My Top 5 Record Stores in West Michigan
When I was 15 I found my dad's copy of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. I thought that was SO cool, but there was one problem- I didn't have anything to play it with! So when I turned 16 a few weeks later my mom surprised me with a record player and I've been amassing a collection of records ever since. I'm now 25 and my collection has grown to over 200 records.
With Record Store Day happening tomorrow, here's a review of some of my favorite places to shop for records in West Michigan.
3562 Chicago Dr. SW, Grandville, MI 49418
Records Store Day Hours: 11 AM - 8PM
This is my favorite place to shop for records in the Grand Rapids area. Located right off Chicago Drive in Grandville, the Corner Record Shop is easy to find and has a huge selection at great prices- and I’m all about the great prices. I don’t even know anyone that works there, but every time I’m at The Corner Record Shop the folks working behind the counter treat me as if we’re old pals. My favorite find here is also one of my most treasured albums in my collection: Blind Faith’s one and only self-titled album with the original cover art. You know, the one with the topless girl holding the plane.
129 Division Ave S, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Record Store Day Hours: 11 AM - 8 PM
Vertigo is a very close second when it comes to my favorite record stores. A big draw for me is their convenient location right downtown on Division. Vertigo is definitely a hipster hangout, but they’ve got a large record selection at fair prices. I could easily spend too much money at Vertigo! The only drawback to Vertigo is that there’s no designated parking, so good luck with that on Record Store Day. My favorite find at Vertigo was when I bought The Doors’ first album and hidden inside (I honestly didn’t know it wasn’t supposed to be in there!) was Jim Morrison’s An American Prayer.
4717 W. KL Ave., Kalamazoo, MI 49006
Record Store Day Hours: 9 AM- 9PM
Greenlight is my new favorite place to shop for records in the Kalamazoo area. They’ve got everything you need for your hi-fi setup plus the most eclectic selection of 45s I’ve seen! They don't have quite a vast selection as other stores, but the prices are good and they even offer gift cards. Greenlight’s parking lot is a tight squeeze and they’re located on a busy corner so getting in and out can be a process, BUT they’re connected to a party store so that’s pretty convenient! My favorite find at Greenlight was The Electric Flag’s A Long Time Comin'.
1710 West Main, Kalamazoo, MI 49006
Record Store Day Hours: 9 AM- 8PM
The Corner Record Shop and Audio is another great little record shop in Kalamazoo located next to an amazing party store. For such a small sized store they’ve got a pretty big record selection including new releases. I’ve always had a great experience every time I’ve gone in there. The Corner Record Shop in Kalamazoo holds a special place in my heart as that’s where I bought my first Led Zeppelin album, Led Zeppelin II.
541 E. Grand River, East Lansing, MI 48823
Record Store Day Hours: 11 AM- 6PM
Ok, so this one isn't technically West Michigan, but it's definitely worth checking out. Seriously. I've only been to FBC a few times and my most recent trip was years ago, but this place has haunted me ever since. That's how good it is! The store is filled with crates upon crates of great records. You could waste hours digging for gold in FBC. My roommate found some great Beatles records there and my favorite find was Frank Zappa's Hot Rats.
I actually do most of my record shopping at thrift stores. It's my secret weapon- I don't even know why I'm telling you! Buying records at thrift stores is usually hit or miss, but there have been times when I've hit big! Most of the time it's people who don't know what they've got and just want to get it out of the house. Sure, you'll have to sort through mounds of Engelbert Humperdinck records but you never know what you might find. Most of my record collection comes from thrift stores and the main reason is because they're so cheap! You could pay $5.99 at a record store for an album that would cost you 99 cents at Goodwill. One of my favorite finds from a Goodwill is The Doobie Brothers' What Were Once Vices are Now Habits. Still one of my favorite albums to this day!