Chicago area record stores past and present (with photos)

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

  1. C6H12O6

    C6H12O6 Forum Resident

    Location:
    My lab
    I've been to Laurie's quite a few times though not in a very, very long time. Close to Old Town School of Folk Music, right? I recall stuff being overpriced, but on par with a lot of record stores I've been to - I didn't buy any vinyl then, I went mostly because they were well-stocked in the latest indie releases, and they were typically reasonably priced. Also plenty of deals on used stuff. It was cool, at least when I went.
     
  2. weaselriot

    weaselriot Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL

    Are you talking about the same "Laurie's". I don't think so. Today and in recent years there is "Laurie's Plant of Sound" (located near Lincoln Square), but I was referring to "Laury's Discount Records", which had about a half dozen stores around the Chicago area, but were completely bought out by Rose Records in fall 1986. Neither had anything to do with the other (note different spelling). Since you mention deals on used stuff, I strongly suspect you are referring to the latter day "Laurie's Planet of Sound", which buys and sells used records and CDs. "Laury's Discount Records" was strictly new stock product which existed only during the vinyl era ending around 1990. There was no "overpricing" per se, but as time went by Laury's tended to charge pretty close to MSRP, with discounts increasingly becoming limited to cutouts and label sponsored series like "The Nice Price". And as CDs emerged in the mid-1980s, it was always full retail for those. Even from the late-1970s, there were increasingly deals as good or better at other stores, though Laury's stores typically had the biggest selection in the suburbs, especially at the stores in Niles and Evanston. Laury's also carried a full line of imports and audiophile vinyl (such as there was during that time).

    Different animals from different eras.
     
  3. C6H12O6

    C6H12O6 Forum Resident

    Location:
    My lab
    No, we were both talking about the same place. Go back to the original post we were referring to, which was an old post, not yours:
     
  4. weaselriot

    weaselriot Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL

    OK, but that is not the Laury's I have been talking about in my posts about the record stores back in the vinyl era. The Laurie's Planet of Sound is still there, still near Lincoln Square as is the school of music you mentioned. And FWIW from their website, it looks like a pretty cool place even now, though living in far northern Lake County I tend to go to Exclusive Company in the south Milwaukee suburb of Greenfield. They deal in used and new records, CDs and DVD/Blu-Ray (specializing in Criterion cinema titles), a very big store with very robust selection. Half Price Books is right next door dealing in used records, CDs, DVD/Blu-Ray as well, in addition to used and new books. Then a nice big Barnes & Noble is just across the street for even more new vinyl. Easy triple play in one easy drive (99% freeway, no slow traffic, no fighting through slow urban street traffic and lights), which is hard to find these days.

    With the better Chicago stores more spread apart and buried on surface streets some distance away from the expressway, it's a no-brainer for me. But I may have to check out Laurie's (yours) the next time I go to Music Direct, as it's not that far out of the way to hit both (former is near Lawrence, Music Direct further east but on Bryn Mawr).
     
  5. weaselriot

    weaselriot Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL

    Did you notice that on the sign pictured above FLIPSIDE is one word, but on their T-shirts and their print ads it was always two words "Flip Side". I always had to ask when writing a check.
     
    sa5150 likes this.
  6. bluedog76

    bluedog76 New Member

    Location:
    Bartlett, IL
     
  7. bluedog76

    bluedog76 New Member

    Location:
    Bartlett, IL
    I grew up in Mt Prospect and I remember my dad taking me to Big Apple Records on Golf Rd just east of Elmhurst in Des Plaines on Saturday afternoons. I would buy 45s of the biggest songs of the era. I would love to see pictures of that place from the late 80s.
     
  8. Rodz42

    Rodz42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Just remember that there are 4 record stores not too far off of the division exit going southbound on 90/94. But yes, other than those you are correct as the rest aren't freeway close
     
    weaselriot likes this.
  9. weaselriot

    weaselriot Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL

    I remember Big Apple and shopped there a few times myself, as it was right on the way home from work at School District 59 when I worked there 1982-1985. I picked up "Shoot Out the Lights" and "Born in the USA" there at least, and I think a couple of early R.E.M. titles. But my favorite in that general area was Laury's on Milwaukee, just north of Golf Road and Golf Mill, in Niles. Best selection, but pretty much close to full retail for most titles. Once the vinyl era ended, all of those places were gone, which mad Hip Cat Records on Dundee near Elmhurst one of my favorites.
     
  10. Shawn

    Shawn Forum Resident

    I've been meaning to check out Hip Cat's new(er) location in Wilmette - anyone been there?
     
  11. recstar24

    recstar24 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glen Ellyn, IL
    I stopped in I think last summer, very nice guy, great to talk to and super knowledgeable. A nice space too, well organized and clean, quality used vinyl and good new stuff and reissues.
     
    Shawn likes this.
  12. sa5150

    sa5150 Well-Known Member

    Do you remember the girls that worked there in the late 80's ?
     
  13. Glenn Christense

    Glenn Christense Foremost Beatles expert... on my block

    Not really because by then I was in the northern suburbs and would just stop by there when i was in the area.
     
  14. saturdayboy

    saturdayboy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago
    i do!!! they were an interesting crew!!!
     
    sa5150 likes this.
  15. jamesc

    jamesc Formerly Known as Undertow

    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    I worked with "Scary" Mary at JR's Music Shop in Woodfield before she moved over to Rolling Stones. She was always awesome!
     
    sa5150 likes this.
  16. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
  17. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    One that is really doing well in Wheaton is Mile Long Records- huge selection of new vinyl in stock. Mike caters to everything but is big on rock, post punk and has is expanding the Jazz section. Very knowledgeable about all genres and can usually find anything you are looking for if it isn't in stock. You can order via e-mail and then pick it up.

    Mile Long Records - Vinyl Record Retailer - Wheaton, IL
     
    MartyTem likes this.
  18. recstar24

    recstar24 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glen Ellyn, IL
    Was just there this afternoon! Didn't pick up anything but they had some of the AP Prestige that I've been eyeing.

    However, was able to have the guy clean a record of mine on their ultrasonic cleaner :)
     
    MartyTem likes this.
  19. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago metro, USA
    Excellent! Mike was probably not there on Sundays though. As part of the purchase he will clean your record and put it into a MoFi sleeve free of charge! Since I wash all of my new vinyl it is so cool to be able to come home and play them right away!

    Their vintage system sounds really good too- a Sansui receiver, Technics table and for now some Utah horn speakers. He used to have large Advents but sold them. It's right on my way home from work and I have the filled in shelves of vinyl to prove it!
     
    MartyTem likes this.
  20. recstar24

    recstar24 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glen Ellyn, IL
    Nice, never thought to actually have him clean my new purchases lol. Will remember next time and maybe I’ll catch you there as well!
     
    MartyTem likes this.
  21. drew naples

    drew naples New Member

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I found this forum and discussion in a search-- still active after 7 years? Wow.... anyways I was trying to think of the name of the record store that used to be in Niles... Ballard and Cumberland maybe? I can see it and could probably draw a picture of it-- it was either free standing or maybe had only one other small business attached. Thanks!
     
  22. sa5150

    sa5150 Well-Known Member

    record city in Skokie and Wavelength by harlem and north ave ave were great for cds
    I can not think of a record store there unless it was in the 80's ? There may have been something where the home depot is , like a disc-go-round . I loved the Rose records on milwuakee , They used to sell concert tickets (one of the first ticketmaster's) And the Sears down the street at the mall had Ticketron .
     
  23. weaselriot

    weaselriot Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL

    The Rose Records on Milwaukee (just north of Golf Mill) was previously Laurie's before Rose bought it out. While it was still Laury's when I started shopping there in 1981, it was a much larger store with a first rate selection. Then the store shrunk down to about half its size about the time they (along with the whole Laury's chain) were bought out by Rose October 1986, or not long after that. Then a Sound Warehouse opened a few blocks away and Laury's/Rose was gone by the early 1990s, replaced by a used records chain from Callifornia. The downtown Rose Records on Wabash was the be all and end all for me in the Chicago area, even after it became a Tower store (thank goodness Tower maintained much of the previous Rose inventory. Maybe the Record Hunter in New York was better, but not by much.
     

Share This Page