What do Kittie, Disturbed, Anthrax and Ozzy Osbourne have in common? They all chose in-store signings at Rolling Stones Records, Norridge’s block-long standby for cheap CDs and rare imports. You can’t miss the multihued exterior with caricatures of artists at the mic – Madonna, Rod Stewart, Tina Turner – outshining any other name in the independently owned record shop category. The inside, bordering on a teenager's bedroom-in-the-basement look, continues where the facade left off.
This vast space carries carts of organized selections of which you'll have no problem finding your favorites. Racks of T-shirts and a listening station with 100 of the most current releases sit sandwiched between the music and DVD/video game sections. Gleaming discs dangle from the ceiling as an inscent stick simmers somewhere in the mix.
Compared to the options at the next-door Harlem Irving Plaza, you’ll notice a musically inclined staff, a greater and more diverse selection and better bargains; Lady Gaga's "Fame," for example, at $7.99 was a steal versus FYE’s $12.99. One first-timer marveled over a $2.99 copy of Janet Jackson's "Discipline."
Unlike most non-franchise record shops, Rolling Stones differs with a bulk of popular artist releases (Britney Spears, Kanye West, etc.) and a lack of used material. A small vinyl area exists, but it's a safe bet the average customers don't spin like, say, those of Gramaphone Records or The Bassment.
Before your purchase, glance at a copy of Illinois Entertainer stacked aside checkout for any coupons and if you can't find what you dropped in for, the staff gladly offers placing a special order.
Centerstage Reviewer: David-Anthony Gonzalez