The 30 Best Record Stores in the World

Though the next Record Store Day may be a while away yet (16th April 2016! Not that we’re counting…), believe it or not but for the rest of the year Record Stores continue to be amazing. They deliver incredible product, unique experiences for their customers, often run their own labels and even showcase artists themselves. And we all have our favourites.

So it’s perhaps with little surprise that this list has created the most debate we’ve ever had for any list in the office, and our original list of 20 exploded to 30… which you can enjoy here with some comments from our team about why they love the stores – and head to our Facebook page to let us know what we missed!

30. Beatdisc Records (Parramatta, Australia)

We’ve always loved shopping here – they have a wide selection of vinyl and CDs, selling them at a very reasonable price. They also have occasional gigs there for local bands. The guys who run there are very helpful and accommodating and will try their best to order stock that isn’t there from their supplier. They’re the perfect example of all the pieces that make a local record store great. – Jana Angeles

Official Website: http://www.beatdisc.com.au/

29. Red Eye Records (Various Locations, Australia)

Official Website: https://www.redeye.com.au/

28. Recordland (Calgary, Canada)

Address: 1208 9 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0T1, Canada

27. Polyester (Melbourne, Australia)

Official Website: http://www.polyesterrecords.com/

26. Egg Records (West End, Brisbane)

Tucked away on the corner of Vulture street – A groovy road packed with cafes, an indie comics store and a few fantastic clothes outlets – is Egg Records. Sometimes I might go in there not to buy anything, but to hear what the very friendly, very chill, clearly post-hippie store owner is listening to. Ask him what it is, if he’d recommend it and then let him riff off all the other artists that are similar and equally reverent in his eyes. I’ll go home, listen to it all and if it interests my ears, which it normally does, go back and buy them. He can do the same for movies too. It’s not just a store to buy a CD, it’s an audio experience. – Meredith McLean

Official Website: http://www.eggrecords.com.au

25. Utopia Records (Sydney, Australia)

They have listening parties, signings, some intimate shows and are really accommodating in terms of what you need for Vinyl and CDs in the genres of rock/metal. They also have a great range for merchandise. – Jana Angeles

Official Website: https://www.utopia.com.au/

24. Rerun Records (Adelaide, Australia)

Address: 1 – 35 Renaissance Arcade, Adelaide

23. Blackbyrd Myoozik (Edmonton, Canada)

Official Website: http://www.blackbyrd.ca/

22. Dada Records (Perth, Australia)

Official Website: http://www.dadarecords.com.au/

21. Piccadilly Records (Manchester, UK)

Official Website: http://www.piccadillyrecords.com/

20. Princeton Record Exchange (Princeton, NJ, USA)

Official Website: http://www.prex.com/

19. 78 Records (Perth, Australia)

Great selection, always happy to have a chat about music, what they’ve been listening to, what you’ve been listening to and give some great recommendations along the way. – Simon Clark

Official Website: http://www.78records.com.au

18. Kichijoji Rare Records (Tokyo, Japan)

A great little store packed equally with obscure and popular records many in miniature. If you look hard enough you can find some fantastic and bizarre Japan-only releases – on our last trip we scored ‘City Connection’ a hit in Japan for 80’s US child TV star Emmanuel Webster of Webster fame. – Andrew Campbell

Address: 1 Chome-1-8 Kichijoji Minamicho, Musashino, Tokyo 180-0003, Japan

17. Zulu Records (Vancouver, Canada)

Back in the day when I lived in Vancouver, I used to line up from the early hours in the morning to be the first to get my hands on the tickets for the shows on sale that day. They always had the city’s amazing posters laying around for me to grab and I could never leave without a few CDs. – Larry Heath

Official Website: http://www.zulurecords.com/

16. Rasputin (San Francisco, USA)

Official Website: http://www.rasputinmusic.com/

15. Resist Records (Newtown, Australia)

People that listen to alternative rock, metal, emo, punk – this place is your go-to. Not only that but they sell merch and everything there for a good price. Some local bands/musicians play some intimate gigs there too. Their walls have tour posters too which makes the place sick in terms of decoration. Not to mention, some really cool finds in their bargain bin! – Jana Angeles

Official Website: http://www.resistrecords.com

14. Timebomb Records (Osaka, Japan)

They have a massive selection of vinyls and rarities both japanese and western including a decent range of punk/hardcore and rock/rockabilly records. The wall covered in flyers advertising local band gigs and events is pretty cool, I usually nick some of the ones with funkier artwork… – Nazia Hafiz

Official Website: https://www.timebomb.co.jp/index_en.php

13. Sonic Boom (Toronto, Canada)

Though we have a soft spot for their original location, Sonic Boom’s new home on Spadina has lost none of the heart, if only some of the grimey charm, of the original. Their staff are fantastic to liaise with about your favourite record and they also have a great selection of pop culture and music books upstairs, before you descend into the massive basement. The stage within is often home to some of the cities finest talent, and it’s difficult not to leave without a massive dent in your wallet – Larry Heath – Larry Heath

Official Website: https://www.sonicboomrecords.com/

12. Real Groovy Records (Auckland, New Zealand)

Hands down the best record store in New Zealand, who recently celebrated their 33 1/3rd birthday! – Larry Heath

Official Website: https://www.realgroovy.co.nz/

11. Third Man Records (Nashville, USA)

Proof that size doesn’t matter, Jack White’s record store only sells Third Man Records stock – which includes reissued 7″ SUN stock – but you don’t just come to the record store for the music (and he’s made sure to curate an incredible array of artists on both his label and in terms of the music he’s re-issued). In the record store you have the ability to make an album of your own, play his Music Video machine, interact with some unique instruments and, naturally, get your hands on some of that Jack White / Third Man Records merchandise! – Larry Heath

Official Website: http://www.thirdmanrecords.com/about/nashville-storefront/

10. Sister Ray (London, UK)

Sister Ray as its a little hidden gem tucked away amongst the fabric shops and market stalls in Berwick street – you’re likely to find some rarities as well as some decent second hand vinyl downstairs. – Evelyn Tija

Official Website: http://www.sisterray.co.uk

9. Tym Guitars (Brisbane, Australia)

They run a boutique label, throws huge levels of support behind local and interstate bands, rad staff and always restocked with amazing outliers and gems rather than doggedly staying within genre guidelines… A great selection of vinyl albums for sale along with their own record label and free, all ages in-store gigs for bands ranging from small local and interstate acts to big name international bands. – Andrew Wade

Official Website: http://www.tymguitars.com.au/

8. Waterloo Records (Austin, Texas, USA)

Get a taste of what this amazing store has to offer as we take Perth group The Love Junkies for an afternoon shopping:

Official Website: http://www.waterloorecords.com/

7. 12 Tonar (Reykjavik, Iceland)

Best place in the world, they give you free coffee and let you sit on their couches downstairs and play any record or cd in the store on their little setups with headphones. I was there for 3 hours when I visited Iceland. – Aidan Hogg

Official Website: http://www.12tonar.is/

6. Grimey’s (Nashville, USA)

Ask anyone in Nashville what the best record store in the world is – not just their own city – and they’ll all tell you to go to Grimey’s. It’s an institution in the city for a reason and without question one of the best record stores in the world. It’s expanded into a second location next door, utilizes the music venue out the back regularly and gives Nashville all the music it could possibly need. And not just country music – they have everything here… – Larry Heath

Official Website: http://www.grimeys.com/

5. Rough Trade East (London, UK)

Besides being a massive store, they have a pretty decent cafe and hold some pretty awesome in stores (think Blur’s come back shows in 2009). There is never a bad day to visit Rough Trade East.

Official Website: http://www.roughtrade.com/

4. Peaches Records (New Orleans, USA)

There’s a vibe here I haven’t experienced in any other record store anywhere else in the world – and their selection of music is incredible. In operation since 1975,

Official Website: http://www.peachesrecordsandtapes.com/

3. Rise Records (Bristol, UK)

Rise records is on my list as its the awesome mix of music, food and miscellaneous that I love. They have an fantastic cafe named Friska on their premises, as well as a good selection of vinyl, CDs and bits and pieces. They also do their fair amount of in stores as well from heavyweights like Mumford and sons and Laura Marling to little known artists. It’s got that cool uni student vibe to it.

Official Website: http://www.rise-music.co.uk/

2. Tower Records (Tokyo, Shibuya, Japan)

Not to be confused with Tower Records of the US (the Japanese store is owned independently by Japanese management), the 9 floors of fun at their flagship store in Shibuya is where you will find anything and everything music related. Added to that is the attentive Japanese customer service and you yourself a music store nirvana. – Johnny Au

I love walking into Tower Records in Shibuya, Tokyo. The different sounds on each level as you go up the escalators – j-Pop, western music, traditional Japanese styles – and the incredible displays of visual Kei artists on my favourite floor are so different to anything you’ll find here. Plus you have to cross the iconic Shibuya scramble to get there from the train station! What an experience! – Erin Smith

Official Website: http://tower.jp/

1. Amoeba Music (California, USA)

They call themselves “The World’s Largest Independent Record Store”, and they’re probably not far off the point. The experience of going into Ameoba Music – in their Berkeley birthplace, or either of their San Francisco or Hollywood locations – is unlike any other. Their huge collection of CDs and Vinyl is almost matched by their DVD and Blu-Rays. Their regular in stores will send lines down the block and when Radiohead release a special edition newspaper, you can bet that you’ll find it at Amoeba. – Larry Heath

Official Website: http://www.amoeba.com/

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Thanks to Andrew Wade, Rebecca Houlden, Johnny Au, Mark Tainton, Meredith McLean, Tony Proudfoot, Aidan Hogg, Natalie Salvo, Nazia Hafiz, Simon Clark, Brad Coles, Sabina Rysnik, Erin Smith, Evelyn Tija, Andrew Campbell and Jana Angeles for their advice and input into one of the most heavily debated articles we’ve ever had in the AU offices!