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Join Us For Record Store Day 20th April 2024
Join Us For Record Store Day 20th April 2024
Inside the Record Shop: Tracking Down 90s Vinyl

Inside the Record Shop: Tracking Down 90s Vinyl

There's nothing quite as exciting as the thrill of the hunt when it comes to tracking down elusive 90s records. For vinyl lovers, the quest to find these coveted gems from the past is both a passion and an obsession. Whether it's a sought-after grunge album, a rare indie release, or a limited edition pressing, the chase is on.

The search for these records can be an adventure in itself though as vinyl experienced a dip in popularity during the 90s when formats such as CDs were thriving. Nevertheless, vinyl seekers explore record shops, online marketplaces, and even the odd charity shop in their quest for that wishlist essential. 

So join us as we delve into the world of 90s vinyl and embark on a journey to discover the magic and nostalgia of the era. Let's celebrate the passion that drives us to keep searching and spinning; one groove at a time.

The lure of 90s records and their cultural significance

The 90s was an era of musical revolution, with groundbreaking albums from artists that shaped the sound of a generation. From the grunge movement led by bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam, to the rise of hip-hop icons like Tupac and Biggie, the 90s produced some of the most iconic and influential music of all time.

The cultural significance of 90s records goes beyond just the music. The album covers, liner notes, and artwork all elevate the experience of owning and playing a classic record; and there’s nothing like the full hands-on experience of owning and listening to your favourite vinyl.

The challenges of finding 90s vinyl in record shops

With so many timeless acts releasing their most loved albums in the 90s, why is it so tricky to find original first press vinyl from the decade? Well, these elusive records can be more challenging to get your hands on for several reasons:

Limited Production Runs

Many albums from the 90s were released in limited quantities on vinyl, as the format was less popular during that decade due to the rise of CDs and digital music. This limited production means that there are fewer copies available for collectors, making them more scarce.

Lack of Vinyl Care

Like any physical good, vinyl needs to be stored and cared for correctly so that it stays in quality condition. Scratches on the disk, bent packaging, and general wear and tear exclude many 90s vinyl from the ‘mint condition’ category. For record lovers, the pool of available copies in top condition has even slimmer pickings.


Some 90s records have become highly sought-after collectables due to their cultural significance or rarity. Albums from iconic artists or those with limited releases have become particularly hard to find and expensive.

For example, Nirvana’s ‘Bleach’ was released on a run of red and white splatter vinyl that was limited to just 500 pressings and is hugely collectable. 

Other albums by major artists, such as David Bowie's ‘Earthling’ and George Michael's ‘Older’, achieved significant CD sales, but received limited releases on vinyl. This lack of availability created a substantial demand in the collectors' market as the form of vinyl became more popular.

Meanwhile, if you ever stumble across a copy of Baby D’s ‘Deliverance’ on vinyl then let Justin, the owner of Dig In Records, know; you’d make his day! ‘Deliverance’ is an album that is incredibly hard to find on vinyl and comes in an amazing package with 3 discs which were first released in 1996, and hasn’t been reissued since.

Discography Gaps

Some artists and labels did not release their music on vinyl during the 90s, further limiting the selection of records available from that era. Instead, many albums were published on CD and cassette, never receiving an original run on vinyl.

Out of Print or Reissues

Many 90s vinyl records have gone out of print, which means record companies are either no longer producing them or only selling reissues (identical copies to the original). There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a reissue, but vinyl aficionados are often on the hunt for the original disc from the 90s.

Tips for tracking down rare 90s vinyl in record shops

If you're a vinyl seeker looking to add some rare 90s records to your collection, here are some tips to help you in your quest:

Visit Record Shops

Never underestimate the power of local record shops! A lot of record shops keep their rare presses for customers in-store, so you never know what you might find. This keeps the regulars happy and is a total showstopper for anyone lucky enough to come across a classic.

If you let us know of any vinyl you’re looking for, we can help you in your search. Just pop in, say hello, and let’s find your record gold! You never know; we might even have the record that you’ve been looking for here already.

Join Vinyl Record Communities and Forums

Online communities and forums dedicated to vinyl collecting are great places to connect with fellow vinyl seekers. These communities often have dedicated sections or threads for buying, selling, and trading records. Actively participate in these communities and gain valuable insights, tips, and even potential leads on where to find rare 90s records.

Attend Record Fairs

Record fairs are fantastic places to find hidden gems. These events often attract vinyl enthusiasts, collectors, and sellers from all over. Take the time to explore the different stalls and tables, as you never know what treasures you might come across. 

Original pressings vs reissues

When it comes to expanding your vinyl collection, one of the choices you'll come across is between buying original pressing vinyl records and their reissued counterparts. This decision is subtle, but knowing the difference between original and reissue vinyl is key. 

Original pressing vinyl records, often referred to as ‘first pressings,’ are the initial release of an album. They hold a special place in the hearts of collectors due to their historical significance. These original pressings capture the essence of the era in which they were created, preserving the nuances and imperfections that provide a truly authentic listening experience.

However, original pressings (especially 90s vinyl!) can be hard to come by and are often more expensive due to their rarity and desirability. Collectors appreciate the historical value of owning a piece of music history that represents a snapshot in time.

Meanwhile, reissued vinyl records are modern reproductions of the original albums. They replicate the sound and packaging of the original, providing an easier and more affordable way of enjoying music from previous decades. Reissues are often created with modern equipment and technology, offering a cleaner sound and less surface noise compared to well-worn original pressings.

Reissues are especially valuable for vinyl enthusiasts who want to enjoy iconic albums without breaking the bank. They offer an opportunity to experience music in high fidelity while preserving the original artwork and packaging experience.

However, in instances where a highly coveted vinyl is reissued, the original pressings may experience devaluation as collectors opt for the reissued version. Consequently, the market price of these collectables stabilises and, on occasion, becomes more affordable.

Dig In Records offers a curated selection of both options, ensuring that you can explore the nuances of each and choose the one that suits your preferences and budget. Whether you're a purist seeking the authenticity of an original pressing or a music lover looking for their favourite 90s albums on wax, we've got you covered.

Why not pop into our record shop in Woking and check out our rarities crate? If you’re a fan of 90s hip-hop, there’s sure to be a gem in there for you.

The joy of discovering and collecting 90s vinyl records

There's an undeniable thrill that comes with the hunt for 90s vinyl records. It's a journey that goes beyond the simple act of acquiring music; it's a voyage of rediscovery and nostalgia. At Dig In Records, we've witnessed firsthand the sheer joy and excitement that envelops vinyl enthusiasts as they unearth those cherished gems from the 90s.

Nostalgia Unleashed

For many, the 90s was a defining era, and the music of that time holds a special place in their hearts. The crackling groove of a 90s record offers a direct link to that era, rekindling memories and emotions that may have been buried in the past. Whether it's the Britpop anthems of Oasis, the soulquarian beats of Lauryn Hill, or the art rock of Radiohead, 90s vinyl records transport us back to a time of cultural significance.

Musical Surprises

One of the wonders of collecting 90s vinyl is the potential for musical surprises. Hidden tracks, unique intros, and unlisted bonus material can often be discovered when spinning these records. It's a treasure hunt within a treasure hunt, adding an extra layer of excitement to the experience.

Collector's Pride

Owning a rare 90s vinyl record is a source of pride for collectors. It's not just about the music; it's about the history, the scarcity, and the effort put into finding these elusive treasures. Displaying a rare 90s record in your collection is a testament to your dedication and passion for vinyl.

Sound Quality

The warm, analogue sound of vinyl enhances the listening experience, bringing out the nuances and imperfections that might not be as apparent in digital formats. Each pop and crackle adds character to the music, creating a unique, immersive atmosphere.

Final Thoughts: The journey of vinyl searching

At Dig In Records, we celebrate the joy of discovering and collecting 90s vinyl records, and we share the excitement of fellow collectors. 

As we conclude our exploration into the world of 90s vinyl, one thing becomes abundantly clear: the allure of these records is not just in the music they hold but in the journey to find them. The hunt for 90s vinyl is a testament to the dedication and passion of vinyl lovers who can’t get enough of the culture, history, and sound of these unique 90s treasures.

So, whether you're a seasoned collector or just starting your vinyl journey, explore our record shop, browse our extensive selection of 90s vinyl records, and embark on your exciting sonic adventure.

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