Record shopping in London

Hi. Longtime lurker here but wanted some recommendations.
Next weekend I’m travelling up to London for the day. I was hoping to do some cd shopping there. Something I haven’t done there for ten years. I used to love the bargain basement in the Notting Hill music and video exchange. I understand this flooded a while back and has yet to reopen. Where similar could people recommend please? I’m looking for very cheap prices so I can take a gamble on new things if I like the artwork etc. Not too worried on mint condition. Love a cheeky promo cd too. Many thanks in advance

Not sure when it flooded … but I was last in Notting Hill around the end of last year and it was open and there was still plenty of bargains in the MVE. Can’t remember if the basement was open but the finger shredding plastic browsing sleeves were still there. Not sure I’ve ever found anywhere better in London for the type of stock you’re after.

Berwick street always worth a walk up for a few shops in a small area, but prices generally a bit more £.

Thank you. Noticed the music exchange shop in Berwick street has also closed. Used to like that one too! Those sleeves are lethal though!

I was in London recently and it struck me that there are now more Harry Potter shops in central London than there are record shops. I have fond memories from when I lived in London of hours spent in the various shops on Berwick Street and Steve’s Sounds near Leicester Square picking up cheap promos. Bar Sister Ray all these shops have gone, I’ll watch this thread with interest.

Yes I use to love my trips up there to cd shop. Live down in Somerset so don’t get there much anymore.

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Its a bit rough out there these days. Flashback in islington is my favourite. There are still a couple of places in soho - sister ray and reckless records etc - but i never buy CDs so dont know how good they are for bargain hunting.

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Ahh I’ve never tried flashback but heard good things. Thanks

They have another shop in shoreditch too if youre down near rough trade, etc. Could be another option.

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Feels like the Berwick rd MVE has been shut for a while, I also have some fond memories of the one in Camden. There was definitely a golden age of cheapo promo CDs which has now passed.

Just checked the MVE website and it looks their music outlets are down to the one in Notting Hill and one in Greenwich.

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I was in Islington on my recent visit and went to Flashback. I didn’t buy anything but they had a good CD collection and some crates outside with interesting stuff for a quid.

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Yes. Think they fell out with landlord in Berwick street from what I read they posted somewhere. Always found Greenwich had the most random selection and I didn’t have much look there compared to Notting Hill. I miss the cd promo days!

Crates with cds for a quid - heaven!

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And one in Crouch End!

Ah yes, the golden age of CD promos before record companies started using CD-Rs and when it was just the regular CD and artwork with a sticker on the jewel case. I don’t think I ever paid more than £4 for a new CD when I lived in London in the mid 90s thanks to the various Soho shops.

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Berwick Street is definitely not what it was but there is still Reckless Records, which is a very good (albeit quite small) second hand shop. Prices are not too bad either.

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It’s a tiny shop so not one for cd bargains (I don’t think) but if you are in Notting Hill area anyway Honest Jon’s is ace.

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Yes, I visited Reckless recently and it was pretty good. I know times change but I miss browsing in Tower Records and even the Oxford Street HMV and Virgin Megastore. Other than the aforementioned Reckless and Sister Ray, the only other shop I found centrally was Fopp in Covent Garden.

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I really love Sounds of the Universe on Broadwick Street (just round the corner from Berwick Street). It’s run by the same people that run the Soul Jazz record label. Loads of jazz, reggae, latin, electronica, dance music etc but also a decent selection of more general stuff. Mostly new but with a decent amount of second had records as well.

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Fopp do have quite a lot of cheap CDs so they’re always worth a punt. But yeah otherwise only other ones I can think of are Sister Ray and Reckless Records on Berwick Street.

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I usually do a tour of Sister Ray, Reckless, Sounds of the Universe, Phonica Records and Third Man Records (strictly Jack White’s label only but a cool shop nonetheless…particularly downstairs). Fopp for CDs and DVDs but vinyl is extortionate.

Honest Jon’s if I’m around West and Rough Trade (pricey but big selection) if I’m East.