Philadelphia’s Best Record Shops: Part 2

Here are some more record stores worth many visits for vinyl enthusiasts.

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Beautiful World Syndicate is located in the quiet, pretty neighborhood near Passyunk and 16th St. The outside of the store is subtle and you really have to know it’s there to find it. Once you step in, you’re welcomed by the relaxed atmosphere of the small store with crates of records lining the walls. The floors are old and squeaky, which adds to the charm of stores selling old things. They have a great selection of jazz and rock, with a small section for world music and classical in the back.

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Repo Records is a small shop on 6th and South St. The front windows are covered in album posters with a retro-looking store sign. CDs line the walls of the front part of the store, and the middle of the room has an array of jazz, rock, soundtrack, and funk records. They have a section in the back for some records by new artists like Jay-Z, Lana Del Rey, and Deadmau5 for an understandably higher price than the used, older records.  They have listening booths set up near the middle of the store so you can test out the sound. This store is great if you like to collect records by new or older artists. The only downside is that they didn’t have air conditioning when I went, so I couldn’t stay in there for as long as I would have liked.

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At 710 S 5th St, this thrift store stands out with colorful items flowing out onto the street. Although not defining itself as a record store, Philly AIDS Thrift has a whole room dedicated to old records, CDs, VHS, etc. There’s no real method to organization here, but no one walks into a thrift store expecting to not dig through hundreds of things to find what they want. I was lucky enough that I ended up standing right in front of the spot on the shelf that had all the stuff to make me gasp. I could have easily spent hours there but had to keep moving to make it to the next record store before they closed for the night. There’s so much you can do at this store besides just shop for records, which you can try out before you buy. It also doesn’t hurt that proceeds go to organization that works towards fighting HIV/AIDS. The people here are really nice and passionate about volunteering to work there, so it has a great welcoming atmosphere.

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