October 5, 2021 by Jimmy Alvarez
Submitted for your consideration and approval. In 2021, is it possible to go back in time and be sent back to the future? Well science tells us no, but conventional wisdom gives us a resounding yes. Case in point, TOWER RECORDS!
Often captured by their slogan “No Music, No Life,” Tower Records was the hallmark of music enterprises back in the day. It organized in the ‘60s, made a footprint for itself in the ‘70s, and blew up in the ‘80s. Anyone over 40 years old can remember the life and times they spent at Tower Records as a kid.
I will never forget all the nights I spent at the Tower Records at the West Covina Fashion Plaza or on the Strip in Hollywood. Not only did you find your music there, you found yourself and the people that you would call friends for decades to come.
For many Tower was a home away from home. You always knew where to find the music you loved as the genres were sectioned off. Like in high school, the cliques hung out with their corresponding music section. The cool kids, by the R&B section, band geeks by classical and instrumental, stoners by the metal section while everyone else was in the middle of the store in the pop section. I bought my first record in 1979 at TOWER, it was All n’ All by Earth Wind & Fire.

I also bought my first CD there and I still remember it… Bryan Adams, “Cuts Like a Knife.” I’m sure we all remember the first record or CD we bought as kids.

I also remember buying 12 inch singles and 45’s at TOWER… remember those? When I started dj’ing in nightclubs, I found myself in that 45 section and loved the re-mixes.

TOWER RECORDS created a sub-culture. Sure, there was the day crowd, then there was the night crowd. The later crowd consisted of a lot of dj’s that would meet to discuss music and which track was the best to use and how to mix each 45 or 12 inch. It was the place to be if you loved music.
45 Record Adapter

As life went on, I found myself gravitating towards the imports section. That’s where I literally found myself through bands like The Clash, The Adicts, The Smiths, The Cure, Depeche Mode, and so on. It was a magical time for music, teens and Tower Records. Now that’s a trilogy!
When CDs took off and then started being replaced by MP3s, vinyl was no longer the “in” way to get your music. In 2006, this bastion of music and social interaction that was Tower Records was no more. They filed for bankruptcy liquidation and that was that.
Fast forward to November 2020, and that’s the day the Earth stood still… No, not COVID. We heard the news we had all been waiting for: TOWER RECORDS was returning! You know that old saying that which was once fashionable will eventually come back… or something like that. Vinyl was cool again and it made a comeback. Nobody has ever asked to see my MP3 collection, but vinyl, yes, yes, yes! We still have a fond affection for our vinyl collection and TOWER is back selling what we love most about them, VINYL!
The once retail record behemoth is not taking chances and learned from their past. Today TOWER RECORDS is alive and well, but only as an online retailer. You can still find all those vinyl records you loved, and all the new ones too. You can also buy artist along with TOWER merch. They even do artists interviews through TOWER Live.
All I know is that whenever I see that TOWER RECORDS logo it makes me smile. Take notice that one thing from our past is here today and things look good for tomorrow, welcome back TOWER RECORDS!


ocmn 2021