Sunday, August 7, 2011


Here is how I would summarize Massachusetts record shopping: Go to Mystery Train in Gloucester and Record Exchange in Salem and skip Boston altogether.

Gloucester - Mystery Train Records
I was driving south along the coast and just happened to arrive here at 15 mins to seven. The Mystery Train closes at 7 and the clerk told me so. "We close in 10 minutes". OK dude. I blasted through the rock LP's in 10 minutes. I walked out with 3 Rush boots, a Deep Purple promo interview disc and a B-52's promo. This is a really good store, it looks like they keep it well stocked with good stuff in all genres. 21 Main Street. Highly Recommended.
They have cool bags too

Three Rush boots and a Deep Purple promo
Salem - The Record Exchange
What an awesome shop! I was pleasantly surprised by this place. The clerk was friendly and helpful. Found a Pretenders boot I had never seen before. A Sparks UK import 12", a Cars UK import 12", an REO "Riding the Storm Out" advance promo and some other cool shit. The clerk told me people from Boston drive up to Salem to buy records, now i know why, there isn't much in Boston, The Record Exchange has all the good stuff in all genres, reasonable prices and you don't have to pay $12 an hour to pawk your caw, like you do in Boston. 256 Washington Street.  Highly Recommended.

Still sealed Pretenders boot and a Police bootleg

In Your Ear - Two locations – one on Commonwealth by Boston University and one on Mount Auburn in Cambridge. Both are pretty much full of LP’s and they aren’t very collectable from what I could gather, although you may do better then me. All I found was common picked over stuff. I did buy an Elton John “Honky Cat” LP an import from somewhere, not sure where yet though. It was two bucks. That was all I could find between both of these shops. Probably worth a look if your in the area.
Boston location
Boston location
Cambridge location
Weirdo Records – Cambridge
If you want 2nd hand vinyl don’t bother with this one.

Cheepo – Cambridge
Cheepo didn’t have anything I wanted, and like the rest of Boston, they aren’t that cheep either.

Planet Records – Cambridge
They had what seemed to be a pretty good jazz section but the rock was common, picked over and high priced.

Nuggets – Lot’s of LP’s in here, some are cool, like the several boots from Queen, Bowie and others I saw, but at $35.99 each I guess that’s why they are still there. Other than that, lots of commons in this place, just around the corner from Fenway Park. Can’t recommend this one though.

Jelly's New and Used CD’s - Common LP’s, don’t bother. Go next door to That’s Entertainment which is a comic book store complete with side room where the uber nurds hang out and play Dugeons and dragons or some kind of geek shit there. But they have some LP’s including some boots, overpriced but at least they have them. If your in the area stop in.

The vinyl section at That's Entertainment
Natick – Déjà Vu Records
When I walked in the door I tripped over a box. Bad sign. What a disorganized joint. The owner lady is from somewhere I just don’t know where, safe to say not the USA. She is very friendly and helpful, but god damn her shop is a mess, after flipping through all her common records, I entertained myself by looking at the colossal cluster fuck she has going on there. I was about out the door when I saw a few Beatles LP’s. I generally don’t do Beatles but she had a couple bootlegs and a few commercial releases with the shrink on it and a hole punched promo White Album that was in great shape, so I asked her the price since nothing is priced. $5 each for the bootlegs and a few bucks each for the others. OK, done deal. She does have lots of jazz, classical and soundtracks so if you wanna dig, have fun, but I won’t be going back here. 154 E. Central Ave.
From the outside it looks innocent enough
Get in the door and you see the mess
Her house must be super awesome


  1. Hi,

    I ran across your excellent blog and thought I'd offer comment on a couple MA locations since I'm from Greater Boston.

    I frequent In Your Ear regularly and I am a collector of classical recordings. I always manage to find cool stuff, real cheap at teh Boston, not Cambridge location. Yeah, its a bit of an ordeal at times, going through boxes and such, but the the staff is obliging and they, well, know me.

    I got a real laugh out of Deja Vu. I know exactly what you mean. Elaine, the little Greek lady who owns the place is a real trip. Indeed she is eccentric, unpredictable but obliging. And yes, the place is a mess and requires patience. And yes, her pricing is often inconsistent and arbitrary. But, there is a charm there and I never fail to leave without spending 20 or 25 bucks. Adn just the experience, one time I was the only person in there and she tried to convince me to invest in a jazz deal that would net me a "sizeable" profit by the end of the week. And, I've been in there alone and she says, "I'm stepping out for 10 minutes, just dont let anybody in, ok." In short, a visit to Deja Vu is never boring BUT you have to be in that frame of mind.

    Cheapo Records is indeed a sham and Nuggets is a waste of time - the latter has MORE in the store that is NOT for sale then is for sale!

    I did not know about the stores in Salem and Gloucester MA so I look forward to checking them out.



  2. Thank you Fred for taking the time to comment! Deja :-) Let me/us know how you do at The Record Exchange in Salem and Mystery Train up in Gloucester. A bit of a drive, but I bet it will be worth it.

    The Rotten Record Collector

  3. Hi,

    Finally got up to that Mystery Train Shop. It is impressive in size and is pretty well organized. However, I found is somewhat overpriced though the selection is fantastic. I just got to wondering how they stay in business, being a bit removed from metropolitan Boston. Items that I saw would be 2 to 3 bucks less in Boston.


  4. Thanks for your Mystery Train review Fred! Hope you found something good up there.

  5. I have hundreds of '33 records and easily 100 '45 records--do you come to places? email me back at

  6. The Record Exchange is excellent. New stuff almost daily. Owner very friendly. Great quality control. The Mystery Train is awesome. Great prices. Someone commented that they were pricey. I got Dream of the Blue Turtles today for 3.50 and Led Zep 4th album for 6. Played them both today. Great. Don't know how those could be much cheaper in Boston.

  7. Deja vu is where it's at. You will have to dig thru disorganized crates but it's worth it. Best prices in Ma.

  8. Love Mystery Train in Gloucester; great selection of vinyl that is priced to MOVE. Record Exchange in Salem is equally recommended and if you hit the store at the right time you'll see Barrence Whitfield behind the counter.

    Sad to say, there are no cool used vinyl places here in Southeastern Mass.