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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Great Record Stores: Milan, Italy + Lisbon, Portugal + Nantes, France + international recap links

So, I've had some more tour action this year, and have done some record digging in some new cities (to me). I also figured that it would be a good time for a recap with all the info and links within one posting. Happy digging, or happy listening!

First off, Milano, Italia. A truly incredible walking city; admittedly, I only hit one record store on my day off, but it was a good one. There is much to see in the city of Milano, and man does not live on vinyl alone! In a relatively funky part of town (watch out for transvestites heckling you outside the store) is Metroplois Dischi. CD's upstairs, vinyl downstairs, and there's a LOT of vinyl downstairs. It ain't cheap, but it's exotic stuff. There are boxes of 45's behind the counter and I just immediately had a go. Right off the bat, all of these drool worthy picture sleeves started seducing me, but being as they started at 20E each, I had to go for quality over quantity. It would have been very easy to drop 1000E in the drop of a hat! Cash only.

My next stop was Nantes, France- a charming university city relatively close to Paris. I was enjoying the city, but unfortunately the first two record stores I visited were full of attitude and I won't even mention their names because I don't even want to give them any negative publicity. Luckily, I had just enough time before heading off to the gig to go to the store I TRULY wanted to visit- Music Box...Music Box is one of those magical stores; although the owner spoke even less English than I do French, his warm attitude was very kind, and he HAS THE GOODS. In addition to soul and beat 45's, I am also fanatical about European EP's and 45's with picture sleeves. French issues also sound particularly wonderful, and Music Box had some lovely records I had never seen before. Prices were good, so I went overboard. We only live once, and I feel that relocating this treasures to the Northern California 45 Sanctuary (aka our apartment) is a good thing to do. But perhaps I am biased. Regardless, Music Box is a world class, 5 star store. I forgot to snap a picture in my hurried condition, but their logo is very groovy indeed and is reproduced below.

As I write this piece, I am in Lisbon, Portugal; a truly magical, friendly city full of excitement, culture, excellent food & wine, and two fantastic record stores. My first stop was the ultra-hip, ultra-friendly Louie Louie Records. Hugo (who I am assuming is the owner) speaks perfect English and is just a true gentleman. He has a great selection of new and used, and I snagged both 45's and a few nice LP's (including a super cool original Chuck Jackson Spanish pressing LP). Hugo also had some of those elusive Beatles Portugese picture sleeve EP's, and hipped me to a KILLER Portugese psych 45. Prices were ranging from downright cheap to reasonable.

Across the street in the arcade next to the big Fado theater is Vinyl Forever; a cramped but tidy shop FULL of drool worthy records. Prices were on the higher side, but he had some amazing records that I just had to have. The owner was friendly, and he did his best to speak English with me.

And here's a recap with links to all of my past GREAT RECORD STORES posts.

Australia & New Zealand


Oslo, Norway


Paris & Strasbourg, France

San Francisco, CA


Jeroen said...

Hi Derek,

Great post! I'm looking for record stores in Venice, Italy. Any leads?



Derek See said...

thanks Jeroen. I'm afraid that I don't know about Venice, never been there before (although I hope to some day). Good luck!