Over a decade ago, the longevity of the record store was in real danger. As the way we consumed music quickly changed towards digital platforms and streaming services, the demand for the physical product was inevitably diminishing. Few would have predicted that a city such as Leeds would have a collection of prime record shops still going strong in 2022. 

But here we happily are. Since the first ever Record Store Day in 2008, vinyl has had a resurgence through the subsequent years. Enthusing old collectors and attracting new music lovers, the appeal of the record has been revived. This has helped Leeds’ original record shops to remain and newcomers to open; here are nine of them to keep on supporting. 

Crash Records

The striking yellow shop frontage on The Headrow signifies a store which has been a part of Leeds music for over 35 years. Having moved here in 1987 two years after forming, Crash Records have been a much loved presence for the city’s music fans of all ages. Specialising in indie, alternative, rock, punk and metal whilst also stocking other genres of every era, this friendly and knowledgable shop remains run by founder Ian De-Whytell, who keeps the ethos authentic and the service unpretentious. As well as calling in here for vinyl treats new and old, Crash is the place to pick up gig tickets, and they even host live launches of new records at favourite city venues; Crash remains integral to the local scene.

Released Records

Iconic Leeds building the Corn Exchange is a hub for independents, and it is an apt home for the excellent record store Released Records. Selling new and pre-loved vinyl, a scour through will reveal hot releases, lost records, and great taste. Owners Tony Green and Marko Crossley are steeped in the city’s music scene and bring their passion and knowledge to this modern shop with the feel of a traditional record store. Check out their Released label too to keep in the know with local talent.

Jumbo Records

Leeds’ longest standing record store is ingrained in the city’s culture. Jumbo Records was established in 1971 by Hunter Smith, who developed the business from selling hits, imports, soul and reggae, through punk and into the wide ranging specialists they remain today. Current owners and former customers Nick Fraser and Justinia Lewis took on Jumbo in 2014 and continue with the same expert independent ethos at their recent Merrion Centre home. Dig through the vinyl, browse the gig tickets, grab a coffee, chat to the staff, and return home with a bunch of awesome stuff; what a record store has always been about.

Too Damn Loud

The many stalls in the historic Kirkgate Market sell everything from fish and fruit to fridges and fashion, and Too Damn Loud ensure that includes records too. This family run record stall stocks a selection of new and vintage vinyl, and you can be sure to find favourite classics at favourable prices here.

Leeds Record Fair

Staying in Kirkgate Market, on the second Saturday of every month the place gets invaded by vinyl. Leeds Record Fair brings together over 35 record traders across more than 70 tables of records. Between them there are used bargains for casuals to snap up and rare discoveries for collectors to indulge in. The fair creates a vibrant atmosphere and is always a pleasurable way to spend a Saturday of crate digging.

The Vinyl Whistle

Step inside this charming record store in Headingley and you may recognise the face behind the counter. If you do, the unusual shop name will immediately make sense. The Vinyl Whistle is run by Premier League football referee Jon Moss, and far from the unavoidable abuse his on-the-field job attracts, his off-the-field work invites only adulation. A lifelong passion for music and collecting records led Jon to open The Vinyl Whistle in 2019, where he buys and sells quality used and new vinyl in a warm and friendly setting that also offers coffee and cake. As the terrace song nearly says, the referee’s a lifer.

Shed Load of Vinyl

Out in Guiseley, Shed Load of Vinyl pops up every weekend with exactly what its name says. You can drop by to see them at the warm and cosy set up, where you’ll be offered a free drink and a whole lot of records to browse through. It’s a great place to pick up high quality second hand vinyl at good prices, and enjoy a friendly weekend trip with it.

Stormcrow Records

This independent second hand record store at Morley Indoor Market specialises in rare and collectable vinyl. There are original cuts, coloured vinyl, picture discs, Northern Soul rarities and autographed albums in an impressive collection to delve into. Like the records themselves, Stormcrow is a unique discovery to explore.

Relics Records

Relics Records, as their name implies, specialise in the best vinyl of the past. And during more than 30 years of existence, they showcase the progression of modern music from the 1950s onwards expertly. There’s a classic rock feel in the best possible way, from Hank to Hendrix, The Beatles, Bowie and Blur, but the Relics obsessives know their way into rare editions and wider genres too. Relics is a step back in time to an evergreen record buyer’s delight.

Images: Shed Load of Vinyl, Crash Records, Jumbo Records, Stormcrow Records