We were in Calgary, AB, Canada at the beginning of May 2018 to attend the Calgary Music Collectors Show. This was our second time in the great city of Calgary, and we love attending the CMCS, as the local record collector community is very warm and welcoming. As usual, when we attend a record fair, we visit as many of the city’s local shops as we can, time permitting, and our trip to Calgary was no exception. We were able to visit 9 Calgary record stores. Check out our guide to record stores in Calgary below!
Sloth Records, 736B 17th Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T2S 0B7
Sloth carries a wide variety of Metal and Punk, but don’t get it twisted: there are records here for collectors of all stripes. You’ll find new and used of most genres, on vinyl, CD, and cassette. In addition to music, Sloth also carries turntables, cartridges and needles, cleaning supplies, t-shirts, zines, concert tickets, and more. They are also very supportive of the local music and arts community, carrying local music and publications, employees are active in the scene, and they regularly host in-store shows.
My dig at Sloth: If you read my San Diego Record Store Guide, you may have seen that I’m on a mission to complete my Roy Ayers collection. Sloth helped me out by having a sealed copy of Virgin Ubiquity (Unreleased Recordings 1976-1981). Thanks guys!
Turn It Up! Records & Hi-Fi South
Turn It Up! Records & Hi-Fi South, 117, 3411 20th Street SW, Calgary, AB T2T 1Z7
Turn It Up! has two locations in Calgary. This one is located in the Marda Loop neighborhood. While both locations carry both music and stereo equipment, this outpost of more focused on the music. With an abundant vinyl selection, and a very healthy offering of CDs, Turn It Up! South has a larger inventory of used product than many stores in the area. You’ll find everything from Metal to Psych to Prog to Electronic to Hip Hop here. Additionally, staff members have an extensive knowledge and background in music, and they put forth a welcoming atmosphere for not only the hardcore collector, but for families and children as well.
Turn It Up! Records & Hi-Fi North
Turn It Up! Records & Hi-Fi North, 632 16 Ave NW, Calgary, AB T2M 0J7
The second of two Turn It Up! locations, the North outpost carries new and used vinyl as well as CDs, in all popular genres, and also carries a larger selection of stereo equipment between the two. Many record stores have a listening station; this location features a listening room so that you can try stereo equipment before you buy!
My dig at Turn It Up! North: George Benson’s The Shape Of Things To Come.
Beatnik Bus, mobile
Beatnik Bus is Calgary’s mobile record store! Carrying used Classic Rock, Soul, and Jazz vinyl, catch them on the city’s streets and at special events from April through October. Follow them on social media to find out where the next bus stop will be.
Blackbyrd Myoozik, 1126-17 Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T2T 0B4
The second of two locations in Alberta (the first being in Edmonton), Blackbyrd carries a wide selection of new and reissue vinyl, with a small selection of new CDs and cassettes to boot. With a welcoming vibe, Blackbyrd is always happy to fulfill special orders, and they work to get them in as quickly as possible. Additionally, the staff has a very impressive knowledge of music, in a wide variety of genres; I was blown away by how much an early 20-something staff member knew about 90s Hip Hop, I’m talking stuff that came out when he was like 2 years old. Props.
My dig at Blackbyrd Myoozik: a new reissue of 24-Carat Black’s Ghetto: Misfortune’s Wealth.
Melodiya Records, 2523 A 17th Ave SW, Calgary, AB T3E 0A2
Located inside the same building as their sister shop Phoenix Comics, Melodiya has been in operation since 1994. Here you’ll find a deep catalog of new and reissue vinyl, as well as lots of used records to flip through, in all popular genres. Major or indie, you can find it here. Melodiya aims to be as well rounded as possible, with a high turnover on used vinyl, and also aims to have a friendly vibe and not be the stereotypical snooty record shop.
My dig at Melodiya Records: The Heliocentrics & Melvin Van Peebles’s The Last Transmission.
Recordland, 1208 9 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0T1
Recordland is easily the largest record store in Calgary, and boasts an inventory of over half a million records and CDs. Mostly used, but they also carry a smaller selection of new. From just these two pics, you can see that you can get lost in here for days. In business since 1978, they’ve been at their current warehouse-like location for over 24 years.
My dig at Recordland: I got ever closer to completing my Roy Ayers collection with Love Fantasy.
Heritage Posters and Music
Heritage Posters and Music, 1316 11 Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T3C 0M9
Heritage has been in business for over 15 years, and owner Jerry has more than 45 years experience selling records. In addition to new and used vinyl and CDs, Heritage, as their full name states, also carries a wide selection of concert and band posters. Jerry works directly with the original artists, and carries prints and silkscreens. Music-wise, Heritage is heavy on Rock and Jazz, while also being lauded as perhaps having the best selection of Blues vinyl in Canada.
That Old Retro Store
That Old Retro Store, 1314 A – 9th Avenue SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0T3
Located just down the street from Recordland, That Old Retro Store carries used vinyl and stereo equipment (vape supplies too, if that’s also your thing). Upstairs you’ll find their selection of turntables, amps, and speakers, as well as sale vinyl, and then head down into their basement to really get your dig on.
What did I miss?
Not much at all. The only spot I did not have enough time to cover was Lukes Drug Mart, which is a drugstore that also happens to sell vinyl. Otherwise, I made the drive out to Revival Records And Collectables, but they were closed during their posted business hours, and Hot Wax Records declined to participate for this piece. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. However, it is worth noting that Melodiya Records purchased Hot Wax after my visit, so perhaps they’d be open to participating under their new management should we make a return visit.
Are we missing any Calgary vinyl spots in our guide? If so, please add them to the VinylHub record store database!