Tower was always over priced which didn't make any since. They bought in bulk and yet independent music stores charged less for new titles and there back catalog. I will admit I used to go to Tower for jazz because of the selection but I won't miss them at all. They had over 5 years to turn it around and yet they never brought their prices down to a competitive level.When the wherehouse stated selling used merchandise Tower stayed the course so they could have big promotional displays rather than give the customer what they wanted... affordable merchandise.
Nothing beat Tower Records in their prime. It's a shame to see them go under.
Best buy, Walmart, and exactly Amazon and online put them out of business.. They are far Overpriced, I mean the one by me charges 28.99 a movie, and 18.99 a Cd? Why would anybody go and purchase from there when in the movie case you could get it for at least 10 dollars less just about anywhere, and the CD for 12 or 13.99, sometimes 9.99? I Liked tower, but why in the world could they not stay in business simply competing in prices with the major stores? Maybe I am wrong about why they are out of business, but I went in this weekend just to see what was up, and they had a 10% off everything sale, Okay well let me say I was looking for a couple things, and yeah a movie that I picked up just 2 days earlier for 15.99 was 28.99 with a 10% discount was like 3 bucks off, still costing 10 dollars more than a Walmart or bestbuy?
I mean yes tower once in a great while had some more obscure stuff, but not so much anymore, Best buy has pretty well closed the gap, and unless Tower was to carry vinyl again, anybody could get the stuff off Amazon like you said much cheaper if in fact best buy did not have it, but this was very rare of the last 5 years..
Maybe someone will finally put together a real discount store one day, FYE is just as bad and just growing, but they are INSANE prices.. FYE takes used Items for Trade, you can literally give them 4 Discs for trade and still pay more for a CD many times after giving them your discs than just paying 8 or 10 dollars less elsewhere? Maybe I am missing something but if the public is that ignorant to keep them going than no wonder nobody can support the main Gas prices and economy if they pay so much to the Towers and FYE's for frivelous things.
Tower was the last 'global' retail provider for music and movies. their prices (generally at list) for decades were more than offset by their selection. that was the point. they were were the indy labels' best friend, and the only large retailer to get behind new artists. they were also the last major retailer to stock ANY vinyl. though they struggled for the last decade, they were as much a part of the music industry and culture as any great artist......the category killers, who millions ran to to save a couple of bucks, just lost the last major retailer that honestly loved selling music.......classical music as a category just lost their last significant presence......in other news...hi fi farm and other music hardware specialists are still dropping like flies.
I admit that Tower should have had lower base prices and sales more often. The selection as jaybo said is the thing. Wal bleeping Mart and Best Buy do not even come close in the selection dept. I have never bought a cd from BB or WM and never will. From now on for me it's Amazon or Rasputin.
there's a place in hi fi heaven for those who support music stores.
Yes jaybo but the music collector that truely shops for the bargin has the beach front property in the here after.
I remember the Towers Records in Boston. The Newbury St one was particularly cool...several floors and all styles of music and related items. I would shop for discounts, or stuff that was not available elsewhere. Sometimes a Laser Disc or music related book [I think that I bought the "ALBUM COVER ALBUM" there]. And yes, plenty of vinyl in the 1990's.
Video killed the radio star, but Internet killed the record store.
Congrats Jaybo, you got it right.
RIP Tower records, you will be missed by the true music lovers.
Fatparrot - I'm not a Bostonian, but I can find my way to that exact corner by dead reckoning, having grown up and schooled in ME/NH/VT. I wind up at that corner every time I had the occasion to visit Boston. There's a Virgin Megastore now where the palais used to be, and according to wikipedia.com (search Newbury Street), even that franchise will apparently be leaving soon for a new location. This is a stark reminder of the end of an era, for me.
Classical fans long celebrated Tower's selection, but as a lifelong heavy metal fan, there was nothing like Tower's metal section in the late 80's - it was a true destination store for everything from international to regional recordings. I bought my first Liege Lord (CT), Fates Warning (CT) and Indestructible Noise Command (local MA boys) recordings there, as well as several international releases I couldn't hope to find elsewhere.
As a young teen from way out of town, I was naive enough to think that the checkout person could help me find a few rare titles - I left my name, out-of-state phone number, and want-list. I got a call a couple weeks later with 2-3 out of say 4-5 impossible titles IN HAND and IN STOCK, ready to send to me. This was *well* before the days of credit cards for me - they held the titles and sent them after my cash payment by usmail.
I will never forget this company. They, more than any other chain I've ever encountered, employed genuine "heads" (classical heads, jazz heads, metal heads, reggae heads) - they were in it for the same reasons we are - for the music.
Boutiques now fill much of this role, and can hit niches better and harder, but there is no taking away from the good that Tower Records did for our hobby.
It's pretty big news here in Sacramento, where Tower began in 1960. I remember riding my bicycle up to the original store to buy my first LPs..."Toys in the Attic", "Armed Forces" and "Houses of the Holy". I stopped on the way home to unwrap them and read the liner notes. I can't tell you how many albums I bought because I heard them on the Tower store system. Graham Parker, The Clash, The Beat, and so on. I'll miss them. It was a special place.
They did themselves in, if you ask me. I used to buy a ton at tower, but a shrinking selection combined with rude, unhelpful and unknowledgable asshats behind the counter drove me away years ago.
I'm one of the lucky ones: I've got Amoeba Records on the corner of Highland and Sunset. It's a music lover's paradise.
I admit don't know where you guys live, but the best buys in most of the chicago area actually have had more of the movies and CD's, ESPECIALLY DVD-A,
And SACD in stock than both the large tower stores by me.. Now it is true that if a certain artist had some less popular Albums out, that tower would likely have a few stocked over the more popular albums, where as Best buy would only keep a Copy or 2 if lucky. But I found nothing at tower anymore in the last 5 years, special box sets etc.. were the only thing I would try to find, and all of a sudden ONLY best buy had them. But I would believe the Towers in California etc.. might have been much better. Of course tower 10 15 years ago was the top dog, no argument, but they never changed with the times in my area.
...Tower 10 15 years ago was the top dog, no argument, but they never changed with the times in my area.
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Nor in S. California. The root cause of their demise.
Tower Records a music store? Give me a break. They sold magazines from Home and Garden to Guns and Ammo,they sold tickets to ANY event in town not just music, they sold movies and perfume. Tower stopped being just a Music store along time ago. Rather than offer competitive prices they started selling everything that wasn't music to balance the books and it failed. Bad advice is what did them in along with the internet. I still buy CD's at brick and mortar stores and they are alot cheaper than Tower has been in ten years. Their demise started back in the mid nineties when a lawsuit aledging gay and lesbian hassasement to employees and not promoting them into management was filed.They were boycotted and they never recovered.
Qdrone, I was gonna say that the only good thing left at tower was the HUGE Magazine selection and the fact it was the easiest place by my house to get Tickets! I just did not want to start anymore wars, But your right that does not warrent the best record store award. Funny thing is now I gotta go to other worst cost place for tickets in the mall, FYE now does Ticketmaster...
i have only had positive experiences at tower records.
i have bought many rare and hard-to-find jazz and classical cds at the west 8th street store in nyc.
i have also shopped online.
fortunately there is amazon, a good source for out of print cds.