Factory Records co-founder Tony Wilson said: “Manchester kids have the best record collections.” And it’s no wonder, as Manc musicians – both born and adopted – have played a massive part in shaping the musical landscape. From 10cc and the Bee Gees, to Joy Division, New Order, The Smiths, The Stone Roses and a little band called Oasis, we’ve produced some of the greats. And there’s no denying, the best way to enjoy them is through the magic of vinyl. With that in mind, here are our favourite record shops and vinyl haunts in Manchester.
1. Vinyl Resting Place, Afflecks
Vinyl hunting is a serious business and that attitude can often carry over into the shops themselves, which can make the experience a touch intimidating. But not at Vinyl Resting Place. Located on the third floor of the iconic Afflecks, the shop is run by self-confessed vinyl nerd and all-around lovely man Alistair, who is always up for a chat and happy to offer advice. The enclave is a treasure trove of records, both new and old, and offers something for everyone, from the keen beginner to the seasoned connoisseur, all at a very reasonable price.
Vinyl Resting Place, 3rd Floor, Afflecks, 52 Church St, M4 1PW.
2. All Night Flight, Stockport/Online
All Night Flight Records is a Manchester-based, online select record store dealing in predominately left-field, experimental, electronic and worldwide sounds. Sales used to be predominantly online-only, but customers are now welcome to browse in person and listen to records Thursday – Saturday, 11am – 7pm. For any more info or if you have a query about an online order, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
All Night Flight Records, 10 Mealhouse Brow, Stockport, SK1 1JP.
3. Oxfam Emporium, Northern Quarter
Not to be confused with its vintage selling sister store, Oxfam Originals, the charity record section offers a paradise of second-hand wax. If you head to the back you’ll find an impressive collection of used vinyl, from weird and wonderful 7″ singles to obscure albums you didn’t know you needed in your collection, all dirt cheap.
Oxfam, 8-10 Oldham St, M1 1JQ.
4. Kingbee Records, Chorlton
Based in the paradise that is Chorlton, Kingbee has been trading for almost 25 years and is one of the last remaining independent record shops in the North West of England. The shop attracts collectors and dealers from all over the world and their stock is in constant rotation, so you’re guaranteed a find on every visit.
Kingbee Records, 519 Wilbraham Rd, M21 0UF.
5. Piccadilly Records, Northern Quarter
Manchester’s largest and longest-running independent record shop, Piccadilly Records has been at the forefront of the scene for 40 years and offers an extensive range of new releases across all genres. If it’s recent and decent, you’ll find it at Piccadilly. And if you’re struggling to find something, you can always ask the lovely staff behind the counter.
Piccadilly Records, 53 Oldham St, M1 1JR.
6. Wax and Beans, Bury
Residing just outside of Manchester in Bury, Wax and Beans is the perfect spot for a long browse through the extensive record selection, and then a lengthy sit down with a cuppa. Not only is the shop packed with two floors of the best new and second-hand vinyl, but also acts as a coffee shop and events venue, with album release parties and signings happening almost weekly. This community space is well-loved and always welcoming to visitors, so there’s no reason not to check it out.
Wax and Beans, 16 Market Street, Bury, BL9 0AJ.
7. Vinyl Revival, Northern Quarter
Vinyl Revival was established in 1997 and is situated in the heart of Manchester’s Northern Quarter. A good percentage of the shop is dedicated to local bands from the 60′s to the present day. The shop also boasts a vast range of vinyl, CDs, t-shirts and posters related to this city’s great musical heritage. And if Manchester bands aren’t your thing, fear not! They also have a great selection of Punk, Reggae, Soul, Rock, Hip Hop, Electro, House and 50′s and 60′s.
Vinyl Revival, 5 Hilton St, M4 1LP.
18. X-Records, Bolton
Established in 1977, X-Records in Bolton has truly stood its ground, founded on punk and rock ‘n’ roll. With a striking piece of art resembling the Sex Pistols Never Mind The Bollocks album artwork adorning the shutters of the shop, X-Records seems to really respect its history, whilst moving with the times to claim its place as the only remaining independent record shop in the town. Specialising in new editions of old classics, the shop is lovingly run and staff are always on hand to share their knowledge and advice.
X-Records, 44 Bridge Street, Bolton, BL1 2EG.
9. Eastern Bloc, Northern Quarter
Serving the Northern Quarter since 1985, Eastern Bloc now stands proud on Stevenson Square, offering not only an immense collection of records, but coffee, dining, evening tipples and a real community feel. Experts in Techno, Drum & Bass, House, Jungle, Broken Beat, Electro, Dubstep, Ambient, Disco, Soul, Funk, Hip Hop, Latin, Afro, Reggae, Jazz & everything else in between, Eastern Bloc is known for being part of the formation and celebration of some of Manchester’s favourite musicians and bands. The shop helped to launch the likes of Inspiral Carpets, with one of the owners, Martin Price, going on to become part of legendary group 808 State. The team at Eastern Bloc really know what they’re talking about, and it’s so much more than just a fantastic record store.
Eastern Bloc, 5A Stevenson Square, Manchester, M1 1DN.
10. Tasty Records, Altrincham
Small but mighty, Tasty records in Altrincham is packed full of colour and passion for music. In their own words, it’s “like a TARDIS” (bigger on the inside). Thousands of brand new and well cared-for pre-loved vinyl are stacked behind the walls, with a “comfortable, unpretentious environment with a wide range sure to please anyone who comes through our door”. The team are clearly keen on customer service and education when it comes to all forms of music, which is exactly what you want from a record shop, whether you’re a beginner looking to start your wax collection, or a veteran digging for something specific.
Tasty Records, 25 Regent Road, Altrincham, Greater Manchester, WA14 1RX.
11. Vinyl Exchange, Northern Quarter
Hence the name, Vinyl Exchange on Oldham Street operates as the largest seller and buyer of rare and second-hand CDs, records and DVDs in the North West of England. It boasts two floors chock-a-block with rock and indie, metal, punk, alternative, experimental, industrial, psychedelic and soundtracks, with other specialisms such as rave, hip-hop and jazz available if you’re lucky. The team knows the discography like the back of their hands, and the shop offers a wonderful atmosphere with listening facilities to try before you buy! Vinyl Exchange also has an extensive online store with an efficient delivery service, much of which is not available instore, so do check it out if you’re looking for something specific.
Vinyl Exchange, 18 Oldham Street, Manchester, M1 1JN.
12. Music for the Soul Records, Urmston
A pretty traditional, local record shop, Music for the Soul Records in Urmston provides a no frills record digging experience. A recent refurbishment has made the shop sleek and easy to move around and browse the huge selection of vinyl, whilst maintaining a cosy feel that envelops customers with a pure love for music. Keep an eye on the Music for the Soul social media for news on deliveries and opening times, as the shop is run by a very small team!
Music for the Soul Records, 50 Flixton Rd, Urmston, Manchester, M41 5AB.
13. Clampdown Records, Northern Quarter
Beloved amongst Manc vinyl fans, Clampdown Records is a must-visit for locals and visitors alike. Inhabiting a traditional store including a very retro shop front, Clampdown is filled to the gills with records, CDs, t-shirts, posters and love, with a walk around the store feeling like a warm hug. The team are always more than happy to chat and offer advice, and we really recommend picking their brains if you’re after something specific or have any questions. You’ll always leave Clampdown with a smile, as well as an arm full of anything from Hendrix to Oasis.
Clampdown Records, 9-11 Paton Street, Manchester, M1 2BA.
14. Lizard Inc Records, Warrington
Lizard Inc is a wonderful local for Warrington inhabitants, with the owner, illusively known as The Shopkeeper, being lovingly enthusiastic about his business, music and the community. Lizard specialises in second hand vinyl, with a lovely social media presence lending itself to updating customers on new deliveries and stock, as well as personal ponderings and availability to answer queries. With the spirit of a Manchester record store, and the local heart of a community shop, it’s worth popping into Lizard for a dig around if you’re nearby.
Lizard Inc Records, 12 Legh St, Warrington, WA1 1UG.
15. Static Records, Wigan
As well as being known for its mighty pies, Wigan was also massive in the Northern Soul movement of the 60s and 70s, with venues such as Wigan Casino pulling movers and shakers from all over the country. Celebrating that history and a town with a huge appreciation for music is Static Records, a treasure trove of “previously enjoyed records”. Static moved into its most unique spot yet in 2018, with the building containing concert venues, theatre spaces, a gallery, bars, and a cafe, which the team describes as “a busy buzzy creative family all around us”. Static has all sorts going on from their Sleeve Face series to their vintage poster sales, all of which can be found on their website, and owners Paul and Martin are more than happy to chat in store.
Static Records, The Old Courts, Crawford Street, Wigan, WN1 1NA.
Also published on Medium.