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12 Hours In London - Record Shops

Discussion in 'Music, Movie and Hardware Store Guide' started by 5th-beatle, May 18, 2017.

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  1. 5th-beatle

    5th-beatle Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Hello folks. My flight in London has been delayed for 24 hours, so I'll be in town for the day. I have been to the city before and visited all the main tourist attractions (plus Abbey Road and other Beatles-related places), so I'm thinking about spending the next 10 hours just walking around a bit and I would appreciate some recommendations.

    For example, what are the best second-hand record stores, especially for Beatles-related items? Perhaps I'll have the time to visit a couple of them.

    Also, is there anything else going on in the city today that I should know about? Just in case there is a unique opportunity to do something interesting.

    Thanks in advance for your replies.

    Too bad this delayed flight did not happen a week from today, as I would then have been able to buy the new Sgt. Pepper boxed set.
    deany76 likes this.
  2. PretzelLogic

    PretzelLogic Does not play well with fascists or southern rock.

    London, England
    Berwick St is central- just go to Oxford Circus tube stop and it's a five minute walk. The two most comprehensive shops - Rhythm Records and Sister Ray are more or less opposite each other on that street. And there's the more eclectic Sounds Of The Universe two minutes away round the corner.

    Rough Trade East is big, but can be a pain to reach if you don't know East London- it's just off Brick Lane or Hanbury Street at the Liverpool Street end. It may also be record market day at Spitalfields Market which is about 500m from Rough Trade.

    Flashback on Essex Rd is good- a ten minute walk from Angel tube.

    All of that should keep you busy!
  3. jalexander

    jalexander Forum Resident

    I'd echo Bereixk St.

    Also, my fave remains music & video exchange in Notting Hill.

    Don't forget to get a coffee at Monmouth.
    5th-beatle and deany76 like this.
  4. autumn daze

    autumn daze I really don't belong here

    Milton Keynes, UK
    If you do end up Liverpool Street way, I highly recommend Voodoo Rays in Shoreditch at the Box Park for lunch. It's a pizza place but there's nowhere like it in the UK, it's incredibly good for a quick bite to eat.

    Looks like it's a nice morning out there for a wander, at least, so have a good one.
    5th-beatle and deany76 like this.
  5. I think the best day for CDs/vinyl at Spitalfields is Wednesday, but there is one stall that always seems to be there whichever day I've been. Some of their CDs aren't exactly… um, 'official' but I can't remember seeing any Beatles among those last time I was there.

    If Rough Trade interests you, @5th-beatle, and you're in the Liverpool Street area around 1pm, PM me and I'll gladly show you where it is.
    5th-beatle and deany76 like this.
  6. KaptKopter

    KaptKopter Forum Resident

    I echo Berwick Street too and also Sounds of the Universe. Its a bit out of the way, but Lucky 7 in Stoke Newington, Church Street (on the overground from Liverpool Street) is a great little record shop, some good finds in there.
    5th-beatle and deany76 like this.
  7. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    Flashback - nearest tube stop is Angel, is my favourite. The prices tend to be fair and they always have interesting stock. Last time I went I got The Who - Direct Hits - original Track mono and The Best of the Spencer Davis Group - original UK mono pink Island for £15 for the two. Both in strong VG condition with no faults. There are often bargains to be had in there.
    5th-beatle, deany76 and DTK like this.
  8. LivingForever

    LivingForever Forum Arachibutyrophobic

    Yeah, prices are a bit better at Flashback but you'll pay "London Prices" at anything in Zone 1/2.

    Outside the main central area, there are better bargains to be had, but you probably won't have time to get there.
    5th-beatle, deany76 and Man at C&A like this.
  9. 5th-beatle

    5th-beatle Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Thank you all for the quick replies. The weather does seem nice today for a walk, so I wrote down your suggestions and I'll try to visit most of them.

    Too bad my cell phone battery is running low (I don't have an adapter to charge it on British power outlets) and I will not have an internet connection while on the streets, otherwise I would be glad to meet you @Avery Keen-Garde so thanks for the offer.

    Fingers crossed that one of those record shops is selling the Sgt Pepper box a full week before release date (yeah, right) so that I can take it with me on the flight back to Brazil tonight :)
    Man at C&A and deany76 like this.
  10. jimjim

    jimjim Forum Resident

    Sister Ray...Denmark St (I think)
    5th-beatle and deany76 like this.
  11. PretzelLogic

    PretzelLogic Does not play well with fascists or southern rock.

    London, England
    My bad - it's actually Reckless Records, not Rhythm Records. That closed a few years ago, alas, and was in Camden.
    5th-beatle likes this.
  12. raphph

    raphph They finally, REALLY did it!

    What a depressing thread that has made me realise the damning state of London record stores...

    Same the world over though so not confined to London...

    I used to be able to spend a whole week just buying records and CDs in London! Now it's a lunch hour!
    eddiel, dlemaudit, DTK and 1 other person like this.
  13. My nearest city is Worcester and back in the 80's we had Our Price, HMV, Revolver Records, Music Market, Discery, Magpie Records and a few others. Today we have a "run-down" HMV primarily selling T-shirts and DVD's. To my knowledge, all the rest have long disappeared!
    deany76 and raphph like this.
  14. Swindon is the same. One HMV and a couple of vinyl-only outlets.
    SteveM likes this.
  15. DTK

    DTK Forum Resident

    I second Flashback in Islington (Angel tube station).
  16. DTK

    DTK Forum Resident

    I remember the 3-story HMW and Virgin...heaven.
  17. JohnS

    JohnS Senior Member

    London, UK
    I'd echo all of the above recommendations but you won't be able to get to them all in a day. 12 hours will fly by, by the time you've spent just getting around London.
    It all depends where you are based for your stopover.
    Berwick Street is central London - Reckless Records and Sister Ray are musts, but heading east in the same neck of the woods is Fopp, near Cambridge Circus/Covent Garden; It's part of the HMV group and sells only new stuff (CDs, vinyl, plus DVDs and books), but is very well stocked and has some bargains at times.
    There's one HMV store on Oxford Street, near Bond Street tube station (westwards from Berwick Street) which also does vinyl aswell as the usual CDs and DVDs. I prefer Fopp to this place, but at least they recognise the store's part in Beatles lore (it's where Brian Epstein had some early demos pressed up as acetates) by having a blue plaque on the wall outside.
    Flashback in Islington is great, but this is north London and quite a journey to make for just one shop (alas, Islington used to have a great branch of Reckless Records nearby, and Haggle Vinyl, but both long gone)
    Rough Trade East is also a great shop but very indie/modern focussed, and I don't think they do second-hand here. Quite a trip out the the east end.

    If you can head west, at Notting Hill Gate there is Music and Video Exchange

    Music & Video Exhchange | Notting Hill, London - Records, CDs, Vinyl

    Easy to find from the tube station, always packed with second hand vinyl and CDs and with knowledgeable staff. Prices can be high but get marked down until stuff sells and you can find some good deals here - especially in the basement where the real cheap stock goes. Round the corner they have other shops selling books, vintage clothes and homewares etc.
    And if you walk down Portobello Road - where, depending on the days of the week, there are some second-hand market stalls on the street - you can get to Rough Trade (the older branch) which has a very good basement of rare/vintage vinyl.

    But a 'hidden' gem which I've recently found (although they've been going years) is Rat Records in Camberwell (south London). Way off the tourist trail, but a fantastic shop in an overlooked part of London.

    Rat Records, Camberwell - buy and sell second hand records, albums, cds
  18. Linto

    Linto Mayor of Simpleton

    Go to Essex Road shops in Islington, then walk 5 minutes to Grahams HIFI, who have a great LP selection.
    5th-beatle likes this.
  19. Jellis77

    Jellis77 Forum Resident

    Brighton, UK
    14 record shops in Brighton - much better and cheaper than London. It's one of the reasons I moved here! ps I appreciate this doesn't help the op today
    vudicus, raphph and LivingForever like this.
  20. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    South West, UK.
    Rise Records

    Picked up a few RSD titles at the Bristol branch.
    SteveM likes this.
  21. Mister President

    Mister President Forum Resident

    I agree. Just came back from Amsterdam...an amazing array of record shops there!
    All Down The Line and mogambotek like this.
  22. mogambotek

    mogambotek Forum Resident

    Bombay, India
    Managed to snag Neil Young Decade RSD, Floyd Interstellar RSD and Gratefulness Dead Cornell box from Sister Ray just a few days ago.

    Has anyone been to the Smaller Rough Trade (not the one near Brixton but one more centrally london?)
    Jimbo912 likes this.
  23. JJAM

    JJAM Forum Resident

    South East
    The smaller Rough Trade is just off Portobello Road (Notting Hill) - over-priced and not really worth bothering with, but Honest Jon's is close by too.

    The other Flashback shops (Bethnal Green and Crouch End) are well worth checking out...

    If MVE in Notting Hill closed down, I'd close down. But there's little chance of that happening, and their Soho branch will be opening again soon...
    5th-beatle, JohnS and LivingForever like this.
  24. LivingForever

    LivingForever Forum Arachibutyrophobic

    Oh, that's great news! I miss that place...
  25. Oh yes, a good call, I'd almost forgotten them completely. I picked up one of the Dylan "50th Anniversary Copyright Extension" LP sets from there and they unofficially "held" the copy for me too.
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