Houston's Top 10 Record Stores

Categories: Only In Houston

Screwed Up Records 0308 1.jpg
Photos by Marc Brubaker
Where did the famous Screwed Up Records & Tapes come in on our list?
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.

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.

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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


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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/


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9. ALLRECORDS
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

Location Info

Map

Cactus Music & Video

2110 Portsmouth St., Houston, TX

Category: Music

Vinal Edge

239 W. 19th St., Houston, TX

Category: General

Sig's Lagoon

3622 Main St., Houston, TX

Category: General

Sound Exchange

1846 Richmond Ave., Houston, TX

Category: Music

Heights Vinyl

3122 White Oak Drive, Houston, TX

Category: General

Black Dog Records

4900 Bissonnet St., Bellaire, TX

Category: General


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25 comments
michaelnicholson2
michaelnicholson2

I find Cactus has too much of what you can get already elsewhere and on the net and 

it's real into plugging the same stuff like the Beatles over and over in a really big way.

Live performances can be great but Sound Exchange if more creative, one of a kind finds and more of a community hang-out for the in-store bands.  It's also way more series for the collector of both valuable stuff and at good prices and the one of a kind unaffected oddball stuff you won't find elsewhere.  The house is a real cool location and if you are into the 

over the top metal scene this is the one stop for it. 

jvc1985
jvc1985

i would just like to add there is also alot of latin music stores not listed here plus i beat u can find some crates and a few flea markets we have here in houston 

jvc1985
jvc1985

i would just like to add  there is one cool Latin shop  Memo record shop #2  off irvington blv    that has alot of latin music stuff plus im sure there are some more givin the latin population here in houston like flea markets and stuff i beat has some crates    

hfisher5676
hfisher5676

Anybody know if there was a Cactus records or another store in the Champions area 1970s? My parents took me to see Paul Stanley from Kiss at a record store in Champions around 1978. Could of very well have been Sound Revolution but i kind of remember it being a bigger warehouse type store. Any info thanks

gkcdk
gkcdk

went to Cactus last week for the first time in a long time to pick over RSD leftovers. left with very little, though, due to almost every new record there being way overpriced. (regular stock, not just RSD items) 

a $23 sticker on a $13 Mississippi Records single lp? no thanks. 


soulsurfer
soulsurfer

I have been going to Sound Revolution since 1977. They always have what im looking for and every time i special order albums they call me to let me know they are in.It takes them less than a week to get special orders. The staff is right on when suggesting new albums and their vinyl selection has grown to a new level of awsome. Yea they have a lot more than records but that what makes it an original.

soulsurfer
soulsurfer

I have been going to Sound Revolution since 1977. They always have what im looking for and every time i special order albums they call me to let me know they are in.It takes them less than a week to get special orders. The staff is right on when suggesting new albums and their vinyl selection has grown to a new level of awsome. Yea they have a lot more than records but that what makes it an original.

deejay86
deejay86

a friend started a list and a facebook page called Vinyl Around Houston.
there is a link to a google doc/pdf there and it has most of the stores listed and a map.
yeah, i know there are 2 half priced books on the list, but they seem to be the ones to hit.
hopefully the list will continue to grow.

Vinaledge
Vinaledge

We'd like to thank the academy, my mom, all the shops, No Label Brewery...and our WONDERFUL CUSTOMERS who LOVE MUSIC, and LOVE TO DIG through PILES OF VINYL and CDS!

Chuck rOAst / Vinal Edge Records

WestSideBob
WestSideBob topcommenter

I wonder if Bob's is still selling the way he did back in the Trader's Village days ?  The "flea market" stuff is clearly marked.  Hard-to-come-by LPs were not marked so "Bob" could check out the buyer to see how high a price he might ask ?  Fell for that once.  Subsequent visits showed the same pricing policy.  Never cared for that tactic.

conatonc
conatonc

The presence of Sound Revolution on this list, even as an Honorable Mention, makes me wonder if these aren't just the 11 record stores in Houston, period.

H Newcomb
H Newcomb

Miss the feel? Not at all. A flash drive is easy to hold, and you don't have to worry about scratching or smudging the disc as you move it from car to house and so on. If you had told me thirty odd years ago that I'd still be able to lug around a whole jukebox of tunes with me when I hit the double nickles, I'd have been anticipating undergoing a Steve Austin treatment.

Bjorn Larsen
Bjorn Larsen

Houston has 10 Record stores? News to me

gossamersixteen
gossamersixteen topcommenter

Uh music town is worlds better than the headshop Sound Rev, though it's nice to see Chuck and the edge way up the list, also strange no soundwaves -- I guess their heyday has long since passed.

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill

Thank you. Couldn't remember which ones were still around.

kissfan1981
kissfan1981

@hfisher5676  go to rockinhouston.com and do a search for paul stanley, and you'll see photos from that day at cactus records

WestSideBob
WestSideBob topcommenter

@conatonc You're right about that.  The Houston Record Show will be open this Sunday at the Hilton on 59 S ( near the Westpark Tollway overpass).  $ 3.00 to get in.  There will be a lot of records for sale.  If your collection isn't too big, you will find plenty to purchase.

H_e_x
H_e_x

@gossamersixteen Poor soundwaves. Their best years are past them. They painted over the murals, gutted their vinyl section, and just don't have a good selection of cds anymore. Kinda sad.

idylwino
idylwino

@gossamersixteen 

I haven't been in to Soundwaves in ages, but I think they slowly leaked out the floor space devoted to music for surf and skate wear.   Once upon a time, that place had an awesome "indie" selection, a neat bootleg (imported live albums, etc) section, and a modest vinyl compliment.  

If we're going on the nostalgia trip, we should pour one out for Record Rack.

waffle
waffle

@H_e_x @gossamersixteen I worked at Soundwaves Montrose location in its heyday (approx '89 - 94). It was the best store in town, but times have changed, and virtually all record stores are dying, unless they have secured a niche, a la Heights Vinyl.

For my taste, Cactus has always been extremely over-rated. They cater way to much to the local / Texas crap, but to each his or her own, I guess.

gossamersixteen
gossamersixteen topcommenter

@idylwino @gossamersixteen Ha, yeah record rack was cool, aside from getting hit on by the owner.. Bought my french import of the first daft punk there, and then happily slid down to hunan dragon which was one of the best hole in the wall chinese restaurants ever (now Jenni's noodles -- poor substitute).

H_e_x
H_e_x

@waffle @H_e_x @gossamersixteen Cactus is ok, but a bit pricey, vinyl wise. The new location pales in comparison to the old one, which had awesome movie rentals.

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