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The best record stores in Melbourne

If you enjoy an earnest rifle through vinyl, have we got the goods for you? Yes, we have

Photograph: Graham Denholm

The instant gratification of a music download doesn't even come close to the buzz you get from hitting your local record store, sifting through black-wax gems and chatting with fellow music devotees. Where else are you going to find out about an obscure bootleg or pick up your favourite album now that it's been remastered on vinyl? Not online buddy, that's for sure. And even if you can, it's not the same.

While we're waxing lyrical about music, why not support your local scene by hitting one of the excellent live music pubs or our picks for the the best upcoming gigs.

The Searchers

This small, unassuming Fitzroy gem opened in 2008 as one of the few second-hand bookstores at the city end of Smith Street. Since then, it’s evolved to include a healthy range of used records. Racks stretch from the door to the rear counter; and are helpfully divided into genres such as punk, soul and disco.

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Fitzroy

Heartland Records

There’s a selection of CDs, but vinyl is the main focus. Shoppers can pick up anything from a reissued Nirvana LP to the back catalogue of Alice Cooper, Anthrax or Iron Maiden; but dig hard enough and you’ll find some indie rock and classic titles by artists like Arcade Fire, Weezer and Arctic Monkeys.

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North Melbourne

Round & Round Records

It’s easy to miss Round & Round Records if you're walking on Sydney Road; surrounded by bridal stores, the only telltale sign you’ve reached your destination is the sandwich board featuring a friendly owl outside. The store is small but packed with custom-built wooden racks of new and second-hand vinyl.

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Brunswick

Collectors' Corner

Two of Melbourne’s best-known record stores became one in August 2010. The first-level store now features stock from both businesses; with Missing Link’s range of new and used punk, hardcore and metal records and CDs complemented by Record Collectors Corner’s imports, classic titles and cheap music DVDs.

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Melbourne

Northside Records

Run by the ultimate sovereign of soul, 3RRR’s Chris Gill, Northside has long been a favourite within local music circles, called on by DJs and jive-bunnies alike. Whether you’re after a straight soul groove or some jazzed-up reggae blues, these guys have their finger on the vinyl pulse of all things funk through hip-hop.

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Fitzroy

Obese Records

This southside stalwart is a goldmine for hip-hoppers about town, with a vast collection of both local and international vinyl up for grabs. After opening in 1995, Obese gained such traction in the underground hip-hop scene that it eventually spawned its own record label.

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South Yarra

Licorice Pie

One of the more consistent and reliable vinyl sources in town. Over 10,000 records are crammed into the store’s tight confines, which makes for a very heady mix of genres. We’re talking rock, pop, psych, prog rock, metal, funk, soul, Krautrock… the beat goes on.

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Prahran

Polyester Records

In the wee small hours before ticket sales open for major festivals, snaking queues of eager music beavers regularly hug the corner of the Fitzroy store; similarly, droves of hip young things turn out to Flinders Lane on a Friday eve for those infamous Polyester in-stores.

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Melbourne

Greville Records

Specialising in more traditional forms of rock, it’s the place to start if you’re hunting that ultra-limited release of Kinks b-sides. Owner Warwick Brown also stocks an enviable array of books, tour posters and hard-to-come-by paraphernalia.

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Prahran

Mainly Jazz Records & Books

A specialist jazz store stocking only the very best in jazz classics. As you’d expect, the staff are true aficionados of the jazz form, and are therefore incredibly well placed to not only help you find your current favourite, but to arm you with an earful of brand new jazzy gems to take home.

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St Kilda
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