Vinyl Destinations

Published by Joe Cooper

  • Bull Moose - USA

    82 Congress St, Portsmouth, NH 03801
    This independent record store, in my kind-of home town, is my absolute favorite. Their new vinyl selection isn't huge, but it touches on most genres and the prices are pretty damn good.
    Bull Moose also gets loads of limited edition pressings and special releases. Rumor has it they're partly responsible for the hugely successful international Record Store Day celebrations.
    The selection of used records is great, at least twice the size of the new stuff, and jam packed with goodies. Most used records go for around $10.

  • Rebel Rebel Records - USA

    319 Bleecker St (btwn Grove & Christopher), New York, NY 10014
    This store... I don't quite know how to put into words how much I love it. It's small, but mighty. From the outside the store looks a mess, full of boxes, they've got vinyl everywhere - floor to ceiling. It may not appear to be organized, but the folks who run the joint know where everything is.
    You'll find pretty much anything you could be looking for in the rock/pop/indie/alt/jazz realms. The new's are priced well, not ridiculously overpriced, but not cheap. Second hand is also priced fairly, and they've got a lot of hard to find rarities on hand.

  • Flohmarkt am Rathaus Schöneberg - DE

    John-F.-Kennedy-Platz (Am Rathaus Schöneberg), 10825 Berlin
    This may come as a shocker, but I've found more amazing records in the junk bins here than I have in many of the more popular stores in the area.
    Tip: Don't ever let them charge you more than 2€ for a record. If they try to charge more than that, walk away... 9 times out of 10 they'll yell for you to come back and lower the price.

  • Reckless Records - UK

    30 Berwick St., London, Greater London, W1F 8RH
    Reckless Records is located almost directly across the street from Sister Ray. Of the few record shops I visited, I probably spent the most amount of time in this one while visiting London. The selection of old/rare vinyl pressings here might be a bit more impressive than across the street, with prices to match. This shop also offers a great deal of diversity in their collection, much of it being super affordable. For only £21 I walked out with two Billie Holiday recordings, a Nina Simone record and a Dakota Staton release. Pretty impressive. It appears as though they clean the records before shelving them and conveniently rate the condition of the vinyl and sleeve on the price tag. I will definitely be visiting this shop again in the future.

  • BadstueRock - DK

    Badstuegade 22, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark
    This hole-in-the-wall record shop (in a super old, tiny building) is pretty damn awesome. With a good mix of new and old, you're bound to find a treasure buried within the shelves.
    As one of Denmark's oldest independent record stores, Badstuerock takes part in international Record Store Day. This is a great place to find limited edition pressings by current artists and rare/old/original pressings by older ones - and the prices are't as ridiculous as they could be. Definitely worth a visit if you're in the area.

  • Q-Tip-Records - DE

    Reichenbergerstrasse 120, 10999 Berlin
    This tiny basement vinyl hot-spot is full (floor to ceiling - literally) of well priced used vinyl. There's so much here, you'll barely scratch the surface during your first visit. Q-Tip is usually my first destination when I'm hunting for a particular recording. I've also found some gems while browsing, you just never know what you'll come across.

  • Earwax Records - USA

    167 N 9th St (btwn Bedford & Driggs Ave.), Brooklyn, NY 11211
    They may have relocated to a smaller venue, but their collection hasn't suffered. This little indie shop has a bit of everything, both new and used. You might assume that, given their location, the prices would be a high, but that's not the case. In fact, I've found that the pricing for the new releases was well below other shops in the area. The staff is generally super friendly and willing to help, if you can't find what you're looking for, just ask!

  • Other Music - USA

    15 E 4th St (btwn Lafayette St. & Broadway), New York, NY 10003
    Another tiny NYC music destination, this shop offers loads of tunes on both CD and vinyl (and sometimes cassette). I can imagine that their lower East Village/NoHo rent isn't low, and their prices are somewhat reflective of that (a little high), but their selection makes up for it. New artists abound here, local bands and small bands from outside the city have their spots next to the big in-bands of the moment. This is a great store for discovering a new artist, to get your hands on an artists tunes before they get big, or to pick up a vinyl of one of your favorites.

  • Power Park Records - DE

    Boxhagener Straße 19, Berlin, Germany
    I love this record store. Nicely organized, good prices and a lot to look through. The jazz collection in the back (to the right) is great! I finally found the second volume in an Ella Fitzgerald set here and my partner in crime finally found that Dave Brubeck recording we've been looking for. There's also a great hip-hop selection and a fantastic beer shop next-door!

  • Bleecker Street Records - USA

    188 W 4th St (btwn Jones & Barrow St), New York, NY 10014
    Although they've recently moved (I have yet to visit the new location), I've heard that this record store is still nothing short of amazing. This is where I first discovered Weezer back in the early 90's, a band that pretty much took over my life during my teen years. The vinyl collection at this store is pretty eclectic (as is their CD selection) and a tad bit on the expensive side, but given the rarity of some of the items in stock, you might actually be getting a good deal. And even if they are expensive, I don't mind... I'd much rather support the local music store.

  • Sister Ray Records - UK

    34-35 Berwick St (at D'Arblay St), London, Greater London, W1F 8RP
    The first record store I ever visited in London, Sister Ray. Located in a new, two floor (but still tiny) location, this place is JAM PACKED with awesome vinyl. I was especially impressed with all the old rare pressings offered. Of course, because they're vinyl experts, they know the value of a first pressing Bowie or Beatles album. The prices aren't particularly low - i.e. an original Sgt. Pepper might set you back around £300, but that's probably exactly what it's worth! Sister Ray is a great place to hunt for a particular album for your collection or to discover a new (old) release you didn't know you wanted.

  • Wax Art - DE

    Gärtnerstraße 23, 10245 Berlin, Germany
    Attached to a smoky cafe, this shop is packed with great music. Wax Art has a pretty large selection, especially for its small size, across almost all genres. Prices aren't horrible, I would say most records are priced at around 10€.

  • Goodwill Stores - USA

    This go-to spot for bargain hunting/vintage loving fashionista's isn't just for clothes and Precious Moments collectables. At almost every location, usually hidden somewhere in the back, you'll find a large box/bin/shelf covered in vinyl. Yes, it's likely to be all Christmas/classical pressings, but every once in a while you'll find a complete gem. Like a first pressing US Beatles release for $1 - really. It takes a lot of digging and some patience, but it's totally worth checking in once in a while. You know the saying... one man's trash...

  • Franz & Josef Scheiben - DE

    Kastanienallee 48, 10119 Berlin
    I can't start this blurb without acknowledging that this particular shop has terrible reviews - everywhere. The owner is a bit of a... character. While I personally have had no issues with him, I do know of quite a few people who have been "asked to leave" for no reason whatsoever. Now on to the positive! This Berlin destination might have one of the best (and best priced) vinyl collections going - perhaps because the owner turns so many customers off. The range of jazz, rock and old pop is fantastic. The "cheap" bins outside are always full of fun treasures and hard to find pressings and will cost you between 2-5€. Definitely worth a visit, if you're prepared to be kicked out (just don't take it personally).

  • Wowsville - DE

    Ohlauer Straße 33, 10999 Berlin
    Surprise! There's a record store in the back of this awesome bar! Although it's super tiny, the three wall shop has a lot of greatness to offer. The prices are a bit on the high side, but many of the records are old pressings and probably worth the price-tag. There's a great range of offerings from jazz to punk to old pop. If you're in for a drink, definitely take the time to flip through.

  • Da Capo - DE

    Kastanienallee 96, 10435 Berlin
    This shop is a wonderful step back in time. Older locals (real locals) are always hanging out in front, so there may not be any staffers in the store if you have questions. The inside smells like an old book store (a lovely scent if you don't know it) and is full to the brim with old vinyl. There's so much to be found in this old record store, pressings from Europe, the UK, the US and Russia (and more, I'm sure) fill the shelves. The prices are middle of the road, but it's ok, I'm pretty sure you won't find a large portion of this vinyl anywhere else.