We’re total music junkies here at GG. Both Taylor and myself are avid record collectors, although we don’t hold a candle to my husband. I asked him, and he said if he had to guess he had around 600 records. So needless to say, we’ve all spent a decent amount of time in record stores around the country. It’s a little bit like treasure hunting when you’re thrifting. The best collections and finds are often in the hidden gems. You just have to know where to look. Make sure to add these record shops to your bucket list the next time you need a new album!
This tiny record shop is in the heart of South Park, a quaint and cool neighborhood in San Diego. Founded by two local industry giants, this highly curated store pays close attention to detail, carrying the types of records in each genre that an expert in that genre would expect to see, giving a quality-over-quantity vibe throughout the shop. Don’t worry, it also has a back room called the Digger’s Den, with all $3 and $5 records. You’ll find less-than-perfect condition copies of rare records here or great condition copies of more common records.
San Francisco, Berkeley and Hollywood
Since 1990, Amoeba Music has welcomed independent music lovers of all kinds to its unique, vibrant stores in Berkeley, San Francisco and Hollywood. It stocks every kind of music and movies—from the top 40 to the best in underground rock and hip-hop, soul, electronica, new and classic jazz, world music, roots music and experimental music. Because it’s a trading post for new and used discs, its stock changes daily, and just about anything you’re looking for can be found here.
San Francisco, Oakland and NYC
Stranded Records opened in 2012 as the retail arm for Superior Viaduct, the reissue label responsible for bringing some of the 20th century’s most interesting releases from the periphery into the spotlight, from the soundtrack to Tarkovsky’s epic Solaris, to John and Alice Coltrane’s Cosmic Music. Following the label’s aesthetic to focus modestly on records you wouldn’t generally find in every store, Stranded covers both new and used vinyl from classic avant-garde to post-punk, experimental and ambient, to free jazz.
La Mesa, CA
This mom-and-pop record shop is a music and movie lover’s dream. It puts out fresh used stock daily and new releases each week. Stop by this shop for quality used records, horror DVDS and VHS tapes and collectible memorabilia.
Minneapolis and Duluth, MN
Don’t let the name scare you off. The Electric Fetus has been a gathering place for music heads and counter-culturists in Minnesota since 1968. It began as a place to get turned on to something a little out of the ordinary, and that still holds true today. It stocks a comprehensive selection of new and used CDs, DVDs and LPs: old classics to the newest blog hype, from all different genres and styles.
This family-owned record store buys, sells and trades records, tapes and CDs as well as sells posters, pins, record cleaning/storage supplies and more. It’s a staple in Visala with its community art wall, a space for artists to display and sell their work. It is also doing its part to be environmentally friendly by using recycled bags and refusing to buy new plastic bags when there is already an overabundance polluting the world.
This landmark record store in SE Portland has been around since 1997. In addition to buying and selling records, it has its own “mini” record label where it produces reissues, small vanity projects and limited-edition releases for Record Store Day.
Chicago and London, England
Reckless Records is a group of three record stores in Chicago that carries new and used CDs, DVDs games and loads of Vinyl. Originally started in London, its first Chicago location opened in 1989.
M-Theory is a staple in the San Diego music scene. Not only that, it has been voted best record store in San Diego for 11 years running. It has a huge selection of new and used vinyls and also offer listening stations where you can take your music for a spin before taking it home.