Since 2007, Record Store Day has taken place every year on a Saturday in April and every Black Friday after Thanksgiving. This celebration of independent record stores and their distinctive culture aims to bring fans and artists together, particularly those who want vinyl. Record Store Day is now a worldwide event that includes special vinyl and CD releases and various exclusive promotional items.
Whether you visit a record store on Record Store Day or any other day of the year, here are 11 secondhand record stores in Iowa where you can find the vinyl you love.
Weird Harold’s Records, Burlington
Go to Weird Harold’s notes in Burlington for two floors of retail space filled with more than 50,000 new and used records. Weird Harold’s has been around since 1972 and watches as music and vinyl trends come and go. With the recent return and re-emergence of vinyl, if you’re only interested in vinyl, this is the place to go. Weird Harold’s estimates that 90 percent of their business is vinyl. They also sell t-shirts, posters, accessories, turntables and needles.
Vinyl Cup Records, Cedar Falls
Residents of the Waterloo and Cedar Falls area looking for a great used record store must pay a visit Vinyl Cup Records. They stock new and used records and stock new records two to three times a week. Vinyl Cup Records receives new arrivals of used records every day. The store doesn’t specialize in any particular type of music or genre as it only buys collections. You won’t see them at auctions, flea markets, or thrift stores, so you can be assured you’re getting the crème de la crème of used vinyl. Be sure to visit their Des Moines store, which has its own listening room, if you’re in the area.
Ragged Records, Davenport
311 E. Second St.
Ragged records is one of the largest second-hand record stores in Iowa and the entire Midwest. With more than 30,000 rock, blues, soul, jazz, hip hop, metal, electronic and punk records, they had to open a second location. If you want to browse more records or live closer, visit their Rock Island store next to Rozz Tox. Ragged Records is famous for their selection of new and used vinyl, but you’ll also find accessories, effects pedals, amps and other audio items old and new.
Rogue Planet Music, Des Moines
4211 Chamberlain Ave.
Rogue planet music is one of Iowa’s newest used record stores. Since opening in 2017, Rogue Planet has been Des Moines’ go-to place for jazz vinyl, a passion of one of the owners. However, buyers will find classic rock, 1980s alternative, singer-songwriter, blues, country and classical. Rogue Planet Music focuses on clean first pressings and also stocks local artists, fun collectibles, stereos, and music memorabilia.
Zzz Records, Des Moines
2200 Ingersoll Ave.
Even though Zzz records has only been in its current location since 2008, it is the oldest independent record store in Des Moines. The store constantly rotates its inventory so customers can find new treasures each time they visit. Zzz Records also has a reputation for having some of the best used record prices in town.
DeWolf’s Non-Sports Cards & Junque Shoppe, Sioux City
1420 Villa Avenue.
DeWolf’s is a treasure trove of nerdy collectibles in everything from action figures to VHS tapes. The store also has an impressive collection of used records at affordable prices and a rotating inventory of vinyl, including originals and reprints. The store also offers used turntables. The shop is locally owned and operated by locals, and Sioux City residents with a taste for the finer things in life make it a priority to visit and visit regularly.
Record Collector, Iowa City
116 S.Linn St.
record collector has been a staple for music lovers in Iowa City since the early 1980s. The original owner passed away in 2017 but the tradition continues with dedicated staff and loyal customers. Record Collector specializes in used and new vinyl, used CDs and special orders. They have a great collection of lesser known artists whose records you might not find elsewhere.
Wax Xtatic Record Audio Stereo Shop, Marshalltown
18 W. Hauptstr.
Wax Xtatic Record Audio Stereo Shop in Marshalltown not only sells vintage vinyl but also has a growing new vinyl department, 45’s and 78’s. In addition to vinyl, you’ll find Groove Washer and Crosley turntables, vintage home and pro audio equipment, and various types of music, old and new. If you can’t make a personal visit, check this out Online shop.
Red Truck Records, Arnolds Park
606 S. Freeway 71
Red Truck Records is owned by retired educator Paul Wick, an audiophile who wanted to share his love of vinyl with the world. His shop is located in the Okoboji Antique Mall – in Iowa’s top tourist destination – and offers something for every musical taste. In addition to records, the shop also stocks cassettes and CDs. Through Sunday, November 27th, there’s 20% off vinyl over $20 and 50% off all CDs and tapes.
NewBo Vinyl Emporium, Cedar Rapids
1120 Second St. SE
Record store enthusiasts living in the Cedar Rapids area are definitely familiar with it NewBo Vinyl Emporium. In addition to friendly owners and staff, NewBo offers a wide range of vinyl records from different genres. The used records they carry are in great condition, good value and have been cleaned, sleeved and graded. At NewBo you will also find turntables and other vintage hi-fi equipment.
Analog Vault, Cedar Rapids
215 11th Ave SE
Analog vault is new to Cedar Rapids but offers another opportunity for some fantastic vinyl finds. They specialize in used vinyl records and vintage music equipment, so you might stumble upon some hard-to-find gems. Analog Vault is also a great independent record store to visit if you need a repair on your hi-fi equipment.
By Jessica Lee
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