Friday, October 13, 2006

Tower Records R.I.P.

Back in the late 80s to mid-90s the couple of times each year I'd shop at the Tower Records on South Street, it was an event to me. I remember the purchases I made when I first went there in the summer of 1987: the Substance compilation by New Order, "What's the Colour Of Money" Hollywood Beyond 45, and the Pressure Points LP by Anne Clark. When the Tower Record stores were built in both King of Prussia (opened 1994) and the Avenue of the Arts in Center City Philly (1999), I'd go there as well. Of course these days Tower has become a slighty hipper version of a coporate chain record store--album prices are high (at least they still bothered to have deep catalog). Still I'd occasionally go there to take in some of the ambiance of the Avenue of the Arts store and buy CD maxi-singles there (quite cheap actually--domestic maxi-singles were $5.99 where other stores were $6.99-$7.99). Even with their faults in the past few years, I'm still sad to hear that the Tower chain will be closing its doors. Record stores have been closing for the past few years no thanks to the rise of MP3 technology and the competitive prices of "big box" stores like Curcuit City and Best Buy, but this turn of events really drives the point home. With them going out of the picture it looks like there won't be any big record stores in Philly, just a number of indie shops like Repo, Philadelphia Record Exchange and A/K/A Music, as well as those bogus mall chain stores like FYE. When the last record store in the area closes, don't forget to turn off the light when you exit. Even with the remaining record stores, Tower will be missed.


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