Record and Prerecorded Tape Stores

SIC 5735

Industry report:

This industry includes establishments primarily engaged in the retail sale of phonograph records, compact discs, prerecorded audiotapes and videotapes, and disks. Establishments selling computer software are covered in SIC 5734: Computer and Computer Software Stores, and businesses engaged in the rental of videotapes are included in SIC 7841: Video Tape Rental.

Industry Snapshot

The retail music industry was struggling in the early years of the twenty-first century. Brick-and-mortar retailers were losing ground to online outlets and downloaded music. While CD sales had dropped, sales of recordable compact discs (CD-Rs) experienced triple-digit growth. As the industry struggled, fingers were pointed in different directions. The Recording Industry of America Association (RIAA) placed the blame squarely on the shoulders of those who promoted the piracy, bootlegging, and illegal free downloading of music. Although Napster, the once-popular Web site that provided free file swapping, was defeated in the courts and dissolved through bankruptcy, others, including the person-to-person (P2P) sites that are harder to regulate, stepped in to take over. Others blamed the industry's demise on lack of creative and inspiring new music available on the market and the overpricing of CDs as the main culprits.

By the middle of the decade, however, the industry was starting to pick up. Individual CD list prices began to drop in response to many years of complaints from retailers. Playing the "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" game, retailers began to offer customers ways to buy and download music right in the store. In addition, new technologies such as two-sided discs, with music on one side and a DVD on the other, generated considerable interest in the mid-2000s.

In 2004 the RIAA began tracking legitimate sales of digital music, including downloaded singles and albums. Total unit sales that year, according to the association, were 143.9 million units, for a total value of $183.4 million. By 2005 unit sales had increased by 166 percent and total value by 174 percent, and in 2006 they increased another 63 percent and 74 percent, respectively, to 625.3 million units, representing a value of $878 million.

Total sales of both physical units and downloaded units--including CDs, music videos, albums, and singles--were 1.58 billion units in 2006, an increase of 21.6 percent over 2005. The total value of sales in 2006 was $11.75 billion, a 6.2 percent decrease from 2005. Most of the growth came from digital sales, which grew 74 percent over 2005, while physical sales of CDs and music videos decreased by 13.6 percent.

Based on manufacturers' shipments, the total value of sales fell to $10.37 billion in 2007 before plummeting to $8.48 billion in 2008. CD sales accounted for 82.6 percent of total sales in 2007, but only 77.8 percent in 2008. From 11.2 percent in 2007 and 12.8 percent in 2008 digital download sales were on the rise. In 2008, record stores were responsible for 30 percent of total sales, online retailers held 14.6 percent, and digital downloads with 13.5 percent. The big-box retailers like Wal-Mart and Target held 28.4 percent of total sales in 2008, down from 29.7 percent in 2007.

Organization and Structure

By far the largest portion of industry market share went to the large national chains, such as Tower Records and Musicland, in the late 1990s. Megastores such as Tower Records, with more than 10,000 square feet of floor space in each store, catered to an eclectic public, stocking thousands of titles in each store. Variety, price, and long hours ensured the success of the megastores. They offered more titles than any other single retail source and carried esoteric items as well as current hits, and they maintained long operating hours to ensure accessibility.

Many of the larger, big-city stores such as the Tower Records on Sunset Strip in Los Angeles were common post-show entertainment for young people. Because these large chain stores buy in bulk quantities, they often receive discounts and thus frequently offer the lowest prices in town. Chain stores tended to have a strict hierarchical organization of sales clerks, buyers, and assistant managers working under a store manager, who in turn answers to company officers. Individual megastores frequently had a large degree of autonomy but rely on the buyers' and managers' knowledge of the local market to keep product returns to a minimum.

Small-store chains, like some Musicland outlets, worked in much the same way but without the variety or the long hours. While megastores tended to be free standing, smaller chain stores were usually located in shopping malls, offering customer convenience. They catered to a more general clientele than the megastores and usually centered their collections around current hits and reliable standards. With fewer local employees, the smaller chains had clerks and managers but generally did not employ buyers, relying instead on the parent company for inventory selection.

Both the larger and smaller chains used independent distributors as well as record company distributors. Many of the largest record manufacturers had branch offices that distribute records locally. Independent distributors covered the smaller labels and independent record companies, along with the larger labels in the geographical areas not covered by branch distributors. Chain retail outlets bought from these distributors in bulk and warehoused the units until they shipped them to their individual stores. The advantage of this system was the price break that bulk buying allows. The disadvantage was the lack of flexibility for the smaller chains, where individual stores frequently had no control over their own merchandise.

In many areas of the country, small and independent record stores still flourished despite the predominance of chain stores. These stores tended to carry a limited and specialized collection and catered to a specific, local clientele. Large college campuses, for instance, frequently supported stores specializing in rock, jazz, or classical music in addition to the local chain outlet. Independent record stores tended to buy products from one-stop distributors.

One-stop distributors were sub-distributors who bought from the larger branch offices and independent distributors and sold to the retail outfits too small to be regular distributor accounts. Prices tended to be slightly higher than in some of the larger chains because of the smaller quantities and the markup of the one-stops. In addition, because the floor space was smaller than in the megastores, the selection tended to be less diversified. Frequently in the specialized stores (e.g., classical only), however, the selection within one area was as good as the megastore and better than the small-store chain. The organization of the stores was localized and less stratified; the owners usually managed and work in their stores and employed only a limited supplemental staff. The advantage for the shopper at these smaller stores was the personalized service the knowledgeable staff can provide.

Department and variety stores also sold a small selection of records and tapes, sold as a concession or on consignment from a distributor known as the rack jobber. Rack jobbers bought from large independent and branch distributors to fill display racks at supermarkets, department stores, variety stores, drugstores, discount houses, and bookstores. They dealt in the biggest hits of the year, the most popular standards, and the cheap cut-outs and discount collections. Cut-outs were the items dropped from production and sold at greatly reduced prices, and discount collections were compilations of the most popular works of the standard classical composers and jazz artists, as well as collections of older popular hits, and they were designed for the general public rather than the musically educated listener. The rack jobbers targeted people who might never go into a record store. They either leased retailer space, taking all of the sales in a concession arrangement, or they split the income from the sales with the retailer in a consignment arrangement.

Different types of mail order and direct-to-consumer sellers also competed with these retail outlets. Two of the biggest record labels, RCA and Columbia, sponsored record and tape clubs, in which members bought items at reduced prices through the mail directly from the company, avoiding the distributor middleman. Many small record companies sold through the mail as well as through retail outlets, as did specialty mail-order houses who sold only in a certain, usually hard-to-find category. For example, The Lady Slipper Catalogue carried only hard-to-find recordings by women, and it sold to small retail outlets as well as individuals.

Background and Development

Thomas Edison invented phonograph recording in 1877 using wax cylinders. A few years later Emile Berliner developed the disk format of recording. These two formats competed for a few years, but by the beginning of the twentieth century the disk format was clearly preferred by consumers. The earliest commercial recordings were sold in music stores that also sold instruments and sheet music. Classical, jazz, and popular song recordings all sold well during this period. The advent of radio provided the public with free music, and consequently, the recording industry shrank. During the Great Depression record sales dropped 90 percent from their peak in 1927. Coming to the failing industry's aid, however, were the technological developments of the radio industry, especially microphones, amplifiers, and a new electrical method of recording. In the late 1930s, Jack Kapp of Decca cut the retail price of records from 75 cents to 35 cents, jukeboxes became the rage, and radio began to rely as much on recorded music as live music. In this period, record sales picked up considerably. Soon small neighborhood stores devoted solely to selling records became prominent retail outlets.

The world of marketing changed dramatically in the 1950s, affecting every retail industry. Chain stores expanded and supermarkets replaced corner grocery stores, and the practices of bulk buying at a discount and mass advertising to sell large volumes took hold. New forms of record merchandising grew to compete with, and eventually take over, the small independent record store. Initiated by Sam Goody in New York, some merchants began to sell records at discount prices with the greater volume of sales making up the profit difference. Distributors began to give major retailers discounts for buying in bulk, further fueling the war between the large and small businesses. Department and variety stores began to sell a limited selection of records, while rack jobbers who each handled many different stores would buy albums at bulk discounted prices and sell them at prices lower than the small retail stores were able to offer. In 1955 Columbia started the first record club, which sold items to members through the mail at discounted prices. This innovation introduced more competition to the record store industry. Consequently, many small dealers were out of business by the end of the decade.

During the 1960s the rack jobbers and their department store accounts were close to taking over the industry. In 1961 rack sales accounted for only $47 million in sales while other retailers took in $305 million. By 1965 the two were almost equal, with rack sales pulling in $365 million and non-rack sales drawing $372 million. By 1970 rack sales accounted for 70 percent of total sales. The rise of large chains in the 1970s, though, and especially the full-line megastore that offered unparalleled selection, brought more business back to the record stores.

During the 1980s the new compact disc (CD) format, with its greatly enhanced fidelity, completely revolutionized the industry. While cassette tapes had existed side-by-side with records for more than a decade without overtaking the record format, by the early 1990s companies halted record album production in favor of CDs. The popularity of compact discs showed no signs of abating. The Recording Industry Association noted that almost half of all American households in 1993 had CD players. Other association statistics indicated that shipments of CDs in 1993 increased 21 percent over the year before (to approximately five million total units), while cassette tape shipments dropped more than 7 percent that year (to approximately 3.4 million units).

Because of the greater durability of CDs and the much higher prices (about 50 percent higher than records during the years both were sold), Wherehouse Entertainment and other major retail chains began to move into the used record business, joining small independent music outlets that commonly bought and sold used CDs and tapes. This area had been the last bastion of the independent retail store. "Furious because they don't make any money off used CDs," commented critic David Browne in Entertainment Weekly, "four major distribution companies--CEMA, Uni, Sony, and WEA--stopped underwriting newspaper advertising for those stores that carry them. That move alone was expected to cost the stores hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue."

It was also noted that royalties were not paid to performers and songwriters on used CD sales. Retail outlets, however, reacted angrily instead of backing down, especially when CEMA refused to allow retailers dealing in used CDs to carry a new record by major recording artist Garth Brooks. Wherehouse Entertainment, according to Billboard, filed a lawsuit, claiming that the distributors "conspired to unreasonably restrain trade and commerce in used CDs by withholding cooperative advertising dollars from retailers who buy and sell used discs." Independent outlets joined the fray as well, pointing out that many observers have cited artificially high CD prices charged by the manufacturers as a primary reason for the popularity of used CDs.

The Independent Music Retailers Association, in conjunction with two small independent chains, filed a lawsuit in August 1993, charging among other things that the four distribution companies "violated a federal antitrust statute known as the Robinson-Patman Act, which states that businesses offering promotional allowances must offer the proportionally equivalent terms to all customers," according to Billboard. As the number of class action lawsuits grew, the Federal Trade Commission began to investigate. Faced with a storm of legal and business turmoil, the distributors finally dropped the controversial new policies, putting an end to the matter.

During the 1980s and early 1990s, computer technology and cable television created new retail avenues for recordings. Home shopping channels began selling CDs and tapes, as did electronics department stores such as Compuserve. These new retail outlets began to have a small but definite impact on the traditional retail outlets.

While the industry continued to profit, the recession of the early 1990s had an impact and slowed industry growth. In 1990 record producers raised the prices on both CDs and cassettes, and sales started to slide. The 10 percent growth rate of 1989, as reflected in new store openings, slowed to only 3 percent in 1990, and chain acquisition and consolidation almost came to a standstill. The following year saw a shortage of hit tunes, which further depressed the market, and retailers continued to tighten their belts. New store openings decreased further, and stock orders to wholesalers were down 11 percent.

In 1992, despite sluggish sales and the slowest growth in the industry's history, down to 1.04 percent, the larger firms still showed a profit, and some investors were still committed to the market. Musicland opened 109 new stores, saw income increase from $62.3 million to $69.3 million, and raised $136 million by selling 17.09 million shares of stock publicly. Blockbuster Entertainment, a video-rental chain, bought several music retail outlets and announced further expansion. Lynch bought the California-based Wherehouse chain. Thus, even when sales were slow, the music retail business remained a profitable venture.

The growth of the compact disc industry helped the music industry reach unit sales worth more than $10 billion for the first time in 1993. However, dollar and unit volume sales for album-length music cassettes declined for the same period. According to Television Digest, the sales increase in 1993 was considered a sign that the industry had managed to meet consumer demand for different music types.

By the mid-1990s large bookstores started retailing recorded music. Borders and Barnes & Noble added huge music sections to their bookstores while also introducing in-store music booths, where consumers could listen to the records before they bought them.

The mid-1990s were characterized by continued corporate reorganizations through acquisitions, although at a lesser rate. The year 1994 also saw the rise in manufacturers' prices of sound recordings on both CD and cassette formats. According to Billboard, this trend was counteracted by retailers who competed aggressively with each other in discount pricing. However, this led to the pruning of retail profits since the increase in sales as a result of lower pricing was not enough to offset the fact that there were just too many outlets selling music.

The financial troubles of the music retail industry shook up the entire sound recording business in 1996. According to Billboard, record labels were affected by the financial problems of retailers as well as the slowdown in the sale of catalog albums. To beef up sales, a new marketing concept was adopted in sound recording retail operations. In-store tours by the musical artists themselves was perceived to benefit both the consumers, who were honored by the presence of their favorite recording stars, and the retailers, who were able to sell more records to crowds that attended such affairs.

The introduction of online retailing, the reorganization at the music distribution sector, and the record-club debate were prominent concepts of the mid- to late-1990s. According to Market News, the annual communications industry report forecast that recorded music would be one of the fastest-growing sectors of the communications industry with a five-year growth rate of 8.2 percent and gross expenditures of $14.903 billion by 1998.

In the late 1990s many different types of establishments sold records, compact discs, and prerecorded tapes. Independent record stores, large national and international chains, and department and variety stores were included in this sector. Several different types of distributors served the retail outlets, depending on the size and type of stores. Rack jobbers served the department stores, one-stops served the small specialty shops, and major recording company branch distributors and independent distributors served the large chains. Since this industry is essentially devoted to the sale of luxury items, its economic health has depended greatly on the economic health of the nation at large. The stable economy of the late 1990s along with consumer confidence boosted sales in this industry after a dismal performance in the early to mid-1990s.

According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), in 1997 "more music consumers (86 percent) shopped at retail outlets than in the past eight years. However, the gap continue to narrow between purchases made at traditional record stores versus other retail stores such as consumer electronics stores and specialty stores (515 versus 34 percent). The percentage of consumers who purchased from tape and record clubs (9 percent) dropped to the lowest level since 1990." Another shopping venue in this industry that became increasingly popular was the Internet through sites such as In 1998 approximately 1.1 percent of music buyers used this venue to do their shopping. This percent tripled from 1997 and grew substantially into the next millennium.

After being hit hard by lagging sales, consolidation, and bankruptcy in the mid-1990s, music retailers finally recorded positive sales in 1998, the strongest year of the decade. According to RIAA, recorded music sales nearly reached $14 billion in 1998, with shipments of CDs up 12.5 percent to 847 million in 1998, and dollar value up 15.1 percent to $11.4 billion. In 1998 music videos also were a hot commodity with an increase of 45.9 percent in shipments, and DVD music video shipments were worth $12.2 million. Cassettes represented just over $1 billion in sales, although shipments dropped 8.2 percent to 158.5 million in 1998, while dollar value decreased by 6.8 percent to $1.4 billion. This gain was attributed to a strong flow of top releases, renewed interest in the music sector, the stable economy, a high consumer confidence level, and advances in technology.

As well as seeing a change in sales and profits, the music retail industry underwent major restructuring in the late 1990s. Trans World Entertainment purchased Camelot Music, and Wherehouse Entertainment acquired Blockbuster Music. In an effort to reduce debt, many large companies such as Tower Records, National Record Mart, and the Musicland Group were involved in initial public offerings, bond offerings, and private placements.

Online retailing also played a major role in the industry in the late 1990s. and CDNow encroached into the traditional music store scene, forcing retailers to offer online shopping. According to a survey held by the National Association of Recording Merchandisers, 70 percent of "brick-and-mortar" retail stores had an Internet site. Internet sales also accounted for 1 percent of chain stores' music sales and 3 percent of independent retailers' sales.

Aggressive marketing plans focusing on the consumer also were part of retailers' strategies in the late 1990s. For instance, Musicland launched a campaign to push its Musicland, Sam Goody, On Cue, and Media Play stores into the public eye. These stores advertised heavily in teen magazines, offered promotions on college campuses, and in some locations presented free in-store concerts. According to Marcia Appel, senior vice president of advertising for Musicland, "the advertising is not just centered around one new release or 10 products on sale. It really is being branded to become attached to the customer's heart."

Other factors contributed to declining revenues at music stores. The industry was releasing fewer new titles. In 1999 about 38,900 new titles hit the market. According to the research firm Nielsen SoundScan, by 2001 that figure had dropped by more than 20 percent to 31,734. Although releases increased to 33,443 in 2002, that number is still 14 percent lower than in 1999. Also, the music that was being offered did not catch the public's attention. "The music industry's [modus operandi] is to throw things against the wall and see what sticks," Nathan Brackett, a senior editor at Rolling Stone, told Business Week Online. "If they're throwing 20 percent less stuff out there, there's less chance something will stick." Prices increased 7 percent between 1999 and 2001 so that a DVD movie carried a price tag similar to the movie's CD soundtrack, a fact that did not go unnoticed by consumers. With selection decreasing and prices increasing, the result was declining revenues.

The recorded music industry entered a crisis stage in the early 2000s. Sales continued to fall annually, down from $14.7 billion in 2000 to $13.7 billion in 2001. With the proliferation of file swapping, sales fell again in 2002 by another 9 percent, with an expected 6 percent decline in 2003.

The recorded music industry achieved its first revenue increase since 1999 in 2004, according to figures from the RIAA, when overall sales rose from $11.85 billion in 2003 to $12.34 billion in 2004. The industry posted declines thereafter, however, reaching only $11.51 billion in total sales in 2006.

The RIAA has been vigilant in its campaign to blame the rapid decline in the sale of CDs on piracy and bootlegging music via digital downloads. With the rapid proliferation of recordable CD drives and MP3 technology, the ability to download music to a MP3 player or burn it to a CD has become commonplace. By the mid-2000s the industry had spent more than $1 billion combating piracy through court and legislative actions but still struggled to stem the flow of free file swapping. In the spring of 2004 the National Association of Recording Merchandisers, the Digital Media Association, the Video Software Dealers Association, the National Association of Theater Owners, and the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association joined forces to form the Coalition of Entertainment Retail Trade Association to collaboratively deal with issues such as file swapping and piracy. Other mergers, such as the long-expected merger between the Video Software Dealers Association and the National Association of Recording Merchandisers, fell through in late 2004.

The top specialty retailers, as well as discounters such as Wal-Mart and Target, controlled most of the market in the 2000s. As a mature market, the industry will be required to catch up to the digital age or wait for its own demise. In an attempt to revamp their relations with consumers, music stores were gearing up to provide more options than the traditional prepackaged CDs by offering both in-store and online digital downloads. However, until the industry gains control over free file swapping, the challenge will be to get music lovers to pay for what they can otherwise get for free on the Internet.

Those who used the technology cited the 1984 Betamax decision, which effectively allowed the manufacture and sale of VCRs that record broadcast material. Making all file swapping illegal, some claimed, would be similar to making technological innovation illegal. While large, high-profile sites such as Napster were effectively shut down, by 2005 the fight was extended to combat the abuse of person to person (P2P) Web sites for the illegal swapping, which was estimated to have cost the recording industry $4 billion in 2004 sales.

By the middle of the decade, however, the music store industry was starting to show signs of a comeback. List prices were dropping from a high of around $20 to about $14, and retailers were beginning to offer customers ways to buy and download music right in the store. Legal downloading brought in $878 million in 2006 and was estimated to become a $2.2 billion business by 2008. In addition, new technologies such as the Dual-Disc, two-sided discs with music on one side and a DVD on the other, were generating considerable consumer interest.

Current Conditions

Following the closure of the so-called big chains record stores like Tower Records, "some independent record stores are enjoying relatively healthy sales�and they have diversified their offerings to sell more profitable items�" Ben Sisario wrote in The New York Times, in September of 2008. In fact, despite the economic downturn record stores felt optimistic as they were heading into the fourth-quarter of 2008 when more than a third of consumers purchase records or CDs. Unfortunately, big box retailers capture up to two-thirds of music purchases during the same time, which record store retailers viewed as more of a threat than the staggering economy.

According to industry statistics, there were an estimated 12,065 establishments engaged in the retail sale of phonograph records, compact discs, prerecorded audiotapes and videotapes, and disks in 2009 with industry-wide employment of 51,525 workers. There were about 1,684 record and prerecorded tape stores responsible for 14 percent of market share with 10,038 employees generating $232.8 million. On average, each establishment employed four employees. The majority of record and related products stores were located in California, Texas, and New York.

The records retailers category held 47.8 percent in industry share with sales totaling $659.6 million in 2009. Prerecorded video discs and tapes retailers accounted for 11.5 percent in market share and $723.7 million in sales; records, audio discs, and tapes with 9.7 percent of the market valued at $165.8 million; and compact discs retailers with a 9.4 percent market share had sales of nearly $1.1 billion.

Industry Leaders

In 2006 Trans World Entertainment Corp. was the overall industry leader, with $1.47 billion in sales. Trans World acquired Camelot Music in 1999, Wherehouse Entertainment in 2003, and Musicland Stores in 2006. Trans World had 880 stores under names such as Camelot Music, Record Town, Coconuts, Strawberries, Spec's Music, and F.Y.E. stores, in addition to the Wherehouse stores. Wherehouse Entertainment Inc. became a major music retailer in 1998 when it purchased Blockbuster Music. However, in February 2003 declining sales pushed the company into bankruptcy for the second time in ten years, leading the company to close approximately half of its 370 stores. In 2002 Wherehouse lost $53.2 million on $604 million in revenues.

The leading specialty music chain in the mid-2000s was Trans World's Musicland Stores. Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the company operated 965 Musicland and 525 Sam Goody record stores in 2004. When Jack Eugster took over Musicland stores in 1980, the chain was losing money for its parent corporation, Primerica. Eugster installed a state-of-the-art computer inventory system, applied his merchandising expertise gained from years with Target Stores and The Gap, and turned around the company's sales. In 1988 he assisted Donaldson, Luftkin, & Jenrette in a leveraged buyout of the company and became part owner himself. He added 200 new stores and doubled sales to $1 billion, making The Musicland Group the country's largest music retailer in 1993. Musicland was sold in January 2001 for $685 million to Best Buy, which later sold it to Sun Capital. In 2006 it was acquired by Trans World Entertainment.

MTS Inc. operated 90 stores along with franchise operations in the United States and across the world in 2003. The company owned Tower Records, Tower Books, Tower Video, and WOW! Superstores. MTS focused on online growth as well as international operations in an attempt to combat increased competition from Internet retailers and discount chains. Suffering along with the rest of the industry, MTS posted a net loss of $57.2 million on revenues of $983 million in 2002. MTS emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy just 35 days after its February 2004 filing. After years of financial struggle, Tower Records was sold to liquidator Great American Group for $134.3 million in October 2006; by December 2006, all of the U.S. locations were closed following a "going out of business" sale that attracted national attention. The Tower name still graces a handful of international stores as well as a website operated by online retailer Caimain Inc.

Trans World Entertainment Corp. reported sales fell 18 percent to $814.0 million compared to $987.6 million in 2008. The company operated about 655 stores in 2009, down 14 percent or 763 stores reported in 2008.


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2006 there were 196,140 people employed by book, periodical, and music stores combined, with a mean annual salary of $21,830 and a mean hourly wage of $10.49. According to the National Association of Recording Merchandisers, there were nearly 35,000 workers employed in the music store industry in the late 1990s. Most retail stores relied heavily on low-wage clerks for the basis of the workforce, and record stores were no exception. There were nearly three times as many hourly workers as salaried employees. Because of the specialized nature of music, most outlets tried to employ people with some musical knowledge, but this was far from universal. The small chain stores selling standards and current popular hits have the least need and ability to hire knowledgeable staff; the best of these stores hire young people with some awareness of current popular culture.

The megastore chains also depend on musically aware young people and reward hard work, musical knowledge, and experience with swift promotions to buyer and management levels. The best of these outlets employ knowledgeable and dependable staff members who often have some sort of musical education. Frequently, the companies will hire people with musical knowledge rather than business knowledge and provide employees with business classes at their national meetings. The small independent stores, particularly the specialty shops, hire a predominantly knowledgeable staff. For example, many stores that sell only classical music are run by and employ musicians and others with college-level music degrees. It is not uncommon for young, struggling rock musicians to work in record stores as they try to get their performing careers started.

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