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Record Store Review: Trionfo-Jerusalem (Israel)

January 28, 2014

While in Jerusalem, my second little find that may interest my readers was a used record store tucked on a little street between the main shopping roads of Jaffa Gate and Ben Yehuda Street. At least, I thought that Trionfo-Jerusalem was  a record store. After all, the banner on the door screamed “Records” and in the window you could see a selection of  albums. When I walked through the door though all I found were a handful of books, prints, judaica and other antiques. Not a single record to be found. The shop owner noticed my confusion and asked what I was looking for. Not expecting much I answered with resignation, “Records.” He responded, “Come with me” and so I did.

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As you can see, to the right of the store was the entrance to an apartment building, which the owner led me into. Inside he unlocked a door to a room filled with hundreds of unsorted records. The room – which included a small kitchen and an antique (and likely broken) slot machine – was in complete disarray, but to find records of any kind was like manna from heaven. And so I began digging.

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While the records were in poor condition, I was immediately heartened but what I was finding. Mixed within the Hebrew records (which made up about half the selection) were Israeli issues of popular U.S. issues from the ’60s through the ’90s. Just within the first rack I found two albums I’d no doubt purchase – Morrissey’s Viva Hate and The Cure’s singles compilation, Standing on a Beach. I already own the former but to see both with the imprint of the Hebrew distributor was too good to pass up.

The next several racks weren’t quite as fruitful – in addition to the Hebrew music I had to sift through albums from the likes of Madonna, George Michael, and even Samantha Fox – but I eventually walked away with a total of five records and probably could have purchased more. Those other albums were the Talking Heads’ Stop Making Sense, Marianne Faithfull’s A Child’s Adventure (my first album of hers, bought very cheap) and a fifth album which I’ll discuss tomorrow. Left behind were copies of albums I already own from the Pet Shop Boys, the Cure, the Cars and more.

Perhaps Trionfo-Jerusalem doesn’t get many browsers (they have a web presence and sell on ebay) or maybe the owner was just in a good mood, but I must add that I was treated very nicely while I was in the shop. He offered to let me listen to the records on the listening station and kindly brought me a cup of coffee and a cookie to eat while I browsed. You won’t get that in Other Music. I was more than happy to drop my shekels (after haggling him down on the price) and walk out with my beat up Israeli vinyl.

Listening station

Listening station

Bottom line: I shopped for used records in Jerusalem!

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Quick stats:

  • Sells used, new, or both: Used
  • Genres: Hebrew, American (all)
  • Non-vinyl for sale: Judaica, Jewish art, Jewish postcards and prints, Ancient maps, you get the idea
  • Selection: 5 out of 10
  • Price: 6 out of 10
  • Atmosphere: Like digging through an old Israeli basement
  • Ease of browsing/shopping: 1 out of 10
  • Used vinyl condition: 2 out of 10
  • Yelp rating: N/A
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From → Loose Bananas

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