The world’s best record shops #064: Reckless Records, Chicago

The world’s best record shops #064: Reckless Records, Chicago

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Reckless by name, dependable by nature.

Every week, we pick out one must-visit spot from a different city around the world with photos and a little bit of history. Think of it as a kind of 1000 places to see before you die but for record shops.

Having dropped the needle on Dusty Groove early in our world record shop tour, our second visit to the Windy City takes us to one of the surest pair of hands in the business. Born in London, where only one shop now remains, Reckless’ adopted home in Chicago (where it now has three stores) remains a cornerstone for variety and value in the United States.


Reckless Records (Wicker Park)

Location: 1379 N Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622

Go For: Gems from across the board

What’s the story? The Mecca of Chicago record stores. Originally a London standalone, Reckless expanded to Chicago’s iconic Wicker Park neighborhood in 1988. With a massive selection on Milwaukee Avenue, their curated wall of staff picks is a lesson in music appreciation that never ends.

As an institution Reckless has been a strong presence in the Chicago music scene for the past two decades. In store shows have included the likes of Circuit Des Yeux’s Hayley Fohr, Jack White, and Wild Belle. Each new record has a stickered staff review worthy of your attention, and labels from far and wide are more than adequately represented.

Rare and recommended titles are marked as such, and time seems to fly when digging through the vast and fairly priced stock. Reckless is a Chicago vinyl given.

Words: Erin Pophal / Photography: Simon Brubaker for our Definitive guide to Chicago’s best record shops

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