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Shopping & Style

Top Record Shops In Philadelphia

September 21, 2010 11:37 PM

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(credit: Long in the Tooth/MySpace)

(credit: Long in the Tooth/MySpace)

Philadelphia has been a lonely place for music collectors ever since the closing of Tower Records and its indie brother, Spaceboy. Never fear though: Philly is still home to places to buy physical music without resorting to big box stores with limited selections. Frequent these local shops to get your music fix without downloading–and some personal recommendations from the clerks behind the counter. - Peter Marinari

aka music Top Record Shops In Philadelphia

(credit: AKA Music/Facebook)

AKA Music

27 North 2nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 922-3855
www.facebook.com/pages/Philadelphia-PA/aka-music/93787481572
twitter.com/aka_music

Old City’s AKA Music is a music-lover’s paradise. They have an utterly huge amount of new CDs representing a wide array of sub-genres and obscure artists. They also boast a used-CD collection that’s actually worth browsing — a constantly restocked supply of major releases cheaper than you can score them online. They even write helpful hints on plastic wrappers to direct you to side projects or sound-a-like bands! The only downside of this shop is their relatively small vinyl collection.

mainstreet music Top Record Shops In Philadelphia

(credit: Main Street Music/MySpace)

Main Street Music

4444 Main Street
Philadelphia, PA 19127
(215) 487-7732
www.myspace.com/mainstmusic

When I polled my music-obsessed friends for shops I had to mention, everyone living west of Center City said Main Street Music – even folks that live outside of Manayunk! Main Street covers all three of the major needs of a great record store: new releases, new and used older discs, and a selection of vinyl. They’re also home to in-store performances and signings, which aren’t frequently found in Philly.

repo records Top Record Shops In Philadelphia

(credit: reporecords.com)

Repo Records

538 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147-2219
(215) 627-3775
www.reporecords.com

Repo is the last man standing in South Street’s war of attrition against music stores. They have a strong inventory of new CD releases focusing on rock and alternative, as well as a healthy inventory of both new and used vinyl. Their used CDs are priced a little high for a major spree, but still offer notable releases at a discount.

longinthetooth Top Record Shops In Philadelphia

(credit: Long in the Tooth/MySpace)

Long in the Tooth

2027 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 569-1994
www.myspace.com/longinthetoothstore

This Sansom Street gem is the best Center City locale to pick up both vinyl and lightly used CDs and DVDs. Though their collection focuses on indie rock and punk, they have a respectable stock of jazz CDs and vinyl. Long in the Tooth has zero of the “snobby clerk” vibe you sometimes encounter at other stores, possibly because you’re usually chatting with one of the owners! This store also boasts a small bookshelf–handy for snagging a a new read while on your lunch break.

Sound of Market

15 South 11th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 925-3150
www.jazsound.com

If you think this shop-front is just a stereo store, you might be surprised by the upstairs, which houses a tremendous stock of CDs. While missing the vinyl and used discs that make for a well-rounded shop, Sound of Market is notable for its deep variety of jazz, soul, and hip hop – areas that can be a little slim at the other stores on this list.

Vinyl Shops

Philly is home to a vocal vinyl insurgency who want a record shop to focus only on vinyl records, not CDs. Many Philly vinyl-lovers vote for Tequila Sunrise on Girard Ave for their vast selection, followed by the two locations of Beautiful World Syndicate on East Passyunk Ave and Pine Street in West Philly. Outside the city, Philadelphia magazine highlighted Gold Million Records as their Best of 2010, but Bryn Mawr is a long haul for vinyl, considering the closer alternatives.

Tequila Sunrise

525 W Girard Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19176
(215) 965-9616
www.tequilasunriserecords.com/

Beautiful World Syndicate

4801 Pine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19139
and
1619 E Passyunk Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(215) 467-0401
www.myspace.com/beautifulworldsyndicate

Gold Million Records

851 W Lancaster Avenue
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
(610) 525-4500
www.goldmillionrecords.com

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