A Guide to Chicago’s Record Stores

Vinyl is back. Here’s a list of six local Chicago shops where every kind of listener can go dig up a treasure.

Reckless Records   Photos: (Reckless Records) Alex Garcia/Chicago Tribune; (album covers) courtesy of vendors
For the Kitsch Junkie

Laurie’s Planet of Sound

4639 N. Lincoln Ave.
Browse the shelves of LPs ranging from Dusty Springfield’s Dusty in Memphis to the funk classic It’s My Thing by Marva Whitney. You can also find band tees and DVDs at this friendly store, where they’ll play your favorite record (if you ask nicely).

Picks from manager Sam O’Rama
 
‘Antiphon’ by Midlake ‘Magnolia Electric Co.’ by Songs: Ohia
Antiphon, Midlake
The new album from the progressive-folk sextet has been flying off the racks.
Magnolia Electric Co., Songs: Ohia
“I’ve recommended this [2003 alt-country] album for 10 years, and so far nobody has been disappointed.”

 

For the Rock Enthusiast

Reckless Records

3126 N. Broadway
For the best bets, sift through the unorganized “New Arrivals” bins near the entrance. If you’re looking for true gems, hit the less trafficked sections such as folk and psych, where you can score coveted reissues like early Capitol Records releases.

Picks from store buyer Matt Jencik
 
‘Fuzz’ by Fuzz ‘Prazision’ by Labradford
Fuzz, Fuzz
One of the many side projects of neo-garage-rock star Ty Segall.
Prazision, Labradford
The 1993 experimental album “is a perfect introduction to Kranky, an important Chicago label.”

 

For the Soul Lover

Dusty Groove

1120 N. Ashland Ave.
A spin through this beloved store is like a master class in music history. Its expert owner is known by laymen and serious collectors alike as one of the nicest guys in town; he’ll indulge even the most novice buyer—just ask.

Picks from owner Rick Wojcik
 
‘Black Radio 2’ by Robert Glasper Experiment ‘Histoire de Melody Nelson’ by Serge Gainsbourg
Black Radio 2, Robert Glasper Experiment
The innovative pianist bridges jazz and hip-hop.
Histoire de Melody Nelson, Serge Gainsbourg
“We’ve sold hundreds of copies [of the 1971 album] over the years.”

 

For the Jazzhead

Jazz Record Mart

27 E. Illinois St.
Owner Bob Koester—founder of storied local jazz and blues label Delmark Records—carries every Delmark release, including electric blues classics by Junior Wells and an exceptional collection of albums by local improvisers such as Rob Mazurek and Josh Abrams.

Picks from manager Chad Henderson
 
‘Liquid Spirit’ by Gregory Porter ‘A Love Supreme’ by John Coltrane
Liquid Spirit, Gregory Porter
His buttery voice is in full bloom on his new release.
A Love Supreme, John Coltrane
“Coltrane’s 1965 opus is a must.”

 

For the Novice Collector

Logan Hardware

2532 W. Fullerton Ave.
After a major makeover in July, the North Side favorite has all the trappings of a world-class store: a slick decor, a huge rock inventory, and (bonus!) an arcade where shoppers can take free turns on vintage games.

Picks from manager Jim Zespy
 
‘Blasted Diplomats’ by Blasted Diplomats ‘B Is for Bounce: New Orleans Rap Classics, 1994–95’ by Ricky B
Blasted Diplomats, Blasted Diplomats
Released in November, the self-titled LP is the first for this local punk band.
B Is for Bounce: New Orleans Rap Classics, 1994–95, Ricky B
“You can’t go wrong with this veteran New Orleans rapper.”

 

For the Bargain Hunter

Hyde Park Records

1377 E. 53rd St.
You could spend days digging through bins full of everything from South Side funk to old-school blues in this long, narrow shop. Though cluttered and unkempt, the store is a destination for intrepid shoppers who pride themselves on bargain buys.

Picks from owner Alexis Bouteville
 
‘No Poison, No Paradise’ by Black Milk ‘Live’ by Donny Hathaway
No Poison, No Paradise, Black Milk
Delve into the Detroit rapper’s dark side on his latest album.
Live, Donny Hathaway
“The 1972 album is a timeless classic.”

 

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5 months ago
Posted by Dell C

“You can’t go wrong with this veteran New Orleans rapper.”

I just went wrong, first try: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcFy_nF5qrg

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