Music stores are a dying breed. The digital revolution and online shopping have struck a near fatal blow to the high fidelity shops. But, a few stalwarts remain and they’re as awesome as ever. Here are a few of the best music stores in Los Angeles. Nevertheless, some stawart centers of expertise still exist for the customer seeking listening stations and shop talk.

Amoeba is the largest independent record store in the world. (Credit: http://www.amoeba.com)

Amoeba

6400 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 245-6400
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Hours: Monday-Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

In the heart of Hollywood, Amoeba is the largest independent record store in the world. In. The. World. You really have to see it to believe it. Its jazz room alone has more than a million titles. Amoeba is a must for any music fan in LA and has to be at the top of any list of the best music stores in Los Angeles.

In addition to great prices, Rockaway has a great vibe. (Credit: http://www.rockaway.com)

Rockaway Records

2395 Glendale Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90039
(323) 664-3232
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Hours: Daily 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

In addition to great prices, Rockaway has a great vibe. It’s not a mega-store and doesn’t try to be. If you’re looking for that rare rock collectible, you have to try Rockaway. That original Hendrix at the Shrine poster could be yours.

If you're trying to track down that rare side B, Record Surplus is the place. (Credit: http://www.recordsurplus.com)

Record Surplus

11609 West Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(310)478-4217
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Hours: Monday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

If you’re looking for the latest releases, don’t bother with Record Surplus. But, if you’re trying to track down that rare side B, this is the place. On LA’s West Side, this place is no frills, just lots of music. The store has a growing selection of CDs and DVDs, but it’s still about the vinyl here.

What makes Soundsations great is the staff. (Credit: http://www.soundsations.com)

Soundsations

8701 La Tijera Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90045
(310) 641-8877
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Hours: Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.

The selection at Soundsations rocks, but what makes this place great is the staff. Many are long-timers. They’re knowledgeable and love to talk shop. If they don’t have what you want, they’ll find it for you. Soundsations has a mix of vinyl and CDs. It’s a great place to lose an afternoon crate digging.

Specializing in punk, ska and garage, Headline is the musical heart of Melrose. (Credit: http://www.headlinerecords.com)

Headline Records

7706 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90046-7316
(323) 655-2125
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Hours: Daily noon to 8 p.m.

Specializing in punk, ska and garage, Headline is the musical heart of Melrose, a place where individuality rules. You can pick up a hard-to-find EP, cool patch, poster or some replacement studs for your leather jacket. Whether you’re a die-hard punk rocker or a scenester, Headline is for you.

By Monique Martin

Comments (7)
  1. The Here & Now. says:

    Vinyl records are a thing of the old world. Sure, I own a few audiophile grade records, a few Beatles, classic titles, MFSL’s, Nautilus titles, etc. on vinyl, but for anyone, anyone who thinks records are “warmer” sounding, yeah, but you have to extract that “warmth” from records. You see, let’s say you find a mint record you’ve always wanted, you have to still restore, clean, treat that vinyl to play. Worse if its a used second hand store record. New factory sealed vinyl still needs a little cleaning from the manufacturing process introducing loose vinyl particles and other factory dust.

    Then, you have to baby those records, make sure you don’t finger grease them, and records take up space like you would not believe AND are very heavy in bulk. Storage issues you have to consider, and if you’re serious about vinyl, not as a hipster status thing, if you really love records you’re going to have to find Japanese resealables and so on.

    Then you have to get the right turntable, amp, speaker combo, and just in the turntable, you have to consider cartridges, stylus, balancing tone arms, making sure turntables are maintained, stylus brushes, record anti-static treatments, LP mats, anti-vibration feet, I can go on and ON!

    Vinyl records were a wonderful thing… in the time they were king. Because in those times, they worked, not in todays modern world. Its all digital baby. CD’s will exist only in these old stores as a niche, but its curtians for CDs as well. SACD, SHMs will exist but also for niche markets and Rockaway doesn’t stock them and their expensive.

    If you love music you will invest in the right music equipment and make time for that… if it were 1982. But it’s 2010, coming on 2011. Digital rules and eventually in a few years will be lossless 24/96 or higher in resolution, to the point record companies will offer super-remasters with top notch in-studio quality audio, in other words as if you were IN the studio listening to the masters!

    Don’t front. You like records because its the hip thing to like. But again, in today’s world, there simply is NO time to fuss with records.

    Best music store in L.A. – Rockaway. Because its been around longer than Amoeaba and is smaller and they always have surprises. The owners are experts in their fields, some employees have issues, but whatever, the music matters right? Still, today, in 2010, Rockaway and other record stores are starting to be relics amonst a changing world. I love the Beatles… digitally remastered with scanned covers on my Cowon.

    1. David says:

      Boy, are you an unpleasant grouch. Do you ever smile or have anything nice to say about anything?

  2. freshmani says:

    The best independent record store in SoCal is Fingerprints in Belmont Shore. It’s one thing to see an artist in the cavernous Amoeba, but you can’t beat the intimacy of Fingerprints.

    1. suzie says:

      Norwalk Records,

  3. Waymon Roy says:

    On Monday, November 8, 2010 CBS 2 11:00 p.m. News you had a report from a UCLA professor on relationships between men and women. What was the professor name and do she have any books or publication out. Thank you!