Best Place to Buy Vinyl St. Louis 2011 - Record Exchange
Given that Record Exchange has been named Riverfront Times' "Best Place to Buy Vinyl" every year for the past five years, you might wonder why we keep coming back to it. There has to be another place in town that's equally worthy, right? Wrong. Record Exchange's vinyl guru Jean Haffner has run the store from several different locations in its 34-year history (notably its former home on Cherokee Street, which is now home to Apop Records). But it wasn't until the move to the old Buder Library on Hampton that we saw Haffner's wax obsession fully bloom. Boasting more than 16,000 records, the 10,000-square-foot space is in constant flux with the buy/trade/sell ethic. Record collections looking for a new home, old LPs from deceased relatives and radio station promo twelve-inches litter both shelves and walls throughout. With a whole room dedicated to 45s, a wall of 78s, endless racks of LPs (ranging from Devo to Roy Ayers to Stryper) and an assortment of VHS, DVD and LaserDiscs, Record Exchange doesn't discriminate against any form of media. It's truly a treasure trove; you could easily spend an entire day with dusty fingers, finding diamonds in the rough.