There was a brief time between the 1980s and early 2000s during which one might have argued, “Record stores are dying.”
Lucky for people who appreciate the experience of listening to an album, new or old, on vinyl, record stores still exist! Here are 5 record stores in lower Manhattan where vinyl still reigns supreme.
In fact, one might even say that these days, they’re making a comeback.
Research has shown that as of 2015, vinyl album sells have been up by 53%–safe to say they’ve only gotten more popular. Maybe it’s the unique cover art, maybe it’s the original sound, maybe just the vibe.
Record Store Day is coming up in April
If you’re a vinyl lover, now is a better time than any to stop by and give them some support! Visit the website for events, participants and details
The Washington Square Hotel has had the privilege of hosting quite a few rock ‘n’ roll legends. Among them, Albert King, Bo Diddley, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Chuck Berry have stepped foot in our individually unique deco rooms.
Back in the day, if you weren’t watching one of these guys rockin’ and a rollin’ on stage and wanted to have a listen to songs like “Sweet Little Sixteen” or “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” on repeat, you would have had to do so on a record player (pre-1980, vinyl was all there was). The best place, then, to quell your musical appetite would have been a record store.
Record shops were more than a place to buy an album, they were an integral part of our community. Stop by one of these places to experience the music and share the vibes:
1. A1 Record Shop
439 E 6th St, New York, NY 10009
Records upon records upon records… that is to say: A1 does not discriminate against a single genre. This cozy destination offers vinyl for purchase, or if your collection runneth over already, you can sell or trade vintage vinyl with them. If when you stop by you like the vibe and see yourself wanting more, check out their online radio show.
2. Turntable Lab
120 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009
Established in 1999, Turntable Lab’s roots are historical as a “DJ Shop”. However, there’s no boxing them in when it comes to their wide scope of music selection. When you walk in, a staff that’s well researched and most likely currently in the music industry will greet you. These guys have a lot more going on than just offering a good vinyl selection. Stop by and prove us right.
3. Good Records NYC
218 E 5th St, New York, NY 10003
Established in 2005, Good Records NYC is relatively “new” when it comes to the record store scene. But, no matter how new, the store holds true to its name—they offer customers all of the best, “good records” in New York City. Their goal is to give you and yours a wide variety of records, all at a fair price, and in top collectible condition.
4. Bleecker Street Records
188 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10014
The closest in proximity on our list to the Washington Square Hotel is Bleecker Street Records. This shop has a reputation for rare and out-of-print versions of CDs, DVDs, and vinyl. It offers an upstairs and downstairs, both stocked with hundreds of albums. During your record browsing, you might come face to face with one of the three fat cats that laze around the shop. We say that it’s a win, win.
5. Other Music
15 E 4th St, New York, NY 10003
This shop specializes in underground, rare, and experimental albums. If you’re curious about what’s in stock before stopping by, or you don’t have time to make the trek east, you can do something that very few record shops offer customers: shop their selection online. It’s like they’re living in the 21st century or something…
Every record store offers a unique experience and selection, so take some time to find your favorite. And remember, with the celebration of Record Store Day this year also comes the selection of exclusively printed albums—so give one of these shops a stop and see if you can snag something cool to either start or add to your collection.
Photo Credit: Second Hand Record Shop Store by Ranya is licensed under CCO 1.0