Houston's Top 10 Record Stores
Record Store Day (recordstoreday.com) is six weeks away, but a good Houstonian should never need an excuse to visit one of our city's many record stores.
Photos by Marc Brubaker Where did the famous Screwed Up Records & Tapes come in on our list?
These fine brick-and-mortar shops have been doling out music for years and even decades in some instances. Run by some of the finest music lovers in Houston, these shops hold a wealth of knowledge in their staffs and a bounty of aural treasures in their stock.
Ranking them is no small feat, however, and in several cases determining which shop to rank above the next is quite difficult. Being blessed with such fine record stores is something we should consider a nice problem to have, though.
HONORABLE MENTION: SOUND REVOLUTION
This head shop is way out in the hinterlands, located on 1960 just west of I-45. Open since 1976, it's more than just another place to buy papers and a cheap poster of Bob Marley. Sound Revolution has a nice selection of well-inspected used vinyl stock and a hearty selection of new releases and reissues.
There are some dusty gems hiding away in the dollar bins, and some racks filled with back issues of Rolling Stone. Alicia and her fellow owners will track down any new releases for customers, and orders a healthy dose of the annual Record Store Day releases.
1312 Cypress Creek Pkwy., 281-444-5454, Facebook page
10. JOEL'S CLASSICAL SHOP
This small shop sits on Shepherd just north of Richmond. Beloved by classical musicians and fans for years, Joel opened up his own shop in 2002 after spending 18 years at other stores. His shop does cater to a niche market, offering up primarily classical recordings as well as a selection of jazz, world music, film scores and musicals.
Don't let the narrow selection deter you from dropping by, though. Joel and his staff have a broad knowledge of composers and pieces -- down to the variations in their different historical recordings, and are quick to make a recommendation based on a customer's musical interests.
3514 S. Shepherd #B, 713-526-7010, joelsclassicalshop.squarespace.com/
It seems that every shop in town moves at some point. After 31 years in its West Gray location, Allrecords took up residence in a small set of suites on Edloe in early 2011. Owner Fred Allred (Allred/Allrecords -- see it now?) fills customer orders daily, having everything shipped overnight so it can get in their hands as soon as possible.
The new location has swaths of CDs and records, offers a calm bit of respite and feels like a nice change compared to the old surroundings of the River Oaks shops.
3211 Edloe, 713-524-4900, no Web site
2110 Portsmouth St., Houston, TX