by Kyle Wright - 60 Reviews - 8 List
Even if iTunes killed the radio star, there's no doubt among music lovers that the classics sound better on vinyl. Sure, the music industry has seen lots of changes over the years--with gravestones for eight-tracks, cassettes and CDs left in the wake--but through it all, the LP has retained its cult following. At five of Boston's most awesomely quirky record stores, dive through bins filled with vinyl one-hit wonders and long-lost gems. As they say, one man's discarded Olivia Newton John album is another man's treasure!
Updated: October 26, 2009
Stacks of LPs, EPs and singles at this Kenmore Square resale mainstay span the decades and genres, from John Coltrane classics to the "Wayne's World" soundtrack. Nuggets carries far more than just vinyl: It also stocks CDs, cassettes and movies, as well as rarely found items like press kits and merchandise. Nuggets? online shop's wish list allows listeners to spread the word about what they're seeking.
The selection at In Your Ear marries classic artists with current pop star--you know, the sweet spot where Miles Davis meets Lady Gaga. Sister locations in Cambridge and Rhode Island make this resale shop a heavy hitter, but the original store in Boston University's west campus has the rare gems. Deep discount bins and a wide poster selection make every trip to In Your Ear a thrill.
Independent label releases on vinyl are the chart toppers at this Harvard Square hole-in-the-wall, but Twisted Village's selection of little known bands turns even the most mainstream fans into discerning hipsters. A super knowledgeable staff can walk you through the extensive collection of jazz and progressive rock LPs, and Twisted Village is known for taking chances on unsigned bands and garage megastars.
Weirdo Records thrives on a quirky, early `90s vibe, but its catalog goes way back. The `60s and `70s are strongly represented, as is a lengthy collection of some of history's most forgettable music in the bargain basement--the worst of Van Halen or Dionne Warwick can be yours for less than five dollars. The staff at Weirdo Records takes a laissez-faire approach and leaves you to freely dig for treasure, but don't be afraid to ask for suggestions: These weirdos just might be geniuses.
The walls are stocked to the ceiling with slowly decaying cardboard album sleeves and cracked CD cases, but Looney Tunes? selection and convenient Back Bay location are simply grand. There isn't an easy way to explore the wares, so just go crazy and get to digging. And if you're looking to unload your LP library and cash in, Looney Tunes is happy to take those old albums off your hands.