Top 10 best places to buy vinyl in the Twin Cities

Categories: Lists
Photo By Erik Hess

Within the sagging music industry, vinyl sales represent a rare sign of growth during the past few years, and that trend is healthy in the Twin Cities. Here, a plethora of independent record stores meet the local music community's demand for records -- and then some. They stock Record Store Day exclusives, host numerous in-store performances from local acts, and staff their stores with intelligent folks -- some even contribute to Gimme Noise -- who can advise during a leisurely afternoon of flipping through the endless racks of records.

For those just starting a vinyl collection, hardcore collectors, and everyone in between, here are the 10 best places to buy vinyl in the Twin Cities.

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Photo By Erik Hess

10. Know Name Records
6009 Portland Ave., Minneapolis

While students at the U of M might miss Know Name's presence on campus, the long-standing Portland Avenue location has been in the business of selling records for over 35 years, and the shop consistently delivers music fans a decent selection of both new and used vinyl. They also actively buy used LPs, so their selection of classic, original pressings is frequently surprising and rewarding for the collectors out there.

Photo By Erik Hess

9. Extreme Noise Records
407 W. Lake St., Minneapolis

This punk-focused record shop on Lake Street has sold vinyl to hardcore fans in the area for almost two decades. It's a co-op run entirely by volunteers, with all of the profits from sales reinvested back into the store and the local music community. That unbridled DIY spirit permeates the shop as well as their well-chosen inventory of vinyl, featuring plenty of punk acts that aren't represented in other shops. Extreme Noise also has many live (and loud) performances within their intimate shop, giving area music fans even more reason to stop in.

Photo By Erik Hess

8. Down In The Valley
8020 Olson Memorial Hwy., Golden Valley

While technically not in the Twin Cities proper, it would be impossible to not include this 41-year-old suburban record shop in this list. In addition to their familiar Golden Valley location, Down In the Valley has also branched out to Maple Grove and Crystal, servicing the music needs of those areas as well. Their new and used vinyl selections are well-curated, and if they don't carry an LP you are looking for, they will certainly try to special order you a copy.

Photo By Erik Hess

7. Fifth Element
2411 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis

Fifth Element is a haven for Twin Cities hip-hop fans, providing new vinyl pressings of hot records of the moment, as well as classics from back in the day. The shop also serves as the official Rhymesayers retail store, so you know they'll have plenty of vinyl copies of Brother Ali, P.O.S., and Atmosphere's records, as well as related merch. Tthey also stock plenty of records from other hip-hop artists who help make the scene flourish, while also regularly hosting signings and intimate in-store performances from both local and national rap acts.

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