Leeds is obviously a city that cares deeply about music. Off the top of your head, the city has plenty of ties to music, including Leeds Festival, Slamdunk, Mint Festival, Newsam Park, and Live At Leeds. Kaiser Chiefs are from Leeds, as are Dinosaur Pile-Up, Alt-J, Soft Cell, and Hot Since 82. The links to music are numerous. But what helped many of these artists to get off the ground is the local record shops.
Helping keep our communities alive in countless ways, it's always a cracking time to head over to one of your local shops and get elbow-deep in some crates. And with Record Store Day going down this weekend (!) it really is the perfect time to familiarise yourself with the cities best shops. So check out the best record shops in Leeds and the genres they specialise in here!
Photo: Crash Records / Facebook.com
Where: 35 The Headrow, Leeds LS1 6PU
Specialises in: rock, indie, alternative, punk and metal
Open since 1985, Crash Records has proved itself to be one of the essential record shops in Leeds and is widely considered the shop to go to if you’re after new music. While Crash specialises in indie, rock, punk, metal, and alternative music, you can also find rare records of other genres, books, DVDs, CDs, and memorabilia at this independent shop. On the scene for 30 years, the shop also hosts gigs, album launches, and more. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for, they’re happy to help and try to order it in for you.
Wall of Sound
Where: 35 The Headrow basement, Leeds LS1 6PU
Specialises in: second-hand classic and older records
If you noticed the location of Wall of Sound is the same as Crash Records, that’s because WoS is located in the basement. Wall of Sound owner, Elliot Smaje started selling records back in 1986 and prides himself on his knowledge of records and his expansive, diverse stock. Starting as a market stall, the shop now sits in Leeds city centre and is the perfect shop for a proper crate dig.
Photo: Released Records / Facebook.com
Where: Leeds Corn Exchange, Call Ln, Leeds LS1 7BR
Specialises in: mainly dance and hip hop, but also soul, pop and techno
A vinyl shop, record label and publishing company, the team behind Released Records clearly adores music. Amidst the music mags and vintage armchairs in the Corn Exchange shop, you’ll find an abundance of hip hop and dance records. But that doesn't mean you won't find other genres, including music by local artists. Starting as a pop-up shop, Released Records has come a long way and has now solidified itself as one of the best record shops in Leeds.
Photo: Jumbo Records / Facebook.com
Where: Merrion Street, 1-3 Merrion Centre, Leeds LS2 8NG
Specialises in: music by local artists and indie, rock and pop
First cropping up on the streets of Leeds in 1971, Jumbo Records has grown to become a vital record shop in Leeds and is now the city’s oldest independent record shop. Now, you can find a huge range of genres, a stage for live performances, and a café so you can recharge before running home to play your new vinyl. Ran by and staffed with passionate music fans, if you’re new to vinyl or need some help, Jumbo Records is a great shop to check out.
Photo: Tribe Records / Facebook.com
Where: 28 Kirkgate, Leeds LS2 7DR
Specialises in: house, techno, garage, electro, breaks, dub and reggae
When Tribe opened back in 1995, it quickly established itself as the record shop for club music with plenty of house, techno, drum and bass, dubstep, garage and similar genres available. Still today, the shop is known for having Leeds' best selection of underground dance music available. The staff at Tribe know a thing or two about electronic records, so if you ever need a recommendation, we’re sure they'd love to help.
Photo: Norman Records / Facebook.com
Where: Unit 20, Croydon House, Croydon St, Holbeck, Leeds LS11 9RT
Specialises in: electronic, indie, alternative and experimental music
Selling records since 1995, Norman Records is run by a passionate music fan who fell in love with the music format at the tender age of six. Since selling records online since 1999, Norman Records has grown into one of the most popular online record shops with over 22,000 positive reviews on its website. As the owner is constantly seeking interesting new music, there’s always something to be discovered by a fellow passionate music fan who’s looking for something a bit different. The shops social media is also posts weekly updates to tell shoppers what new records they've got in stock.
Photo: relics records / Twitter.com
Where: 53 New Briggate, Leeds LS2 8JD
Specialises in: classic records, including original presses
With two floors to explore, Relics Records is the perfect record shop for the keen crate digger or a vinyl collector who still needs to add a few classic records to their collection. With the main focus on rock and pop, you can find plenty of Oasis, Stone Roses, David Bowie, and similar iconic artists among the supposed 25,000 records in store. But, like with many other great record shops, you can also find jazz, hip hop, metal, electronic music and more.
The Vinyl Whistle
Photo: The Vinyl Whistle / Facebook.com
Where: 12 Otley Rd, Headingley, Leeds LS6 2AD
Specialises in: second-hand electronic/dance, indie and jazz
In his spare time, former Premier League ref Jon Moss can be found at The Vinyl Whistle in Leeds, a record shop known for having plenty of indie music, particularly from the 80s, 90s, and 00s. Constantly looking for new music to stock, there are plenty of other genres to be found in store. And with the shop's headphone booth, you can sit down, get comfy, have a coffee and some cake, and test your records before taking them home.
Photo: Noiseisforheroes / Facebook.com
Where: 75A Great George St, Leeds LS1 3BR
Specialises in: punk
A relative newcomer, Noiseisforheroes opened in 2017, but with the owner having an impressive 15+ years of experience in the industry, you know you can trust the shop to provide top quality service and help you find what you need. The shop stocks a wide variety of genres but its, and the owner's, speciality lies in punk music. From Metallica to Jay-Z, no matter what your vibe, Noiseisforheroes will have something that tickles your fancy.
As Record Store Day approaches, it’s worth keeping these shops in mind. Not all these shops are participating, but they definitely still deserve a visit if you’re an avid vinyl collector.
Check out our What's On Guide to discover even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.
Header image: Crash Records / Facebook.com