This one’s for our crate-digging Listers. We're venturing into the land of cassette tapes and putting needles on grooves.
It’s normally part of the indie record shop experience to leaf through collection after collection to find your favourite gems, but as old-school music consumers living in the digital age, most of us prefer taking the shortcut. So, here it is. If you're thinking of starting or adding to your collection, here are Melbourne’s best purveyors of vinyl records, stocked to the eyeballs with the best in psych, prog, indie, punk, metal, jazz, soul, blues, soundtracks, hip-hop, electronica, dance and more.
In the City
Wax Museum Records
Secret’s out! We’re throwing the well-hidden Wax Museum Records store into the spotlight, which you can find tucked in the city south’s Campbell Arcade. Don’t underestimate the small size; they’re incredibly skilled at fitting THOUSANDS of discs in one car (check their Facebook for evidence).
The Basement Discs
The city’s arcades have tons to hide, and we’ve spotted another obscure spot for vinyl, CDs and books nestled in the Block Arcade basement. It’s not that hard to find, though, because you can just follow the beats down the stairs. Hot tip: Pop by for free Friday lunchtime concerts!
Nothing screams hipster louder than a pop-up record store. Earn some bragging rights for snatching vinyl from a store that’s almost never open. They recently held a pop-up in Yarraville for Record Stores Day 2017, but your best bet is following them online to find out where you can catch the next one.
Off the Hip
Honest and unpretentious, you’ll know you’re getting the real deal at this little basement shop. Whether you’re up for vinyl, CDs, zines or friendly chats with the owners, this is the best place in Melbourne for Aussie garage, powerpop and rock ‘n’ roll. Grab your music-loving friends for their in-store BYO parties at 7pm on the last Friday each month (except December).
In the North
This muso's paradise resembles a library with its tall shelves chock full of books and vinyl. That's about where the similarity ends, as they play host to album launches a few times each month and pump out tunes the rest of the time. Crate-diggers at heart, owners Renae Maxwell and Paul Allen have collected over 33,000 records and filled an entire Brunswick warehouse with a wall just for new releases and another for pre-loved classics. It's open Wednesday to Sunday.
The T-Recs are your saving grace when it comes to old-school records. They can efficiently repair broken record players AND they even digitize your vinyl with CD and MP3 transfers to help you enjoy great music on the move. With new releases each week, you’ll be sure to keep on comin’ back.
Oh! Jean Records
Head down to Nicholson Street’s greatest little nook and score yourself some coffee with your new vinyl finds at amazing prices. Though you can get records cheap here, they don’t compromise on the quality or variety. If they don’t have what you want, they won’t even think twice to order it in for you. Service at its best.
Northside is a popular hangout for DJs and industry types. They’ve got free in-store gigs from time to time, plus a listening station for you to test out the discs before whipping out your wallet. Besides magazines, turntables and DJ accessories, you’ll find local and international goodness on vinyl, CDs and cassettes. It’s mostly soul, funk, jazz and hip hop around here, but on top of it all, owner Chris Gill runs a record label of the same name for local bands like Clairy Browne & The Bangin’ Rackettes.
Dixon Recycled Records
Blackburn and Fitzroy
Opened in 1976, they’re one of the longest running second-hand music traders in Melbourne, renowned as a great source of bargain-priced vinyl and hard-to-find items. Their original customers back in the 70s are STILL coming today, so they’re definitely doing something right. With titles changing daily and the prices regularly reduced, picking up a bargain is just a matter of time.
For The Searchers, records are not some flash-in-the-pan fad. And as proof, they’ve got shelves from the ceiling to the floor, and racks packed from wall to wall. Order a cuppa in-store, take a seat on the bench and make yourself at home. This could take a while...
Round and Round Records
If you’ve got an eye for the unique, this one's for you. Round and Round is a bargain record haven. Browse the store's custom-built wooden record racks, which house niche and quirky sections like 'art rock,' '20th century classical' and 'garage'. With listening facilities in-store, you can try before you buy, and even take home a customized slipmat as a memoir.
They say “less is more”, and this place isn’t the usual overcluttered record store. The handcrafted vinyl stands add a nice touch, and with live music every now and then, it's become a fav with Fitzroy locals. You can also find Revival online, where they've got some killer package deals.
In the South
For over 30 years, they’ve been travelling the spaceways for the records you crave. Greville Records remains a staple for the Melbourne music fanatics, who can score new, rare and second-hand LPs in addition to t-shirts and tour posters. Pro tip: you deffo need to drop by if you’re a squealer for signatures.
This is the spot for Bayside musos to while away their afternoons, only to leave with vinyl piles to add to their collection. Many have pegged this place for a gold mine or a hoarding house that promises and delivers music in every genre and on every format. They also run one of Australia's largest online music stores, ringing-in hundreds of new items on a weekly basis.
Head to Mornington’s only record store for a happy dig by the sea. Mr Reload is always happy to chat and share his knowledge of records and his 40 years of industry experience. His shop offers pre-loved and new CDs, vinyl, DVDs, posters and books of top-notch quality. P.S. They’ve got rare Beatles memorabilia too.
Want to know Melbourne's secret spots for music lovers? Check out our ultimate guide here.
Image credit: The Searchers