Record Store Day takes place on Saturday (21 April). Shops across the capital will host performances and sell one-off releases.
With that in mind, we compiled our top ten places where vinyl junkies can feed their black-wax habits.
We travelled from north to south, east to west, visiting the big and the small, the famous and the lesser known and these, in our humble opinion, are the best of the bunch. We’d also love to hear your opinions, so tell us what we’ve missed in the comments.
The One With Style And Taste
Flashback Records, Essex Road, Islington: A very tasteful and discerning store set over two floors. Flashback sells new, second-hand and reissue LPs and several boxes of sevens. It’s nicely catalogued, including rock, jazz, reggae, soul/funk, soundtrack and even separate sections on New Zealand Indie and The Canterbury Scene, of all things.
The Out-Of-The-Way Cratediggers’ Paradise
Alan’s Record and CD Shop, High Road, East Finchley: It maybe a 10-minute walk from East Finchley Tube station, but this second-hand shop is a must. It has a mind-boggling selection from floor to ceiling, covering pretty much every genre imaginable, well catalogued, with bargains and rarities and an extremely friendly atmosphere, helped in no small part by the presence of a little shop dog called Jake. It has boxes and boxes of sevens, too, and racks of CDs. Highly recommended.
The One That Has To Be Seen To Be Believed
Haggle Vinyl, Essex Road, Islington: This place has been open 12 years but it looks like 10 times that. The voluminous stock is jammed into racks, on shelves and all over the floor. It can seem a bit overwhelming, but set aside some time to explore this Aladdin’s Cave — treasures are to be had, from every conceivable genre.
The Bright, Shiny, Hipster One
Rough Trade East, Brick Lane: Rough Trade is the big boy of the independents, with its Brick Lane store selling more CDs than vinyl and leaning towards the Indie/Electro side of the market. It has loads of listening posts in a high-ceilinged warehouse-type conversion, with an in-house café selling Monmouth coffee, if that floats your boat. Sister store Rough Trade West can be found in Talbot Road, Ladbroke Grove.
The Little Gem
Eldica, Bradbury Street, Dalston: It could be easy to walk past this lovely little shop tucked around the corner from Dalston Kingsland station without realising the gems to be found inside. The front is given over to retro homeware but out back is a wealth of largely second-hand funk, soul, reggae, jazz , hip-hop LPs and sevens. Very friendly and very cosy.
The One For Dance Music Bargain Hunters
Soul And Dance Exchange, Notting Hill Gate: The Exchange contains racks upon racks of cheap, second-hand LPs across all forms of contemporary dance and club music, separated according to sub-genre or record label. There’s also plenty of soul, jazz, reggae and hip-hop with new-release and second-hand sevens up by the counter and classical music upstairs. Sister stores can be found in Camden High Street, Berwick Street and Greenwich Church Street.
The One That Has Become A Legend In Its Own Lifetime
Honest Jon’s, Portobello Road, Ladbroke Grove: Arguably London’s most famous record shop, and for a reason. The store has a pedigree going back to 1974, taking in some of the most significant developments in the business. It specialises in soul/funk, reggae, jazz and world music, all of which is nicely catalogued.
The One For Reggae Aficionados
Supertone Records and CDs, Acre Lane, Brixton: There’s nothing but reggae and dub to be had here, and loads of it there is too, from across the years. It stocks new and second-hand LPs with plenty of sevens. Very friendly. And if you’re in the area, check out Blacker Dread Music Store in Coldharbour Lane for more of the same.
The Big, Jack-Of-All Trades One
Sister Ray, Berwick Street, Soho: A wide-ranging stock in what used to be Selectadisc, spread across one large floor with LPs and sevens. It’s a great all-rounder that caters for the guitar crowd as much as those looking for all things electronic. Loads of CDs too, some of which are dirt cheap.
The Club Music Specialists
BM Soho, D’Arblay Street, Soho: The go-to place for nosebleed techno, the squiggiest dubstep, slinkiest house and everything in between.
- Out On The Floor Records, Inverness Street, Camden
- Intoxica, Portobello Road, Ladbroke Grove
- Sounds Of The Universe, Broadwick Street, Soho
- Casbah Records, Creek Road, Greenwich.
- Soul Brother Records, Keswick Road, Putney.
- Rat Records, Camberwell New Road, Camberwell
- On The Beat, Hanway Street, Fitzrovia
- Phonica, Poland Street, Soho
Have we missed any out? Disagree with our choices? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll add a Reader Recommendations section above.