For the first time in more than 20 years, vinyl record sales are on the rise; however, Australia’s cultural capital, Melbourne, has been on the hype train from the start. With so many stores in Melbourne, here are the five best to get your vinyl record collection off to a good start.
Greville Records is the stereotypical record store. Crates filled with thousands of records line the shelves, boxes and re-appropriated bookshelves are packed from top to bottom and there are even records in their sleeves piled on the floor. Greville Records is an almost endless treasure trove of musical discovery. Despite the hoarder-like storage of the vinyl, each record is meticulously labeled and put away in alphabetical order and in genre groups. Thousands of albums from rock and hip-hop to jazz and reggae make for incredible variety. Greville Records sells new and used vinyl, 7-inch records, CDs, DVDs, cassette tapes and posters and collectibles. And if you have some records of your own to sell, they pay for those with cash.
Specializing in hip-hop music, Obese Records also sells clothing, merchandise and art-goods—even spray paint cans for the graffiti-art enthusiast. The huge range of vinyl records, DVDs and CDs make it an obvious place to go when looking for hip-hop—and better yet, the online store means you don’t need to leave home.
Difficult to find, tucked away under Flinders Street in Campbell Arcade, Wax Museum is one of the smaller stores on the list. But what it lacks in size, it makes up for in vinyl variety. Specializing in hip-hop, dance, indie and jazz beats, the store features niche artists and some rare releases. While there is a great chance to discover good music, the size of the store doesn’t lend itself to a good stock, and what you see is usually what you find.
It may not, strictly speaking, be a store, but it is one of the best places to find thousands of rare, new and second-hand vinyl records. Formerly the Camberwell Record Fair, the Box Hill Record Fair runs monthly at the Box Hill Town Hall and is open to anyone looking to buy or sell records and comics. Because it’s an open market for buyers and sellers, you can find anything from the latest releases still wrapped in plastic to old, rare classics from the ’60s.
Compared to the others on this list, the large chain of consumer electronic stores that is JB Hi-Fi may seem like an odd addition, but their collections of vinyl records are nothing to be laughed at. Unlike most vinyl record stores, JB Hi-Fi stocks up on mainstream artists and big name bands like Taylor Swift and The Beatles. Those looking for a niche album or genre had best stay away, but anyone new to collecting vinyl records should be right at home at JB. There are 178 stores Australia-wide, so it really isn’t so hard to miss the big, bright yellow signs.