The rise and fall of Tower Records – Marketplace

Do you pine for a retail space that was important to you but is no more? We got  a big response from listeners when we asked that question   the while back. One associated with those missed spaces included Tower Information, which closed its last U. S. stores 18 years ago this week. The particular chain was much more than iTunes in brick-and-mortar form. For many, it was a kind of temple with regard to worshippers of music.  

The documentary film this month, “All Things Must Pass, ” about the rise plus fall associated with Tower Records, is a kind of rock ’n’ roll syllabus of teachable moments about money and business, including how to launch a startup.

The doc explores the importance of diversification: The record industry hit a soft patch when the glory days associated with disco were met with a  backlash that will impacted report sales.   Then there is also geographic diversification: Tower Records in Japan is  still thriving   in order to this day.

We also see the scenes unfold of a morality play on the dangers associated with leverage, too much debt. Tower  borrowed $110 million to finance global expansion,   and whenever those creditors grew impatient for their cash back, which was the end.

The lesson from Tower system Records that most stands out for me is about the special kind of capital that does not involve dollars but is still valuable. Sociologists call it  “social capital, ”   which accumulates when people get off their couches, put away their own screens and mix inside person. At Tower Information stores, individuals came together in a physical space to share passions, exchange ideas and explore new content. In an archival sequence from the film, you can see a ’70s-era Elton John on one of his weekly foraging trips to the particular Tower Records around the Sunset Strip within Los Angeles. The particular pop legend is dressed down, holding a pen and notepad, a man upon a mission looking regarding all the world like a discerning chef choosing his greens at a produce market. One voice in the movie observed it was “as much social as retail, ” with people “spending hours together at the record bins. ”

And one more session from your Structure Records documentary is about a good up-to-the-minute economic topic: inflation. We are convinced everything gets more expensive all the time, either slowly, like it did in the mid-1980s, or quickly, like the crazy inflation we are experiencing now. Most things do get more costly, it seems, except record albums. The film mentions that a record album went intended for $3. 88 in 1962. But $3. 88 is not a deal. According in order to my favorite online economic tool,   the pumpiing calculator   in the Bureau of Labor Statistics, $3. 88 back then is like $38. 30 now. I note that  artist Beth Orton’s new CD   can be had to get as little as $13. 59 if you want the physical object, not just ability to stream this. Like long-distance phone calls, some things do get cheaper.

– David 

Name of Film:   “All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records”

Year associated with Release:   2015

Director:   Colin Hanks

Synopsis : Established in 1960, Tower Records was once a retail powerhouse with 200 stores in 30 countries on five continents. From humble beginnings in the small-town drugstore, Tower Information eventually became the heart plus soul of the music world and a powerful force in the music industry. In 1999, Tower system Records made an astounding $1 billion. In 2006, the particular company filed for bankruptcy. What went wrong? Everyone thinks they know what killed Structure Records: the internet. But that’s not the story. “All Points Must Pass” is a feature documentary movie examining this particular iconic company’s explosive trajectory, tragic demise and legacy forged by its rebellious founder Russ Solomon.

Where can I watch: “All Items Must Pass” is available to  watch for free on YouTube.   It’s also streaming on several platforms, including  Kanopy   and  Hoopla   pertaining to some library card holders, and on  Peacock ,   PlutoTV   and  PopcornFlix , for free. A digital loading copy may be  rented or bought   on several platforms, and if a person want a physical copy,   you can purchase the particular film mainly because a DVD and Blu-ray too.        

Themes we’ll discover:  

  • Through retail floor to the C-suite: When do employees rise through the ranks from American companies? How common is it nowadays?  
  • Why bodily music nevertheless sells within Japan while the rest of the world adopted streaming 
  • The joys and challenges associated with running an independent record store in the particular U. H.    

Is there something you’d like Econ Extra Credit to explore? A question you want answered? Let us know simply by sending the team an email. We’re at  [email protected] org .    

Check out all our past selected films   upon our website.    

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