"All Things Must Pass" The Tower Records Story Coming to DVD September 13

"All Things Must Pass", the must-see documentary on the rise and fall of the Tower Records chain, comes to DVD September 13th through MVD

No record fan should miss this documentary that covers the rise of Tower Records (made $1 billion in 1999) to its declaration of bankruptcy in 2006.

Directed with passion and commitment by Colin Hanks, the documentary includes guest spots by Dave Grohl, Elton John and Bruce Spingsteen along with searing interviews with founder Russ Solomon and many of his long-term employees.

No one who loves records should miss "All Things Must Pass". Tower's rise and fall mirrors that of the record industry itself, as it feasted with glutinous intensity on the "CD revolution" only to later become victims of the "digital disaster".

ericleehall's picture

I'm pretty sure I bought this on DVD back in January.

Or perhaps that was just the BluRay version?

I did love it, as I worked in the mid 80's at the Sunset Blvd video store (across the street from the iconic record store) with several members of Guns & Roses. Axl, Slash and one other..

gMRfk6LMHn's picture

We still have two Tower Records stores here in Dublin.


James, Dublin, Ireland

mraudioguru's picture

...Japan has 85 Tower Records Stores still open.

gMRfk6LMHn's picture

Sorry, the link doesn't work, how can I upload a photo with my comment?

James, Dublin, Ireland

Michael Fremer's picture
Why the link doesn't work...
spot1019's picture

This has been out on DVD and BR since Jan, I wonder what the Standard Edition means ?

elliotdrum's picture

I owned a store in Santa Cruz,Ca and competed with the Tower stores
in the San Jose California area. I had customers that bought from Tower and my store. One of the big differences is that we actually
talked to our customers with respect and did special orders and filled those orders in days not weeks or months.
I did see this documentary on Tower and found it interesting but when I was growing up in L.A. I went to Aron Records when that store was on Melrose Ave. That was my favorite record store partly
because they were incredibly fair priced and amazing trade in policy. I used the same philosophy for my store and it worked very
well. Unfortunately Aron after over 40 years is gone.

rl1856's picture

Currently streaming on Showtime.

anomaly7's picture

Yup, you can buy this or stream it on Amazon.
I'll order my copy today...

Ortofan's picture

... Crazy Eddie, Lafayette Radio, Tech HiFi, Tweeter, the Wiz - not to mention Caldor, EJ Korvette, Two Guys ...

Ortofan's picture

... Sam Goody.

garrard201's picture

Since you mentioned Crazy Eddie, lots of good info (and a documentary from a CBC show) at http://trafficblossom.blogspot.com/2016/07/crazy-eddie-rip.html

Ortofan's picture

... makes a compelling story, but, given the orientation of this website, I was more interested in the record selling portion of the operation.
For a while, during the expansion phase but before the implosion, there was a Crazy Eddie location near me. Although the record department was relatively modest in size, they would special order anything currently listed in any label's catalog. Other discount stores would tell you that everything they can get is already out on the sales floor. Mom & Pop stores would try to obtain it, with no guarantee of success, and you had to leave a deposit or pay up front. Despite the shenanigans with the electronics side of the business, there was no such BS at Crazy Eddie. Give them the label name, catalog number and your phone number and you'd get a call within a week that the item was in - and at a discount price. It was nice while it lasted.

mraudioguru's picture

I had my library order this on DVD. Watched it several months ago. Excellent documentary! Highly recommended!!!

Catcher10's picture

On a flight, think it was United Airlines had it for viewing. And also saw it at home last month on Showtime.
Mr Fremer, I don't think they "made" $1Billion in 1999, Tower had "sales" of $1billion.
Regardless, its a great documentary, probably 60% of my vinyl collection is from Tower Records, they had the best Import Section of any other record store and the genre selection was limitless.

So cool that Tower Records Japan is still going strong, not sure they ever lost any steam.

Keen Observer's picture

The "made" $1 billion is from the marketing copy on the back of the packaging (at least the release from January 2016).

foxhall's picture

Watching the documentary was so intriguing and surfaced memories of spending hours of bliss browsing thousands of CDs at the Tower stores in Campbell, San Francisco and Mountain View (CA).

ravenacustic's picture

You must like Walmart because their retail histories are similar. Set up shop in every mall, squeeze the vendors for price, undercut your competition in certain categories, overcharge in the rest, give no service, and watch your competitors drop like flies. I find nothing nostalgic about the history of Tower Records because it is an ugly tale.

I am old enough to have worked in the record industry when the retailers were made up of mom and pop shops. Even Sam Goody owned only a few stores until greed overtook Sam and he bought Franklin Music after they went under in the early 70s and Sam suddenly expanded to a size he and his two sons were incapable of managing. Then the first oil embargo hit and the retail price of records began to climb, sales dropped, the baby boomers graduated from college and had less disposable income, and finally, Tower Records hit the scene.

I long for tho 1960s and the small stores with a few employees who were musicians and record nerds and knew music and the catalog. Tower? Someone really recalls them in a fuzzy warm way?

cundare's picture

"glutinous intensity"??

Now that's a straight line I'd never touch. It's no fun when they're too easy.

SANDY R's picture

Excellent documentary! Highly recommended!!!

This brought back memories of trekking to Vogel's Record store and Alwilk's Records across the street from each other in Elizabeth N.J.