Tower Records is going…

Dave Winer was just telling Patrick about going into a Tower Records recently as they are holding a going-out-of-business sale and noticing that only three people were there. I remember when I was a kid people would line up around the block to get into Tower Record in Campbell and buy records. Seriously. I also remember when they got their first CDs back when I was in high school. Patrick, of course, lives in a different world. He buys his music on iTunes.

Here’s a picture I took of Adam Curry and Dawn and Drew inside Tower Records in Mountain View, CA in 2004 after BloggerCon that year. That’s now only a memory. Tower Records is no more…

Comments

  1. Do you think the adventure of music buying will be lost because of services like iTunes? When I was a young punk I’d read the ‘thank you’ list of bands I liked (these lists were printed on lyric sheet inserts in the records).

    If a band I liked thanked another band I hadn’t heard of, I’d seek out that record at whatever store deigned to carry strange, outsider punk rock music. I don’t know if this can happen in iTunes.

    BTW, the first CD I bought (Fugazi’s 13 Songs compilation – even though I already had the orignal EPs) was at Tower.

  2. Do you think the adventure of music buying will be lost because of services like iTunes? When I was a young punk I’d read the ‘thank you’ list of bands I liked (these lists were printed on lyric sheet inserts in the records).

    If a band I liked thanked another band I hadn’t heard of, I’d seek out that record at whatever store deigned to carry strange, outsider punk rock music. I don’t know if this can happen in iTunes.

    BTW, the first CD I bought (Fugazi’s 13 Songs compilation – even though I already had the orignal EPs) was at Tower.

  3. When I lived outside London, I bought hundreds of CD’s at their Piccadilly store. A great shop. A great big shop with clerks and customers who really knew their music. iTunes is no substitute.

  4. When I lived outside London, I bought hundreds of CD’s at their Piccadilly store. A great shop. A great big shop with clerks and customers who really knew their music. iTunes is no substitute.

  5. The Tower Records and Books at the corner of San Antonio and El Camino was a great place. I’ve been in others, but none lived up to that combo.

  6. The Tower Records and Books at the corner of San Antonio and El Camino was a great place. I’ve been in others, but none lived up to that combo.

  7. iTunes has both ‘similar too’ and ‘influenced by’ listings for most of its music listings, Brooklyn. There is an ‘also bought’ list that shows what people who like that artist are also buying. Pretty thorough, really.

    As for backup, there is now automatic backup within iTunes for hard drives. One can also backup digital content by ripping it to CDs. Not to mention being able to duplicate the same iTunes library to more than one computer.

    I think the last time I went into a Tower was about three years ago. It was at a mall I had gone to for the Office Depot in Portland.

  8. iTunes has both ‘similar too’ and ‘influenced by’ listings for most of its music listings, Brooklyn. There is an ‘also bought’ list that shows what people who like that artist are also buying. Pretty thorough, really.

    As for backup, there is now automatic backup within iTunes for hard drives. One can also backup digital content by ripping it to CDs. Not to mention being able to duplicate the same iTunes library to more than one computer.

    I think the last time I went into a Tower was about three years ago. It was at a mall I had gone to for the Office Depot in Portland.

  9. The trouble is, even with their huge liquidation sale, their CD prices are still higher than Amazon (and most other retailers). There was a time when TR was extremely competitive, no idea who’s bright idea it was to jack up the prices, but that was pretty much the nail in their coffin.

    Agreed – it’s a sad loss. Tower was always one of those “dangerous places” where I would go in looking for one CD and come out with 10.

  10. The trouble is, even with their huge liquidation sale, their CD prices are still higher than Amazon (and most other retailers). There was a time when TR was extremely competitive, no idea who’s bright idea it was to jack up the prices, but that was pretty much the nail in their coffin.

    Agreed – it’s a sad loss. Tower was always one of those “dangerous places” where I would go in looking for one CD and come out with 10.

  11. wow, never saw that picture of us with adam, thanks for sharing robert!

    i went into a tower records in chicago about a week ago and it was so weird since i hadn’t been in a music store since that picture was taken after bloggercon. i just don’t need them anymore since i too buy my music off itunes.

  12. wow, never saw that picture of us with adam, thanks for sharing robert!

    i went into a tower records in chicago about a week ago and it was so weird since i hadn’t been in a music store since that picture was taken after bloggercon. i just don’t need them anymore since i too buy my music off itunes.

  13. it’s their own damn fault. in-store coffee bars saved
    the bookstores, encouraging people to hang there even
    if they didn’t come to buy a book, which they eventually
    do…
    tower could’ve done something simialr to just get
    people in the store… live music, USB kiosks with
    complementary songs… there was SO MANY THINGS they
    coulda done…

    dammit.

  14. it’s their own damn fault. in-store coffee bars saved
    the bookstores, encouraging people to hang there even
    if they didn’t come to buy a book, which they eventually
    do…
    tower could’ve done something simialr to just get
    people in the store… live music, USB kiosks with
    complementary songs… there was SO MANY THINGS they
    coulda done…

    dammit.

  15. how true how true this last comment was. Tower refused to evolve-they just chose to raise their prices higher and higher and higher-as much as i love their selection-good bye Tower-it was your own fault.

  16. how true how true this last comment was. Tower refused to evolve-they just chose to raise their prices higher and higher and higher-as much as i love their selection-good bye Tower-it was your own fault.

  17. The comments are spot on. The current sale prices are 30% of all DVDs and CDs (latin and hip-hop are 40% off). 30% off a $12.99 disc is a solid deal but most of the newer releases are $18.99.

    Tower’s greatness lay in its diverse selection and its staff of music lovers. Amazon covered the former advantage and the latter was never able to make up for the lack of innovation and the higher than the internet prices.

  18. The comments are spot on. The current sale prices are 30% of all DVDs and CDs (latin and hip-hop are 40% off). 30% off a $12.99 disc is a solid deal but most of the newer releases are $18.99.

    Tower’s greatness lay in its diverse selection and its staff of music lovers. Amazon covered the former advantage and the latter was never able to make up for the lack of innovation and the higher than the internet prices.