Tower Records ceases trading

Tower Records

Poignant reflection in the Guardian on the closure of Tower Records bricks and mortar music stores:

The demise of Tower Records is a watershed moment for the sale of recorded music. From now on, no American city will have a large record store. And where New York leads, the rest of the world will surely follow. In Britain we still have similar outlets – mainly HMVs and Virgin Megastores – but the clock is ticking for them. I doubt there will still be a large record store in this country in a decade’s time.

Unfortunately the author appears fairly ignorant of online sources for research (last.fm, allmusic, mog, etc), many of which offer the potential for social interaction:

And we learned in breadth too – as a teenager browsing in Valances in Leeds on Saturday mornings in the 60s, I learned more about jazz than I ever learned on the radio. I owe a lot of the scope and detail of my musical interests to record stores, and I wonder how the next generation is going to find that kind of opportunity.

Despite this, I can’t help but sympathise as I mourn the closure of places like Ray’s Jazz in Covent Garden and their friendly and informative staff.

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One Response to Tower Records ceases trading

  1. themilkman says:

    I think the author of this article is absolutely right about the looming demise of the big music retailers. I used to work for one of the two UK ones mentioned and it is not looking good at all, at least for the high street stores. The thing is, will their website be enough to sustain them in the face of giants like Amazon?

    You’re right about the growing importance of the music-focussed social networks, but I don’t think it can replace browsing records in a store and getting intrigued by a record because of its cover or the label it is on or because it is being played in the shop when you’re visiting… Call me old-fashioned, but I haven’t really felt the same emotions and excitements being recommended something on Last.fm as I have felt when I first saw the cover of LFO’s Frequencies or when I first came across the first Morthond album (BJ Nilsen) in my local record store all these years ago.

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