Best CD/Record Store

Vintage Vinyl

Vintage Vinyl is the Grand Central Station of record stores — sooner or later, everything comes through its doors. Rightly famed for its deep and cultured reggae selection and the ever-expanding universe that is its rock & roll department (simply reading the divider cards in these two areas is a musical education in itself), Vintage should be your first stop if you're looking for the new album by such grizzled vets as Neil Young or the shiniest dance confections by whoever happens to be this week's pop tartlet. The real joy, however, is plunging elbow deep into the stuff in between. Where else in town are you going to find $80 of used Ukrainian forest metal on a Tuesday afternoon? What other store is going to have a three-foot swath of modern Scandinavian folk on a Minnesota public-radio station's private label? Recent expeditions to Vintage Vinyl's racks yielded a bargain-price edition of the T. Rex box set, a twofer by Uli Jon Roth's Electric Sun, a pristine run of the UK editions of Judas Priest's first eight albums on CD and a grab-it-now-or-you'll-always-regret-it sighting of Hellhammer's Triumph of Death EP on the band's own Prowlin' Death Records (catalog number PDR 02 — so crucial it hurts). All this and the out-of-print Sandy Denny box set, Who Knows Where the Time Goes?, for a cut-rate $29. These are the sort of jackpots you can't count on hitting, but when you do, you always remember where you were standing. Right there, in Vintage Vinyl.

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