All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records

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While walking down the Sunset Strip, I spotted something from my past – a Tower Records sign on the former retail store’s old location. The original Tower Records’ sign was just recently restored by the current tenant Gibson and the filmmakers for an upcoming documentary about Tower Records. The documentary from actor/director Colin Hanks is called All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records. This space is hosting an invite-only party on October 15 and is showcasing the documentary. From 1960 until 2006, Tower Records was a huge music retailer that sold primarily CDs and cassette tapes. In addition to music, the stores sold DVDs, electronic gadgets (mp3 players), books video games, toys, and accessories. Russell Solomon opened the first Tower Records store in Sacramento in 1960 and it quickly grew into a huge national empire of over two hundred stores. In 1995, it became one of the first retailers to move online. Then after decades of success, it filed for bankruptcy and closed its last store in 2006.

I was a huge music fan in the 90’s and spent many nights digging through stacks of CD’s for rare but great music at Tower Records. I miss those old nights with my buddies hanging at the local record store. I remember waiting in long lines for new albums coming out from my favorite artists. I used to pick up their magazine Pulse! for the latest music news and reviews. Sadly all that exist is this old sign on the Sunset Strip. I am looking forward to catching that documentary and reliving my old music days.

  • –  From All Things Must Pass website

Established in 1960, Tower Records was once a retail powerhouse with two hundred stores, in thirty countries, on five continents. From humble beginnings in a small-town drugstore, Tower Records eventually became the heart and soul of the music world, and a powerful force in the music industry. In 1999, Tower Records made $1 billion. In 2006, the company filed for bankruptcy. What went wrong? Everyone thinks they know what killed Tower Records: The Internet. But that’s not the story. ‘All Things Must Pass’ is a feature documentary film examining this iconic company’s explosive trajectory, tragic demise, and legacy forged by its rebellious founder Russ Solomon.

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