Best CD/Record Store: The Disc Exchange

Best CD/Record Store Runners-Up: Cat's Music & DVDs, Lost and Found Records, McKay Used Books & CDs

It's not easy trying to sell CDs these days. In the face of rising digital downloading (both legal and illegal), the music industry has reacted by shooting itself in as many limbs as possible, leaving independent record stores in the lurch. But despite the industry's sweetheart deals with Wal-Mart, "exclusive" releases with Target, and lots of mediocre albums, The Disc Exchange has grown over the years to become a truly great record store. From its beginning in Allan Miller's backpack in 1987 to its expansion and retreat in West Knoxville, The Disc Exchange's final Chapman Highway location has been a haven for music lovers, offering things you won't find online: clerks who can guide you to new discoveries, live performances and signings, and an audio-visual experience that's not virtual. Go buy a record and have a good time.