Let’s be honest, vinyl will always be cool. Although record stores definitely saw a slump in sales during the early 2000s, that’s an inky black time we prefer to refer to as the Dark Ages. It’s better if we stitch together the late 90s with May 2010 and Tame Impala’s Innerspeaker, erasing everything in between.
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 Sydney that are keeping the dream alive.
If you’re looking to bulk out your collection or buy your first vinyl this Summer we have got some spots you need to hit. These are the 5 best record stores in Sydney.
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.
5. Papa Disquo Records
Where: 109 Enmore Rd, Newtown NSW 2042
Ken Perkins was known to own the largest record collection in Australia with an 80,000 strong archive. This equates to roughly 4 records bought per day over 50 years. When Ken recently passed, local Gunjo Discopantz aka DJ Gonz put a bid on the auction and managed to score the lot.
With a distinct focus on reggae, disco, dub, and funk it’s a pretty marvellous thing to paw through through such a vast collection collated by one man. If you have a spare few hours to spend here there is a whole lot of treasure to discover here if you have the eye.
4. Egg Records
Where: 3 Wilson St, Newtown NSW 2042, Australia
Website: Egg Records
Located in the living, beating heart of Newtown, Egg Records is a local favourite with stacks and stacks of carefully selected second hand wax. While they also stock plenty of new stuff they certainly lean towards the classic side of things.
With another store in Brisbane, Egg Records has slowly built up an impressive audience of grass roots fans. If you’re looking for old gold, this is the place for you.
3. Sandy’s Records
Where: 870 Pittwater Rd, Dee Why NSW 2099
The oldest independent record store in Australia to be owned concurrently by the same owners: Nigel and Jenny Fry since 1976. They have an extremely well rounded stock with everything from new releases to rare live recordings.
It’s important to mention that Nigel and Jenny are also some of the most knowledgeable music listeners in Sydney and will help you find exactly what you’re looking for, or source it externally. Plus it feels like the racks are stocked the same as their brains. As if some is reading the mind of a music lover and low-key vinyl addict every time you walk in.
2. Red Eye Records
Where: 143 York St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
Website: Red Eye Records
Established by Chris Pepperel in 1981, Red Eye Records is Australia’s largest independent record store. As Australia’s most voluminous sonic library’s they have just about anything you could possibly want on its shelves.
The racks are stocked with a diverse and well curated array of new records, rare records and reissues as well as books, magazines, posters and DVDs. Red Eye certainly prizes itself on customer service, vintage vibe vibe and tracking down rare, out-of-print and one of a kind items so there is a whole lot to discover.
1. Repressed Records
Where: 413 King St, Newtown NSW 2042, Australia
Website: Repressed Records
This is a store with a DIY attitude and particular focus on alternative and punk. Yep, heaps and heaps of punk. Repressed Records has a distinct desire to promote independent Australian labels so it’s hard to walk in there and not come out with an armful.
Stocked with a vast selection of must-haves, up-and-coming, and imports amidst a slathering of punk as well as CDs, DVDs, trinkets, specialty music books and zines.
Repressed Records certainly provides one of the best vinyl experiences Sydney has on offer, however Newtown is a veritable metropolis of waxy gold.
Forget beer, it’s time to plan a Vinyl-to-Vinyl next time you’re in Newtown.
While we’ve got you, check out: