Twelve years after the millennium, nobody would have predicted that Toronto would still be home to the phenomenon that is vinyl records, let alone have over 15 stores dedicated to selling LPs, EPs and 45rpm records. Seeing that very few visionaries held the belief that vinyl record stores would continue to trade among the high street and online heavyweights, surprisingly sales have never been better – especially in Toronto.
From cassette tapes to compact disks, and let’s not forget mini-disk players, the extinction of physical music distribution is yet to take over the vinyl scene. With the help of iPod embracers, the digital revolution now walks hand in hand with the last surviving turntables, and vinyls are now given a place of pride over even the latest technological innovations.
Whether the vinyl revival is sustainable is another question entirely, but the small collection of record stores that are championing this movement must take all the praise. Combined with the new heavyweight LPs that are making their way into the marketplace, there has been a huge consumer surge for hip hop and R&B, as well as collectable vinyls for the younger generations. Let’s take a look at some of the Toronto vinyl stores that are bearing the brunt of this surge.
This is one of Toronto’s most famous indie record stores, with the vinyl sleeve of the Scott Pilgrim soundtrack placed high in the front window a clear giveaway. Long before vinyl’s unexpected comeback, Rotate This carried one of the most up to date collections of indie pop records in the city – and still does to this day. The record stores that didn’t make it through the digital revolution were dubbed ‘charity shops of rock’, however this store’s electric collection of Jazz, Blues, Punk, African Funk, and basically every other cool genre, allowed it to ride the waves of the hipster movement.
Hits & Misses
Punk may be struggling to make a comeback on the radio, but the movement is certainly not dead at the recently relocated Hits & Misses. The vinyl-covered walls of this record store reminds customers that punk was – and always will be – a singles medium, and thanks to the wealth of interest flooding back into vinyl, 20 year old singles once lost amongst waves of Doc Martins can now be found again. Youngers can now relive The Clash in perfect analogue sound thanks to Hits & Misses, so if you’re even in Toronto make sure you take a walk down memory lane.
She Said Boom
A bookstore as well as a record shop, She Said Boom has thousands of books and vinyls over two locations, cornering the post-collegiate market for entertainment. Not only are the staff extremely helpful and knowledgeable, but both stores have been open for over 10 years, proving that the digital revolution can be overcome on the high street. She Said Boom is an essential stop off when visit Toronto, not just for its fantastic collections, but for the atmosphere it bestows too.
Article sent to us from Kerry Taylor the music and travel blogger writing on behalf of cheapflights.com.