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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, Right Bank

Author: Klāss Vāvere0 COMMENTS

Vinyl Paris, Right 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, Right BankFoto: Vinyl Paris, Right Bank

La Violetera
The Internet website doesn't show working hours of this disques de collection shop and from my previous experience I assume that it might be closed when it's actually supposed to be open. I was lucky to reach them by phone, however, and was the only customer on a Saturday afternoon there. A tiny room is crammed with boxes and big and small vinyl discs (including the soft ones of Soviet "Krugozor" magazine). Only French music is represented there, mostly from 60s and 70s. And it's madly expensive, too, e.g., Françoise Hardy old LP from 100 to 150 EUR. Yet I savored browsing through the entire shelf with her records, and there is a reason for that. The girl with pensive smile on paper record covers was once the very embodiment of a young Parisian for me - delicate, elegantly aloof and alluring. A shopkeeper, an elderly gentleman, turned out to be the only music store owner in Paris not speaking any English, yet it seemed quite natural and even charming. Perhaps it was clear to him from the very beginning that I wasn't a real consumer but just a silly, clueless tourist, so he just tried to put up with my presence for a while. Well, very charming anyway!

12, rue Papillon 75009

Foto: Vinyl Paris, Right Bank

Elvis My Happiness
An establishment of the official Presley fan club in Paris, selling T-shirts with the king's portraits, souvenirs, LP, CD, books and a wide range of deluxe junk in fancy packaging. Only brand new goods are available there. Scarce in number, these items are neatly arranged in glass showcases with millimetric precision and are in a sharp contrast with charm and battered abundance of most music shops. It resembles a souvenir store, devoid of any personality, and is not even close to a temple of music and passion that I had conjured up in my mind. Evidently I am not formal enough in my appreciation for Elvis, but I felt almost as bored, as if visiting the Galeries Lafayette women's section

9, rue Notre Dame des Victoires 75002

Bimbo Tower
I had heard that Bimbo is a hard to find alternative music treasure box, which actually proved to be true. Located in a house on a quiet lane in the otherwise lively Bastille area, it has no sign outside to give away its contents. I circled around it several times, peering into windows, until finally I caught a glimpse of high shelves packed with records. A door is locked there, and you have to ring the bell. A reception is friendly but business-like. The shop is squeezed in a tiny one-room apartment, crammed with Japanese noise / harsh, noise / freak outs / prog / 70's psyche / fluxus / sound poetry / hardcore / kraut / 60s avant-garde and similar records. Average LP costs above 20 EUR. It's a place for insiders.

5, Passage Saint Antoine 75011

Born Bad
Located just a few blocks from Bimbo, it features a little less radical yet still pretty unorthodox range of music (entire Bastille area exudes an air of alternative popular culture; small stores are selling themed comic strips, T-shirts and souvenirs and I noticed a couple of techno music shops too). Among punk / surf / garage / cold & new wave /60s / 70s / soul / funk and other records, one can find also old good Beatles bootlegs, The Who, The Kinks and other British rock LP, priced from 20 EUR.

17, rue Keller 75011

Vinyl Office
Vinyl Office, located just 10 minutes walking distance from the two above mentioned, is a small and cozy place with no claims to certain styles or rarities. It's democratic and fairly inexpensive - for 10 EUR you can get real goodies there. A good collection of singles (mostly French but not only) costs from 6 to 40 euros. Friendly service, too.
My purchase: Led Zeppelin - Coda and Leonard Cohen - Songs of Love and Hate, all for 10 EUR.

9, rue Trousseau 75011

Foto: Vinyl Paris, Right Bank

It's located a few minutes' walk from the Royal Palace, in the other end of rue Saint-Honoré where the pompous shopping street turns into a democratic lane, peppered with small cafés and antique shops. A second-hand CD and vinyl records store, offering mostly mainstream rock and pop, as well as some soul, techno and French music. While prices are quite affordable (LP costs from 6 to 20 euro), its repertoire is rather plain. You can be lucky and find something or get nothing at all. It offers also many books on music, all in French language. The only ones in English are super-expensive, super-scarce deluxe editions by Genesis publications with prices starting from 350 euro. A shop assistant complains that a long list of orders for Rolling Stones "Exile" are accumulating over the years with no hope for a new edition. I couldn't resist telling that I do have one, which apparently earned me some respect. I didn't mention that it's my only Genesis book, however.
My purchase: Tom Waits - Heartattack and Vine, 8 EUR.

47, rue Saint-Honoré 75001

Foto: Vinyl Paris, Right Bank

Monster Melodies
Located in the very center near the grand Rivoli Street, it's just a few hundred steps from Paralléles, yet you can hardly compare the two. Of course, Monster Melodies is by far better! There is an audio equipment repair service on the ground floor, and they are fixing old stuff - tape, cassette and vinyl disc recorders and amplifiers. But one floor up the place is packed with vinyl. Discs are literally everywhere - on shelves and on the floor, on the walls and even on the ceiling. Mostly rock music (loads of discs from 1960s - 1970s), yet there is also a very good selection of jazz, blues, hip hop, etc. Discs do not come cheap - starting from 20 EUR and up. The first edition of Dark Side of the Moon released in France (1973) along with original posters costs 80 EUR. A very good store, requiring lots of time and money.
My purchase: The Small Faces - Rock Roots: The Singles Album, 30 EUR

9, Rue des Déchargeurs 75001


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