Record albums will never truly die. Fans of the analog music delivery systems won’t let them. To the converted, nothing sounds as good, as clear, and as right, as it does on vinyl. They are also great for impressing friends, prospective love interests, and anyone else who drops by your place.
As fans ourselves, we thought we’d compile a list of the best, most unusual, and most classic places to add to your album collection around Hong Kong. Whether you’re simply spending an enjoyable afternoon browsing, searching out that rare pressing, or looking to connect with other audiophiles, drop by these spots to flip through the crates of beloved — or forgotten — favorite tracks.
Self-proclaimed vinyl hero Paul Au Tak-yeung told Coconuts HK last year he originally started selling his records from the Apliu Street flea market, but has since moved his vinyl collection to his tiny spot in Sham Shui Po. With more than 400,000 second-hand vinyl records, this place is a haven for album lovers, particularly those who are looking for cheap second-hand pressings from the 60s and 70s. It’s a cramped space and browsing the wares for what you want is difficult, but tell Paul what you’re looking for first and he will navigate the towering stacks of vinyl to dig it out for you. Customers are advised to call or WhatsApp Paul first before visiting.
Address: Flat D, 5/F, Wai Hong Building, 239 Cheung Sha Wan Road, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon
Phone: +852 9841 7136
Walls of Sound
Most of you riding up the Mid-Levels escalator — while imagining yourself as Tony Leung or Faye Wong in Wong Kar-wai’s Chungking Express — may have spotted this shop on the way up. Located three floors above the Linva Tailors is this cozy little shop run by Elton Wong, which has a nice collection of second-hand vinyl of all genres. On our last visit, we even spotted at least one Jackie Chan vinyl record that was printed in Japan. There are also 7-inch vinyl singles, and DVDs and CDs for those of you feeling nostalgic for the 90s and early 2000s. Although there isn’t a lot of space to move around, there’s a chair in the middle of the room that makes the shop feel a bit more homely, and you can listen to the records before buying.
Address: 3/F, 38 Cochrane Street, Central
Phone: +852 2805 1584
Floor to ceiling, shelves of vinyl can be found in this shop hidden away on the second floor of a building just behind the Stanley Street dai pai dong (which also appeared in Chungking Express.) This place also stocks CDs as well as audio equipment, and the staff are incredibly friendly. It’s also stocked with a pretty impressive and largely inexpensive collection of second-hand classical music record offerings ranging from operas to symphonies.
Address: 2/F, Room 201, Won Hing Building, 74-78 Stanley Street, Central
Phone: +852 2541 7733
Not a vinyl-focused store per say, but definitely worth checking out. Rock Gallery has made a name for itself as an independent music and video shop and boasts an impressive collection of rock & roll, blues, jazz, movie soundtracks, and Asian pop (Cantopop, J-pop and K-pop, for starters). For those who want freshly-pressed vinyl from Metallica to Nina Simone, this is the place to go.
Address: Tai Yau Plaza, Shop Number 202, 2/F, 181 Johnston Road, Wanchai
Phone: +852 2572 9630
Located next door to Broadway Cinematheque, this chilled-out space is a coffee shop, cafe, and record store, which means it’s the perfect place to pass several hours sipping a latte and listening to the various Taiwanese and Chinese albums they specialize in. If the album just isn’t enough for you, this shop also offers posters, t-shirts, and other merch that let you proclaim your love for your fave bands.
Address: 3 Public Square Street, Prosperous Garden, Yau Ma Tei
Phone: +852 2384 8929
Fans of alternative and indie sounds will be into the carefully-curated collection at this Prince Edward outpost. Open since 2004, this shop has made a name for their catalog of everything from garage to soul to funk and punk, the weirdest, most way-out sounds can be heard (and had) at White Noise. This shop offers merch and occasionally hosts live performances that are worth checking out.
They also have a cat.
Address: 1/F, 720 Shanghai Street, Prince Edward
Phone: +852 2591 0499
Another shop with an emphasis on indie tunes is Zoo Records, a store where you can find alternative stalwarts like New Order beside some truly obscure indie acts from Europe, the US, and Asia. Much like White Noise, who they have partnered with on various projects, they host shows and events both in their small shop and off-premises for larger shows and even festivals.
Address: Shop 325, 3/F, President Commercial Centre, 608 Nathan Road, Mong Kok
Phone: +852 2309 2911
could not find one usable photo online
We’ ll let you take one guess what they specialize in at this record shop. That’s right — jazz. They specialize in jazz, jazz, and more jazz records with an emphasis on European titles but with stock from all over the jazzy globe. Founded by jazz world heavyweight Clarence Chang, founder of the Jazz World live series, you can rest assured that they’ll have — or can get — what you’re looking for.
Address: Room 604, Wah Ying Cheong Central Building, 158-164 Queen’s Road Central
Phone: +852 2523 8292
If you want records and you live (or are hanging out) on Lamma Island — you’re in luck. Though people had doubts that a second-hand record shop could exist out there, it’s already passed the first few crucial years in the life of a new business and seems fit to stay the course. Specializing in the vintage tunes from the 1960s on, their most popular decade is titles from the 1970s. Visit in your best disco attire.
Address: 1/F, 45 Main Street, Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island
They have a serious name and they sell serious records — classical and jazz reissues, mostly. Though some say the selection is not rare, it is large. If you have more money than time, this is the place to stop to grab what you need. However, if your budget is tight and your schedule is open, vinyl fans think you can find the stuff on offer here for less by digging through some of the less organized wares in the other stops listed.
Address: Room 801, Wing Lung Bank Centre, 636 Nathan Road, Mong Kok, Kowloon
Phone: +852 2332 6397