For music lovers, nothing much beats digging out a classic old record or finding a brilliant new one and hearing it play on a decent turntable. These are our favourite records stores around Adelaide. Happy vinyl hunting.
The best places in Adelaide to buy records
The best part of a house gathering is usually in the early hours of the morning as one pissed idiot says to the next, ‘Let’s put some records on’. One partygoer has the pleasure of picking an album, while also peeling the delicate piece of work out from its sealed vinyl folder. We don’t know what’s more frightening — publicly displaying your music taste to a bunch of drunk people, or attempting not to scratch a delicate record when placing it on a turntable.
One thing we do know for sure is there really isn’t anything better than the crisp sound of the strum of a guitar, the thud of a drum, or the cry of a voice when it’s played on a record. It truly is the best type of listening experience.
So we decided to travel far and wide to find the best places in Adelaide to buy records so you don’t have to.
These local spots have got you covered whether you’re adding to your own collection, shopping for a gift for your music-loving mate, or the recently converted friend who bought a record player because ‘Oh my gosh, Pink Floyd is too good for streaming’.
What’s your favourite Adelaide record store?
Let us know.
Big Star Records
160 Magill Road, Norwood 5067
Established in the 80s, Big Star was a big player in the Adelaide music scene with multiple stores across the city. Owned by Jeff Stephens, Exploding White Mice guitarist now playing with punk outfit Cull – The Band, Big Star’s remaining Magill Road store showcases the legacy of Adelaide’s music scene over the decades. The place radiates cool with gig posters and vinyl covering most surfaces. The range of well-priced vinyl and CDs covers all genres from classic rock to jazz, country to folk, and of course, homegrown talent isn’t left out, with ‘and Adelaide’ lovingly scribbled after the genre name on some divider cards. Big Star’s legacy is entwined with keeping the record economy alive in Adelaide as former staff went on to establish their own independent record stores that have made this list, such as Mr V Music, Streetlight and Clarity.
60 Pulteney Street, Adelaide 5000
Any record lover in Adelaide should be aware of Clarity Records. It takes up residency on Pulteney Street, next to one of our favourite sando-serving CBD stops, Carton Deli. Walking into Clarity is truly a record lovers’ oasis. With choices from Led Zepplin to Kendrick Lamar, every music lover will have something to find. Something struck CityMag’s eye in the window while we walked in — 1989 (Taylor’s Version) shining brightly at the top of the window ledge. Despite Clarity being known for its vast variety of punk records, this CityMag reporter only had eyes for Miss Swift. Now we at CityMag would love to claim our music taste is above Taylor Swift, but it really isn’t. And we fangirled a little too hard when seeing the queen sitting on her throne in an Adelaide street.
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Clockwork Culture Records
9 Glen Osmond Road, Eastwood 5063
Tucked away behind Jenny’s Bakery is a bespoke record store titled Clockwork Culture Records. As stated in its title, this place appreciates popular culture and highlights this through its choice to stock Pop! Vinyl — the cutely shaped figurines of the best-known famous figures and characters. CityMag’s top pick was the Marvel Iron Man Pop figurine. Aside from the ceiling-high boxes of dolls, this record store stocks rock favourites like Jimi Hendrix and The Eagles yet doesn’t stray away from new releases like Mötley Crüe’s Shout At The Devil (40th Anniversary).
192B Henley Beach Road, Torrensville 5031
This western suburb-based journalist frequently ventures down Henley Beach Road when driving to work. One day, amidst the peak hour traffic, CityMag came to a stop. Instead of participating in the usual road rage, CityMag was distracted by a proud ‘Lenny’s Records’ sign prominently lighting up the shop front to our left. We were intrigued. So when we went on our hunt to find the best places in Adelaide to buy records, we knew it was a sign from the road rage Gods to give Lenny’s Records a go — and it did not disappoint. This store has records and CDs flooding from the tables and stacked in brightly coloured boxes all around the area. We couldn’t go past David Bowie’s Heroes.
Mr V Music
115 Semaphore Road, Semaphore 5019
Mr V Music is run by another Adelaide independent scene veteran, Vic Conrad. The shop on Semaphore Road stocks mainly secondhand records, CDs and cassettes, along with art prints from local artists and musical knick-knacks. Make sure you take a gander at the Beatles poster signed by Sir Paul McCartney himself. Mr V shares the love locally with projects including the Semaphore Record Fair throughout the year but even if there isn’t an event on, Mr V’s is always worth a look. Despite his retro reputation, Mr V isn’t too cool for Instagram, and you can keep up with the latest stock and staff picks on their socials. Whether it’s some of our favourite locals like The Empty Threats, The Mark of Cain, or international heavy hitters like Taylor’s Version – Mr V has got you.
ReRun Records and Photography
Renaissance Arcade, 32 & 35/128 Rundle Mall, Adelaide 5000
Rerun Vinyl Records & Photography definitely has the tick of approval from musos. In fact, earlier this month Anton Newcombe of American psych band the Brian Jonestown Massacre visited the store and came out with purchases from the Reels and Bowie. Rerun is hidden away in Renaissance Arcade off Rundle Mall and has a big focus on secondhand records. While they are reasonably priced, expect to pay big bucks for rarities and original pressings. Although Rerun specialises in records, they also stock old cameras, equipment and vintage photographs. This record store has a long-established place in Adelaide’s music scene and claimed its place in 5000 well before collecting vinyl hit the retro mainstream.
Shop 2/15 Vaughan Place, Adelaide 5000
Streetlight has to be one of the best record stores in Adelaide. Located in Vaughan Place, Streetlight is just a stone’s throw away from the Palace Nova and the Exeter. It specialises in vinyl, CDs, books, cinema and pre-loved clothing. Downstairs, while a record plays in the background, you can find everything from classic rock to jazz, classical and hip-hop. There is also a selection of books, including music-related ones, as well as foreign and arthouse films and an array of posters. Upstairs, you will find a smaller collection of second-hand records and clothing. Streetlight is definitely the place to be for music, film and art lovers.
Room 121/33 Pirie Street, Adelaide 5000
When walking into Transition Records, the white painted walls allowed the colourful album covers to shine. The fluorescent blues and yellows from the records brighten the area. But this record store doesn’t want to attract just any kind of music lover. Instead, they stay in their lane and specialise in genres such as techno, house and ambient. Some of their collection is so obscure that they have even titled a genre as ‘beats/bass/don’t know’. Transition Records is a haven for DJs — the vinyl-using kind.
154 Magill Road, Norwood 5067
Wolfie’s is the newer kid on the block, having only opened on Magill Road in 2020 after relocating from Glen Osmond Rd (and Stirling before that). But, when it comes to record-slinging, Wolfgang ‘Wolfie’ Schiblhut knows his stuff. Beyond crates of vinyl and the listening stations to put their quality to the test, you’ll find CDs, DVDs, hi-fi equipment and vintage clothing. Wolfie’s may not have the most extensive collection on this list, but it successfully unites music, barista coffee and clothing with vintage vibes: all things we love here at CityMag.