Thursday, September 16, 2010

Record Shopping in Chicago: The Best Spots For Vinyl Lovers

I came across this on the Huffington Post website. They said that 3 Chicago Record stores were featured in Rolling Stone Magazine's "25 Best Record Stores in the U.S.". They also decided to make their own list (posted below) So I was very interested in seeing which stores they were. Surprisingly they both missed one of the very best DJ / Dance Music Record strore in the city: Gramaphone Records!!! JDLP


Rolling Stone released it's list of the "25 Best Record Stores in the U.S." today, and three Chicago shops made the cut. (Dusty Groove, Dave’s Records & Laurie’s Planet of Sound) We were impressed--but also felt the need to make our own list.

While many young consumers ditched their CDs and now head to the iTunes store to buy music--diehard music fans have not stopped visiting their local record stores. Vinyl collectors are very particular about where the goods are, and Chicago is lucky enough to have many sweet stores to choose from.

There is something special about listening to music on a record player, especially as the leaves begin to fall. Perhaps visiting your local record store will inspire you to bring more vinyl into your life--and hopefully our list can help you on that journey.

Huffington Post link:

Rolling Stone link:


Chicago is a jazz city, and Dusty Groove is a jazz fan's dream. Also, lovers of soul, funk, hip hop and Latin music are always very pleased with their selection. Rolling Stone called Dusty Groove "easily the finest shop of its kind in the United States." We agree.

Dusty Groove

1120 N. Ashland Ave.


Another Rolling Stone pick--Dave's doesn't bother with CDs. Also, there is Dave himself. The man behind the counter knows his stuff, and fills his store with quality merchandise. Another small but mighty spot. Love when we can scan the entire store without missing dinner!

Dave's Records

2604 N. Clark St.


Rolling Stone just named Laurie's one of the best record stores in the country--and we agree with them. Aside from their vast used vinyl collection, they have awesome old magazines, hard-to-find DVDs (vintage erotica, anyone?) and boardgames from the 80s that you totally forgot about.

Laurie's Planet of Sound
4639 N. Lincoln Ave.

Huffington Post additions:

Another Chicago blues and jazz haven, the Jazz Record Mart is rich with history. Musicians and producers of all stripes passed through this Downtown shop since its 1959 inception, and it's still going strong.

Jazz Record Mart

27 East Illinois


A few years ago, we wandered into this South Side record store and were really bummed to see so many amazing records thrown into piles--many warped from mistreatment. Beverly Records has since cleaned up its act. Now, their massive collection is more organized, and we have much better luck finding some of the older (but popular) records here than at North Side stores. Also, the more you buy--the better deal you get. You'll find loads of 45s and 33s as well--and some rarities.

Beverly Records

11612 South Western


Another South Side gem, Hyde Park Records is a generally cheery place to be. Employees and local customers chat about music, something awesome is always playing and there is a fantastic selection of rock, jazz, soul and more.

Hyde Park Records
1377 E 53rd St.


Reckless is a Chicago staple. With locations in Wicker Park, Lakeview and Downtown, the Reckless folks have a large, reasonably priced selection and are always willing to hunt something down for you. We like the Wicker Park and Lakeview locations best. You will find loads of used CDs and DVDs there as well.

Reckless Records

26 E. Madison St., Chicago
532 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago
3161 N. Broadway, Chicago


This Chicago Avenue gem is small but mighty. Scanning the entire store is a Saturday afternoon well spent--and you'll likely leave with an armful of goodies. Really good, manageable selection of new and used records; friendly and helpful staff and an adorable cat (Zaireeka) to boot! Our personal fave!

Permanent Records

1914 W. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622


JDLP's addition to the list:

Gramaphone Records

2843 N Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 472-3683

Open Weekdays 12pm-9pm;
Sat 11am-8:30pm; Sun 12pm-6pm


Hands down one of the best record stores in Chi Town & possibly the world for DJs & Dance Music. These guys have been at it over 30 some years. Big shout to the crew!!! JDLP


Groove_Dirk said...

Why did you forget us Jesse?? Groove Distribution now open to the public Tues-Fri 12-7 and Sun 12-3. 5,000= sq feet of imported and domestic records & CDs. 346 N Justine Street Suite 202.

-Your old pal, Dirk V-

JDLP said...

Sorry bout that dirk.. Now I know.

I just reposted that list (wasn't mine) & add G phone. I'm going to do my own list in the near future & will be sure to add you guys.
Have a good one. Jes