From our 2016 College Student Guide.
Unless you live under a rock you probably know that records have made a comeback, and a new wave of record stores in Charleston have sprung up to fill the growing need for this throwback sound. This is where you can go to get your vinyl fix in Charleston.
724 King St. Downtown
Vinyl Countdown features a wide selection of new and used vinyl LPs and 45s, alongside new and used CDs, DVDs, and books. You can pick up the latest vinyl release from your favorite indie band or purchase a CD from a local Charleston punk band. Vinyl Countdown also holds occasional shows, hosting both national and local musicians. With records ranging from Lee “Scratch” Perry’s dub classic Super Ape to Suicide’s 1978 single “Cheree,” Vinyl Countdown is keeping record collecting alive in downtown Charleston.
Monster Music & Movies
946 Orleans Road. West Ashley
Monster Music & Movies is by far Charleston’s largest record store, offering the widest selection of music on this list, from used opera vinyls to all-new dance CDs. Hundreds upon hundreds of CDs and records line the shelves of this store, ranging from $3 used CDs to brand new $50 vinyls. Punk, reggae, folk and dance records abound, with each genre having a separate new and used section. Monster also sells new and used videotapes and DVDs, alongside music memorabilia, action figures, video games, and more. The first Saturday of every month is Vinyl Saturday, where shoppers can score 20 percent off all new and used vinyl. And Fridays are for listening parties and happy hour, where from 5-8 p.m. you can snag a free slice of pizza and check out a storewide sale.
Eclectic Café and Vinyl
132 Spring St. Downtown
Looking to grab a bite to eat while you shop for records? Look no further than Eclectic Café and Vinyl. Located on the corner of Spring Street and Ashley Avenue in downtown Charleston, Eclectic Café and Vinyl offers a substantial selection of records along with mid-priced sandwiches, finger foods, and coffee. Records are organized alphabetically in rows along the wall, with used vinyl mixed in with new records. You might find a $22 Radiohead record alongside a used $8 Marvelettes vinyl.
Mr. K’s Used Books, Music and More
5070 International Blvd. North Charleston
Mr. K’s is located near Tanger Outlets in North Charleston, about a 20-minute drive from downtown, and has a wide selection of used vinyl and CDs, along with used books, DVDs, and video games. While the store is more focused on books than music, Mr. K’s music selection gives other record shops on this list a run for their money. There are options that range from rock and reggae to classical and Christian music, and because all the records are used, the price rarely goes above $10. You’re also able to pick up sheet music from your favorite bands at this store, so you can play along to the records you buy.