Amoeba On The Web
The place takes up an entire city block and has thousands and thousands of titles in stock. Personally I prefer smaller stores where there is a bit of customer service but in this case the sheer volume of records on offer outweighs the lack of personal attention. The absolute best thing about the place is that the rarer records are worth nothing more than $30, which would never be the case in stores in Japan and the UK. The jazz section is great and the house section, which encompasses everything from Miguel Migs to Lindstrom to Audion records, has loads of bargains in it. They had all the Whatever We Want releases for a staggeringly low $8 each. As you can guess I cleaned up. Kelvin Andrews swears by the dollar bins as well of which there are plenty.
Fat City On The Web
The first stop in Manchester for anything funk, jazz or hip hop related. With Jon K behind the counter you're assured that you will leave will something heavy. The amount of records that man has pulled out for me is ridiculous and going in, listening and buying can be a great source of education about records. Absolutely no attitude whatsoever in the store and they do a great mail-order as well. The jazz section is a goldmine.
Piccadilly Records On The Web
When I lived in Manchester Piccadilly was conveniently located on my walk home, so it was inevitable that I would stop by every day eager to get my hands on the flood of new releases that came streaming through their doors. I'd hate to know how much I spent in there but it was easily the better side of £50 a week, probably more. On any given day you could bump into a vertiable who's who of the Manchester club scene and not to mention whoever is gigging that week in the city. They don't cater for one specific style but rather stock anything from any genre that meets the high standards that they have when they purchase records. The quality is unbelievably high. The staff are great as well.
Rough Trade On The Web
This is probably Jeni's (the wife) favourite store outside of possibly Record Time in Ferndale, MI. Her eclectic taste in rock and indie is catered for and then some. They have a great techno and disco section but the gems lie in the sections mentioned above. They also seem to be the first to get anything in and a lot of the bands that we know and love were broken here first.
Jazzy Sport On The Web
Mitsu and Taro run quite possibly the best (and most partner friendly) store on the planet. If Jon K worked here the place would be perfect. The selections in the bins are second to none where everything from Count Bassie to Fela Kuti to Moodymann to Robert Hood is to be found. Classics and future classics aplenty. They also do a great run on merchandise and were kind enough to give the wife a free brew while I salivated over all the records. I think they even gave her a promo of something as well, which was a nice touch. A great record buying experience.
Beatin' Rhythm On The Web
I tend to go in here with the fear. I know that they probably have what I am looking for but with the staff seemingly knowing everything there is to know about soul and funk records you know they are going to come with a price that'll make you shed a tear or two. I've got some great bits 'n pieces from here like Masha Hunt's '(Oh No!) Not The Beast Day!' and the Trammps 'Rubber Band' amongst them and for the sake of my marriage I won't tell you how much I spent on them.
Sounds of The Universe
Sounds of The Universe On The Web
Closely associated with Soul Jazz Records, Sounds of The Universe is the sort of store you go to if you want the freshest cuts, especially if you are looking for disco, funk, reggae and dubstep. The guys behind the counter will pull records out for you until your credit card explodes and if you dig a bit under the surface downstairs you'll find bargain disco 7"s aplenty. They do some superb compilations as well.