Manchester has always been a hub for music in the UK. Many record labels and artists are currently based there, and Manchester has birthed some of the UK’s most successful bands, including Joy Division, The Smiths, Oasis, and so many more. The Beautiful South’s Paul Heaton once said, “What makes Britain great, makes Manchester much greater”.
With this in mind, here are five record stores we can’t wait to visit:
Where? – 9, Egerton Crescent
Wilderness Records is an independent record store and hang-out in the South of Manchester. Their curated selection of vinyl is suitable for any taste. There’s a range of classic albums and hidden gems, covering everything from rock and jazz, soul and folk, hip-hop and disco, funk and psych wonders from all corners of the globe. They also take pride in stocking the best of the local independent labels.
Wilderness is also a great place just to chill. They’re serving up amazing coffee, beers, cakes and snacks, and all soundtracked to unique bits from their collection.
Where? – 18 Oldham Street
Vinyl Exchange opened in Manchester in 1988 and is now the largest seller and buyer of rare and second-hand CDs, records and DVDs in the northwest of England. Located in the heart of Manchester’s rapidly expanding Northern Quarter, the shop has two floors and a team of staff who know their s**t!
They specialise in rock and indie, metal, punk, alternative, experimental, industrial and psychedelic. However, they also have an extensive collection of hip-hop, house, techno, electronica, rave, jungle, disco, soul, funk, jazz, blues, folk, country, world music and reggae. In short, they pretty much stock every style of music there is.
VINYL RESTING PLACE
Where? – 3rd Floor, Affleck’s
Established in April 2014 and on the 3rd floor of the famous Affleck’s Palace, Vinyl Resting Place sells a wide range of second-hand records and CDs. They cover many styles but specialise in rock, metal and a world of subgenres, including new wave, gothic, industrial, psych, glam, and so much more. They also stock loads of bargain crates, with hundreds of records of mixed condition, priced between £1-3. Music DVDs, cassette tapes and clothing are also stocked here.
EASTERN BLOC RECORDS
Where? – 5A, Stevenson Square
Eastern Bloc was first established in 1985. Today, it’s seen as an iconic spot and an integral part of the Manchester music scene. In the late 80s, Eastern Bloc hosted in-store signings with bands including The Stone Roses and Happy Mondays. The shop was also one of the only stores in the UK to import dance music from all corners of the globe.
Previous customers include Laurent Garnier, Jon Da Silva, Sasha, Chemical Brothers, DJ Marky, Carl Cox and many more. E Bloc specialises in drum & bass, jungle, dubstep, house, techno and electronica, so take a seat and enjoy cutting edge releases and the best hand-roasted coffee, specialist teas and homemade cakes.
Where? – 53, Oldham Street
Piccadilly Records opened in 1978 and prospered in the post-punk 80s, selling a mixture of rock, pop, indie and alternative music. The shop has been voted ‘Best Independent Record Store’ at the prestigious Music Week awards and ‘Best Record Store’ at Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Awards. The shop has also been included in The Observer’s ‘World’s Best Shops’, the Guardian’s ‘Best Record Shops’, and No1 in The Independent’s ‘Top 50 UK Independent Record Shops’.
They pride themselves on their friendly, helpful service and stock an across-the-board variety of genres from Indie, disco, funk, house, Balearic, psych and everything in-between on both vinyl and CD.
Start with these, and then explore even further! Manchester is one of the UK’s most renowned music cities, and there is always somewhere new to go and explore for your next vinyl fix. Don’t forget how good some charity shops can be if you’re more of a budget.
You can find out more about what life in Manchester is like, here.