Some of the Best Places to Pick Up Used Records in L.A.

Need to scratch that itch for old-fashioned vinyl? Here’s where the needle hits the groove
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You Don’t Have to be a Nick Hornby-style audiophile to collect vinyl—these days a lot of folks are rediscovering the joys of record albums (mostly as wall decoration, but still). The Record Parlour (6408 Selma Ave.) looks a bit like the store in Hornby’s High Fidelity, complete with racks of old wood packing crates stuffed with albums (punk, jazz, and folk are big sellers) as well as historic concert posters lining the walls. All it’s missing is Jack Black crooning Marvin Gaye.

Another store with classic record shop ambiance is Freakbeat in Sherman Oaks (13616 Ventura Blvd.), which prides itself on an “old-fashioned” approach to reselling albums, keeping the prices “fair and cheap,” according to owner Bob Say. (Translation: most are $15 or less, and there’s always a rack of 99-cent specials.) But Freakbeat also offers expensive rarities like the 1994 promo copy of Prince’s The Black Album that recently sold for a cool $499.

Near Melrose and Heliotrope, there’s Going Underground Records (4355 Melrose Ave.), a Bakersfield institution that opened an L.A. outpost in 2018. It’s not the biggest shop, but customers love its well-curated selections, reasonable prices (most under $20, although a Tangerine Dream album recently fetched $120), and friendly vibe.

Of course, the granddaddy of used music remains Amoeba Music (6200 Hollywood Blvd.), which recently relocated a few blocks away from its famed Sunset and Ivar location to the El Centro complex. The new digs lack the ramshackle charm of the old place, but Amoeba still boasts the largest selection of used albums in town. “Disneyland for music nerds,” is how one Yelp reviewer aptly described it.

Love thrifting and buying used? Check out our full Secondhand L.A. guide here.


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