Reviewing Vinyl Shops Around St. Louis
There’s something toylike about vinyl: it’s collectible, mass-produced and made of plastic like a Starbucks cup. New record presses are opening as buyers scrounge up spare change and credit to push sales higher. Stores are filling with fresh and used releases. Someone needs to buy them.
On most days, artists post up outside Vintage Vinyl to perform — reggae bands, drummers, sitar-players or one man and a guitar.
Rows of organized records and CDs fill the narrow paths of Vintage Vinyl. The shop has vast collections of rock, soul, R&B and sections dedicated to reggae, hip-hop, punk and metal. In a corner is a subsection dedicated entirely to Beatles records.
Near the front of Vintage is a discount record section. Hidden beneath alphabetized boxes are cheaper, unorganized records. It’s a pain to sort through them, but one can never know if great LPs are buried in the disordered annals.
It can be claustrophobic at times, like most of the Delmar Loop. Despite it, Vintage Vinyl offers a thorough selection of rock.
A small, homelike store located in Webster Groves, Euclid Records has rows of used and new records, stacks of CDs and cassettes along a wall. Opposite the newer rock releases is a tiny but detailed hip-hop section.
Euclid is filled with original pressings. Artists like the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and David Bowie sell for nearly $100 a record, but Euclid’s used archives are full of affordable albums.
At first glance, one doesn’t see much beyond rock and hip-hop records on the first floor, but Euclid’s second floor is dedicated to blues, jazz, country and other niche genres. Hidden between the country and blues sections is a small enclave of Cajun and Zydeco records.
Used DVDs and figurines of WWE superstars fill F.Y.E.’s storefront. Buried in rows of CDs and kitsch overload is a small record collection. The selection is filled with old pressings of Herb Alpert, Nat King Cole and other artists of bygone pop eras.
The rest of the record selection is filled with reprints of classic rock records, as well as a subsection filled with less popular artists, including Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Modest Mouse and Kool Keith.
F.Y.E. may lack a classic record store atmosphere due to its corporate nature, but its collection manages to be more current than Euclid or Vintage.
Story by Aaron Tomey
Photo by Brian Verbarg
Illustration by Chelsie Hollis