Jeff Bottari, Getty Images Kelly Rowland's new gig has caused her to cancel and…
- Posted on Oct 14th 2009 4:30PM by Linda Laban
Virgin Records, Marble Arch, London
It's hard to imagine that a global empire and a knighthood were founded on a record store favored by hippies and bohemians. Before Richard Branson launched the first Virgin Megastore in 1980 at the other end of London's Oxford Street, his first retail outlet, which opened in 1971, was the grooviest, most progressive record store around.
Amoeba, Berkley, Hollywood, San Francisco, Calif.
The first store launched in Berkeley in 1990, just as alternative rock was breaking from the underground. From DVDs to vinyl, the Californian mini chain stocks zillions of titles, many rarities among them, giving it high marks among record collectors.
Other Music, New York, N.Y.
Humorously, Other Music's former neighbor, Tower Records, inspired this indie store's name. While Tower stocked the mainstream titles and hugged more real estate space, this store was the place to go for the "other music" that Tower ignored, clearly to its peril.
Grimey's New + Preloved Music, Nashville, Tenn.
There's more to Nashville than country music and the unlovingly named Grimey's proves it. Stacks of indie and vintage releases, and instore performances from local bands and touring acts, make this a place to hangout.
Rock and Roll Heaven, N.J.
This now-defunkt store not only served suburban New Jersey's hungry music fans, it's where Metallica got their first break. Storeowners Jon and Marsha Zazula also ran Megaforce Records. The heavy metal-loving couple was sent a demo cassette by the then-unknown band and the rest is history.
Goner Records, Memphis, Tenn
It's only fitting that the city that gave the world rock and roll, or at least provided the right ingredients to popularize it, should have a great record store. Goner is that store. Along with stocking rare titles from leftfield artists in all genres, the store holds an annual music festival featuring national bands.
Spillers Records, Cardiff, Wales.
Perhaps this isn't the most famous record store, but certainly, Spillers is the oldest. Incredibly, Spillers has moved with the times, reinventing itself and maintaining contemporary relevance. It remains a lifeline for local musicians and music fans, and though it struggles for survival against increased rents, it still maintains its support of independent music.