Vinyl records have been irrelevant for awhile unless you happened to be a DJ or a collector. But now that CD's are also irrelevant, thanks to streaming music and iTunes, collectors of music have gone back to records in a big way. This has been going on for a few years and while it used to be the domain of hipsters, vinyl records have really gone back into the mainstream. Even HMV has been selling them to survive, and with CD's gathering dust - who can blame them?
If you really want to pick up a vinyl album, The Plateau has arguably become a kind of mecca for collectors, with tons of great stores selling not only used records but also new pressings of classics, deluxe new releases, and tons of record store day style rarities.
Here are some of our favorites.
Photo - Beatnick
When I first started collecting vinyl records, Beatnick was my go-to place. While this isn't the kind of shop where you'll find a well-worn classic for like 50 cents (that's a garage sale kind of thing) Beatnick has it all. From used records in excellent condition, to new pressings, you can't walk into this St. Denis gem without walking out with something. It's just not possible. My Japanese pressing of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band with the psychedelically colored vinyl is still one of my prized possessions. The staff at Beatnick are terrific, and my favorite part of the shop is their massive used soundtrack section. You can find just about any soundtrack ever issue on LP there. You can also order online on their website.
Photo - Aux 33 Tours
2. Aux 33 Tours
As far as record stores go, Aux 33 Tour is the biggest and best of all the shops in Montreal. It's simply a fact. I mean, just look at the picture. They have absolutely everything, from classics to the newest limited edition 12" rarity. The only downside is that they're almost too big as the vastness of their collection tends to send my mind aflutter. Whenever I go in their looking for something I tend to get sidetracked by some random find and I walk up leaving having forgotten what I was even there for in the first place. Oh well, too much choice is a pretty good problem to have.
Photo - Le Pick Up
3. Le Pick Up
As far as used records go, Le Pick Up is absolutely the best place. The prices are rock-bottom, and the records all tend to be in great shape. One of the really fun things about going to Le Pick Up is sifting through their milk crates of cheapie records. Sometimes you can find real bargains. I got a copy of John Lennon's Double Fantasy there for a buck. Sure, there was a scratch on it, but it was on the Yoko Ono side, so who cares? Le Pick Up also has a great collection of comics and magazines.
Photo - Phonopolis
I've only been there a few times and I found the vintage record selection a little thin, although the prices are certainly good. I found a copy of Depeche Mode's Some Great Reward there for two bucks and it was in great condition. The person working the counter was also very friendly and knowledgeable, which is always a big plus.
Photo - Soundcentral
Soundcentral is yet another dazzling record store. The prices are outstanding, with a crazy selection of used records at low prices, and not just old standbys like Frampton Comes Alive or the Purple Rain Soundtrack. You can find all kind of deep cuts from whatever genre you fancy, punk, techno, metal, everything! Heck, even if you don't feel like schlepping to that part of the city, just check out the website where you can order anything you want.