Top 10: the best record stores in Montreal
Nowadays, the thought of buying an actual CD has become almost laughable. But you can’t exactly download vinyl… And while the music industry has certainly transformed in recent years, there’s still a viable force opposed to the digital age. Record collectors, DJs and plain-old music enthusiasts and snobs alike still spend many a Saturday morning digging for vintage vinyl or discovering the city’s own up and coming bands. So for all you music junkies out there, here’s NIGHTLIFE's TOP 10 record stores in Montréal.
Backroom Records | 5912, Saint-Urbain
Named for its location down a back alley and marked by a handmade sign, Backroom is a vinyl hunter’s dream housed in an ….unassuming plywood shack in a residential neighbourhood. Run by vinyl aficionado Warren Hill (one-time local celebrity for stumbling across a Velvet Underground B-side allegedly worth $150,000), this Mile End treasure is as well known for its friendly service (and adjoining pastry shop!) as it is for the great selection and bargains.
Phonopolis | 5403A, Du Parc
Since 2007, this independent record store, owned by Nathan Gage of local indie rock band Shapes + Sizes, has specialized in indie, jazz, experimental, international and classic blues. Carrying tickets for Blue Skies Turn Black concerts in
Cheap Thrills | 2044, Metcalfe
The only true and tried record store located right downtown, this upstairs shop has new and used vinyl, CDs and cassettes and carries tickets for upcoming concerts around
Archambault | 500, Sainte-Catherine E. | 1, Place Ville-Marie | 7500, Boulevard Les Galeries D’Anjou
Carrying just about every new release you’d care to own a hard-copy of and even a small section of new (if expensive) vinyl releases, this chain store has a new selection the vintage boutiques just can’t (or won’t) supply. It's got a bit more of a throwback feel than other big brand names, having been in the business for over 100 years.
Atom Heart | 364,
Specializing in rock and electronic, this is one of the best places to pick up new albums, from the local to the bestsellers. Vinyl, CDs and concert tickets, this is a cozy and cool place to peruse a solid and wide-ranging collection of new releases and recent favorites.
Specializing in (high quality) Japanese pressings, this is the self-proclaimed record store of choice for
HMV | 1020, Sainte-Catherine O.
A big, new music box store, for better or worse. There’s still a market out there for those new release must-have albums that are worth the price tag. iTunes clearly still has some competition and in
Death of Vinyl | 6307, Saint-Laurent
With an impressive collection of vintage 1980s
L'Oblique | 4333, Rivard
New, used or rare, L’Oblique probably has whatever you’re looking for. Carrying hard-to-find underground and local releases, this store has an independent and locally dedicated spirit and carries concert tickets with a modest service charge of only $1.50.
Sound Central | 4486, Coloniale
One of the largest independent underground music stores in