Saturday, April 7

Spectator in his own demise, Tower Records' founder on its rise & fall

I just noticed this amazing interview with Tower Records founder Russ Solomon by J.D. Lasica on the rise and fall of Tower Records. In it he talks about the effect of downloadable music, and the value and experience of music stores.
A revealing 9-minute interview with Russ Solomon, founder of Tower Records, about the music retailing giant's rise and fall. He also talks about Napster, the ipod (he won't use one), trends in the music industry, and how the CD isn't dead.
Most interesting points:
  • Russ Solom talks about the opening of the original Tower Records in Los Angelos, 1970, and the odd timing that made it an over night success with the death of Janis Joplin down the street from the store and the subsequent release of her new and final album at the store.

  • Russ talks about the downturn in the market do filesharing and what he thinks causing the demise of the music industry... rising prices while the market was slipping over the years, a lack of singles, and the alienation of the youth market.

  • Russ also considers there to be a "fad element" to digitial downloading, saying the demand for tactile goods will return.

    Personally, While I do generally agree with him I don't think demand will ever return for current "plastic disks". I do think there will come a large demand for better formats, multi-track / multi-channel formats, other new products, merchandising, more imersive and participatory experiences, and above all more demand for real world experiences.

    While records were before my time I miss the large artfully format of the record album. Flash cards are also becomeing popular as a means of packaging, USB thumb drives above all. Day dreaming of what new forms music packaging might take now that it can litterally take any form it likes is now favorite hobby of mine.

  • Finally Russ talks about being a "spectator of his own demise" at Tower Records during the bankrupcy, the future of the music buying experience, and what's next.
originally posted January 19, 2007 by jdlasica: Tower Records' founder on its rise & fall


Anonymous said...

tower will reopen soon

Michael Meiser said...

Really? I thought the tower brand was sold off to a company in japan. Are they reopening tower records?