley in Redlands.

    Minneapolis/St. Paul --
    I grew up here, so I might be biased, but I think the Twin Cities punch above their weight when it comes to record stores. The Electric Fetus is a top 20 store nationally, maybe even top 10, and Treehouse Records, Cheapo Records (multiple branches), Hymie’s, the Fifth Element and Extreme Noise are all very good as well.

    Nashville, Tenn. --
    The country music capital of the U.S. boasts several strong record stores, including Grimey’s and the Ernest Tubb Record Shop, both of which I’ve visited and can vouch for their excellence. The Great Escape, Third Man Records and Phonoluxe Records are noteworthy as well. Great city to buy country music obviously, but there’s more, too.

    Pittsburgh --
    Included here largely because of Jerry’s Records, one of the best and biggest all-vinyl shops in the U.S. Pittsburgh doesn’t have the deepest roster after that, but Sound Cat Records, the Attic Record Store and the Exchange all appear to have their fans.

    San Diego --
    It might not match L.A. (perhaps no metro area’s record store scene does), but the region to the south, San Diego, has a lot of super shops, too. Record City, M-Theory Music and Access Music seem to receive the most love in the immediate San Diego area. In North County, Lou’s Records in Encinitas, Spin Records in Carlsbad and Standards: A Record Store in Vista have many fans.

    Tampa/St. Petersburg --
    Makes it in this category on the strength of Bananas Music, which has a “regular” store in St. Pete plus a warehouse a few blocks away that contains an amazing amount of vinyl records. Combined, Bananas bills it itself as the “world’s largest record store.” I’ve been to the warehouse, and I believe Bananas claim. I recommend anyone who loves vinyl and “hunting for records” to give Bananas’ warehouse a visit sometime. It’s a really interesting experience. Just remember to bring a list. The Tampa/St. Pete area has other stores of note as well, including Microgroove, Sound Exchange, Inc. and Daddy Kool Records.

    3.) Others putting up a strong fight

    Ann Arbor, Mich. --
    The university town of Ann Arbor, which is about 40 miles away from Detroit, might beat out the Motor City in terms of quality record shops. Standout stores include Encore Records, Wazoo Records and Underground Sounds.

    Athens, Ga. --
    This college town about 70 miles from Atlanta has one of the most iconic stores in the U.S. -- the Wuxtry Records where Peter Buck of R.E.M. used to work. Agora and Low Yo Yo Stuff are other record shops in town.

    Chapel Hill-Raleigh-Durham, N.C. --
    CD Alley is a small but really nice CDs and vinyl store in Chapel Hill that I was able to visit in 2014. Chaz’s Bull City Records and Offbeat Music in neighboring Durham receive good notices, too, as does In the Groove Records in nearby Raleigh.

    Cleveland --
    Home to the Rock and Roll of Fame (which I also highly recommend seeing; it includes a record shop that was pretty strong when I visited in 2009). Standout stores in Cleveland include The Loop, Blue Arrow Records and Books, My Mind’s Eye, Music Saves and The Exchange.

    Columbus, Ohio --
    This university town has more than its share of quality shops, including Used Kids Records, Spoonful Records, Lost Weekend Records and Records Per Minute.

    Detroit --
    From what I gather, the Detroit metro area used to be a powerhouse for record stores. While it has lost some of its luster, the region still has its share of good stores, including Peoples Records, Hello Records, Street Corner Music and Record Graveyard.

    Indianapolis --
    Luna Music, Indy CD & Vinyl, Vibes Music and the Vinyl Rescue Project are just some of the popular spots where Indy-area residents can score vinyl records and CDs.

    Kansas City, Mo. --
    This metro area hovers right around No. 30 in population in the U.S., and while it doesn’t have all that many record stores, it does seem to support the ones that are still in the fight. Mills Record Company, Zebedee’s RPM Music Revolutions, and Vinyl Renaissance & Audio are among the most popular stores in the K.C. metro.

    Las Vegas -- Zia Records, Moondog Records and Record City are some of the most popular shops in this still-growing metro area.

    Memphis, Tenn. --
    This is a city that was so instrumental in the formation of rock-and-roll. Goner Records, Shangri-La Records and Spin Street Music appear to be the key stores.

    New Orleans --
    Like Memphis, New Orleans has a rich musical legacy. The standout stores in the Big Easy include the Louisiana Music Factory, the Domino Sound Record Shack, Euclid Records and Mushroom Records.

    Orlando, Fla. --
    Orlando has a really nice one-two punch with Park Ave. CDs and Rock & Roll Heaven, which are located a mile or two from each other. Rock & Roll Heaven has more of an oldies, collector’s vibe, while Park Ave. carries CDs and vinyl of a more wide-ranging variety.

    Philadelphia --
    AKA Music, Long in the Tooth, Beautiful World Syndicate, Main Street Music and Val Shively R&B Records are among the Philly-area shops that generate strong reviews.

    Phoenix --
    The Phoenix metro area has a fairly lengthy list of popular stores that includes Stinkweeds, Zia Record Exchange, Record Room and Revolver Records.

    Sacramento, Calif. --
    Overshadowed by the Bay Area in Northern California, Sacramento has plenty of nice shops in its own right -- Phono Select Records, Dimple Records, Armadillo Music, Esoteric Records CDs & DVDs, and a store simply called “Records” among them.

    St. Louis -- Chuck Berry’s birthplace has high-quality options in Vintage Vinyl, The Record Exchange and Euclid Records, though the depth appears to fall off quickly after those stores.

    Washington, D.C. --
    This is where I live now. The nation’s capital region has several vinyl-heavy shops in the city (Red Onion Records, Som Records, Smash Records and Crooked Beat Records) plus nice stores in the Virginia suburbs (two branches of CD Cellar) and the Maryland suburbs (Joe’s Record Paradise). The region lacks a signature shop, however.

    4.) At least one great punch (smaller areas with at least one standout store)

    Allentown, Pa. --
    Double Decker Records is a highly regarded shop, called one of the best on the East Coast by some record store veterans.

    Asheville, N.C. --
    This sleepy mountain town is home to Harvest Records, which features a smart selection that can compete with big-city stores. Static Age Records is another highly regarded store in town.

    Bloomington, Ind. --
    Home to the University of Indiana, Bloomington has Landlocked Music, a store that consistently generates positive buzz. TD’s CDs & LPs is another popular shop.

    Boise, Idaho --
    The Record Exchange has many fans on Yelp and has received strong reviews elsewhere. Hastings Books, Music & Video is another store in the area.

    Clarksdale, Miss. --
    Home of Cat Head Delta Blues and Folk Art, a must-stop on any Delta blues pilgrimage.

    Duluth, Minn. --
    This city of about 90,000 near Lake Superior has the other branch of the Electric Fetus, the Minneapolis stalwart. While it’s not as large, the Duluth store is well-curated and definitely worth visiting.

    Johnstown, Pa. --
    This town features George’s Song Shop, which is billed as the oldest record store in the U.S. and features several floors of vinyl.

    Lawrence, Kan. --
    Not all that far from Kansas City, Mo., but not considered part of that metro area, this college town boasts Love Garden Sounds, a store that’s received many positive notices over the years.

    Lexington, K.Y. --
    One record store owner in Florida told me that his favorite record shop in the U.S. was Pop’s Resale in this university town. Yelp reviewers love the place, too. Pop’s sells vintage clothing and items other than records, but word is that the vinyl is plentiful. CD Central is another store in Lexington that receives positive reviews.

    Portland, Maine --
    Bull Moose Records is a highly regarded record store that has multiple locations in New England, including in Portland.

    Princeton, N.J. --
    Princeton Record Exchange in this college town is often mentioned as one of the best record stores on the East Coast, maybe even the best.

    San Luis Obispo, Calif. --
    Boo Boo Records receives rave reviews and was included on Rolling Stone’s 2010 list of the best record stores in the U.S.

    Syracuse, N.Y. --
    Syracuse has the Sound Garden, the sister store of the great Baltimore shop. By all accounts, the Syracuse branch is superb, too.

    5.) But what about …?

    Charlotte, N.C. --
    This metro area is in the top 30 in population, but it appears to have a fairly shallow pool of record stores. Manifest Discs & Tapes, Lunchbox Records and Repo Records & Collectibles seem to be the most popular in the Charlotte region.

    Dallas-Fort Worth --
    Good Records, CD Source, Josey Records and Doc’s Records & Vintage appear to be the most popular shops in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. But for one of the largest metro areas in the U.S., the scene is a little lackluster.

    Houston --
    The same situation as in Dallas-Fort Worth: a highly populated metro area that has a relative dearth of stores. That said, Houston seems to be a little stronger than Dallas and might be on the rise. The popular shops in the Houston area seem to be Cactus Music, Vinal Edge Records, Sig’s Lagoon and Sound Exchange.

    Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach (South Florida) --
    I lived in this region from 2011 to 2014, in West Palm Beach. I have to admit I was disappointed in the South Florida record store scene, especially with the CD options. There were a few nice stores, but they were scattered and I just expected more for such a highly populated region. The best store overall is Radio-Active Records, a vinyl-heavy shop in Fort Lauderdale. Other shops include Sweat Records and Yesterday and Today Records in Miami, Big Apple Books in Fort Lauderdale, the Record Rack in Pompano Beach, CD Trader in Hollywood and Top Five Records in Lake Worth.

    San Antonio --
    I’m not trying to pick on Texas, but here’s another highly populated region (though less so than DFW and Houston) that appears to have a relative lack of independent record stores. The top options seem to be Hog Wild Records, Alamo Records & Sheet Music, and Imagine Books & Records.

    6.) Still in the game (some midsize and smaller metros and some of their shops)

    Albuquerque, N.M.:
    Charley’s 33’s & CD’s; Nob Hill Music
    Birmingham, Ala.: Charlemagne Record Exchange; Renaissance Records; Seasick Records
    Boise, Idaho: Record Exchange; Hastings Books, Music & Video
    Boulder, Colo.: Albums on the Hill; Bart’s Music Shack; Absolute Vinyl Records and Stereo
    Buffalo, N.Y.: Spiral Scratch Records; Record Theatre; M&B Record Exchange
    Colorado Springs, Colo: Independent Records & Video; The Leechpit
    Columbia, S.C.: Papa Jazz Record Shoppe; Manifest Discs & Tapes
    Dayton, Ohio: Omega Music; Gem City Records
    Des Moines, Iowa: Zzz Records; Red Rooster Records; Wayback Records
    El Paso, Texas: All That Music & Video; Mother of Pearl Vinyl
    Fresno, Calif.: Rasputin Music; Spinners Records; Tower District Records
    Grand Rapids, Mich.: Vertigo Music; The Corner Record Shop
    Hartford, Conn.: Integrity ‘n Music
    Honolulu: Jelly’s; Hungry Ear Records
    Iowa City, Iowa: Record Collector
    Ithaca, N.Y.: Angry Mom Records; Volume Records
    Jacksonville, Fla.: Yesterday & Today Records; Deep Search Records; DJ’s Record Shop
    Knoxville, Tenn: The Disc Exchange; Lost & Found Records; Wild Honey Records
    Louisville, Ky.: Guestroom Records; Underground Sounds; Better Days Records
    Madison, Wis.: Madcity Music Exchange; B-Side Compact Discs & Tapes; Ear Wax Records
    Milwaukee: Bullseye Records; Acme Records & Music Emporium; The Exclusive Company
    Oklahoma City: Guestroom Records; Size Records; Charlie’s Jazz-Rhythm & Blues Records
    Omaha, Neb.: Homer’s Music & Gifts; Almost Music; Drastic Plastic; Kanesville Kollectables
    Providence, R.I.: Armageddon Shop; Olympic Records; Analog Underground
    Richmond, Va.: Plan 9 Music; Deep Grooves; Steady Sounds; Vinyl Conflict Record Stores
    Rochester, N.Y.: Record Archive; The Bop Shop; NeedleDrop Records
    Salt Lake City: Randy’s Record Shop; Graywhale CD Exchange; Diabolical Records
    Tucson, Ariz.: Zia Record Exchange; Toxic Ranch; Bookmans Entertainment Exchange
    Tulsa, Okla.: Starship Records & Tapes; Gardner’s Used Books & Music; Blue Moon Discs
    Virginia Beach-Norfolk, Va.: Vinyl Daze Records; Birdland Records; Skinnie’s; AFK Books



     
  2. Axis_67

    Axis_67 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    Wow. Great research.

    This needs to be made a Sticky Thread as reference for anyone planning a trip.
     
  3. MKHopkins

    MKHopkins Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Beaver Falls, PA
    It's a good list, thanks.

    Based upon my last visit to Houston (go a few times a year for work)- I'm totally spoiled in Pittsburgh. The best shops in Houston don't approach those on the "lesser" list here and aren't worth my time.

    I know it's not intended to be exhaustive but one shop I would add to the Baltimore list is Trax on Wax in Catonsville. Not the biggest shop but I have found that they tend to have the nicest used copies of the things I'm looking for especially in rock/soul.
     
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  4. steelydanguy

    steelydanguy Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Arlington, VA, USA
    Thanks for the tip on Trax on Wax. I'll have to check that one out the next time I'm up in the Baltimore area. Looks like it's a newer store, as I don't remember it when I lived in Baltimore from 2007 to 2009. The reviews on Yelp are pretty positive.


     
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  5. Burlington, VT has 2 great stores

    Burlington Records and Speaking Volumes
     
  6. chodad

    chodad Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northern NY
    Last time I visited House Of Guitars in Rochester, NY they had a huge music selection in their basement.
     
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  7. I used to drive down once a year for a weekend and go shopping there! I don't know what it's like now, but back then it was pretty awesome!
     
  8. ARK

    ARK Forum Resident

    Location:
    Charlton, MA, USA
    What about Pure Pop?

    Never heard of Speaking Volumes. I don't live in Burlington anymore, but I do go up regularly since my mother-in-law lives there. Is it new? What street is it on?
     
  9. shinedaddy

    shinedaddy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Valley Village, Ca
    Nice list but there is a problem. A lot of the stores you list as being "great" or excellent I think are atrocious, awful stores not worth a second visit unless you are forced to because you live there. I travel the country constantly for my job and have shopped in more record stores than most. I can give you 10 examples of stores you list as great I would never ever ever set foot in again....so although your list is nice as purely a list of what exists, I wouldnt use it as anything else.

    I could put together a list of what I thought were great stores in about 1/3 of the cities listed above....actual great stores in my opinion but I dont know if I want to give them up publicly (locals know whats great) and what point would it serve otherwise.

    Some quick examples.....both Asheville stores you list are god-awful for used vinyl. Period.

    Grimey's in Nashville is awful too. wont EVER go back.

    Rhino Records in Claremont is so bad I would not recommend to my worst enemy as a joke!! Absolutely abyssmal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    this is all IMHO of course, but I visited dozens of these stores and some very recently.
     
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  10. clhboa

    clhboa Forum Resident

    It's been a few years since I've been there so I can't say what they are like now but I'm always surprised that Finder's Records in Bowling Green, Ohio never gets mentioned.

    http://findersrecords.com/
     
  11. steveharris

    steveharris Forum Resident

    Location:
    Mass
    That Place In Providence Just is Awful!!!!Try Round Again right on the same road.The owner is eccentric and cranky but some good stuff shows up there sometimes.
    Where should I stop in Kentucky?
     
  12. LordThanos1969

    LordThanos1969 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ, USA
    I have been to Waterloo Records and was underwhelmed by the selection of used CDs and especially vinyl. While the store does have a cool vibe, I would never consider it for that list in Rolling Stone.

    Phoenix is way better for music shopping than Austin. Heck, Dallas-Ft. Worth is better too :laugh:.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2015
  13. Rodz42

    Rodz42 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    In Chicago you have one glaring omission and forgot the best store in that area IMHO, Reckless Records. Not only 1, but 3 of them in the city. The stock is so varied that I call them "Amoeba Lite". With the possible exception of Dusty Groove they crush every one of the stores that you mentioned.

    But not to nitpick---a great informative list!!
     
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  14. Rodz42

    Rodz42 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Nothing to do with your list, but just read the Rolling Stone link you posted. I have no idea how the hell Laurie's Planet Of Sound made it in there. I hate to bag on an indie store, but it's mediocre at best. Used stock is pretty weak and doesn't turn over much. New stock is ok, but nothing out of the ordinary. Prices are a bit high and the staff isn't exactly pleasant. The idea that it's one of the top 30 in the country is laughable. It's not even in the top 5 in Chicago. Someone either didn't do their homework or someone paid off RS to put them in there.
     
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  15. steelydanguy

    steelydanguy Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Arlington, VA, USA
    Thanks for the local info on Chicago regarding Reckless Records. I'm originally from the Midwest (St. Paul, Minn.) and have visited the Windy City a few times. Great city overall, by the way. Sadly, because of a variety of circumstances, my trips to Chicago haven't included a lot of record shopping. I hope to rectify that with a future visit. I have been to the Jazz Record Mart, though, and do think that's a one-of-a-kind place. Makes sense that a blues/jazz specialty store would exist in Chicago, home of the electric blues.

    I know what you mean regarding that Rolling Stone list. While I think most of the stores on that list are great (I have been to several of them), they missed the mark on a few of them. They included Hymie's in Minneapolis, for example. While I am glad that Hymie's is around and a lot of people like it, I don't think it should have been included on the list. If they were intent on featuring a second store from Minneapolis/St. Paul besides the Electric Fetus, a better choice probably would have been Treehouse Records or even the two Cheapo branches.

    How would you rank the Chicago independent record stores? And thanks again for the feedback.


     
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  16. Rodz42

    Rodz42 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Just a clarification, Jazz Record Mart is in a league of it's own when it comes to Jazz and Blues. It's a fantastic store for what it stocks. It's a top tier store for sure.

    I'll rank the ones I've been too. If I don't mention it here, it's because of this reason.

    I'm also leaving out generic chains, like the Exchange and FYE. They don't belong in these discussions, IMHO

    The top:

    Reckless Broadway
    Reckless Wicker Park
    Dusty Groove
    Reckless Downtown
    Logan Hardware

    Those are my favorites. All 5 are regular stops.

    Jazz Record Mart deserves to be in that list but Jazz and Blues are not my Niche, so I'll put it in it's own grouping :)

    The rest are all good to average, in order I'd probably go:

    Permanent Records
    Groovin High
    Dave's Records
    Laurie's Planet Of Sound
    Willbillys (formerly Village Records)
    Record Breakers
    Grammaphone
    Hyde Park Records
    K-Starke

    On the very bottom of the list---to be avoided at all costs:

    Rolling Stones Records
    Beverly Records

    Oddly enough both have been around longer than all of those above besides Jazz Record Mart. I'm not sure how, as they are both so abysmally awful in every way, shape and form.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2015
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  17. steelydanguy

    steelydanguy Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Arlington, VA, USA
    Nice breakdown on the Chicago scene. Thanks for the input.


     
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  18. Mr. LP Collector

    Mr. LP Collector Well-Known Member

    I agree! An awful lot of good info here and it took a fair amount of time to compile all of it. Thank you!
     
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  19. steelydanguy

    steelydanguy Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Arlington, VA, USA
    No problem, and thanks. It was a labor of love, as you probably can tell!

    As I mentioned, I don't travel as much I'd like to, so I haven't come close to seeing all of the record stores I listed. I do check out shops, though, as much as possible when I do get a chance to travel. I'll likely be going to the San Francisco area in April or May and am looking forward to investigating that record store scene in greater depth than I did on a couple of previous visits more than 10 years ago.

    I've found that the Web site Yelp is a pretty good tool for checking out popular stores in any given region. I've picked up a lot of useful info on this site as well.

     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2015
  20. greelywinger

    greelywinger That T-Rex Guy

    Location:
    Dayton, Ohio USA
    Gem City Records is now called The Record Gallery and has moved down the street.
    Omega Music moved into the spot where Gem City Records used to be.
    They are in walking distance from each other.

    Darryl
     
  21. zphage

    zphage Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bucks County, PA
    NYC is not top tier,
    just two stores in NJ (PREX and Vintage Vinyl)
    clobber everything the city has to offer.

    For Phila add:
    Record Museum
    Record Collector
    Randy's Man Cave
    Positively Records
    Phila Record Exchange
    Gold Million
    Shady Dog
    Siren
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2015
  22. MKHopkins

    MKHopkins Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Beaver Falls, PA
    Stopped at George's in Johnstown today, it is a nice little store. The 5 stories of vinyl claim is a little misleading, you don't get to peruse 5 stories of vinyl, just one. As far as I could tell anyway, I didn't ask the owner if I got to see the rest.

    45s are what really sets it apart, he has a ton of them. They're not really my thing though. Still, I managed to find some jazz LPs, couple Getz and Nefretiti by Miles Davis, which I'd been looking for. Everything's unpriced which is a peeve of mine. We agreed at $8 ea for 7 albums, all VG++ or better by my eye.

    So, mixed bag but definitely a place to check out if you're in the Laurel Highlands area.
     
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  23. JPagan

    JPagan Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Florida
    Regarding Radio Active Records: it may be great for vinyl, but for CDs it's pathetic. For used CDs, go to CD Trader instead.

    Props for your effort, though. Not an easy task, considering how uncertain this sector is nowadays; what with stores disappearing overnight and without warning.
     
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  24. samurai

    samurai Forum Resident

    Location:
    MINNESOTA
    steelydanguy,
    May I add Agharta Records and Barely Brothers Records in the 280 & University area of St.Paul/Minneapolis?
     
  25. mmart1

    mmart1 Member

    SPOT ON re: Laurie's Planet of Sound in Chicago. Every time I go in there I think "what is with all the good press this place gets?" No reason to make the trek there in my opinion.

    Your top five for Chicago is spot on as well. I go to Reckless Downtown since it's close to my office, but they're all good. Larger selection at the Broadway and Wicker Park stores.

    A fun plus for Logan Hardware is the vintage arcade games in the backroom. Any purchase gets you a code to unlock the backroom door for unlimited free play of classics like Pac Man, Galaga, etc. Staff there is very nice too.
     
    Rodz42 likes this.

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