The 5 Best Record Stores In Boston

Gabe Allanoff

Throughout the past decade, vinyl records have exponentially resurged, and now, they’re not just a vintage novelty–they’re a legitimate industry. With no ads, no loading, no screen, no shuffle, and an increasingly rare hands-on interface, more and more people are falling in love with vinyl. If you like building intimate connections with your music, discovering rare gems, or having offline hobbies, records are the way to go.

If you’re in Boston, the city famous for its old-school charm, make sure to hit these shops for some old-school gems. 

1. Deep Thoughts – $

Radiating the grungy charm of Jamaica Plain, Deep Thoughts is home to all things indie, intergalactic, and DIY. If you’re in the market for local punk 45s, experimental music, kooky test pressings, or rare live recordings, this shop should be at the top of your list. Also, Deep Thoughts hosts Grateful Dead Family Night at its basement venue below the store every Friday from 9 p.m. to midnight, post-pandemic. 

138-B South St. Jamaica Plain, MA 02130. (617) 522-3587.

2. Somerville Grooves – $$

With its tastefully curated record selection and chic atmosphere, Grooves offers quality music at a reasonable price. Warning: You may want to buy everything in this store. 

26 Union Square, Somerville, MA 02143. (617) 666-1749.

3. Cheapo Records – $

Photo By @boston_views_ on Instagram

A staple of Central Square since 1954, Cheapo proudly houses the biggest dollar-bin selection in Boston. Their non-dollar-bin records are really cheap, too. If you’re looking for some well-loved classics or food for your sampler, make sure to shop at Cheapo Records.

4. Looney Tunes – $$

A customer taking a photo of owner Pat McGrath. By David Zong

Emphasis on ‘Looney.’ This infamous record dungeon, chaperoned by Boston legend and John Cage protégé Pat McGrath, is an experience for the ages. Yes, it’s messy. Yes, it’s muggy. But a day at Looney Tunes is irreplaceable. Stop by to feel the secret engine keeping Boston weird.

16 Harvard Ave Allston, MA 02134. (617) 247-2238. (Down the stairs from the courtyard between Jin Karaoke and Model Hardware.)

5. In Your Ear – $$

Conveniently located at the Pleasant St. stop on the B line, this cozy basement holds Boston’s best and biggest Jazz and Classical selections, which contain live performances, rare pressings, classic LPs, tapes, and 45s.

957 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215. (617) 787-9755.

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