Best Place to Buy Vinyl - 2004
Record Exchange's Web site boasts of "10,000 square feet of music and memorabilia," but even that number seems an underestimation when you walk though the doors of the store. The senses are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of CDs, cassettes, DVDs, laser discs, VHS tapes and even a long-forgotten species known as the video disc. Let's call a spade a spade, though -- the real reason most people go to Record Exchange is for the records. And there are thousands upon thousands of them. Even the bathroom is wallpapered with vinyl. There is vinyl for the serious collector -- Elvis' Christmas Album, for instance, will set you back a cool $500. For the more cash-strapped, perennial St. Louis favorite Sammy Hagar's Nine on a Ten Scale costs a mere $8. Although this is one of the best places in the city to kill an afternoon by simply looking around, most find that it's next to impossible to leave without finding at least one record, and often it's one that has been searched for elsewhere, sometimes for years. Recent $3 to $6 finds include the Hoodoo Gurus' Mars Needs Guitars, the Del Fuegos' Boston, Mass. and the Waitresses' I Could Rule the World If I Could Only Get the Parts (with the theme song from Square Pegs). There's an exhaustive soundtrack section, well-stocked country, rap and soul sections -- pretty much any genre of music you can think of is represented. If by chance you dumped your turntable somewhere along the way (for shame!), Record Exchange sells a fair amount of them, in addition to other stereo equipment. And don't forget to bring your own unwanted records, CDs, DVDs, etc. -- the folks at Record Exchange offer some of the best rates (especially if you go the credit route) in town.