Record Stores in Leeds: A Pink Wafer Guide
The resurgence of vinyl was something no generation could have expected. But their tangible, collectable nature and superior sound quality have shot vinyl back into the forefront of musical formats. In this article, we look at ten Leeds record stores that are on hand to service your vinyl needs. Whether it’s for live DJing, nostalgia trips, or getting the fullest audio experience from the freshest new artists, here are some of the top places you can get your hands on a 45” in Leeds.
Released Records are based at the top of the historic piece of architecture that is the Corn Exchange. Tucked away, Released are proud purveyors of box upon box of new and pre-loved vinyl set out amongst vintage furniture and DJ Decks. They focus primarily on underground dance and hip-hop, but don’t be surprised to find a number of classic records in amongst the techno greats. As well as dealing in vinyl, Released Records are a label and publishing company running under the same name. They’ve released music from the likes of Jorgie, Chris Dawkins and other Leeds based acts that they believe are breaking ground in the city.
Opening its doors in 1971, Jumbo records has stood the test of time, adapting to the ever-changing musical trends and providing the hottest records, tapes and CDs to the population of Leeds. Founder Hunter Smith named the store after his DJ and disco business and it has now become a household name amongst local music fans. Proudly independent and fiercely committed to the region’s music scene, Jumbo guarantees to cater for every music fan. In 2014, Jumbo was passed on to dedicated customers Nick Fraser and Justinia Lewis, who have kept the impeccably high standards that Jumbo is known for. The space now includes a snug area, a coffee bar and even a stage for in-store gigs.
The Vinyl Whistle
Further afield from the city centre in the heart of Headingley, The Vinyl Whistle is constantly sourcing new music to stock in store. Former premier league referee turned record store owner and enthusiast, Jon, supplies a headphone booth in which you can try out any vinyl that takes your fancy, instead of shopping from a distance online. Jon stocks plenty of both second-hand and new limited-edition vinyl from indie rock, hip-hop or jazz in the many shelves that line the walls. This is a friendly, musical environment so try chat to Jon if you can – he’ll be more than happy to help source the album you’re after.
Snugly situated amongst the commotion of The Headrow, Crash has been proudly trading records to locals since 1985. Since moving from their original spot on Woodhouse Lane, music fans of Leeds widely consider Crash to be one of the top places to get their hands on new releases of vinyl or CD. Being proudly independent, Crash Records are happy to accommodate any customer in need of anything specific or out of the ordinary – just pop in and ask. I’ll often find Crash have the latest record in the window before I even release it’s come out. These guys also sell tickets to local shows in store and on the web.
For those of you, like myself, that enjoy the hunt of finding original pressings of sought-after records (an original pressing of The Beatles or a limited-edition Dylan) Relics Records is the place to visit in Leeds. Spread out over two floors, just over the road from the grand theatre, this place is packed to the rafters with CDs, LPs and even DVDs. For over 20 years they’ve been stocking reggae, rock, blues, country and more as well as an extensive and impressive catalogue of jazz records. If you don’t manage to make it in to the shop, they offer an online purchase and delivery services across a number of sites such as Discogs and Ebay.
Just outside of Leeds, Armley is the home to record and memorabilia shop Vinyl Fixx. Owner Ian Brooke has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to records and band merch, having devoted the last 10 years scouring for hidden treasures amongst record fairs across the nation. They offer a variety of genres from pop, rhythm and blues to dance music and jazz. This is the place for pre-loved rarities that have stood the test of time and have stories to tell of their own. As well as selling records, Vinyl Fixx offer free collection and cash upon inspection of any vinyl you’re willing to part ways with.
Located in the city centre opposite the St. Georges Church, owner Chris Coulthard has been running this space full of new and used vinyl since 2017. They stock as many genres of music as possible – anything that is interesting, they’ll have it. From hip-hop to jazz, Noiseisforheroes also buy collections if you feel your stash is getting a little out of hand! If you can’t find what you’re looking for, just give Chris a shout – he’s always willing to help.
Wall of Sound
Underneath Crash Records in the heart of Leeds, Wall of Sound have been trading from their Headrow House site since 2015. Owner Elliot Smaje’s experience in selling pre-loved records spans back to 1986, when he had just left University and ended up acquiring more records than he knew what to do with. Elliot prides himself in offering a ‘strong diverse stock of music and all the related ephemera’ and is always around to help you find what you’re after. He keeps the musical offerings fresh and fascinating, so pop in and peruse his collection.
Tribe Records are somewhat famous within the Leeds dance scene for supplying one of the best selections of underground music. Returning to Kirkgate after a short hiatus, they are back with the same vast vinyl collection and knowledgeable staff members. This is arguably the go-to place for reggae, dancehall, techno, house, bass and beats in Leeds and owner Simon is always on hand to show you around the forever rotating stock or give you recommendations based on your taste. They also sell tickets to gigs along with Leeds’ famous club nights such as SubDub and Cosmic Slop.
Norman Records have been working on stocking new and exciting records in their space in Holbeck since 2010, but their history is much richer than the time they’ve spent in the space open to the public. In 1995, owner Phil was selling records from his terraced house attic in Hyde Park. By 1999 he was offering a home delivery service via an old dial-up-computer on their website. Nowadays, Norman Records offers records, tapes and CDs, working directly with local labels and publishers. They deal mostly in underground music, but offer a click and collect service online where you can browse their extensive catalogue. If you can’t see what you’re looking for, get in touch with Phil – he’ll be more than happy to source it.