Grooves In The Heart



Tomorrow is International Record Store Day.

Your annual reminder that music is available for sale as chunky spherical objects in sexy gatefold sleeves in real-world geographical locations staffed by actual living humans… Crazy, right?!!

Yes, once upon a time there was no such thing as YouTube, Soundcloud, BandCamp… all music was offline.

As a teenager growing up in the 1980s in Dublin, record shops like Golden Discs, Dolphin Discs, Freebird, Sound Cellar and Comet were like lighthouses dotted around the city, offering a sacred place to hear new music and maybe meet like-minded souls.Then the UK chain stores Virgin, HMV and Our Price Records came to town. We never had it so good.

My favourite store, however, was Tower Records on Wicklow Street, Dublin 2 (above) – its hallowed aisles contained an eye-popping amount of records. Fancy an obscure green coloured vinyl Japanese import of the latest Smiths single? No problem.

Many shops are hosting live in-store gigs for the day that’s in it and offering special discounts and selling exclusive bespoke releases.

Nick Says: Support your local record store – you’ll miss it when it’s gone. Consider this your vinyl warning.

Record Store Day


We have a Golden Discs voucher worth TWENTY FIVE EUROS to giveaway to one platter-cherishing Broadsheet reader.

What is your favourite record store EVER in Ireland or ‘abroad’?

To enter, please complete this sentence.

‘My favourite record store ever is__________ because________________’

Lines MUST close at 5.15pm extended until MIDNIGHT!

Golden Discs

37 thoughts on “Grooves In The Heart

  1. dylad

    My favourite record store ever is Freebird in Dublin upstairs on Grafton Street because they stocked the best second hand vinyl during my student years in the 1980s!

  2. Dub Spot

    My favourite record store ever is Dun Laoghaire Vinyl because and it reminds me of a gloriously shabby golden age they’ll never be able to recreate on Spotify.

  3. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

    ‘My favourite record store ever is Golden Discs because I want to win 25 snots.’

    I never really got the record store browsing thing: I think it’s more a guy thing. Though I will say I was highly impressed by Amoeba Records in San Francisco. Not sure if it’s still there, but that was just vast and quirky, things which don’t often go hand in hand.

  4. Paulus

    My favourite record store ever was Mac’s Records on Camden Street – run by the late Neil McPherson – because he was such an enthusiastic,informative, mildly eccentric and likable man who was happy to chat for ages – with no great expectation of you actually purchasing anything!
    (Though I did…often).

  5. Cian

    ‘My favourite record store ever is Dolphin Discs on Talbot St. because my old granddad used to get me a £5 record voucher for my birthday there – because it was beside his bus stop, even though the shop itself was (to a teen) full of aul-fellahs vinyls, it didn’t stock any of them new-fangled CDs.’

  6. Penfold

    My favourite record store ever is Tower Records because of the better than decent selection of vinyl and the staff being sound too. Made my first vinly purchases in there after getting the train from Sligo on a Christmas trip, “If this is Rock and Roll I want my money back” and “Dangerous”. (The R.A.G.E. on Fade Street is pretty good too)

  7. Noel

    My favourite record store ever is liber in Sligo because it’s great. Honestly it’s great. They stock all vinyls and cds. They stock many local artists and have a wide range of international music.
    It’s also a book shop.

  8. Bertie Theodore Alphege Blenkinsop

    This isn’t cool but my favourite was Borders in Blanch, I still miss it…..

  9. Letsgo

    My favourite record store ever is Gramaphone Records in Chicago as they had so many great records I lost the run of myself and spent all my dollars. I had to walk back to my hotel in the city centre in the heavy snow and I thought I was going to freeze to death. Worth it though…

  10. Liam Deliverance

    My favourite record store ever is Abbey Discs on Liffey Street and it’s smaller, almost next door, twin, across the road in the Abbey Mall because between the two of them I bought a couple of dozen of great tunes over a golden ten year period. I can’t remember the name of the store in the Abbey Mall, later to become the Epicurean food hall, but I did buy the Orbital Brown Album in there and in Abbey Discs I bought a white label copy of Underworlds Born Slippy in ’95 amongst many other gems that I still have. I got distracted and confused by digital a few years later, my collection today consists of tape, vinyl, cd, mp3 and other digital formats like OGG and even a couple of mini-discs. I have been meaning to sort and catalogue all this good music and in turn enjoy them again but can’t find the time so far and one suspects I may never get that particular chore done. I also remember visiting a small record shop in Merchants Arch, as you come off the Ha’penny Bridge into Temple Bar, it was next door to a newsagents of all things!, both since long gone. Sometimes a trip to Richer Sounds on the Quays was also part of the mission,they sold decks, amps and speakers, nice guys in there, they would see your record bags and knew you were there to look and dream and left you alone. Good times!

  11. Jonboy

    My favourite Record Store ever is Spindizzy in the Georges Street Arcade because I’m a masochist when it comes to record-store-owner’s-disdain-for-his-customers, watching his famous eyeroll when I ask him what’s playing fills my little heart with glee!

  12. shayna

    ‘Good Vibrations’ in Belfast during the early ’80s – a lot of the vinyl was second-hand from bands I didn’t know, but got to know. Punks (I don’t mean, in the American sense) used to hang around and smoke cigarettes inside the store – it was dark, smoky, but kinda cool. Terri Hooley (the owner) had signed The Undertones – a punk band? John Peel repeatedly declared, “Teenage Kicks” was his favourite single of all time. (I apologise for using the word, “Cool”).

  13. Yep

    My favourite record store ever is/was Sam the Record Man (Sams) on Yonge St. because in the early 00’s, when it was clear the business model for record shops was in danger and every other place thought “diversify”, Sam’s still had paper, handwritten price tags attached with what looked like 20 year old twine. Hand painted signs over dusty shelves. Same old heads just browsing not buying. It was a place where you had no fear of being “up sold” like in the 2 HMVs within a short walking distance. The people, patrons and staff, seemed to really want to turn you on to stuff you would like.

    It was the brazen approach of not really caring that I liked. Maybe if they tried to turn it around then they may still exist. Probably not. From the classic signage as you enter, when wandering around you felt a real historical vibe. Around since the early sixties, it was central to the Toronto music scene. A place that saw some of the greats release/perform in the store before or after appearing in one of the many venues on the Yonge St. strip or even in the iconic Massey Hall.

    Cool oul shpot so it was.

  14. Clampers Outside!

    My favourite record store ever is the Sound Cellar because I travelled all the way from Galway to Dublin on my first trip there in the late eighties as an excitable teen on what I sincerely believed was a musical adventure. Taking me down the narrow stairs to the starkly lit cellar store room of a shop that it is .. or was… to get a rare 12″ (stop that!) I couldn’t get in Galway (Now stop that! I said ) by none other than Slayer :)

  15. Slightly Bemused

    I do not remember the name, but there was this great record shop in Skopje, in what is now Northern Macedonia. It was around the corner from a great Mexican restaurant, and once a month when I got the chance I would visit from neighbouring Kosovo. Brilliant selection of albums from east and west Europe, and a very knowledgeable staff! I would spend a good several hours there before enjoying the Margaritas and food around the corner.

    Beside it was a great bookshop, too, but too few books in a language I understood :(

    Sadly, I never bough a vinyl from them, as I did not have a player out there with me, but the CDs I bought are still on my shelf.

    1. Slightly Bemused

      I should mention they introduced me to the wonderful Croatian artist Alka Vujica!

  16. Dhaughton99

    Virgin megastore on the quays, where I bought my first box of jonnies, which I still have.

  17. SOQ

    The first record was by Chips. I dove all the way to Drogheda to buy it. Linda Martin was a convincing drag queen back then. All offers to fund a trans-paedophile type charity thing…. obviously.

  18. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

    I knew this page would be a bit of a sausage-fest.
    I wonder what the ratio of posters is on the website, men to women?

  19. Leopold Gloom

    My favourite record store ever is Hog’s Head Records in Edinburgh because you can go in their looking for nothing particularly special, and leave with something amazing. It has all the good stuff, and stuff you mightn’t think of. Gives space over for genres that people complain are hard to find (metal, alternative electronic etc). Just always worth a visit when there. The Oxfam bookshop across the road is super too.

  20. Otis Blue

    Amoeba in Haight-Ashbury, SF, is the motherlode. Everything you ever wanted is there. Brilliant stock to buy, sell or trade. A great sense of community and always a gentle nudge towards the good stuff.

    Closer to home, a noble call for Plugd and Music Zone in Cork and for Rollercoaster in Kilkenny.

    1. Yep

      Went down the Amoeba YouTube rabbit hole of artists wandering the store and talking about what they picked up. Looks amazing.

    2. Dub Spot

      +1 I got a copy of Slipaway / Miracle of Love on 12inch by Les Enfants there (mind you it cost me). Couldn’t get it in Dublin.

      Flo McSweeney should have joined fulltime. Coulda been the next Spandau Ballet. Still joining Moving Hearts seemed reasonable. Toy with rhythms, eh?

  21. A Pop Fan's Dream

    Not sure if the OP is right about Tower.
    They came here in 1993 (the worst year ever for vinyl sales) and stocked predominately CDs and cassettes in those days.
    Virgin or HMV were the places to get Smiths imports.

  22. Niallo

    Has to be Musik Tapes in dundalk.
    What that chap didnt know about music, any music, wasnt worth knowing.
    He hooked me up with a copy of Bizzarre inc. playing with knives. Back when “dance music” meant 2-unlimited and banarama.
    He had styli for every conceivable cartridge.
    He had everything from funk to punk, country to classical, soul to heavy metal and all points in between.
    And that rarest of commodities in a “music shop” sheet music.
    for before there were 33’s and 45’s indeed before 78’s the only way to enjoy music at home was to buy the sheet music and play it yourself.
    Guy was a legend and a true gentleman, miss that place dreadfully, i’d happily lose the right one for an afternoon browsing in there again.

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