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The best record stores in LA, mapped

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LA's first record store, Wallichs Music City, opened in 1940 at the corner of Sunset and Vine. Its owner co-founded Capitol Records just two years later, but Music City shuttered in 1978 as chain stores proliferated. We all know the history of the biz from there. We've seen a lot of good shops come and go, but for proof that even in the digital age, vinyl is still appreciated—that music lovers are still drawn to analog, face-to-face interaction, and the feeling of something real—look no farther than Los Angeles.

In honor of the Record Store Day (one of the fake holidays that, like Pie Day, is very much worthy of celebrating), we’ve mapped 19 of the best shops in the area now. We know there are more; add your favorites in the comments section below.

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1. Amoeba Music

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6400 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 245-6400
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The granddaddy of Los Angeles record stores, Amoeba is a beloved LA institution. It's in a cavernous space on the corner of Sunset and Vine, in the heart of Hollywood, and it stocks everything from film scores to country albums to hip hop to international. The selection seems infinite, and that's just the vinyl. The store also sells DVDs, VHS tapes, books, action figures, posters, pins, and patches. And, if you really want to feel like you're in a time warp, you can buy actual physical tickets to local shows.

2. Freakbeat Records

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13616 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
This shop is straight out of High Fidelity, with it's wide range of unique albums, discount bins, and snarky-but-knowledgable-as-all-hell staff who will always engage in a conversational jousts with costumers.

3. Rockaway Records

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2395 Glendale Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90039
(323) 664-3232
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opened in 1979 and is one of the longest-surviving independent record stores in L.A, but it's no dinosaur. One of the reasons it was able to stay in business so long, it sells records online. The shop is filled with collectibles; you can spend, for example, $10,000 on a rare pressing of the Beatles' White Album. "The Beatles are the blue-chip stock in [pop music] collectibles," Wayne told the Los Angeles Times in 2009, when the store celebrated its 30th anniversary. "It doesn't get any better."

RSD 2016. #RockawayRecords #RecordStoreDay

A post shared by William Dickerson (@wdfilmmaker) on

4. Permanent Records

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1816 Sunset BLVD
Los Angekes, CA
If you're catching a show at The Echo, this shop (the second location, with the flagship store being in Highland Park) is a must-visit. Classic jams and modern cuts fill the cramped space and you'd be hard-pressed to find better bargain bins (even offering BOGO deals). The mainstay store on York is focused on the classics, and while it does offer gems, you may end up paying 10-15 percent over price. On Record Store Day, it will hold a grand opening for its third LA store, also in Highland Park.

A post shared by samfoolery (@samfoolery) on

5. Gimme Gimme Records

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5810 N Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90042
You'll find mostly older records at this laid-back shop, made famous by Marc Maron, which features a stellar selection of soul, funk, and jazz. But new albums are constantly rotated in (for peeks at new arrivals, follow the business on Instagram), so the selection is never stale. It opened 1994 in New York, before relocating to York Boulevard in Highland Park in 2012. Now it's in a larger location on Figueroa. After all these years, it's still owned and operated by the knowledgeable and helpful music-lover.

6. Touch Vinyl

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1646 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 933-5540
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Central and Northeast LA are home to lots of record stores, but the Westside isn't totally bare. This small, friendly spot next to the Nuart Theatre on Sawtelle is worth a visit, especially if you're on the hunt for new music.

A post shared by Bruin Vinyl (@bruinvinyl) on

7. Record Surplus

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12436 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 979-4577
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With an open and large selection of the classics, this is the perfect place to begin building you basic must-own albums. Newcomers to the scene on the Westside should make this their first stop; pick up some Bowie and James Brown, and don't be surprised if you find yourself coming by every week.

A post shared by Uncle Shoes (@houseshoes) on

8. Fingerprints CD & Record Store

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420 4th St
Long Beach, CA 90813
This record shop in Downtown Long Beach isn't your typical cozy, hole-in-the-wall. It's bright, airy, and spacious, and it's regular hangout for locals. Come early for a snack at Berlin Bistro nextdoor, then stick around for one of Fingerprint's live shows, which draws performers such as Ryan Adams, Thrice, and Band of Horses.

9. Pop Obscure Records and Art Gallery

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735 S Los Angeles St
Los Angeles, CA 90014
Newly opened in the summer of 2016, this record store has been celebrated as "a delightful addition to the neighborhood" by LA Downtown News, which noted the business, "adds an independent spirit to a Downtown that is seeing an influx of chain stores." The owners stocked the store with "their own personal finds, online purchases, and garage sale road trips specifically for the shop."

10. Cosmic Vinyl

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It's easy to spend hours in Cosmic. Check out the vintage stereo equipment, post up at one of two turntable listening stations, play pinball (on a machine rumored to have been played by one of the Ramones, no less). Unpretentious employees may even offer you a free beer when you enter.

A post shared by Rich (@wretch__) on

11. Soundsations

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8701 LA Tijera Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90045
(310) 641-8877
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"Before Amoeba Records, before cheap CDs on Amazon, after the fall of Tower and Wherehouse, there was Soundstations. Musical refuge and home away from home." We couldn't have said it better ourselves. The only other thing you need to know is that Soundstations, which first opened in the 1970s, carries a little bit of everything, from rock to punk to reggae.

A post shared by Rich (@wretch__) on

12. Vacation Vinyl

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3815 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(323) 666-2111
"Only at Vacation will Nina Simone, No New York, and Neurosis sit on the wall side-by-side," says LAist.

A post shared by C. Scott Lyles (@cscottlyles) on

13. The Record Parlour

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6408 Selma Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 464-7757
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Many shoppers wander into The Record Parlour after scouring Amoeba and pleasantly discover a more intimate experience. The shop holds a good collection of vintage records, and it also sells jukeboxes and vintage turntables.

A post shared by Denise Moran (@duhnise22) on

14. Mono Records

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1805 Glendale Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(323) 928-2475
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Stashed behind a Goodwill in a stripmall, this small spot can be hard to find. Once inside, wade through the smell of stale smoke find the missing piece to your funk and soul collection. Just be sure to test listen or check for scratches before buying. 

Box of punk singles just in

A post shared by Mono Records (@monorecords323) on

15. Counterpoint Music & Books

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(323) 957-7965
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Come to Counterpoint if you're a crate-digger looking for unique funk, soul or blues albums and love the smell of old books. Because, in addition to selling vintage records, the store also peddles a fun and diverse selection of old tomes. Be prepared for a devil-may-care attitude from the employees, and get lost in the selection.

16. Gnar Burger Records

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3436 N Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90065
You no longer have to drive behind the Orange Curtain to pick up new music from Burger Records. The label that brings garage surf, psyche, and punk to near-mainstream (one of its artists, for example, is Colleen Green) partnered with Gnar Tapes in 2015 to open its first LA outpost, which is just as colorful as the cover of Burger's albums and tapes.

17. Mount Analog

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5906 1/2 N Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90042
(323) 474-6649
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You won't find the Beatles here. The collection at MA has been described as "esoteric;" it's a place for anyone who is "into dark, techno, house, acid or generally freaky music." That makes Mount Analog a distinctive respite from many of the other stores on this map.

A post shared by Mount Analog (@mountanalog) on

18. Poo-Bah Record Shop

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2636 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91107
(626) 449-3359
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"Originally opened in Old Town Pasadena in 1971, Poo-Bah was once a hub for L.A.'s experimental-music scene, back when Old Town [Pasadena] was a hippie college hangout. Since taking it over in 2003, current owner Ron Stivers has built up especially massive collections of used jazz, rock, hip-hop and easy listening. It's also an essential destination for fans of the L.A. beat scene." — LA Weekly

19. Canterbury Records

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805 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91101
If you're willing to put up with a little dust, you'll score some bargains at this relic of a mom and pop store, which opened in 1956.

A post shared by Corey Miller (@toomuchfire) on

1. Amoeba Music

6400 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
The granddaddy of Los Angeles record stores, Amoeba is a beloved LA institution. It's in a cavernous space on the corner of Sunset and Vine, in the heart of Hollywood, and it stocks everything from film scores to country albums to hip hop to international. The selection seems infinite, and that's just the vinyl. The store also sells DVDs, VHS tapes, books, action figures, posters, pins, and patches. And, if you really want to feel like you're in a time warp, you can buy actual physical tickets to local shows.
6400 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028

2. Freakbeat Records

13616 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
This shop is straight out of High Fidelity, with it's wide range of unique albums, discount bins, and snarky-but-knowledgable-as-all-hell staff who will always engage in a conversational jousts with costumers.
13616 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

3. Rockaway Records

2395 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039
opened in 1979 and is one of the longest-surviving independent record stores in L.A, but it's no dinosaur. One of the reasons it was able to stay in business so long, it sells records online. The shop is filled with collectibles; you can spend, for example, $10,000 on a rare pressing of the Beatles' White Album. "The Beatles are the blue-chip stock in [pop music] collectibles," Wayne told the Los Angeles Times in 2009, when the store celebrated its 30th anniversary. "It doesn't get any better."

RSD 2016. #RockawayRecords #RecordStoreDay

A post shared by William Dickerson (@wdfilmmaker) on

2395 Glendale Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90039

4. Permanent Records

1816 Sunset BLVD, Los Angekes, CA
If you're catching a show at The Echo, this shop (the second location, with the flagship store being in Highland Park) is a must-visit. Classic jams and modern cuts fill the cramped space and you'd be hard-pressed to find better bargain bins (even offering BOGO deals). The mainstay store on York is focused on the classics, and while it does offer gems, you may end up paying 10-15 percent over price. On Record Store Day, it will hold a grand opening for its third LA store, also in Highland Park.

A post shared by samfoolery (@samfoolery) on

1816 Sunset BLVD
Los Angekes, CA

5. Gimme Gimme Records

5810 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90042
You'll find mostly older records at this laid-back shop, made famous by Marc Maron, which features a stellar selection of soul, funk, and jazz. But new albums are constantly rotated in (for peeks at new arrivals, follow the business on Instagram), so the selection is never stale. It opened 1994 in New York, before relocating to York Boulevard in Highland Park in 2012. Now it's in a larger location on Figueroa. After all these years, it's still owned and operated by the knowledgeable and helpful music-lover.
5810 N Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90042

6. Touch Vinyl

1646 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025
Central and Northeast LA are home to lots of record stores, but the Westside isn't totally bare. This small, friendly spot next to the Nuart Theatre on Sawtelle is worth a visit, especially if you're on the hunt for new music.

A post shared by Bruin Vinyl (@bruinvinyl) on

1646 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025

7. Record Surplus

12436 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025
With an open and large selection of the classics, this is the perfect place to begin building you basic must-own albums. Newcomers to the scene on the Westside should make this their first stop; pick up some Bowie and James Brown, and don't be surprised if you find yourself coming by every week.

A post shared by Uncle Shoes (@houseshoes) on

12436 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025

8. Fingerprints CD & Record Store

420 4th St, Long Beach, CA 90813
This record shop in Downtown Long Beach isn't your typical cozy, hole-in-the-wall. It's bright, airy, and spacious, and it's regular hangout for locals. Come early for a snack at Berlin Bistro nextdoor, then stick around for one of Fingerprint's live shows, which draws performers such as Ryan Adams, Thrice, and Band of Horses.
420 4th St
Long Beach, CA 90813

9. Pop Obscure Records and Art Gallery

735 S Los Angeles St, Los Angeles, CA 90014
Newly opened in the summer of 2016, this record store has been celebrated as "a delightful addition to the neighborhood" by LA Downtown News, which noted the business, "adds an independent spirit to a Downtown that is seeing an influx of chain stores." The owners stocked the store with "their own personal finds, online purchases, and garage sale road trips specifically for the shop."
735 S Los Angeles St
Los Angeles, CA 90014

10. Cosmic Vinyl

Los Angeles, CA 90026
It's easy to spend hours in Cosmic. Check out the vintage stereo equipment, post up at one of two turntable listening stations, play pinball (on a machine rumored to have been played by one of the Ramones, no less). Unpretentious employees may even offer you a free beer when you enter.

A post shared by Rich (@wretch__) on

11. Soundsations

8701 LA Tijera Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045
"Before Amoeba Records, before cheap CDs on Amazon, after the fall of Tower and Wherehouse, there was Soundstations. Musical refuge and home away from home." We couldn't have said it better ourselves. The only other thing you need to know is that Soundstations, which first opened in the 1970s, carries a little bit of everything, from rock to punk to reggae.

A post shared by Rich (@wretch__) on

8701 LA Tijera Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90045

12. Vacation Vinyl

3815 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026
"Only at Vacation will Nina Simone, No New York, and Neurosis sit on the wall side-by-side," says LAist.

A post shared by C. Scott Lyles (@cscottlyles) on

3815 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026

13. The Record Parlour

6408 Selma Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Many shoppers wander into The Record Parlour after scouring Amoeba and pleasantly discover a more intimate experience. The shop holds a good collection of vintage records, and it also sells jukeboxes and vintage turntables.

A post shared by Denise Moran (@duhnise22) on

6408 Selma Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90028

14. Mono Records

1805 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026
Stashed behind a Goodwill in a stripmall, this small spot can be hard to find. Once inside, wade through the smell of stale smoke find the missing piece to your funk and soul collection. Just be sure to test listen or check for scratches before buying. 

Box of punk singles just in

A post shared by Mono Records (@monorecords323) on

1805 Glendale Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026

15. Counterpoint Music & Books

5911 Franklin Ave, California 90028
Come to Counterpoint if you're a crate-digger looking for unique funk, soul or blues albums and love the smell of old books. Because, in addition to selling vintage records, the store also peddles a fun and diverse selection of old tomes. Be prepared for a devil-may-care attitude from the employees, and get lost in the selection.

16. Gnar Burger Records

3436 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90065
You no longer have to drive behind the Orange Curtain to pick up new music from Burger Records. The label that brings garage surf, psyche, and punk to near-mainstream (one of its artists, for example, is Colleen Green) partnered with Gnar Tapes in 2015 to open its first LA outpost, which is just as colorful as the cover of Burger's albums and tapes.
3436 N Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90065

17. Mount Analog

5906 1/2 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90042
You won't find the Beatles here. The collection at MA has been described as "esoteric;" it's a place for anyone who is "into dark, techno, house, acid or generally freaky music." That makes Mount Analog a distinctive respite from many of the other stores on this map.

A post shared by Mount Analog (@mountanalog) on

5906 1/2 N Figueroa St
Los Angeles, CA 90042

18. Poo-Bah Record Shop

2636 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107
"Originally opened in Old Town Pasadena in 1971, Poo-Bah was once a hub for L.A.'s experimental-music scene, back when Old Town [Pasadena] was a hippie college hangout. Since taking it over in 2003, current owner Ron Stivers has built up especially massive collections of used jazz, rock, hip-hop and easy listening. It's also an essential destination for fans of the L.A. beat scene." — LA Weekly
2636 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91107

19. Canterbury Records

805 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91101
If you're willing to put up with a little dust, you'll score some bargains at this relic of a mom and pop store, which opened in 1956.

A post shared by Corey Miller (@toomuchfire) on

805 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91101