Best Retail Music Store 

Zia Records

Readers Pick

In 1984, record stores were like video stores or McDonald's: They were everywhere. Looking for a copy of Thriller on vinyl to replace the one your little sister scratched up? A cassette copy of Like a Virgin to listen to in your car? You had options: the mega, national music retailer; the mom-and-pop joint; the regional chain; and the university-area store with all the hip stuff. But in 2009, things are quite different. For one, the formats have changed—compact discs are rumored to be on the verge of obsolescence, but in 1984, they were in their infancy. As music-downloading continues to grow, record stores as we knew them 25 years ago continue to close. Thank goodness for Zia. The regional chain advertises itself as "the last real record store," and these days, that's no mere hyperbole. It's the only game left in town for one-stop music shopping, and a darn good one at that. Who knows? Maybe they've even got a vinyl copy of Thriller in the racks—because that replacement copy is pretty scratched up these days, too, isn't it?

Runners up:

2. Best Buy

Various locations


3. TIE


5870 E. Broadway Blvd.


4235 N. Oracle Road

292-1331, borders.com

Zip's Music and Video

No longer in business

Location Details


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