Since 2007, Record Store Day occurs each year on one Saturday in April and every Black Friday after Thanksgiving. This celebration of independent record stores and their distinctive culture seeks to bring together fans and artists, especially those who want vinyl. Record Store Day is now a worldwide event that includes special vinyl and CD releases and various exclusive promotional products.
Whether you visit a record store on Record Store Day or any other day of the year, here are 11 used record stores in Iowa where you can find the vinyl you love.
Weird Harold’s Records, Burlington
411 Jefferson St.
Head to Weird Harold’s Records in Burlington for two floors of retail space filled with more than 50,000 new and used vinyl records. Weird Harold’s has been around since 1972, watching music and vinyl trends come and go. With the recent return and reemergence of vinyl, this is the place to go if you are only interested in vinyl. Weird Harold’s estimates that 90 percent of their business is vinyl. They also sell T-shirts, posters, accessories, record players, and needles.
Vinyl Cup Records, Cedar Falls
205 Main St.
Waterloo and Cedar Falls area residents looking for a great used record store need to visit Vinyl Cup Records. They carry new and used vinyl, stocking new records two to three times per week. Vinyl Cup Records receives new arrivals of used records each day. The store doesn’t specialize in a specific type of music or genre because they only purchase collections. You won’t see them at auctions, garage sales, or thrift stores, so you can be sure you are getting the cream of the crop of used vinyl. Also, check out their Des Moines store, which has a dedicated listening space, if you’re in the area.
Ragged Records, Davenport
311 E. Second St.
Ragged Records is among the largest used record stores in Iowa and throughout the Midwest. With more than 30,000 rock, blues, soul, jazz, hip hop, metal, electronic, and punk records, they had to open a second location. If you want to browse more records or live closer, check out their Rock Island store next to Rozz Tox. Ragged Records is famous for its selection of new and used vinyl, but you will also find accessories, effects pedals, amplifiers, and other vintage and new audio items.
Rogue Planet Music, Des Moines
4211 Chamberlain Ave.
Rogue Planet Music is one of the newest used record stores in Iowa. Since it opened its doors in 2017, Rogue Planet has been the go-to place in Des Moines for jazz vinyl records, a passion of one of the owners. However, shoppers will find classic rock, 1980s alternative, singer-songwriter, blues, country, and classical records. Rogue Planet Music concentrates on clean 1st pressings and they also carry local artists, fun collectibles, stereo equipment, and music memorabilia.
Zzz Records, Des Moines
2200 Ingersoll Ave.
Although Zzz Records has only been at its current location since 2008, it’s the oldest independent record store in Des Moines. The store continuously rotates its inventory, allowing customers to find new treasures each time they visit. Zzz Records also has a reputation among Des Moines area vinyl enthusiasts for having some of the best prices for used records in the city.
DeWolf’s Non-Sports Cards & Junque Shoppe, Sioux City
1420 Villa Ave.
DeWolf’s is a treasure trove for nerdy collectibles in every form, ranging from action figures to VHS tapes. The shop also has an impressive used record collection at affordable prices and a rotating inventory of vinyl including originals as well as reprints. The store also offers used record players. The shop is locally-owned and -operated and Sioux City residents with a penchant for the finer things in life make it a point to visit and patronize regularly.
Record Collector, Iowa City
116 S. Linn St.
Record Collector has been a staple for music lovers in Iowa City since the early 1980s. The original owner passed in 2017, but the tradition continues with dedicated employees and loyal customers. Record collector specializes in used and new vinyl, used CDs, and special orders. They have a great collection of lesser-known artists, whose records you might not find elsewhere.
Wax Xtatic Record Audio Stereo Shop, Marshalltown
18 W. Main St.
Wax Xtatic Record Audio Stereo Shop in Marshalltown not only sells vintage vinyl, but they also have a growing new vinyl section, 45s and 78s. In addition to records, you’ll find Groove Washer and Crosley turntables, vintage home and pro audio gear, and various types of old and new music swag. If you can’t make an in-person visit, check out its online store.
Red Truck Records, Arnolds Park
606 S. Highway 71
Red Truck Records is owned and operated by retired educator Paul Wick, an audiophile who wanted to share his love of vinyl with the world. His store is located in the Okoboji Antique Mall—located in Iowa’s top tourism destination—and caters to all musical tastes. Besides records, the store also carries cassette tapes and CDs. Until Sunday, Nov. 27, records over $20 are 20% off and all CDs and cassettes are 50% off.
NewBo Vinyl Emporium, Cedar Rapids
1120 Second St. SE
Record store enthusiasts that live in the Cedar Rapids area are definitely familiar with NewBo Vinyl Emporium. In addition to friendly owners and staff, NewBo has a great variety of vinyl records from multiple genres. The used records they carry are in great shape, priced reasonably, and have been cleaned, sleeved, and graded. You can also find turntables and other vintage Hi-Fi equipment at NewBo.
Analog Vault, Cedar Rapids
215 11th Ave. SE
Analog Vault is newer to Cedar Rapids but provides another opportunity for some awesome vinyl finds. They specialized in used vinyl records and vintage music equipment, so you might stumble across some hard-to-find gems. Analog Vault is also a great independent record store to visit if you need any of your Hi-Fi equipment repaired.
By Jessica Lee
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