Record Store Day is one of the best new holidays (total receipts now surpass Arbor Day!) and we celebrate it again this weekend. It recalls a time when you had to go to an actual commercial building to buy recorded music usually with paper money and that was your only choice. As a music hungry lad, here’s where I would go to stock up:
- Montgomery Wards in Evergreen Plaza. Now long gone, this was a good place to stock up on the big sellers on the charts. They made it easy with a big wall of lps that counted down the top 40 Billboard albums in numerical order.
- Tempo Records in Oak Lawn. This was a Ma and Pa shop that was more progressive than the big chains. They carried imports, played cool bands like Taste and Fairport Convention on the store system and stocked titles that XRT and Triad radio played. Mutated into Wind records and then disappeared.
- E.J.Korvettes in Bridgeview on 87th and Harlem. Named for a WWII ship, this place had a good selection of albums for under five bucks. Bought Aqualung here and the clerk said “Jethro Tull? He’s good.” Left feeling superior.
- Wax Trax! in Lincoln Park. Imports, 45’s, high-quality pressings, a Joy Division neon sign and lots of great posters just a few of the attractions at this landmark sonic palace. Started their own record label with Ministry’s “Cold Life” as one of the early breakthroughs. (Still a murderous track.) Bought many records there that are still played on XRT to this day.