Anyone else have found memories of vinyl records? I can remember listening to John Denver with my family while reading by the fireplace. And when my dad came home from work with the “99 Red Balloons” on a 45 rpm. Records not only invoke memories of our past, but they have a special sound that is superior to any other form of recorded music.
Vinyl Record Day is August 12. Until recently, I didn’t know such a day existed, but I am excited that the spirit of the vinyl record is being kept alive. Vinyl Record Day began in 2002 as a day to get all generations together listening to a variety of music. But it’s also to help increase awareness of preserving and caring for records, recognizing the importance of records in history, and understanding the cultural impact of album cover art.
Not only are vinyl records still produced, but there are even specialty records made (often released on Record Store Day in April). As I learned talking to the owners of record stores, there is still a demand for vinyl—new and vintage. Some buyers are trying to complete a collection; others are anxiously awaiting the release of a limited edition record.
Do you own records but no player? Or is there a record your parents wouldn’t let you that you’d still love to own? You’re in luck! Below are the record stores in Lake County (and a little beyond). Not only do most sell, buy, and/or trade records, but some fix record players and turntables (record player=stand alone player; turntable=needs an amplifier and speakers).
Play by Play Records
1902 Grade Ave., Waukegan | (847) 662-7529
Play by Play carries new and vintage records as well as will buy your old records. Their selection is described as eclectic—everything from classical to urban. Most of their records are from the 1980s and before. They also sell new record players.
757 N. Milwaukee, Libertyville | (847) 362-5594
Audio Consultants not only sells audio equipment, but has a room devoted to vinyl records AND a listening room. Their collection includes classical, jazz, and pop. They also have box sets, puzzles, and games. On Thursday nights, they put on events where they “spin vinyl,” play trivia games, and serve hot dogs/BBQ. They sell turntables and do repairs (tune-ups and replacing of cartridges and needles).
421 N Northwest Hwy, Suite 103, Barrington | (847) 304-0721
Rainbow Records sells mostly used records but also carries some new, especially records made for Record Store Day. They also sell turntables.
Track One Vintage Stereo
348 W. North Ave., Antioch | (847) 838-2346
Not only does Track One sell new and vintage records, but also sells and repairs turntables. Here you will find a great rock and roll collection, including Jimmy Hendrix and Pink Floyd. For Vinyl Record Day, records will be “buy four, get two free.” Most of their records are priced at $5.
Vinyl Frontier Records
1326 N. Riverside Dr., McHenry | (815) 363-8230
Vinyl Frontier sells new and vintage records, as well as sells and repairs turntables. Their best collection is their European Progressive Metal (groups such as Porcupine Tree). They do carry mainstream children’s vinyl records, such as Schoolhouse Rock and Sesame Street. There prices are great; LPs are still $3.00 – 5.00.
Siren Records McHenry
3902 Main St., McHenry | (815) 347-8363
Siren Records buys, sells and trades records, carries new and vintage records, and sells and repairs turntables. A specialty collection here includes heavy metal and punk alternative, but there is also an impressive, recently acquired blues and jazz collection. Don’t miss the wall devoted to local music. On Vinyl Record Day, they will be doing a “buy one, get one” promotion for their used records. CDs will be $9.99 or less. Rare items will be on display, including the Beatles butcher cover (the most sought after [but controversial] Beatles cover) as well as hard-to-find local and physic bands.
40 W. Terra Cotta Ave., Suite J, Crystal Lake | (815) 893-4747
Catapult prides itself in having rare and hard-to-find albums. They carry new and vintage records as well as new and retro toys. They also sell used turntables.
If you haven’t had a chance, step into a record store. It will take you back to the day of browsing through music, literally, by hand. And help promote Vinyl Record Day by playing a record for your own children—just remember not to dance too close to it or it will skip!
What was your favorite vinyl record growing up?