845 N. Federal Highway
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33304
Located just a few minutes from the beach and downtown, Radio-Active Records is the best record store in Fort Lauderdale catering to fans of both new and used vinyl with a great selection of rock, punk, metal, hip-hop and jazz.
First off, you have to park in the back and walk to the front because the shop is situated on a highway with no front parking. I walked in the front doors and was quickly greeted by the shop manager who asked if I needed anything in particular, but didn’t bother me when I told him I was just browsing. All records were meticulously alphabetized, with most artists receiving their own section within individual genres.
I stumbled a little looking for Rollins Band, as it could have fit into punk, metal or alternative, but the guy behind the register blew my mind when he told me there was a whole section titled “classic alternative.” It consisted mostly of Lollapalooza-era bands like Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., Nirvana, and the like. I started doing the math and most of those bands are at least twenty years removed from their hit records, definitely making both them and me “classic.”
It hurt to see that label, but I got over it quickly when I found a legit psychobilly section with unopened copies of early Mad Sin records. I put those to the side and coasted through the hip-hop section — the Wu Tang section in particular — looking (and failing) to find old Gravediggaz LPs. Alas, they had none, but I was blown away by the amount of Wu solo records and singles available. Radio-Active records also offers plenty of new records and well-kept used copies, so those with OCD don’t need to spend days sifting through bins.
After an hour in the shop, I grabbed Mad Sin’s “Distorted Dimensions” and paid at the front desk, as the young cashier admitted that he didn’t know what we were listening to was Bjork. I laughed because no one else in the world sounds like Bjork. The shop manager laughed and I headed out into the humid Florida sun.
Radio-Active Records is definitely worth a visit next time you are in the Fort Lauderdale area, just don’t feel bad if your favorite music is now considered classic.