Record Store Day is celebrated annually and this year is on April 23rd. Over 260 independent UK record shops come together to celebrate their unique and increasingly rare culture. Special vinyl releases are made exclusively for the day and many shops and cities host artist performances and events to mark the occasion. Thousands more shops celebrate the day around the globe in what’s become one of the biggest annual events on the music calendar.
Edinburgh has several independent records stores spread throughout the city, I’ve compiled a list of favourites, if music is your jam you should make an effort to visit one or all of these!
21 St Stephen St, Stockbridge,
VoxBox is fairly new on the scene in terms of Record Stores and was opened in 2011. It’s easy to spot on St Stephens Street with its distinctive bright blue shop front. They mostly buy and sell vinyl but other forms of music are available too. The backroom or ‘Side B’ as it is known is a treasure trove of vintage LPs and Singles all at the bargain price of £1.50, there is a 1960s record player available to use so that you can listen before you buy.
There’s always a super friendly inclusive vibe and Darren, the owner, is normally on hand to share his musical knowledge and offer recommendations should you need them.
9 Cockburn Street
Underground Solu’shn is the longest surviving Independent Specialist Record Shop in Edinburgh, they have been selling quality vinyl and audio gear in Scotland’s capital since 1996. They started as n ‘Underground’ Record Shop selling House, Techno, Disco, Hip Hop, Funk, Soul, Jazz and Drum & Bass on the preferred medium which was good old fashioned Vinyl LPs & Singles. They stock hundreds of new releases every week. They are also the prime spot in the city to purchase or gather information on DJ and Music Production Equipment including DJ & Hi-Fi Turntables, Mixers, Midi Controllers, Speakers and Headphones. They sell all of the top brands including Pioneer, Reloop, Teenage Engineering, Korg, Sennheiser, Ortofon & Pro-ject.
I also recommend a visit to The Milkman – the stylish coffee co next door.
1 Grindlay St,
It’s not easy to tell from the outside that a bustling record store lies within this Grindlay Street shop front. The founding store is in Dundee and following it’s huge success Assai Records decided to open an Edinburgh branch. . As well as a huge selection of discs, the shop stocks record players, band T-shirts and other musical merchandise.
The shop is airy and spacious and the team are experts in their field. They pride themselves on being vinyl specialists and cover most musical genres.
Assai also has its own record label that promotes new Scottish talent titled ‘Assai Recordings’.
5 Elm Row,
Located at the top of Leith Walk, Vinyl Villains’ is probably Edinburgh’s longest-running independent record shop, having been open in the same spot since 1983.
They mostly sell pre-owned vinyl across a wide range of genres including but not limited to classic, indie and progressive rock, punk, metal, blues, jazz, reggae, soul, hip-hop, folk, world music and soundtracks. They primarily trade in Vinyl however you can also purchase selected CD’s, DVD’s books and apparel. They have a real old-school treasure trove vibe and music aficionados spend hours browsing the collections held here.
Vinyl Villains are also the recommended record store to visit if you have a whole record collection for sale.
Backbeat Records can be found on a little side street in Newington. This comes in last on the list due to the ‘Vinyl Hoarders Paradise’ layout. It’s definitely a browse and see what you find style rather than somewhere you would go to find something specific. Crates and boxes are piled floor to ceiling and there are literally mountains of records to choose from.
If you are a big collector and have time on your hands this is the store for you.
You can check out all of the Record Store Day events, happening in Scotland, here:
VoxBox, Assai and Underground Solu’shn are all hosting full-day events featuring live music, interviews, merchandise deals and lots of special guests.
Details of the exclusive 2022 record Store Day releases: https://recordstoreday.co.uk/media/itnp5ond/rsd-list-pdf-31-03-22.pdf