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Go vinyl: London's best record shops

We give you London's top list for where X possibly marks your musical spot.



There's something romantic about vinyl.

Of course, there are the arguments about the lively needle picking up every imperfection of each record pressing giving the plastic, analogue medium a soul and a 'warmth' which you just don't get on digital... but it extends to more than the product itself. The search for good vinyl is just as intoxicating.

Whenever you step into a record shop you always feel like you're on the verge of finding a hidden treasure. Racks are crammed with anything and everything. Dusty, unsorted cardboard boxes spill out onto the floor. You are Indie- or bluegrass or rockabilly-ana Jones and you've got sweet-sounding treasure to find.

We give you London's top list for where X possibly marks your musical spot.

Phonica
51 Poland Street Soho W1F 7LZ
Region: Soho Nearest Station: Oxford Circus (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: Phonica in Soho makes being one of the best record stores in London for electronic music its business. That means house, electro, drum n bass, dubstep and all sorts of bootlegs. Mostly new vinyl, it also stocks a selection of CDs.

  • RECORDS, TAPES & CD'S


Sounds Of The Universe
7 Broadwick Street Soho W1F 0DA
Region: Soho Nearest Station: Tottenham Court Road (0.2 miles)

AIL Says: Sounds of the Universe can be found on Broadwick Street dishing out new reissues of classics and compilations. The shop is an affiliate of the label Soul Jazz Records so if its obscure Krautrock, grime or Brazilian Tropicalia you want then you’ll find the compilations here.

  • RECORDS, TAPES & CD'S


Kristina Records
44 Stoke Newington Road Stoke Newington N16 7XJ
Region: Stoke Newington Nearest Station: Dalston Kingsland (0.2 miles)

AIL Says: Dalston has its fair share of hip shops and bars and Kristina can now count itself among them. The stylish interior is a match for the carefully selected edit of vinyl. Don’t expect the record shop classics, instead you’re more likely to find obscure artists in genres from hardcore to rockabilly.

  • RECORDS, TAPES & CD'S


Haggle Vinyl
114 Essex Road Islington N1 8LX
Region: Islington Nearest Station: Essex Road (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: Vinyl is so popular at the moment that every other film features its gratuitous ‘record scene’. If location scouts were looking for the archetypal romantic record shop they could do worse than taking a look at Haggle Vinyl on Essex Road. Racks are crammed with anything and everything (all secondhand) and cardboard boxes on the floor literally spill over with classic of the likes of Hall and Oates. This one will make your dreams come true for sure…

  • RECORDS, TAPES & CD'S
  • EMAIL
  • USERS 6/10


Honest Jon's Records
278 Portobello Road North Kensington W10 5TE
Region: North Kensington Nearest Station: Ladbroke Grove (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: Honest John’s on Portobello Road has been a fixture for well over a decade making it an intrinsic part of the area’s rich musical history. Big for electronic music, reggae and world music, it is a classic cultural landmark.

  • RECORDS, TAPES & CD'S


Rough Trade
Old Truman Brewery Dray Walk Shadwell E1 6QL
Region: Shadwell Nearest Station: Shoreditch

AIL Says: With one store in the West on Talbot Road and another in the east just off Brick Lane, both sides of London can sink their teeth into the excellent array of new vinyl at Rough Trade. The famous label’s stores are big and welcoming, stocking a range of genres to suit any taste.

  • RECORDS, TAPES & CD'S
  • EVENTS
  • USERS 9/10


Flashback
50 Essex Road Islington N1 8LR
Region: Islington Nearest Station: Essex Road (0.2 miles)

AIL Says: At Flashback Records on Essex Road you’ll find a top deck that incorporates new and secondhand CDs and DVDs along with bargain bins where the store’s unwanted vinyl goes to die. In the basement the baton is handed to vinyl and you’ll find anything from secondhand reggae to brand new electronica. An excellent record shop.

  • RECORDS, TAPES & CD'S
  • USERS 8/10


Sister Ray
34-35 Berwick Street Soho W1F 8RP
Region: Soho Nearest Station: Oxford Circus (0.2 miles)

AIL Says: With one store in the West on Golborne Road and another in the east on Brick Lane, both sides of London can sink their teeth into the excellent array of new vinyl at Rough Trade. The famous label’s stores are big and welcoming, stocking a range of genres to suit any taste.

  • RECORDS, TAPES & CD'S
  • USERS 9/10


Intoxica
231 Portobello Road Notting Hill W11 1LT
Region: Notting Hill Nearest Station: Ladbroke Grove (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: If you like your record stores a to have a touch more on the walls than the usual torn posters and hanging picture discs then Intoxica on Portobello Road will offer you a breath of fresh, vinyl scented air. In fairness, records do decorate the surfaces but behind them is a wall of bamboo, which gives the shop an exotic edge. These days that’s almost as exotic as the fact it is a vinyl only store, selling anything from 60s garage and rock through to reggae and jazz. Intoxica, let’s just call it Exotica.

  • RECORDS, TAPES & CD'S


On The Beat
22 Hanway Street Bloomsbury W1T 1UQ
Region: Bloomsbury Nearest Station: Tottenham Court Road

AIL Says: If you have never been down Hanway Street, you must go. Stop for a drink in Bradley’s Spanish Bar then move onto On the Beat where all your secondhand vinyl desires will be met. Modest prices and well stocked with gems of all genres – shops like this should have protected status.

  • RECORDS, TAPES & CD'S
  • USERS 7/10




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