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The Best Record Stores in Central London

Record Store Day 2015 Flashback Records | © flickr/Paul Hudson
Record Store Day 2015 Flashback Records | © flickr/Paul Hudson
However you like to enjoy your music, whether it be MP3, CD or online streaming, you can’t deny that vinyl is back and better than ever. Here are some of the best record shops in London to procure those rare records, deep cuts, and classic tunes.

Honest Jon’s Records

Shop, Store
The Honest Jon's records sign in Ladbroke Grove
The Honest Jon's records sign in Ladbroke Grove | © Jurriaan Persyn / Flickr
If you’re after some jazz LPs, rare reggae 7”s and experimental 12”s, look no further than Honest Jon’s. Originally located in a former butcher’s shop, the historical record store moved to Portobello in the 1980s and has been trading in little known vinyl ever since. The vibrant west London community has been getting its hot releases from John Clare since he opened the store after a career as a sociology lecturer.
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Sounds of The Universe

Store, Market
Record Store day 2014
Record Store day 2014 | © WIkimedia/Sophie Means Wisdom
Although Stuart Baker started this musical institution in a market stall in Camden, he always knew Soho’s Broadwick Street was a Mecca for music lovers and the ultimate place to move his record store. He established the Soul Jazz label in 1992 which aimed to create compilation albums fusing soul, jazz and reggae music.
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Phonica Records

© Pixabay
Vinyl music was in big trouble when Phonica opened in 2003. Record shops were closing down in their droves and sales of vinyl records were at an all time low. Thank goodness Phonica had faith and the vinyl renaissance has come to their rescue. The shop hosts regular in-store appearances, Record Store Day parties and live streams, and it’s even a dance music hub and has made its name on the international dance music scene.
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Flashback Records Essex Road

Music Venue, Store
Flashback Records
Flashback Records | © Flickr/Paul Hudson
This North London institution opened its first store on Essex road over 20 years ago. Now its three stores across the city are a reliable source for a broad selection of genres, styles, and formats, and offer a huge selection of second hand stock. Perfect for a weekend rummage – you never know what you might find!
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Sister Ray

Sister Ray, London
Sister Ray, London | © Ewan Munro /Flickr
In the heart of Soho’s record store district, this soul sistah has been flogging a weird, wonderful and fantastically diverse range of records since 1987. Sister Ray are true vinyl specialists and don’t believe in online selling – they’re all about getting to the store, feeling the dust jacket in your hand and having a Hi-Fidelity style argument about the best albums of all time.
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