About Us

Iris Records, Jersey City
Iris Records, Jersey City

Iris Records might not have ever happened. I moved into this storefront over twenty years ago after answering an ad in the Village Voice for roomates. The plan was to remain on Brunswick Street for six months and then move into the city. After the last roomate moved out of this 1930s pharmacy a few years later, I decided to bring in my flea market records and sell to the local kids (I didn’t even think of it as a proper “store”), mostly stuff like Tevin Campbell and Audio Two and Issac Hayes. When pressed for a name of the business, I grabbed the name of my brother’s late cat, and Iris Records was born. Very popular with the Japanese and the French in the 2000s as a wholesale outlet, shuttered a couple of times along the way (owner fatigue), the spot has survived through the music industry crash of the last ten years with surprising grace and good humor. Dubbed “fantasy island” by my best Japanese customer (Masaharu, where are you?), cool records are always appearing like they’ve fallen out of the sky, titles I’ve never seen before, even though I do all of the buying and shouldn’t be surprised by anything. While we would never say that we are the “best store” in any sense, we attempt the impossible: to satisfy all customers who walk through the door, to understand that everyone has different taste, and to defend your right to like any damn thing that you want. We’re very proud of our dollar record selection, our IrisDance department, our interesting assortment of new vinyl, and most of all our prices, which bring dealers from other countries (and even NYC) to purchase records and then resell them at their stores. We’re deeply thankful for our wonderful customer base though the years: diggers like Gil (whose mother’s name is Iris), Dirtyfingaz, Chill, Speed, Kyle, DJ Riddimaster, Makoto, Frankie Bones, Bruce, Jim Fu, Ken Sport, Big Jack, Henry, Ken French and a zillion more from down the street and around the world who have crawled on these floors. And big props to Mayfield and Monch, wherever they are. Can we somehow buy another 20 years on Brunswick Street?????

Our Sections:

In addition to our $1 sections of Rock/Country/Gospel/World/Children’s/Soul/Classical/Soundtracks/Pop Vocals/Jazz/Latin/12″ stuff, our IrisDance and our Iris45 sections, we feature the following for your browsing pleasure.

Psychedelic
Garage
Stones
Sixties
Eric Clapton
Bob Seger
Rod Stewart

Neil Young
The Who
Queen
The Kinks
Jefferson Airplane
David Bowie
The Beatles
Apple Corps
The Monkees
The Beach Boys
Eagles

Jimi Hendrix
Jam Bands
The Dead
The Band
Led Zeppelin
Bruce Springsteen
Bee Gees
Tom Petty
Fleetwood Mac
Elton John
Creedence Clearwater Revival
The Doors
Electric Light Orchestra
10 CC

Classic Rock – 70’s
Hall & Oates
Van Morrison
Kiss
Bob Dylan
Metal
Black Sabbath
Metallica
AC/DC

Euro Prog
Kevin Ayers
Robert Wyatt
Genesis
Soft Machine
Gong
Krautrock
Bonzo Dog Band
Thin Lizzy
Harvey Mandel
Traffic
King Crimson

Southern Rock
The Allman Brothers
L.A. Rock
Steely Dan
Pink Floyd

Teen Idols
Doo-wop
Twist!
Crazy Covers!
Picture Discs
Rock Stars Babble!
Oldies
Elvis Presley
Phil Spector

Girls Girls Girls
Pop Vocals
Tony Bennett
Frank Sinatra
Enoch Light

Folk Music
Brian Auger
70’s British Rock
British Folk
Fairport Convention
Richard Thompson
Roy Harper
Nick Drake
John Martyn
Donovan
Lee Hazelwood
John Fahey
Michael Hurley
Nilsson
Laura Nyro
Randy Newman
Carole King
Richie Havens
Billy Joel
Phil Ochs
Todd Rundgren
Leonard Cohen
J.D. Souther
The Byrds
Gene Clark
Dave Van Ronk

Singer-Songwriter
Warren Zevon
Paul Simon
Joni Mitchel
Nancy Sinatra
Soft Rock
Abba
Power Pop

Vintage R&R
George Thorogood
Rockabilly
Surf
Blues
Kitty Wells
Tammy Wynette
Hank Williams
Johnny Cash
Patsy Cline
Louvin Brothers
Dolly Parton (Dolly!)
George Jones
Country
Townes Van Zandt
Gram Parsons
Rodriguez
Nick Cave
Alt-Country

Hip-Hop (New)
Current Soul!
Soul Reissues
Grunge
Westerns
British
J. Spaceman
Radiohead
Arctic Monkeys
Daft Punk
Zamrock (Ian)
American Roots
Morricone

Modern Rock
Punk
Classic Rock Reissues
Soundtracks
Nineties
Local Music
2000s
Audiophile-New

New Arrivals
New Release Classic Rock
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Indie Rock

A-D

Cat Power
Built To Spill
Bright Eyes
Bon Iver
B. Prince Billy
Bjork
Black Keys
Animal Collective
Arcade Fire
Civil Wars
Calexico
Kevin Devine
Foxygen
Flaming Lips
God Speed You Black Emperor
Grimes
Interpol

J-N

Neutral Milk Hotel
Kings Of Leon
Kurt Vile

O-S

Smog
Royal Trux
Sigur Ros
Sonic Youth

T-Z

Ty Segall
The xx
The White Stripes
Zola Jesus
Yo La Tengo

St. Etienne
Kraftwerk
George Michael
Pet Shop Boys
Downtempo
Dusty Springfield (Dusty!)
Kate Bush
Blondie
B-52s
Depeche Mode
Eighties!
80’s Pop Stuff

U2
Scottish Pop
Belle & Sebastien
British
John Cale
XTC
Roxy Music
Scott Walker
Go-Betweens
Sparks
Brian Eno
Public Image LTD
Robyn Hitchcock
Elvis Costello
Twee!
Bad Cover Version
Big Star
Feelies
Jonathan Richman (Jonathan!)
Dire Straits
The Cure

New Wave
Graham Parker
Post-Punk
Ska
Manchester
New Order
The Smiths
Joy Division
The Velvet Underground
Lou Reed
The Mekons
Bauhaus
Paul Weller
The Jam
We Are Mods!

New York Dolls
Tom Verlaine
Talking Heads
Pere Ubu
Iggy Pop
The Ramones
The Replacements
The Descendants
Black Flag
U.S. Punk
Fugazi
Dischord
U.K. Punk
The Sex Pistols
Buzzcocks
The Clash
Patti Smith
Ralph Records
Glam Rock
Captain Beefheart
Frank Zappa
Shuggie Otis
Roky Erickson
Riot Grrrl
Pulp
Tom Waits

New Arrivals!

Reggae
Bob Marley

Jazz
Ragtime
Bob James
Thelonious Monk
Dave Brubeck
Sonny Rollins
Charles Mingus
Charlie Parker
Miles Davis
Jazz Vocals
John Coltrane

Avant-Garde
Terry Riley
Moog/Synth
ECM
Dixieland
Cal Tjader
Blue Note
Prestige
Free Jazz
Foreign Jazz

Beats & Breaks
Soundness
Prince
Bizarre!

60’s Soul
Aretha Franklin
Go-Go
Funky Quebec
Gospel
Latin
Calypso
Sample This…
Indian Raga
Japanese
Reggae Singles
Brazilian
Bollywood
Cajun/zydeco
Ukulele
Québécois
French
70’s Soul
Stevie Wonder
Sweet Soul
80’s Soul
Michael Jackson
Otis Redding
P-Funk
Curtis Mayfield
Gil-Scott-Heron
James Brown
Motown
Madonna
Sly Stone

Crazy Foreign
Sports
Children’s
Horses!

Spoken Word
Black History
Native American
African
Ukulele

Soundtracks
Classical
Music Hall
Exotica
Instrumental
Guitar Instrumental
Comedy
Quad/CD-4
Military