All across the land Tower Records is closing their doors. To me the Tower Records store in the village was one of the treasures of my youth, it seemed to be such a magical palace stocked with several floors of goodies. But to be honest I hadn't returned there in a few years except to buy gift certificates for others. However my last visit was sort of a recap with everything that was wrong with the store, and with the music business in a larger sense.
A few months ago I had a bad craving for George Harrison music. As any Beatles fan knows poor George passed away in 2001, and not only can't you find any Beatles music on iTunes but you can't even find any solo Beatles music on iTunes either! Faced with this gap and a hunger for Harrison I set off on a quest to Tower Records to find a "Best of..." CD collection.
Well going to Tower Records I was quite disappointed with what I found, or didn't find. There were only several Harrison solo records in stock, and of course they didn't put out a "Best of..." collection. Worse yet the CDs that I did find were getting into the $20 range. Harrison had a good song or two about every album, but to be fair there were quite a few weak tracks as well, so the idea of paying $20 for a song or two was very unappealing to me. What's worse is that I would have to spend $100 to get half a dozen decent tracks, which assumed that I knew which albums to get and that Tower might have had them in stock.
Well I left Tower Records empty handed that day with no George for my iPod, and Tower didn't have any George in their cash registers either. At that point I had started to wonder what the point of the store was and now I'm seeing via the ugly side of capitalism that the store no longer had a reason to exist. Part of it wasn't the fault of Tower Records, it's the music industry that doesn't quite get it. I had my credit card handy, would have spent perhaps $50 for a few songs, but the goods weren't there.
Tower Records USA to be liquidated