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The most valuable vinyl records stores in Paris

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Connoisseur's Guide · Europe · france · Paris · The most valuable vinyl records stores in Paris

Vinyl Paris, Left Bank

Author: Klāss Vāvere0 COMMENTS

Vinyl Paris, Left Bank

You can discover cities by visiting their churches and bars, shops and museums, while I am including into this list also second-hand vinyl record stores. Even though Yelp! application greatly facilitates any visitor's navigation in a foreign city, recommendations from fellow travelers are just as valuable. Well, these are my Paris Vinyl Notes, compiled during two of my trips - this autumn and the previous summer. In comparison to last year, prices have gone up for a couple of Euros, but then Paris is just the way it is - people recognize good stuff there and they know its price, and sometimes don't feel guilty for asking more. And there is abundance of everything. Thus few shops that I am mentioning here are just a tiny bit of the entire big picture.

Foto: Vinyl Paris, Left Bank

Bouliner
It is located in the very heart of the Latin Quarter - on the corner of Saint-Michel and Saint-Germain boulevard and features used LP, singles, CD, DVD and books. Vinyl records - from 5 to 10 EUR, singles - 1 EUR. A very unsophisticated repertoire for adequate prices - French and international mainstream rock from 1970s, 80s and 90s. It's recommended mostly for the purpose of getting cheap and cheerful souvenirs for your friends - well-worn vinyl singles of Mireille Mathieu, Joe Dassin or Julio Iglesias.
My purchase: Duke Ellington - The Popular LP, 7 EUR; Mireille Mathieu, Vanessa Paradis, The Edwyn Hawkins Singers, Culture Club un Kaoma singles, all for 1 EUR

20, boulevard Saint-Michel 75005

Foto: Vinyl Paris, Left BankFoto: Vinyl Paris, Left Bank

Crocodisc
If you are coming out of Bouliner, first walk up St. Michel towards the Jardin du Luxembourg, then turn to the left on rue des Ecoles, and some moments later you will find yourself at Crocodisc. Things become serious here. Actually there are two stores located next doors. One features world music - soul, reggae, salsa, calypso, hip hop, R&B, etc., while the other one boasts a decent range of rock, pop, electronic and film music from the USA, Great Britain, France, etc. You'll find American, German and French releases of the Beatles, quite hard to find nowadays, along with rare and valuable singles of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Tom Waits and many more. There are also boxes stuffed with discs just for 5 euro per piece. Be sure to check out carefully anything you are about to buy - discs may be in an unplayable condition. Luckily my John Martyn was in a good shape. A good place for those who know what they are looking for or the ones who just enjoy digging through piles of old discs for hours. Moreover, perhaps it's the best price and repertoire combination to be found in Paris.
My purchase: John Martyn - Grace and Danger, 5 EUR; Pink Floyd - More, 14 EUR; Van Morrison - Beautiful Vision, 8 EUR; David Bowie - Station to Station, 12 EUR; Neil Young - On the Beach, 20 EUR

40, 42, rue des Ecoles 75005

Foto: Vinyl Paris, Left BankFoto: Vinyl Paris, Left Bank

Crocojazz
Croco empire's third bastion is located at the foot of the Pantheon, just a few minutes' walk from the above mentioned shops. Jazz seems to be its specialty, although you will find there also blues, gospel and some country music. Its collection spans a broad time span, starting from Impulse! Records from 1960s to completely fresh and small edition reissues. Nowhere else available, Out of the Cool by the Gil Evans Orchestra released in the USA in 1980, was just waiting for me there, completely intact, in an original and scratch-free cover. Another nowhere to be found item - John Coltrane Soultrane (a reissues of 1982 for 20 EUR) was available in two copies there, but I made a last minute swap and grabbed yet another long-sought treasure. A silvery-haired man with pink complexion behind the counter resembled a jovial Eric Clapton's uncle (he might have had a couple of opened wine bottles underneath the counter) and was tossing around colorful comments about all that jazz. A really cool place! And almost right across the street there is yet another one - nearly as good!
My purchase: The Gil Evans Orchestra - Out of the Cool, 25 EUR; Milt Jackson & John Coltrane - Bags & Trane, 18 EUR

64, rue de la Montagne-Sainte-Geneviève 75005

Foto: Vinyl Paris, Left Bank

La Dame Blanche
Unusually for Paris, where people seem not to overstrain themselves, the White Lady is opened 7 days a week. It offers a considerable collection of classical music as well as rock, blues, film music and French chansons. Its specialty jazz, however, the same way as for the neighboring Croco. The bulk of its collection, kept in the nearby storehouse, during certain hours is available to everyone. Unfortunately I wasn't lucky to get a peek in there due to lack of time. Jazz aficionados should afford at least half a day for exploration of this corner of the Latin Quarter since there is yet another must-see place nearby.

47, rue de la Montagne-Sainte-Geneviève 75005

Foto: Vinyl Paris, Left Bank

Paris Jazz Corner
A store located on a quiet street corner near the Place Monge metro station and a cozy park that enfolds the remains of a Gallo-Roman era amphitheater is often compared to the famous Shakespeare and Company bookstore. Although not being able to boast such a long-standing history, Jazz Corner surrounds customers with its pleasantly dim atmosphere and somewhat scuffed, old-fashioned shelves that are loaded with music and books that cover the entire history of jazz and its close-standing genres up to early rock & roll. It offers LP, CD and books and conjures up a feeling of being immersed into Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris. In spite of its seeming abundance, the place didn't pass my test by coming up with items on my jazz check-list (on top of the above mentioned Evans and Coltrane albums, it didn't have neither Elvin Jones nor Richard Davis Heavy Sounds (I still regret forgetting to ask Clapton's uncle from Croco about them). Nonetheless, it's impossible to leave Jazz Corner empty-handed, the same way as it's impossible not to feel the special festive atmosphere of Paris in the air.
My purchase: Miles Davis & Milt Jackson Sextet, 12 EUR; John Coltrane - Africa/Brass, 14 EUR; Ray Charles - The Genius of Ray Charles, 12 EUR

5 & 7, rue Navarre 75005

10/2012

 

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