Rare Records is a Melbourne based, independent, online record store, specialising in the coolest rare and collectable vinyl records, CDs, posters and other music memorabilia. Operating for over 25 years, Rare Records is an institution within the Australian music scene, known for offering the most extensive and obscure range of music products. We also have a history in releasing music on our label, along with booking and hosting live performances and appearances; and continue to dabble in supporting bands we love, however we can.
History of Rare Records
The first iteration of Rare Records was a mail order hobby business, commencing around mid-1990. We then opened as a small weekend market space at Fairway’s Leisure Market in Cheltenham (later to become DFO). Out-growing that space quite quickly, we moved to the inner-South East Melbourne suburb of Hughesdale. This first fully-operational retail store opened on February 2nd, 1996, and was absolutely chocka-block full of second-hand vinyl, CDs and lots of other rare oddities.
Over the next five or so years, things were starting to really fly along: our customer base was growing, we had a lot of great regulars, ran a bunch of great in-store gigs and events, and increased our stock range to the point where we were running out of space. During this time, we had also established the Rare Records name online in the burgeoning internet, being one of the first record stores in Australia to introduce a web presence.
In 2003 we made the leap to the bustling Acland St, where we leased an entire floor that overlooked the trendy St Kilda district. We spent some time renovating the space, fitting it out to become an incredible record store and live music venue. We opened the doors to the new Rare Records shop on October 29th, 2004, and word quickly spread that the Melbourne record store with the best collection in Australia was also now set up for better customer browsing, listening and hanging out, in what became known as a Melbourne music scene must-see.
For over five years, the St Kilda store was the place to be, hosting a range of amazing performances and appearances from local and international acts on the in-store stage. However, during this time, the online world had well and truly kicked in, with the store’s website growing at a rapid pace and the digital age quickly finding its feet. This ultimately changed the world for independent record stores of today, and Rare Records was no exception. In March 2010 the bricks and mortar store of Rare Records had to say goodbye; but with every door closing another one opens, and the new chapter of Rare Records begun.
Which brings us up to right now, where we are focusing mainly as an online store, but also doing regular record fairs around the country, and setting up marquees in every state at some of the great music festivals. In 2016, we launched our brand-new website, furthering our customer offering with better navigation, search, product info and more, making it easier for you to check out our massive collection for sale. We also still have our finger in the music-scene pie, supporting local and international acts whenever and however we can, whether it be promoting, managing or releasing.
Happy shopping, and all the best from the Rare Records team.