Houston's Top 10 Record Stores 2014

Categories: Only In Houston

Black Dog Records in Bellaire is your dad's type of record store. Not necessarily that your dad would shop there -- its wide variety of records could satisfy young and old -- but that it would be the type of shop that your dad would open up and run. Its selection of records is unmatched by any other record store. Need the Beatles' "White Album"? Black Dog has three of them. David Bowie's Aladdin Sane? Four. Even for the newer stuff you rarely see at record stores these days, it's stocked to the gills.

While the store, which is planning a 16th-anniversary blowout in the weeks to come, has only been in its Bellaire location for the better part of a year and a half, the charm of the old Shepherd location has remained. When you're greeted with a "Hello, how may I help you" as soon as you open the door followed by a big friendly hug from one of its two namesake dogs, there is not many places in Houston I'd rather spend my time picking.

4900 Bissonnet Ste. 102, Bellaire, 713-522-6001, blackdogrecordstx.com

As one online commenter stated, for Houston, there's NASA, the Astrodome, and Screwed Up Records & Tapes. Unfortunately the shuttle program has been scratched, the Dome is facing demolition, and the original Cullen Blvd. location of the "Screw Shop" has been closed for years. The good news is that DJ Screw's legacy continues to shine bright and bang slow over at the new Screwed Up Records in Hiram Clarke.

You can still find the close to 300 chapters of Screw's mixes for sale at the store, as well as lots of other merchandise honoring the H-Town legend. RIP DJ Screw.

3538 W. Fuqua, 713-434-2888, screweduprecords.com

If you're looking for anything experimental, local, weird or just obscure, Sound Exchange is probably the place to go in Houston. They've got famous records and new artists too, of course, but this place's real hook is its relentless dedication to music that's off the beaten path, as well as its intense support of the local scene.

For a long time, this was the only store where I could find albums by bands like the Mathletes or Woozyhelmet, and it's got a serious selection for the Jandek collector in you. Sound Exchange also hosts a great collection of local art and zines, and no other store has yet beaten them on that front.

1846 Richmond, 713-666-5555, soundexchangehouston.com

List continues on the next page.

Location Info


Black Dog Records

4900 Bissonnet St., Bellaire, TX

Category: General

Sound Exchange

1846 Richmond Ave., Houston, TX

Category: Music

Vinal Edge

239 W. 19th St., Houston, TX

Category: General

Heights Vinyl

3122 White Oak Drive, Houston, TX

Category: General

Sig's Lagoon

3622 Main St., Houston, TX

Category: General

Cactus Music

2110 Portsmouth St., Houston, TX

Category: Music

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Rocks Off - THANKS for continuing to bring attention to the Record Stores in Houston. Much Appreciated my friend.

-Craig from Heights Vinyl

Optimo Ram
Optimo Ram

aww yeah my dad store #8 Allrecords baby!!!


My hat is off to my fellow record store peeps and to Cactus for deservedly topping our fun heap. All of Houston's record shops do certain things well, and each has a unique flavor that will appeal to different folk. This is probably why I have always thought the "Numbered list" thing is lame. I DO recognize that mags and blogs LOVE to do these as they get people involved and thus viewing ads, which in turn sells ads. I celebrate ALL my fellow record shops!! -cheers, CHuck Roast, owner Vinal Edge Records.


Also worth mentioning...anybody looking to buy a turntable would do well to visit Sound Exchange and chat with the owner. I bought mine used from them ten years ago and take it back there every few years for a little maintenance. Their used tables are better than any of the ones they sell new at Cactus. (At least, I assume they still sell them, I haven't been in there in quite a long time.)

Nate McKee
Nate McKee

I love the list but I hate how Vinal Edge Records somehow isn't first (or at least 2nd)


Cactus rules!

My 2nd runner-up and dark horse is the new Black Dog. I hated the old location and wrote it off long ago as a place that bilked baby boomers who thought Rolling Stones records were rare. The new location is clean and efficient, and surprisingly moderately priced.

To my knowledge Houston still needs a place that embraces customers looking to up their fidelity game. Sure, Urban Outfitters has records, but they want you to destroy them on some atrocious Crosley players. A few places sell turntable accessories, but they're all pretty sub-par. IMO it's semi-pointless to offer up the vinyl medium without also being a resource for the things that really make it shine. So record stores, go ahead and stock a few $100+ cartridges and some entry level vintage speakers, cleaning tools and services. We'll save up for them the same way we saved up for those Judy's records and imports. I promise!

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