Once headed the way of dinosaurs, vinyl records have come roaring back. Last year, sales of vinyl jumped to $1 billion, the highest level since 1986.
Happily, for those who can think of nothing more satisfying than thumbing through stacks of albums, wiling the day away searching for classic and obscure gems, Denver provides a mecca of vinyl venues. From a store that sells cocktails along with its cache of music to those that simply focus on the basics, “it’s never been easier to get into the highly addictive and wildly satisfying hobby of collecting vinyl,” notes a recent 5280 article.
Here are a few of 5280’s favorites:
Wax Trax: Opened in 1975 on Capitol Hill, Wax Trax has maintained its hipster creds through everything from punk to New Wave to grunge and beyond, keeping its “no-frills vibe, in the best possible way,” notes 5280. The store has an amazing collection of used and new LPs and 45s, and shoppers can also browse for T-shirts and even turntables.
Twist & Shout: 5280 calls this store, located next to the Tattered Cover on East Colfax Avenue, “the undisputed heavyweight champion of vinyl sellers in the Mile High City.” In addition to a vast variety of LPs, “from obscure jazz and dance LPs to the latest from Billie Eilish to hard-to-find boxed sets,” Twist & Shout sells CD’s, T-shirts, hats, toys “and other music-related ephemera.”
Recollect Records: Just blocks from the Denver Art Museum, this venue “has the minimalist feel of an art gallery. Here, though, the art is of the audible kind, and the joy is in the search for something that will surprise and delight you,” notes 5280. Records are sorted by genre, rather than artist, allowing for discovery of musicians you might have previously overlooked. Better yet, the back room is a veritable vault of discounted records.
Mutiny Information Café: Come for the books and cappuccino and stay to browse the café’s “small collection of new and used LPs,” notes 5280, which calls Mutiny “more bookstore and café” than record store. All the better to find the unexpected, from graphic novels and zines to “the trove of Glenn Campbell records” and more.
Bowman’s Vinyl and Lounge: “Nothing beats browsing for obscure punk LPs while sipping on a cold longneck or well-crafted cocktail,” says 5280. Customers might come for the bartending, but they often leave with a bargain: The magazine touts the store’s $1 used offerings.
Angelo’s CDs & More (Broadway location): You’ll find featured releases on the first floor, but don’t forget to head downstairs, where you’ll discover “a bountiful selection of new and used LPs. With a wide variety of genres—jazz, country, hip-hop, rock, R&B—you’re virtually guaranteed to walk away with something rousing,” says 5280. The store is constantly updating its selection, so repeat visits are a must.