Best Record Stores In New York City

The record shops in Hanoi are often hard to find
The record shops in Hanoi are often hard to find | © urbancow / Getty Images
Madeleine Leah Grossman

Despite the recent shift toward digital music, records and record stores seem to be making a comeback in recent years. New York City is one the best places to find records of any genre imaginable, and here are a few prime locations to discover them.

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Academy Records

With multiple locations around New York City, Academy Records has become a staple for buying and selling records. Hosting a large variety of genres from rock to avant garde to world music, there is sure to be something for any music or vinyl lover. Customers can peruse primarily used records in this small but laid-back space, complete with $1 bins full of interesting finds. Along with the record store, Acadamy Records also has an in-house label, which focuses on the reissuing of uncommon African psychedelic LPs.

Generation Records

Records for sale, Record Shop. Pop music posters, advertising bands, on to the walls of a shop selling vinyl records.

Located in the heart of Greenwich Village, Generation Records is the perfect spot to discover new and old metal and punk records. The store sells both new and used vinyl, along with DVDs, posters, and T-shirts, which can be found in the basement for affordable prices. Having lasted for almost 20 years, Generation Records shows no signs of leaving the village any time soon – much to the joy of metal and rock enthusiasts.

Other Music

As one of the quirkier stores on this list, Other Music is a great place to go if you’re looking to be exposed to independent and underground artists. Always one of the first stores to stock the newest records from experimental and rare musicians, Other Music also has a large variety of CDs, both used and new. The friendly and helpful staff also helps to host in-store events such as acoustic performances or listening parties.

A1 Record Shop

As the owner of A1 Record Shop, Isaac Kaufman sells any genre imaginable, including Calypso, Spoken Word, Rock, Techno, and much more. However, A1 Record Shop is mainly geared towards DJs due to its large selection of soul, jazz, and hip-hop. Since its opening in 1996, you can often see popular DJs browsing through crates of vintage records, and, with three listening stations, you are able to avoid picking up a scratchy record by testing it out beforehand.

Halcyon

After beginning in owner and founder Shawn Schwartz’s apartment and changing locations several times, Halcyon remains in Brooklyn as one of New York City’s most loved record stores. Primarily selling independent, underground music (specifically electronic and dance), the staff at Halcyon describe themselves as ‘hopeless music nerds…DJs…vinyl addicts…black crack pushers.’ Due to its welcoming and friendly atmosphere of music lovers, you will be sure to be making multiple trips back to this unique record store.

Captured Tracks Shop

Vinyl Player

After years of managing their successful independent record label, Captured Tracks, the people behind the label decided to open the Captured Tracks Record Shop – a true hidden gem of Brooklyn. While stocking records and cassettes from their own label, the store still buys and sells new and used records, proving to have a variety of genres and labels. Musicians from the Captured Tracks label, such as Mac DeMarco, are known to hang around the shop, looking through the well-priced selection.

Good Records NYC

Founded in 2005, Good Records NYC has made a statement by buying and selling records from the 1950s and onward. Similar to a lot of other record stores, Good Records NYC has a wide selection of genres, including Funk and International Music, but patrons tend to most often praise their jazz offerings. If you’re looking to sell any music-related items, Good Records NYC buys anything from turntables, audio equipment, and speakers to music-related posters and books.

Jazz Record Center

Hidden so deep on the eighth floor of a Chelsea building that you have to buzz up in order to get in is Jazz Record Center – the best place to find jazz records of any kind. Founded in 1983, Jazz Record Center sells anything jazz-related, including CDs, LPs, and books. Perfect for ‘jump-starting or juicing up your jazz collection,’ you can find unknown jazz artists or household names. (Note: Jazz Record Center also does mail auctions.)

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