In an age where these great places tend to disappear and for all of you Nick Hornby readers, here are my favorite records stores. Go there, discuss and buy records! Please note all these stores sell 50/50 of CD’s and vinyl’s. This page has been updated in October 2016 to reflect new places I have been to but unfortunately also the fact a few of them closed in the meantime.
Ground Zero, 114, rue du faubourg Poissonniere – 10ème. Julie has left to live new experiences and will be missed but Frank is there more than ever to welcome you in Paris’ best indie records store, specialised in all kinds of US, UK and French pop/rock. They moved again a couple of years ago and now share the space with the cool National 7 furniture store. Go there, especially if you were to take the Eurostar as this is very close to Gare de Lyon.
Souffle Continu, 20 rue Gerbier – Paris 11ème. For those of you who used to feel like subhumans in the New Rose store in the late 80’s/early 90’s, this is “back to the future”! Very trendy selection and not the most welcoming guys ever but plenty of time to spend there if you like your goth/obscure punk/electronica stuff.
Gibert Joseph Musique, 34 boulevard Saint Michel – Paris 6ème. Unbelievable to have such a store in the digital age. All styles, reissues and news, magazines, DVD’s, imports, etc… Two main issues however: you can easily spend half a day there and have to decide on a EUR limit as the choice is so wide!
R.I.P. New Rose, Danceteria, Fargo (although the website still lives on…)
Rough Trade, 130 Talbot Road or 91 Brick Lane. The places to go to when in London. You may want to choose the small and friendly historical place situate near Portebello Road in the Notting Hill area or the biggest store held in the middle of the East London hip Shoreditch district. Both are great and I must admit I know every inch of them!
Sounds of the Universe, 7 Broadwick St. This is the store owned by the Soul Jazz label which is specialised in fantastic compilations in any style (Soul, Brazilian, Post-Punk, etc…). If in London, go there as they always do discount of former records in the store.
Sister Ray, 34-35 Berwick Street. One of the last remaining stores in Soho. Not as good since they moved in 2014 but it remains the best records’ store if you are in Central London.
Fopp, 1 Earlham Street. Owned by HMV, Fopp is a small chain of records present in the UK. The Scottish stores in Edinburgh and Glasgow are very good also but for those in London, I really recommend the local store which is situated in the nice Seven Dials district.
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
The Record Store, Brunnenstrasse, 186. A very friendly owner, specialized in vinyls only. 2nd-hand or new, all prices (from 1 to 300 EUR), all styles, a nice place to spend a long time in. And thanks again for the White Stripes 7″ gift!
Musik Department, Invalidenstrasse, 159. Who says there ain’t no records shops anymore? Another excellent store in the same neighbourhood with 80% of vinyls but as well 20% of CD’s for those afraid to invest in a vinyl record player. And damned how friendly these Germans are ; you will not be scared anymore to enter a records store!
New York, NY
Generation Records, 210 Thompson Street. They are specialised in bootlegs CD’s and Vinyl Reissues so there is certainly something for you here. Not sure if you will still find Hüsker Dü first LP’s as I bought them last time I was there…
Rough Trade, 64 North 9th Street Brooklyn. Very bravely and not really in line with the current trend, Rough Trade opened this huge store in the trendy Williamsburg, Brooklyn district. Quite similar to the London East store and for you TV freaks an episode of the HBO Vinyl series has been shot there!
R.I.P. : Other Music. NY best music store has closed in 2016 as they did not succeeded in covering their costs and the rent in particular. Sad times…
R.I.P. #2: Rebel Rebel on Bleecker Street has also closed in 2016 for the same recurring reason (rent is too high). What a pity as this store was the epitome of a cool (and very crowded!) place. So, no place to buy new records anymore in Manhattan?
Waterloo Records, 600 North Lamar Blvd # A. Best record store I have ever been to! Amazing choice and great personnel. You feel like being in the place of your dreams as this is a very big space but with a smallish attitude at the same time.
Stinkweeds, 12 West Camelback Road. Small but very nice record full of small jewels. So hot in Phoenix…
Los Angeles, Cal.
Amoeba Music, 6400 Sunset Blvd . ..and to end up our world tour of best stores we have been to, difficult not to finish with the great Amoeba store in Los Angeles. There are two other stores in California but this the only one I know. Almost as good as Waterloo Records and the place where I had a friendly meeting with Jesse Hugues of Eagles of Death Metal!