If you’re not already aware of the vinyl revolution then you probably don’t live in Melbourne. The veritable beating heart of Australian youth culture certainly has no shortage of quality record stores and is Australia’s highest leader in vinyl sales.
Alas! The last decade has seen 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 Melbourne that are keeping the dream alive.
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 best local vendors to get your liquorice fix.
Whether you’re a collector or first-time investor we have sourced the 5 best record stores in Melbourne to help you keep the dream alive.
5. Flightless 168
Where: 168 Lygon St, Brunswick East VIC 3057
Website: Flightless Records
It’s a one stop shop for all of the best garage and psych-rock Australia has to offer and now you can Infest The Rats’ Nest in the flesh. Yep independent label Flightless Records recently opened their first public store and, I’m just gonna say it, the place is mint!
I have only been there twice already but I have come out a significantly poorer man both times. A veritable Disneyland for Gizzheads they also have an extremely tasteful collection of contemporary international rock, psych, folk and groove.
4. Northside Records
Where: 236 Gertrude St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Website: Northside Records
One of Melbourne’s shining beacons, Northside Records has been burning bright since it opened its doors in 2002 and has no doubt been a driving proponent in the recent vinyl resurgence.
Founded by Dr Chris Gil, a veracious encyclopaedia on local and international soul, he also runs a weekly radio show on 3RRR plugging the store and all local sounds.
3. Plug 7
Where: 313A Smith St, Fitzroy VIC 3065, Australia
Website: Plug Seven
Originally only appearing at vinyl fairs or in pop up stores, the phantom that is Plug 7 now has a permanent store in Fitzroy.
This is a diggers haven. If you have a keen eye and a few spare hours, or days then you will be right at home in Plug. Store owner, collector and musician Ari Rose has handpicked the stock from whole collections shipped in from the US so you’ve got a random, exciting, living, breathing archive here.
With a strict focus on original pressings, Rose has a massive 5000 LPs and 5000 45s in store. Check it!
2. Wax Museum Records
Where: Campbell Arcade, 2 Degraves St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Website: Wax Museum Records
Nestled in the belly of Melbourne’s famous Flinders St train station, Wax Museum Records was as an extensive collection of hip-hop and everything else beat based.
If you wanna suss out the best new techno, beats, disco, house or electronica get down to the Wax Museum. Owned by two hip-hop artists they have been a backbone of the beat scene since opening in 2006 and throw some outrageously good parties from time to time.
1. Round and Round
Where: 556 Sydney Rd, Brunswick VIC 3056
Website: Round and Round Records
Round and Round Records has been active as a store since 2008. Its motto is, was and forever shall be: NO BARRIERS. They not only boast the best collection of Krautrock, Italian prog and avant-jazz in Melbourne but also the best underground stuff around.
With a hand-written review and blurb stuck onto every single record in store it’s the dream store to simply browse as you always know what you’re getting and often stumble upon new, life-long gems.
While we’ve got you, check out: