Vinyl was once predicted to have reached the end of its shelf life. With the introduction of CDs, there was just no room or time for the huge circular records kept in their artistic sleeves. But now it appears the delicate sound of records is in fashion once more, as sales reached a 20-year high of 1.29 million in 2014 following seven years of unbroken growth. And it’s not just the older generation looking for a nostalgic fix; the younger generation are interested too.
The revival of vinyl has been so big that the Official Charts Company launched a dedicated chart in April 2015, and it hasn’t looked back since. In the 1980’s there were over 2,200 record stores in the UK, but with a handful still thriving in Liverpool it’s safe to say that vinyl is here to stay.
The first choice record shop for DJs who want to check out the tracks before buying online, 3B Records has been the main provider for all things dance in Liverpool for over 20 years. Opening in 1989 as 3 Beats, the shop has built up a reputation allowing it to become the main hub for budding DJs and professionals alike. Specialising in electronic vinyl, its extensive collection and professional advice makes it one of the best known record stores in Liverpool. The shop is open 10am-6pm for all your dance and electronic needs, with best-sellers including ‘Jemmy’ by Heirotrip and ‘Company is Family’ by Naomi.
Opening in 1971, Probe Records is one of the longest established vinyl shops in Liverpool selling an extensive range of genres to vinyl lovers and collectors. Its eclectic collection includes classic funk, soul, garage, and indie. Specialising in indie and rock, Probe is able to obtain specialist vinyl from its array of sources, so if it’s something special you want that you can’t find elsewhere then Probe is on hand to help. The shop is open from 10am-6pm, Monday-Saturday.
This family-run business has been selling nostalgic vinyl since it opened on West Derby Road in 1947. Featured in the documentary, The Last Shop Standing, which was shown at the FACT and is still featured on Sky Arts, this famous independent store is quaint yet bustling with hundreds of records in stock. Diane Cain who runs the business took over from her uncle in 1951 and has been working there ever since. It specialises in nostalgic and country music, however its rock collection is its bestseller at the moment. The shop is popular with the older generation and is open 9.30am-5pm, Monday-Saturday.
Situated on the first floor of the well-known Jacaranda pub on Slater Street, this record shop not only sells an extensive collection of vintage, reissued and new vinyl records, but features self contained booths with a vinyl deck for customers to listen to their own music. The bar and music venue is also home to a reconditioned Voice-O-Graph – one of only three open to the public in the world – which lets musicians record their singles directly onto vinyl.
This relatively new independent record store has fast become one of the busiest record shops in Liverpool since it opened in March last year. It sells a variety of second hand records, ranging from rock and indie to drum and bass and techno. Turning over 500 records a week, its extensive collection can accommodate any music lovers’ needs. The store also buys records from customers wanting to sell, but check out the website for specific days you can do this. It is open 11.30am-6pm on weekdays and 11am-5pm on Sundays, and it also hosts events such as the recent Adam Ant record signing.
This small shop in Aintree has only been selling vinyls for two years, but it has quickly built its collection of hundreds of records. With a range of genres for sale, it specialises in 60s and 70s rock, which are a popular favourite amongst customers. Open 1-5pm Monday-Saturday, its stock starts from £1 with special edition vinyl beginning at £30.
This hidden gem inside the Hippie Hole on Renshaw Street is one of the smaller independent record shops in Liverpool; however it still is home to hundreds of both rare and current chart records. With its rare vinyl on display in the window by artists such as The Beatles and Madonna, inside hosts crates of alphabetically organised albums, 12”s and CDs. It is open from 11am-5.30pm and is perfect for a quieter and more cultured browse through collections.
Henry Bohn Books
Although generally a bookstore, this small shop on London Road is a hidden gem for those interested in classical and jazz vinyl. Open for 25 years, it doesn’t stock as many records as it used to but there are still a few hundred for customers to rifle through. Open 11am-6pm weekdays, this is the perfect place for a quiet nose through hundreds of collectable records.
by Eleanor Davies