Administrators say they are hopeful they can save at least part of the iconic HMV (His Master's Voice) music empire, despite mounting debts and fears that all 237 stores will have to close.
More than 4,000 jobs may be lost - the product, say analysts, of tough competition from the internet.
In the main HMV store in London's Oxford Street, the hustle and bustle of the high street are very apparent.
This shop is always crowded, but obviously there is not enough custom to sustain the broader business.
With more than 200 shops possibly to close, and 4,000 jobs to go, it is yet another serious blow to the British high street.
However, it is an especially serious blow for music lovers, because HMV has been part of the British scene since 1921.
"I love going to the record shops and just finding, searching for what I want and the joy is actually finding," said one music lover in the store.
When asked if downloading songs was an alternative, this music fan was dismissive.
"No, no, no, no, no.
I also think of the artists." However, not all music fans are as committed to buying the physical product.
"Fundamentally it's probably a bad thing that people are going to lose their jobs and everything, but I don't know, the times are changing.
It's getting more onto the internet," said one music downloader.
He says he has not bought a CD for a long time.
"Must be a good two, three years ago.
I think now it's so easily accessible that people are just downloading it and they don't really care." Falling sales The problem is sales have been falling since a peak in 2009.
The competition comes from internet sales and downloads.
The last major British music chain has not successfully adapted to the digital world.
"It's not the kind of super niche, super indie record shops that are in trouble, it's big things like HMV, the last shop on the high street standing," said Andrew Harrison, the editor of Q magazine.
"It's impossible to compete with Amazon and iTunes." His Master's Voice has been a major force in British music ever since the dog and the gramophone created that iconic image.
Matt Everett from the band Menswear, now a BBC DJ, says HMV was more than just a record shop.
"It was the place you went, wasn't it? Normally on a Saturday afternoon it was almost a pilgrimage, because it was the one place you could get your music," he said.
Now, unless administrators can find a buyer, HMV could pass into music history and add to the recent high street failures that have seen well known brands like Comet and Jessop's disappear in the past couple of weeks.
"This could be the final straw for many of those high streets.
Meaning that landlords, local authorities and other interested parties have got to come together to work out what can be done with those high streets," said Rupert Eastell, a retail analyst with Baker Tilly.
Britain's weak economy and people's changing buying habits may prove to be the death knell for a brand older than the vast majority of consumers.
And the faithful dog, who has been listening to his master's voice for more than 90 years, may be looking for a new home.