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London Record Stores
Winter 2008 Update: Sadly Reckless Records is gone. Rough Trade opened a shop in East London on Brick Lane and I forgot to mention Flashback in North London (50 Essex Road in Islington and 144 Crouch Hill)

Most tourists will go to the megastores first: Virgin Megastore (corner of Oxford St and Tottenham Court Road, recently rebuild and now the biggest entertainment store on earth), HMV (Oxford St. east of Oxford circus and another one on Oxford St., west of Oxford circus). You may take a look at these shops but don't expect to find anything special. Try the SALE sections otherwise they are too expensive or they don't have what you're looking for.

You also find lots of tourists at Rough Trade's Original shop (at 130 Talbot Road off Portobello Road) and at a second store (at 16 Neals Yard near Convent Garden) Sometimes bands are playing here in the afternoon, check out the bulletin board in the shop. Sister Ray, Reckless Records (2nd Hand only) and Select-A-Disc are all in Berwick St in Soho off Oxford Road. Intoxica! (previously known as Vinyl Solution) in 231 Portobello Road, they have vinyl only (cool).

But before buying any new stuff go to the Music and Goods Exchanges, 2nd hand only shops. where you can find everything if you're lucky. There is a bunch of them around Notting Hill tube station and two on Camden High Street. Berwick St and Greenwich also have one. If you find one, get a flyer a bag with the addresses of all the other ones. If you still haven't found what you were looking for and still can stand record-shops, check out: Out On The Floor (Inverness Rd. /Camden), Cheapo Records (Rupert St. / Soho) and another Reckless Records (79 Upper St. / Islington)

Here's Edmund's guide on how to get to all the shops:

Buy a one day travelcard, purchaseable at any tube, for all zones is £3.80. You can use that on buses, trains etc.

Now go to tottenham court road tube (this is on the Northern and Central lines). Outside this tube, on Oxford street (the tube is on the corner). Is Virgin (very big, some vinyl).

Walk down Oxford Street to Hmv. Some 7", some 12", quite big, you can ask at information for stock details.

Come out of HMV, and theres a street facing you (a little way back up toward Virgin, I think its the first right if you walk back up the street). This is Berwick Street. Head down Berwick street. You now go past (some way down), Selectadisc, Sister Ray, Record And Tape Exchange, couple of dance shops etc.

Now find a pub half way down the road and have a pint/food (theres a market on Saturdays down Berwick Street, cheap fruit, oh and theres fish and chips).

Keep going down to the end of Berwick Street, you have to go through a bit of soho (strip clubs), theres a record stall at the end. You come to Shaftesbury Avenue. turn right down shaftesbury avenue and you'll eventually come to Tower records (ask someone if you don't find it in 8 minutes or so).

Head down towards Leicester Square (theres an HMV on your left, and pass a square with buskers in it and a swiss building with a clock (these are so you can ask if you're going the right way). Find Leceister Square tube.

Get on the tube to Covent Garden. Outside the tube, cross the road and head down the street past Our Price and keep heading down Neal Street. On your left, quite a long way down, is Neals Yard, down a tiny alley, it's the last left before you hit the road. You might have to ask, its a tricky one.

you'll find slam city skates under which is Rough Trade.

Thats probably enough for one day. If not, go through the other end of the alley rough trade's in and head left, then at the off license on the roundabout turn right, then head left to tottenham court road. turn right down tottenham court road and you're back where you started. Loaded down with goodies.

If you're hungry for more, take the tube to camden (although bare in mind, you're missing nothing on saturday, it's all open sunday). From the tube, you come out on the right hand side. To your left opposite the corner (with the banks on it), is Tower Records. Head back past the tube (on the same side you left (this is important as otherwise you'll get confused).

You'll go past a bloke with a ghetto blaster next to the tube station on your right, and a clothes stall. to your right now is a market surrounded by Metal caging. theres a street on the other side of the road (Inverness Street). Go down here and go to Out on the floor, the shop after that (can't remember the name, but it's just after the dance shop), then past the good mixer straight over the road and sounds that swing (a cool surf guitar shop with things like Man Or Astroman in it) is on the right.

Go back to the good mixer and have a pint of Kronenburg, marvel at how much it tastes like Washing up liquid and how drunk Graham out of blur and all of menswear must be to drink in there and have a bottle of bud to wash out the taste.

come out of the mixer , face sounds that swing and turn right, come to the end of the road and turn right.

At the end of this road you should be facing a pound a slice pizza place. Ignore this shop like the plague, the food in here is nasty.

these are the last two shops you'll need: Left is rhythm records, right is the record and tape exchange. It's probably best to go down the record and tape exchange and head back up, as you can go past it and go to the covered markets beyond, they have bootlegs there and if you keep going down you get to The Monarch (I DJ there on some Friday nights upstairs, ata club called Supermarket).

OK. well whatever you're looking for, I hope you find it. by the way, ask in Out on the floor if anyones seen me (Edmund) on Saturday as I'll have been through.

It'll make it a bit more interesting for you.
I do this every weekend.

by Edmund Hornsby ( for the indiepop list in June 1998

Last updated: 8-Mar-2008 © 1994-2023 TweeNet Creative Commons License