Although records are now the best selling medium for music, record stores are scarce in Contra Costa County. Records have surpassed CD’s and downloaded MP3’s and many are looking for new releases, but the major market is for vintage vinyl from the 1950’s to the 1980’s. Classic rock is especially sought after. Consequently, Antique Corner, at 500 Ferry St. in Martinez has one of the largest selections of records in the county. Rock Steady Records and Devine’s Collectibles have thousands of records, CD’s, cassettes, music memorabilia, sheet music, posters, and more, upstairs at Antique Corner, which also carries an amazing collection of antiques and collectibles. They carry LP’s, 45’s, and box sets of rock, jazz, soul, R&B, country, blues, folk, world, Hawaiian, soundtracks, gospel, comedy, reggae, punk, metal, and more.
Record seekers can find rare and out of print first pressings of their favorite artists, such as The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Doors, Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Metallica, Bob Marley, Frank Sinatra, Elvis, Beach Boys, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, John Coltrane, Dave Brubeck, and many more. It is amazing how many young people are looking for music on records from the 1960’s and 70’s, music that was first popular long before they were born. Many people come to browse through the numerous boxes, bins, and shelves of the thousands of records available at the venerable Antique Corner.
Turntable purchases have also increased, however it is odd that 50% of all record purchases are to people who do not own a turntable, according to music review sources. Some young people who recently bought the new Taylor Swift album acknowledge they do not own a turntable, but bought the album regardless, as a souvenir. With the high prices of new records music fans have turned to used records as an alternative, and it’s the older classic rock that they are seeking. And, for the first time in years, these records are now available in downtown Martinez.