All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records | Chicago Reader

All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records

100 minutes 2015

As the opening title for this documentary reports, the worldwide music retailer Tower Records did $1 billion in sales in 1999, five years before it filed for bankruptcy. Director Colin Hanks interviews most of the major players at Tower (including its charismatic founder, Russ Solomon), assembling the familiar business story of a mom-and-pop operation that expanded into a giant chain, threw all its money into brick-and-mortar stores in the 90s, and then collapsed like a house of cards when the Internet arrived. The aging boomers who worked their way up from store clerks to executives are still proud of the chain's hard-partying heyday in 70s California, though their rebellious self-image doesn't really square with the greedy overpricing of CDs that helped drive their customers to the Web. With Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Dave Grohl, and David Geffen.

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