Houston's Top 10 Record Stores 2014

Categories: Only In Houston

A Cactus crowd awaits a Wild Moccasins in-store earlier this month
Well surprise, surprise, surprise. That's right, Gomer: Cactus won again. Although this list was hardly a one-horse race, Cactus was the hands-down winner. The Shepherd Plaza store is so central to Houston's musical goings on -- from its crowded in-store calendar to its must-read email newsletter or must-follow Twitter feed -- it's not a stretch to call it the flagship of the local music scene, because it's owned, managed and staffed by people who think about music as much as we do. Some of them also play in Houston's most popular bands.

But it's also a damn fine record store underneath all that, with the city's deepest vinyl and CD inventory -- thousands of titles strong, playing favorites with local and Texas artists -- plus all kinds of nifty accessories when gift-giving time rolls around. We're still partial to that "I'm not moving to Austin" T-shirt after all these years, and anyone who spends even ten minutes at Cactus should have no trouble figuring out why.

2110 Portsmouth, 713-526-9272, cactusmusictx.com.


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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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