While Brisbane isn’t necessarily a hotspot for Australian vinyl consumption with a total of 20 record stores against Sydney’s 33 and 70 in Melbourne, there is a few gems to be uncovered.
If you’ve been following the stats over the last decade you will have noticed a significant and frankly surprising rise in vinyl sales around the world and we couldn’t be happier. To celebrate the return to music’s most efficient format it’s time to shout out the top 5 record stores in Brisbane that are keeping the dream alive.
Don’t waste your time wandering the streets like some wax deranged bloodhound. We have done the searching for you. Here are Brisbane’s 5 best record stores.
In 2007, annual vinyl sales in the US was sitting at 2 million which has risen significantly to 16 million in 2017. This is representative across independent record stores, RIAA sales, and online sellers like eBay, Discogs all showing drastic spikes in vinyl sales. However, these stats still don’t include offline sales or second hand sales which is a massive fraction of the overall market.
While skeptics would argue this is still a far cry from the early 1980s when vinyl hit its peak at $2 billion in the US moving 300 million units, we are shouting out the 5 best record stores in Brisbane to get your liquorice disc fix.
5. Phase 4 Records
Where: 680F Ann Street Fortitude Valley Brisbane
Website: Phase 4 Records & Cassettes
Located in Fortitude Valley, Phase 4 Records have everything you could possibly need. They stock an extensive collection of new and used LP’s as well as vintage clothing and a selection of wares to help local bands.
To top it off they’ve starting putting on live gigs every Sunday from 3pm. If you’re ever in town this has got to be on your hit-list.
4. Butter Beats
Where: 26 Burnett Lane, Brisbane QLD 4000
Website: Butter Beats Records
With a distinct passion for music and street art, Butter Beast holds an insanely good collection of hip-hop, and everything funk. Andrew, known affectionately by residents as the ‘Pirate’ heads the Gold Coast store and is a staple of the local indie music and Hot Rod scene.
Since the summer of 1998 they have been selling a wide range of collectable records, books, figurines, posters and associated music and pop culture memorabilia. If they don’t have it… just ask, and they will hunt it down.
They don’t sell CD’s but that’s just so they can focus on vinyl and graffiti magazines.
3. Jet Black Cat
Where: Shop A, 72 Vulture Street, West End, QLD 4101
Website: Jet Black Cat
One of the longest running record stores in Brisbane, Jet Black Cat was established in 1982 when vinyl sales were at an all time high. Brisbane’s cultural hub, West End, have plenty of solid options in regards to vinyl however, Jet black Cat perches proudly stop the rest.
Jet Black Cat focuses very indie and alternative stuff and their novel, left-of-field approaches to products and marketing is magnificent and longstanding. Despite their prevailing indie status however, they will happily order anything in.
They do a heap of vinyl as well as CDs, music merchandise and the occasional live gig and listening party.
2. Rocking Horse Records
Where: 245 Albert St, Brisbane, QLD, 4000
Website: Rocking Horse Records
Rocking Horse has been an icon for Brisbane music lovers for the past 40 years. Located just around the corner form the Record Exchange, it’s the oldest independent record store in Queensland and has proven its worth as a beloved library of sonic treasures.
The stock CDs from international to indie, selected vinyl and T-shirts, as well as an impressive collection of music books, magazines, and posters. Rocking Horse also stocks Brisbane’s best independent music magazines and street press, and has a veritable village notice board of local gigs and events to keep everyone in the loop, with one finger firmly on the pulse.
1. The Record Exchange
Where: 1/65 Adelaide St, Brisbane QLD 4000
Website: The Record Exchange
The Record Exchange is like a best kept secret. Tucked away on Adelaide Street in the Brisbane’s busy city centre, stumbling across this gem is worth more than gold. Its stacked from floor to ceiling with musty old records, oversized posters, obscure clothing and vintage collectibles.
As it stands The Record Exchange is the largest record store in the southern hemisphere based purely on the size of its collection rather than floor space. You can easily spend a day just thumbing through LPs, CDs, DVDs or VHS if it so takes your fancy.
Hark, my friends! The best vinyl experience in Brisbane comes with a significant time stamp. You will want more than a few hours to plunder the depths of this vast collection and come out victorious.
While we’ve got you, check out:
- The definitive guide to Sydney’s 5 best record stores
- The definitive guide to Melbourne’s 5 best record stores