London Record Shop Recommendations

Discussion in 'Music, Movie and Hardware Store Guide' started by Clinton Kelley, Mar 10, 2022.

  1. Clinton Kelley

    Clinton Kelley Active Member Thread Starter

    I’m an American who plans to spend the entire month of July in London, UK. Any recommendations for great record shops? I tend more toward CDs than vinyl records.

    Thanks in advance for any recommendations!
    steelydanguy likes this.
  2. eddiel

    eddiel Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    Been a while since I was there, not sure how great these shops still are for cds...
    Reckless Records London (Soho) (two locations, only new though)
    intoxica – Collectable & Rare Vinyl Records<br> Bought and Sold (don't think they have much cds) (never been but it's always mentioned when this topic comes up)
    Music & Video Exchange (Soho location closed)
    Sister Ray Records | Vinyl & CDs (soho)

    In the Soho area there's also Sounds of the Universe and Phonica (new and mostly electronica sort of stuff).

    Since you are there for awhile and might have time for the occasional trip outside of London, Brighton has some great shops as well.
    zphage and Clinton Kelley like this.
  3. yasujiro

    yasujiro Forum Resident

    Is Rodger of GRAMEX still alive and fine?
  4. jalexander

    jalexander Forum Resident

    Good recommendations form @eddiel. Mapping out many of those shops will give you a great walking tour of London, which is my favourite way to see the city. Especially if you from the Exchange in Notting Hill (my personal fave) down to all the classic shops in Soho. Also, scope out the charity shops as well. They’re much smaller than American Salvation Army type warehouses, but as CDs fall into disfavour, might turn up the occasional lucky find.
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  5. eddiel

    eddiel Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    Good call on the charity shops. They over price their lps but probably give their cds away :)
    Clinton Kelley likes this.
  6. Clinton Kelley

    Clinton Kelley Active Member Thread Starter

    Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone! And yes, charity shops are time consuming, but you can find awesome things there. I've experienced that here in the States too.
  7. Muddy Holly

    Muddy Holly Forum Resident

    Last time I was there, Fopp (Covent Garden) had some good prices on select new CDs, at least compared to what I can find them for in Canada.
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  8. TheHutt

    TheHutt Forum Resident

    Check out the Lower Marsh market (near Waterloo station) on Saturdays. Two words: "Johnny Skates". Really a good address for fairly-priced vintage.

    None of that overpriced bollocks.
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  9. Chee

    Chee Forum Resident

    Nottinghill. Been decades but that deprice everything Exchange took all of my money.
  10. boiledbeans

    boiledbeans Forum Resident

    I've been to the 2 Rough Trade shops recently (February). They have severely downsized their CD collection. Rough Trade West has 2 shelves of CD. Vinyl dominates. Rough Trade East has 2 double-sided shelves. Again vinyl dominates.

    If you do want to visit at least one Rough Trade, go to Rough Trade East since that's the larger one.

    Fopp & HMV are the same company. They have far better back catalogue than Rough Trade. I would suggest going to Fopp Covent Garden and HMV Westfield if you're in Central London.

    There are bigger HMVs on the outskirts of London, such as at Lakeside and Bluewater shopping centres. HMV Reading is also quite large, but is even further out than the two options mentioned above. You may want to skip these 3 options if you're on limited time.

    The options mentioned above are new CDs only.

    Sister Ray and Reckless (mentioned in eddiel's post) have both new and used CDs. For the new CDs, if you like to hold and the actual product and inspect the jewel case for cracks (OCD like me), then these aren't good options. They often put scans of the album cover on the shelves. You have to bring the scan to the counter and they'll retrieve the CD from the cupboards.

    Fopp, Sister Ray and Reckless are near each other. You can visit all 3 in one go.

    Final words: if you're looking for new CDs, I suggest Fopp and HMV, which are also my favourite hangouts for browsing CDs.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2022
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  11. Chee

    Chee Forum Resident

    Hit the record fairs and hit them hard.
  12. Orthogonian Blues

    Orthogonian Blues Forum Resident

    London, UK
    Good tip, but it appears from their website that the Lower Marsh market is only open Monday to Friday.
  13. Orthogonian Blues

    Orthogonian Blues Forum Resident

    London, UK
    If you don't mind going a little bit off the beaten track, I recommend Wanted Records in Beckenham (about 25 minutes train journey from Central London).

    A great big musty shop stuffed full of vinyl (in good condition), and also plenty of CDs and DVDs.
  14. Ste_S

    Ste_S Forum Resident

    Birmingham, UK
    I'd also add in Sounds of the Universe, Phonica and Third Man Records, all in Soho. You can combine those with Sister Ray, Reckless and Fopp; all within walking distance of each other.
    eddiel likes this.
  15. Willowman

    Willowman Senior Member

    London, UK
    Greenwich is a good tourist spot (Cutty Sark, Toyal Observatory, Maritime Museum), but also a good branch of Music and Video Exchange, and Casbah Records - very good stock of new LPs and some CDs.
    alex1976delarge likes this.

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