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Tower Records has relaunched

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by melodic chaos, Apr 30, 2020.

  1. hominy

    hominy Digital Drifter

    I have only fuzzy memories of browsing the downtown Bellevue, WA store in the late 90s, though I probably spent more time in the bookstore portion of that store. The building, and the Barnes and Noble store right behind it are still there. Maybe someday they can have a physical presence again. There's going to be a lot of available retail space in the near future...
  2. It is. That might be the best single place for finding used CDs, but they have new inventory, too.

    The Disk Unions in Shinjuku are essential but take a long time since it is really a collection of many stores, all near each other. Shinjuku is a walkable distance from Shibuya, and it's a beautiful walk.
  3. Musical Chairs

    Musical Chairs Forum Resident

    Loved the one in Boston. On the corner of Newbury St. and Mass. Ave. Still devoted a floor to vinyl when that was unheard of.
    ZippyPippy and CCrider92 like this.
  4. Johnny Ryall

    Johnny Ryall Forum Resident

  5. Grant

    Grant Life is a rock, but the radio rolled meeeeee!

    United States
    The new website:

    Tower Records

    I watched the doc last year and it's still a dirty shame what happened to the original stores. Back when it was closing stores 13 0r 14 years ago, the blame was all on the record labels' return policies, and loss-leader big-box stores, but, a lot of bad business decisions ultimately killed the original Tower Records.

    My greatest joy was shopping in the Sunset Blvd. store back in the early 80s.
    Matthew Tate and jamesmaya like this.
  6. David G.

    David G. Forum Resident

    Austin, TX
    Sounds like my experience shopping for CDs in London. I went to London in 1990 and again in 1991, and both times I came back with an entire large suitcase full of CDs from Tower, HMV, Virgin, and any other store I could find. I purchased hundreds of CDs on each trip.

    The first time I came back through Newark, and customs didn't give me any hassle. The second time I came back, though, I flew nonstop from London to Houston, and the customs agent I encountered in Houston refused to believe that I wasn't a CD store owner who was trying to bring merchandise into the country without filling out the proper forms and paying the proper import duties. I had to pay duties on it all anyway, since it was more than the $400 in imported goods allowed (whatever the maximum was back then), but it took me nearly an hour to get through customs just because that customs agent was being such a jerk.

    Anyway, I wasn't particularly sad to see Tower Records go under. We had one here in Austin, and it was great for its first decade or so. I worked directly across the street from it, so I'd go in once or twice a week -- certainly every Tuesday to see what new releases had come in. In the years before it closed, the stock started dwindling and the prices crept up, and I just stopped going there. After it closed, I didn't miss it.
    sound chaser and bloodlemons like this.
  7. BDC

    BDC Forum Resident

    I remember kind of when CDs took over the market from records, and were like 15 bucks a pop. This pissed me off and I started buying a lot of cassette tapes which were under 10 bucks. Tower lost a lot of business from me selling $15 Cd's. I wasn't enamored with them like a lot of people were, and would of continued buying records, which were still like 10 bucks or less. Records really weren't available, it was tapes or CD's outside special releases. Finally when CD's got reasonable in price, the Tower store in Tacoma closed, and then it was Borders for music, which I thought was kind up yuppified and pretentious, but they did have a good stock.
    Seattle Tower remained for a long time after Tacoma closed, but it wasn't convenient.
    bloodlemons likes this.
  8. vetterestorer

    vetterestorer Lost in the Ozone

    San Anselmo, CA
    Ahh, to remember. 1968.

    My first purchase at Tower Records was at their Columbus and Bay Street store in San Francisco, and I purchased Neil Young's first album. And, yes, it is the original issue prior to remixing. They advertised heavily on KMPX, FM radio. After shopping in the little hole-in-the-wall record stores for a few years, it was quite an event...
    Jerry Horne, zphage and jamesmaya like this.
  9. kwadguy

    kwadguy Senior Member

    Cambridge, MA
    Another thing about Tower was that they were open "every night of the year 'til midnight...Go get 'em!"

    In a town like LA where almost every store closes by 9-10, it was great to be able to saunter around Tower later than that...
    sound chaser likes this.
  10. Myke

    Myke Rock Geezer

  11. PacificOceanBlue

    PacificOceanBlue Senior Member

    The Southwest
    I frequented a few of the LA stores, but spent most of my time at the Santa Monica store. Made friends with an assistant manager who gave me the employee discount for every purchase (and great suggestions on jazz titles). I agree with others that the later hours were great, a good time to scan the aisles and look for new acquisitions. I rarely go to indie stores these days, but when I do, they aren't the same experience as Tower was back in the 90's.
    Hep Alien likes this.
  12. bloodlemons

    bloodlemons Forum Resident

    Tacoma, WA, USA
    I remember arguing with a Tower employee in probably 1995 whether the Beach Boys should be in the Pop/Rock or Oldies category. This was in the Seattle University District Store. They had them in "Oldies." The employee told me that was just how it was!

    I did spend a lot of time in that store. Bought a lot of record and concert tickets. Made some friends.

    It moved locations after a while (I did too) and just kind of faded into nothingness after a while.
  13. RockDude4492

    RockDude4492 Forum Resident

    New York, NY
    Bump for this thread. Has anyone purchased anything from the relaunched Tower website?
  14. Musical Chairs

    Musical Chairs Forum Resident

    I bought a couple of back catalog items to fill holes in my collection: Iron Maiden's Number of the Beast and Nince Inch Nails' The Downward Spiral. Both vinyl LPs.

    I'd shop there again and plan at some point to get a Tower Records slipmat. At the same time, it's nothing that would cut into my buying from Music Direct, Acoustic Sounds, Bull Moose or my local record store.
    RockDude4492 likes this.
  15. carrolls

    carrolls Forum Resident

    They never went away here in Ireland. We sill have two Tower Records shops in Dublin.
    ZippyPippy and RockDude4492 like this.
  16. RockDude4492

    RockDude4492 Forum Resident

    New York, NY
    I imagine it would take some time for them to truly build up their inventory to the levels of the other retailers mentioned (Bull Moose is a particular favorite of mine).

    It’s interesting that they do not sell CDs unless they are in a big box set with vinyl but I do enjoy the fact that they exist again and that they have good enough service to warrant repeated visits
  17. old45s

    old45s MP3 FREE ZONE

    I remember visiting Tower Records on Sunset Blvd back when I was there in '97.
    I bought nearly all the Moodies 'Core 7' ULTRADISC CD's there. The first time I had ever seen them.
    There were 3 Tower Records shops in downtown Bangkok that all had an "Audiophile" section.
    I think they (sadly) became "CD Warehouse" stores around 2004. Then.. the DVD's started to outnumber the CD's!
  18. HelpfulDad

    HelpfulDad Forum Resident

    El Cajon, Ca.
    I liked tower on Sunset in the late 70's because I could find someone who could take me to the snow
  19. sound chaser

    sound chaser Senior Member

    North East UK.
    Late 80's, I used to love stopping off at the London Piccadilly store (open until midnight) after rehearsing in King's Cross, on the way back to Kingston, great times. (I hope the staff all found jobs).
  20. MikeJedi

    MikeJedi Forum Resident

    Las Vegas
    Saw on FB. Then again it could just be someone who bought the name and that’s all it is. A front for something else. Loved the original stores ! I think there is still one in Japan and they made some exclusive SACDs recently in Japan only ...
  21. zphage

    zphage genre fluid

    The name is owned by owners of Deep Discount, Popmarket, Collector's Choice, etc., so it'll just be an empty shill.
    MikeJedi and Dennis Metz like this.
  22. tdcrjeff

    tdcrjeff Forum Resident

    Hermosa Beach, CA
    Tower Records Japan split off to a separate entity before Tower Records (US? International?) went under. There is the huge store in Tokyo but as of 5 years ago there were some 80 others around the country, don't know how many today.
  23. MikeJedi

    MikeJedi Forum Resident

    Las Vegas
    Looks like they have the exclusive Tower SACDs I think. VSOP Herbie Hancock. Or was that a different Japan only sacd ?
  24. Django

    Django Forum Resident

    Dublin, Ireland
  25. Myke

    Myke Rock Geezer

    There's another thread about this around here too.
    As far as their posts on FB, they do make you believe they're the real thing, with all their honoring the past posts, and photos.
    Nobody here believes they're in any way associated with the real Tower, but it sure looks like they are.
    MikeJedi likes this.

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