A vinyl lover’s guide to Melbourne’s best specialty record stores
05.05.2021

A vinyl lover’s guide to Melbourne’s best specialty record stores

dixonsrecycled-6603.jpg
Words by Arielle Richards

For all your genre-specific vinyl needs.

There’s no greater pleasure than an afternoon spent rifling through the stacks at a local record shop. Luckily for wax heads, mild enthusiasts and newcomers just dipping their toes into the rapid, winding river that is vinyl obsession, Melbourne has hundreds of shops to choose from.

Whether your eyes are on hardcore, hip hop or funk, you can bet there’s several locations with the expertise, knowledge and – of course – the stock, to guide you to your vinyl Valhalla.

While a really good dig is second to none, sometimes we know exactly what we want. Or, at least, the general genre gist we’re after. So, we’ve taken the liberty of collating all of Melbourne’s specialty record stores, selected the best, then divvied them up by genre(ish), for your perusing and pursuing pleasure.

Keep up to date with all the latest music interviews, news and reviews here.

Soul/Funk/Jazz

Northside Records

If Northside Records’ moniker, ‘The Soul of Melbourne’ didn’t give it away, well… I don’t know what to tell you. Northside Records are Melbourne’s soul specialists, with a huge variety of new and old records simply begging for discovery in store. Stocking all soul-adjacent genres, including jazz, hip hop, reggae and funk, Northside has you covered on all bases.

Find Northside Records at 236 Gertrude St, Fitzroy.

Profile Music

Run by vinyl connoisseur Steve Giardina, Profile Music boasts an extensive collection of new and second-hand records across soul, funk, disco and more. The tightly curated selection offers the digger an exclusive experience – an opportunity to uncover some of the rarest records going ‘round town.

Find Profile Music at 147 Greville Street, Prahran.

Rathdowne Records

“The most jazz” reads their Facebook bio. And it’s probably true. While they don’t specifically specialise in jazz, it’s absolutely how it started. Back in 2007, owner Joel Shortman began selling records as a side hustle to his DVD rental business. Long story short, Rathdowne Records quickly became known as one of the best jazz record stockists in the city. It now purveys – in addition to the most jazz – a wide selection of hip hop and funk.

Find Rathdowne Records at 230 High St, Northcote.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Rathdowne Records (@rathdownerecords)

International

Tamura Sake Bar, Records and Jazzy Kitchen

Combining the owners’ love of sake and music, Tamura Sake bar is more than just a bar. The venue has a huge stock of imported Japanese records on the spin every night and they’re all for sale. The curated selection encompasses jazz, soul and hip hop, and includes rarities unheard of outside Japan.

Find Tamura Sake Bar, Records and Jazzy Kitchen at 43 Gertrude Street Fitzroy.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by TamuraSakeBar (@tamurasakebar)

Oh! Jean Records

The friendly legends at Oh! Jean have curated, for your hunting pleasure, a general record store with a bonus special section. There you’ll find they specialise in showcasing records from just across the pond. New Zealand, that is.

Find Oh! Jean Records at 276 Nicholson St, Fitzroy.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by OH! JEAN RECORDS (@ohjeanrecords)

The Searchers

With crates chock full of finds from across the world, The Searchers is a digging paradise. Spanning genres and across international borders, the eclectic mix at Searchers guarantees you’ll find what you’re searching for.

Find The Searchers at 93 Smith St, Fitzroy.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by The Searchers (@thesearchers)

Old/Rare/Obscure

Licorice Pie

Among the world’s best record stores, with its international reputation preceding it, Licorice Pie is well known for global rarities, attention to detail and fascinating finds. Their new location is in the latest addition to the inner north’s cultural scene, the Collingwood Yards.

Find Licorice Pie at 3/30 Perry St, Collingwood.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Licorice Pie Records (@licoricepie)

Dixons Recycled

If it’s old, used and secondhand you’re after, Dixons has it. One of Melbourne’s longest-running secondhand record chains, over 40 years in the game, Dixons is a success story of how an independent store can stay in the game so long. They do one thing, and they do it very, very well.

Find Dixons Recycled at 414 Brunswick St, Fitzroy.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Dixons Records (@dixonsrecords)

Greville Records

One of Melbourne’s oldest record shops, Greville Records boasts the title of “the South’s best”. While the shop covers everything across genres, it has plenty of rare finds in store, as well as a focus on the interesting and unusual. We love to see it.

Find Greville Records at 152 Greville St, Prahran.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Greville Records (@grevillerecords)

Electronic-a

Skydiver

The brainchild of three stalwart DJs, Skydiver has developed a reputation for its immaculate collection of old and new records. Under the umbrella of ‘electronic’ you’ll find a range of titles and sounds across house, techno, italo, balearic, disco and more. While there’s a small selection in store, it’s ever-changing, so you can count on some fresh finds on every visit.

Find Skydiver at 167A Johnston St, Collingwood.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Skydiver (@skydiverrecords)

Bounce Audio

Where DJ shop meets record shop, Bounce Audio has an ever-changing selection of electronic music to go with the gear. You can hire equipment, get your gear fixed, or purchase everything you need to kick start that disk jockey career you’ve always considered, including the records.

Find Bounce Audio at 37 Cato St, Prahran.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Bounce Audio (@bounceaudio)

HUB301

Embracing the vinyl revival within the party scene, HUB301 specialises in new records across house, techno, disco and soul. With a focus on the unique, HUB301 is your go-to for eclectic wax. You’ll also find plenty of local artists sitting beside the internationals.

Find HUB301 at 301 Johnston Street, Abbotsford.

Punk/Rock/Garage/Hardcore

Poison City Records

Stocking everything from punk to hardcore and beyond, this skate-meets-record shop was Fitzroy’s beloved community hub for over a decade. Now calling Preston home, it’s still a go-to for all your vinyl and skate merch needs.

Find Poison City Records at 60 Gilbert Rd, Preston.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Poison City Records (@poisoncity)

Strangeworld Records

With a particular focus on garage, metal and punk, Strangeworld offers an insight into the obscure, unique and interesting. There you’ll find new and old gems across post-punk, pop, noise, experimental, garage, soul and more.

Find Strangeworld Records at 519 Brunswick St, Fitzroy North.

Radical Records

Since 1988, Radical Records have blessed Dandenong with “Victoria’s largest range of hard rock, progressive and extreme metal music”. There you’ll find a great selection of new and old vinyl and CDs.

Find Radical Records at Shop 3 The Hub Arcade, 15-23 Langhorne St, Dandenong.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Now Spinning TV (@nowspinningtv)

Hip Hop

Wax Museum

Coming in at number nine on the Vinyl Factory’s world’s best record shops list is Wax Museum. Their stock is beat-driven, and while not specialty, they do offer a huge stash of local and international hip hop. That’s in addition to everything else, from soul, blues and jazz to techno.

Find Wax Museum at Shop 2, Campbell Arcade, Degraves Street (Flinders Street Subway), Melbourne.

Union Heights

You’ll find more than just records at “Melbourne’s destination for all things hip hop”. Community-driven Union Heights stocks independently released music, with a focus on local talent. The store also has a wide range of graffiti art supplies, DVDs, publications, collectibles and apparel.

Find Union Heights at 136 Chapel St, Windsor.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Union Heights (@union_heights)

Plug Seven

While we’ve popped Plug Seven down with hip hop, they’re also well known for specialising in great records. Among their bounteous selection, you’ll find they also focus on jazz, Afro and soul, as well as rock, Latin, disco and blues.

Find Plug Seven at 313A Smith St, Fitzroy.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Plug Seven (@plugseven)

Need some record recommendations? Check out our list of Melbourne indie record labels to support as the music industry kicks back into gear.