Record Shops in Manchester

Creative Tourist

A queue in front of a record store – that, until recently, would have been a surprising occurrence. Not unlike a sudden surge to buy floppy discs. But despite music store chains becoming high street dinosaurs, we are in the middle of what’s been dubbed a vinyl revival. This might have something to do with the fetishisation of records as objects – and a love of retro that stretches from hipster to baby boomer. Whatever the reason, though, the stats are hard to argue with. Nearly 800,000 vinyl records were sold in 2013, and, with numbers steadily rising, everyone wants a piece of the action. Here’s our guide to the best record shops in Manchester.

– Polly Checkland Harding

Here are our picks

  • 1. Piccadilly Records

    Image of Piccadilly Records on Manchester's Oldham Street
    Ben Williams

    Piccadilly Records is the real deal, a record shop so good that it probably deserves some credit for the regeneration of its surrounding neighbourhood. Open since 1978, it’s a gem, with expertly curated stock spanning CD and vinyl from practically every esoteric genre going, and intensely clued-up staff whose annual year-in-review booklet has all the authority of The Bible. Don’t be afraid to ask if you can’t find something.

    – Kate Feld

  • 2. Vinyl Exchange

    Vinyl Exchange shop in Manchester
    Mikey via Flickr

    Let us now praise Vinyl Exchange, because they sell secondhand music (and movies), which makes this the city’s capital of serendipitous finds. Expect anything from rare EPs to that great old album you used to have on cassette but whose absence has been making a painful hole in your collection for years. You can also sell your unwanted vinyl, CDs and DVDs here but they’re very choosy, as a bazillion skint students can attest.

    – Kate Feld

  • 3. Eastern Bloc Records

    Eastern Bloc Records

    White-label-loving denizens of the dance floor have made pilgrimages to EB for years. It opened over the road Afflecks in 1985 and was heavily involved in the Madchester mayhem (808 State’s Martin Price used to run it.) Now it’s on Stevenson Square, and it’s the place to go for specialist Deep House, Techno, Electro and Drum n’Bass. Impressively, you can also get a cup of Union Hand Roasted and a slice of cake to enjoy while you’re giving the cans a workout.

    – Kate Feld

  • 4. Beatin’ Rhythm

    If you’re a fan of Northern Soul, you’ll probably already know about Beatin’ Rhythm. It’s a temple to powder-shuffling soul power, staffed by people who eat, sleep and breathe music. There’s a stunning selection of rare soul 45s but they also do nice lines in Doo Wop, 50s Rock, Rockabilly and Country. Soul survivors can never go back to Wigan Casino, but an afternoon of crate-digging here may be something of a consolation.

    – Kate Feld

  • 5. Vinyl Revival

    Established in 1997, a good part of this small but well-stocked record shop is dedicated to Manchester bands from the ‘60s to the present day – but if local bands aren’t your thing, you can dig through the extensive selection of vinyl and CDs in genres including Punk, Reggae, Soul, Rock, Hip Hop, Electro and House.

    – Polly Checkland Harding