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Tower Records liquidates
Old 9th October 2006
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
Nerve Nickels's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Tower Records liquidates

Tower Records Closing


google it
Old 9th October 2006
  #2
Registered User
 
🎧 15 years
Saw this coming a mile away, anyone who didn't needs stronger coffee. Anyway, thought I'd quote myself from a different thread a few days ago:

Quote:
The first thing a lot of people need to realize is that the "music industry" is not the same as the "record industry". Physical copies of recording (CDs, LPs, etc.) are on their way to extinction. It's not the type of product that consumers want anymore. Right now it's all about the MP3 (terrible crushed sound and all). With sites like iTunes allowing people to purchase exactly what they want--predominately individual tracks--there has been and will continue to be a rise in demand for the "hit" single. For artists looking beyond one-hit-wonderdom, what this means is that just offering a full album's worth of material is no longer enough. Artists and their promoters now have to offer additional incentives for the consumer to buy an entire album, whether as MP3s or a physical medium. Look at what Bob Dylan just did with iTunes and the release of his new album. People who download the entire record from iTunes get a couple bonus tracks, and anyone who pre-ordered a CD online recieved access to a pre-sale of tickets for his upcoming tour. This is how the industry is going to be; time to adapt. artists can't rely on selling CD's anymore as a primary source of income. Maybe print up a couple thousand to sell at shows, but that's it. The boom in the small studio market combined with the internet and digital music formats has brought the production and distribution costs down to a fraction of what they were before. Now, that money needs to be put elsewhere: trying to get your music onto alternate forms of distribution (tv, movies, video games) as well as the cross-marketing of products.

whew...a long winded 2 cents
Old 9th October 2006 | Show parent
  #3
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
 
🎧 20 years
That's a great quote... but if you think about it we're just going back to the "singles format" we had in the 50's/60's where artists would put out singles, eventually enough singles would pile up and they'd release those singles as an album... it wasn't really until the mid-late 60's that the "album" became important as an idea... and it was already floundering by the late 70's when "filler material" really seemed to start creeping in.

By the 90's there was maybe one or two songs worthy of listening on most albums with a bunch of mundane crap filled in with a speck of cereal and that was the fvcking ball game. There were kids who had computers and the skills to use them in a manner to share music... the that was good became "free", the music that sucked sunk to the primordial depths it deserved and our "record industry" started a nearly bottomless spiral into the depths of what we have now... democracy and for a large part, sales based upon the MERIT OF THE MUSIC.

This is one of the main reasons I see TuneCore.com as the absolute wave of the future for both the independent artist as well as those artists with funding... but the failed institution we call the "record business" will be dying a long, slow and cancer riddled death as they try to figure out how to take one last swin in the ocean liner pool before the ship decends to the depths of Davey Jones locker [where it fvcking belongs].

The album I'm working on at the moment has been set up to be recorded 3-4 songs at a time. From these groups the band will then "pick the singles" which will be released periodically upon completion. From there they'll go out and play live to support "the singles"... when there are like 10 or so singles they'll turn them into an album with some "bonus tracks" and that will be their "album"... in the meanwhile, it's fun as hell not to get bogged down with details on shit songs that are only being recorded to fill space and get the product to 42+ minutes long!!
Old 9th October 2006 | Show parent
  #4
Registered User
 
🎧 15 years
The Virgin records next to Berklee College of music just shut it's doors... Read, a major record store, in a major american city, literally across the street from the world's largest independant music school. Now this! Scary.

What I'm wondering is, with the ease of sharing music, will online sales ever reach the kind of level that we saw from CD sales?
Old 9th October 2006 | Show parent
  #5
Registered User
 
Acoustic Cloud's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I agree with Fletcher about the filler songs. Too make it worse though, many bands have been putting 18-20 songs on a CD for maybe 10 years or so!! That makes the ratio horrible.

70s and 80s 6-8 seemed the max.
Old 9th October 2006 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Guru
The guys at Tower Sunset Strip say the marketing model has shifted. Those who will still buy hardware releases will find product at the mail order outfits and places like Target. Tower could not compete with the discounters and the large catalog they carried is now filled by mail order.

I always thought Tower was a bit of a snob outfit, I won't miss them.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 9th October 2006 | Show parent
  #7
Registered User
 
🎧 15 years
i like the idea of selling a few singles and ep's inbetween albums. that makes for albums with better music on them and the singles that come out inbetween are usually pretty good too
Old 9th October 2006 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
I just visited yesterday. Even at their "sale" prices, the prices are way too high!
Old 9th October 2006 | Show parent
  #9
Registered User
 
rainsinvelvet's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
The drummer for the band I'm in used to be a local Tower records "Indie music buyer"
several years ago he realised that things were going down hill fast and cashed his 401k out and got the hell out.

No suprise indead.

ERic
Old 9th October 2006 | Show parent
  #10
Registered User
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Confusionator ➑️
I just visited yesterday. Even at their "sale" prices, the prices are way too high!
They put CD's at 10% off of the "current lowest price" - but a couple weeks ago, they cancelled all their sale pricing, so it's only 10% off list. In some areas, Tower's "list" is already a dollar over the list price of other retailers.

The percentage of discount is supposed to be increased over the next few weeks. Keep an eye on it. When it gets to 40% off, then it's probably worth it (but who knows what will be left by then).

I read somewhere that magazines are starting at 30% off and DVD's at 20%, but I can't confirm that.
Old 9th October 2006 | Show parent
  #11
Registered User
 
Gregg Sartiano's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, and Circuit City (the "big box" stores) sell CD's at a loss to drive foot traffic into the stores.
Old 9th October 2006 | Show parent
  #12
Registered User
 
🎧 15 years
Tower's been in and out of BK since at least the late 80's, so now that the financial 'industry' has come to buy into the idea that the packaged goods/brick and mortar model of music selling is on its last legs, there's no one lining up to bail them out this time. No surprise there; plus Tower always had the highest prices anywhere, for whatever reason.

Unfortunately, the Sunset store is no longer getting the off-hit-parade new releases since the BK/closing announcement, so some of the better (only?) reasons for going there have evaporated. I'll have to find something else to do with my 8 month-old girl on Friday nights after work!

Fletcher's observation about the return to a singles-driven market is dead-on, and something I've noticed as of a few years ago (proving that the observation isn't anything so revelatory as much as a statement of the obvious, I guess ). All of which is why I've gotten more into progressive and house music - if I'm going to shell out bucks for a single, why stop at 3 minutes when 10 minute singles featuring no crappy autotuned vocals, single-section arrangements (where's that confounded bridge?), and thundering electronic kick drums are on offer?!!! Bedrock or the latest Simpson/Lachey "argument on wax"? Sounds like an easy choice to me!heh
Old 9th October 2006 | Show parent
  #13
Registered User
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregg Sartiano ➑️
Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, and Circuit City (the "big box" stores) sell CD's at a loss to drive foot traffic into the stores.
first i heard of that. i know they buy enormous amounts to get "better than normal" discount wholesale rates from majors in order to sell those releases retail at 9.99
Old 9th October 2006 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
MJGreene Audio's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher ➑️
That's a great quote... but if you think about it we're just going back to the "singles format" we had in the 50's/60's where artists would put out singles, eventually enough singles would pile up and they'd release those singles as an album... it wasn't really until the mid-late 60's that the "album" became important as an idea... and it was already floundering by the late 70's when "filler material" really seemed to start creeping in.

By the 90's there was maybe one or two songs worthy of listening on most albums with a bunch of mundane crap filled in with a speck of cereal and that was the fvcking ball game. There were kids who had computers and the skills to use them in a manner to share music... the that was good became "free", the music that sucked sunk to the primordial depths it deserved and our "record industry" started a nearly bottomless spiral into the depths of what we have now... democracy and for a large part, sales based upon the MERIT OF THE MUSIC.

This is one of the main reasons I see TuneCore.com as the absolute wave of the future for both the independent artist as well as those artists with funding... but the failed institution we call the "record business" will be dying a long, slow and cancer riddled death as they try to figure out how to take one last swin in the ocean liner pool before the ship decends to the depths of Davey Jones locker [where it fvcking belongs].

The album I'm working on at the moment has been set up to be recorded 3-4 songs at a time. From these groups the band will then "pick the singles" which will be released periodically upon completion. From there they'll go out and play live to support "the singles"... when there are like 10 or so singles they'll turn them into an album with some "bonus tracks" and that will be their "album"... in the meanwhile, it's fun as hell not to get bogged down with details on shit songs that are only being recorded to fill space and get the product to 42+ minutes long!!
I couldn't agree more on every point. I stopped buying cd's for about 2 years unless it was an artist that I knew and loved because I became really tired of shilling out a boat load of money for a CD that was mostly filler crap. Now I always audition a record on Itunes just to make sure that it isn't mostly crap. If it is then I will buy the songs I like and that I want. If I love the album as a whole then I usually end up buying a CD of it or I will buy it off of Itunes. I hate MP3's but considering I am usually listening in a car on on some shit earbuds I don't really get to caught up in problems of it. It is fun to be able to listen to music again for the enjoyment of it and not just for the "Industry value"

All that being said I really wish that Itunes would come out with a hi-res version that people could download.

Most music is disposable after a few years. Very few records are destined to be classics and even fewer still when you listen to most of the current major label releases.

I agree with Fletcher that I think Tunecore and all the services like that are the future. It puts the music and the money back into the hands of the artist. It is now up to them whether they screw up their careers or not. If they play out and get a following they will sell records. If they are lazy and sit on their hands then they won't make any money. Maybe we are getting back to the old american work ethic. Work your ass off and make some money.......
Old 9th October 2006 | Show parent
  #15
Harmless Wacko
 
🎧 20 years
When we get done marveling at, and applauding how, we threw off the yolk of our music industry oppressors, we will be left with the dreadful reality that our new "Binary Communism" is an utterly doomed economic and philosophical premise.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but, this digital age meteor has come to claim ALL living things, not just the supposed "Dinosaurs".

Those glorious behemoths will fade away into the badlands to starve and wither without much fanfare in the next few years at most.

But here's the kicker:

The smaller beasts will suffer a much more cruel and prolonged demise.

They will revel and dance at the destruction of the top of the food chain until they suddenly discover the last of the already woefully inadequate food supply has simply vanished.

Then they will take to eating their own feces.

Then they will turn on, and destroy each other.

In the end... a few of the most durable specimens may get sweep a bleary and jaundiced eye over their blasted moor from the smoldering ruins.

Only to catch a brief and distant glitter of gold in the waning sunlight...

But no.

A mirage, a phantasm, a dying minds hallucination...

A last hopeless conjuring of the memory of days when the sun glinted off the ornate eagles perched above the Czars parapets.







HOHO-HolyShitIreadTooMuchAsaBoy-HO.



Anyhoo.



To quote a leading character found in the most truthful and telling part of the average American newspaper of the late 20th century...

"We has met de enemy and he iz ourself".


Best regards,


SM.
Old 9th October 2006 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
popmann's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, and Circuit City (the "big box" stores) sell CD's at a loss to drive foot traffic into the stores.
Loss leaders. That's what it's called.

that's why big name new releases are $8.99...9.99...when the distributor cost on the CD is $12.45.

That was the beginning of the end of Peaches in Florida when Ciruit City started it's "all CDs for $10.99" deal. I was doing recieving at Peaches at the time...literally a new high list CD would cost us $12.45. Normal ones $10.49. Old catalog $8.79...I'm kinda working from memory--long time ago. But, you figure the ads were paid for mostly by the majors...but, add in the overhead of the store/employees--no way you could be breaking even at $10.99. Certainly, they got big discounts--but even ordering huge quantities might have brought that $12.45 down to $11.

That is what killed the record retail industry. Not iTunes. iTunes, at best served as the straw that broke the retail camel's back. Big box retail was the knife to the stomach that's had it bleeding for 15 years.

Welcome to the USA--where the only place you can buy anything is WalMart. Yippee.

FWIW, I've shopped at Tower a LOT since moving to Nashville. Their prices on front line popular discs I was insterested in were always comparable. Sure, maybe it's a dollar more than if I drove 20 more miles to a big box house...but, time...gas...principle? I'll gladly pay a dollar or two more for the thing that is my passion.

I remember riding my bike to Peaches as a kid...sifting through the LPs...figuring out how to best spend my meager lawn mowing money. Now, I guess, kids can surf MySpace in their underwear until they find a good song...then hop over to iTunes, and pull it down to a file on their computers. They'll never hear an album. Never read the liner notes to create their own cross reference of musicians, engineers, and producers responsible for the music they love.


Maybe I'll have to put a huge rider on my homeowners, since I won't accept some mp4 downloads as a replacement for my 1500+ CDs in my collection. As if you could even download them all.

Oh well. At we've still got...umm...is there an upside to this?
Old 9th October 2006 | Show parent
  #17
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
 
🎧 20 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by slipperman ➑️
When we get done marveling at, and applauding how, we threw off the yolk of our music industry oppressors, we will be left with the dreadful reality that our new "Binary Communism" is an utterly doomed economic and philosophical premise.
Well... that is part of the new "binary communism" manifesto... but there will be some dinosaur's that prevail... like the Alligator and the Turtle... the viscious because they're just too mean do die and the passive but well armored because they're too stupid to die.
Old 9th October 2006 | Show parent
  #18
Registered User
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by slipperman ➑️
When we get done marveling at, and applauding how, we threw off the yolk of our music industry oppressors, we will be left with the dreadful reality that our new "Binary Communism" is an utterly doomed economic and philosophical premise.
Who says that's the premise? I see it as a new Entrepreneurial Binary Capitalism. There are certainly consumers that want the communist approach, but there's a lot of artists that would like to see things granularized. This is basically the busting up of a monopoly. The distribution buy in was very high. Sure, some well to do guy could get his material out, but not many folks could. Everybody can get their stuff up online, and that's good. We still need more in terms of licensing mechanisms, sure, but I don't mind the growing pains along the way when the endpoint is so much better in my view.

We saw, and still still see, the same thing with commercial studios. Has the actual quality of product available(available, not preferred format) to the consumer or the quality of service available to a perfectionist artist actually declined? I would argue that it hasn't, for the music I listen to, which is controlled by a few producers/engineers with their own facilities (Andy Sneap and a handfull of others if you must know). The logistics have changed, and it's much easier to say track at your own pace in someone's nice home facility, get it mixed by someone with outboard geared for that, and mastered by someone else. Yes, of course there's poseurs in the chain, but there's also a lot of service unavailable before e-mail and the web.

Just like there's prosumer audio facilities, we now have prosumer video producers. I know a guy that worked for years at a television station that quit and now makes videos (and yes, some have been on MTV) from "home". That rocks for the independent artists, especially the ones with no commercial aspirations!

Now, can we please make a second go at ticketmaster?
Old 9th October 2006 | Show parent
  #19
Registered User
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher ➑️
Well... that is part of the new "binary communism" manifesto... but there will be some dinosaur's that prevail... like the Alligator and the Turtle... the viscious because they're just too mean do die and the passive but well armored because they're too stupid to die.
You forgot about the mammals that have a different diet and exist in an ecosystem that doesn't need the dinosaurs to survive, nor their big feet stepping on them. In a land bereft of dinosaurs, they tend to take over and thrive, putting snakes, toads, and sharks in their rightful place.

Old 9th October 2006 | Show parent
  #20
Registered User
 
norman_nomad's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by slipperman ➑️
When we get done marveling at, and applauding how, we threw off the yolk of our music industry oppressors, we will be left with the dreadful reality that our new "Binary Communism" is an utterly doomed economic and philosophical premise.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but, this digital age meteor has come to claim ALL living things, not just the supposed "Dinosaurs".

Those glorious behemoths will fade away into the badlands to starve and wither without much fanfare in the next few years at most.

But here's the kicker:

The smaller beasts will suffer a much more cruel and prolonged demise.

They will revel and dance at the destruction of the top of the food chain until they suddenly discover the last of the already woefully inadequate food supply has simply vanished.

Then they will take to eating their own feces.

Then they will turn on, and destroy each other.

In the end... a few of the most durable specimens may get sweep a bleary and jaundiced eye over their blasted moor from the smoldering ruins.

Only to catch a brief and distant glitter of gold in the waning sunlight...

But no.

A mirage, a phantasm, a dying minds hallucination...

A last hopeless conjuring of the memory of days when the sun glinted off the ornate eagles perched above the Czars parapets.
Holy $hit! That was awesome.
Old 9th October 2006 | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
popmann's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Most music is disposable after a few years.
...you really need to get out more.

I hear that...and the thing about the crappy albums with only a few good songs...and I think that people don't know their own taste very well. Or maybe I'm just infinitely forgiving. I can usually tell the difference in a good 4 min record and an artist who is going to resonate enough with me to buy the CD. See above cross reference.

I didn't need to hear the whole CD of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals to know I'd be a fan...for example. I heard a few cuts. Read a review. Bought CD. One of my faves I got this year.

I hear an Eminem track that hits me just right like Lose Yourself...I don't run out and buy the album. I liked a Papa Roach tune last year...but, the guy doesn't sing well--it's all smashed&loud sounding, etc--it would be highly unlikely I would like the whole CD. Perfect use for iTunes. I downloaded it and burned out on it the next week anyway.

I can put on a CD from 20 years ago and enjoy it a lot. Or 30 years ago. Or 5. Or 10.
Old 9th October 2006 | Show parent
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Meriphew's Avatar
 
🎧 20 years
There's a few cool indie record stores here in Seattle ( Sonic Boom, Easy Street Records, Silver Platters), but I'll miss Tower's selection of Classical and Jazz music.
Old 9th October 2006 | Show parent
  #23
Registered User
 
Gregg Sartiano's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by slipperman ➑️
When we get done marveling at, and applauding how, we threw off the yolk of our music industry oppressors, we will be left with the dreadful reality that our new "Binary Communism" is an utterly doomed economic and philosophical premise.
Google just paid $32 (in solidly-valued Google stock) PER USER to buy YouTube.

That's $32 for each USER on a social networking site.

$32 for each teenager who uploads birthday photos.

$1.6 BILLION for a site that was founded in DECEMBER OF LAST YEAR.

That's like winning $1 million a week in the lottery...FOR 30 YEARS!

You could PAY people $32 to use your site, for what that's worth...

Jules, how much is Gearslutz worth, at that rate?
Old 9th October 2006 | Show parent
  #24
Registered User
 
David Lee's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
on the 3rd Street Promenade in santa monica they have this HEAR music store attached to a starbucks that has an interesting concept. it's a brick and mortar record store, with the kiosks that let you listen to any cd that you want, pick and choose songs off the cd's and buy a burned disc with your selections on it, like iTunes, at a rate of $.99/song.

now, i appreciate that aspect, but i have never used it. what i find is more interesting is the fact that every cd is there to listen to. if i'm delving into a music collection of one artist i can listen to every album weather they have it or not. if they don't have the cd in stock, they still might have the cd digitally in their database, in which case if you just have to have it today, then you can download it, they download the artwork with it (i think), and burn it and hand it to you.

is this just a cool concept, or the way things might go? i know this store was a prototype concept for them, i wonder how it's doing. it's like walking in to an iTunes store, but allowing you to leave with product.
Old 9th October 2006 | Show parent
  #25
Registered User
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Lee ➑️
on the 3rd Street Promenade in santa monica they have this HEAR music store attached to a starbucks that has an interesting concept.
ha ha... hear music used to be its own store, till starbucks bought it out...

cd's and downloads are loss leaders for $4.50 cups of coffee...
Old 9th October 2006 | Show parent
  #26
DRC
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by slipperman ➑️
When we get done marveling at, and applauding how, we threw off the yolk of our music industry oppressors, we will be left with the dreadful reality that our new "Binary Communism" is an utterly doomed economic and philosophical premise.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but, this digital age meteor has come to claim ALL living things, not just the supposed "Dinosaurs".

Those glorious behemoths will fade away into the badlands to starve and wither without much fanfare in the next few years at most.

But here's the kicker:

The smaller beasts will suffer a much more cruel and prolonged demise.

They will revel and dance at the destruction of the top of the food chain until they suddenly discover the last of the already woefully inadequate food supply has simply vanished.

Then they will take to eating their own feces.

Then they will turn on, and destroy each other.

In the end... a few of the most durable specimens may get sweep a bleary and jaundiced eye over their blasted moor from the smoldering ruins.

Only to catch a brief and distant glitter of gold in the waning sunlight...

But no.

A mirage, a phantasm, a dying minds hallucination...

A last hopeless conjuring of the memory of days when the sun glinted off the ornate eagles perched above the Czars parapets.







HOHO-HolyShitIreadTooMuchAsaBoy-HO.



Anyhoo.



To quote a leading character found in the most truthful and telling part of the average American newspaper of the late 20th century...

"We has met de enemy and he iz ourself".


Best regards,


SM.

That just about sums it up. "Indie" bands will only make money on the road. If they can actually sell the disc themselves they might make a buck, but touring till they are dead is about it.

Its too bad the top of the food chain had to be so greedy. If they would have kept CD's below the $10 mark, this may have taken a lot longer to happen. There are those that still want liner notes and a hard copy. The resolution is still lost on most.

Awesome post Slipperman.
Old 9th October 2006 | Show parent
  #27
Registered User
 
djui5's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meriphew ➑️
There's a few cool indie record stores here in Seattle

http://www.myspace.com/thelastrecordstore

Old 9th October 2006 | Show parent
  #28
Village Idiot
 
Labs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by slipperman ➑️

Then they will take to eating their own feces.

Then they will turn on, and destroy each other.

.
Interesting that you think own-feces-eating comes before destruction of others in the fight for survival.

Gustav
Old 9th October 2006 | Show parent
  #29
Gear Guru
 
thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 20 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acoustic Cloud ➑️
.

70s and 80s 6-8 seemed the max.

But remember this was on vinyl.

Try to squeeze 18-20 on songs on vinyl and see what you'll get.heh
Old 9th October 2006 | Show parent
  #30
DRC
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Labs ➑️
Interesting that you think own-feces-eating comes before destruction of others in the fight for survival.

Gustav
Funny, I never thought about that. Guess I would rather eat others first, then my own sh*t.
πŸ“ Reply

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