After having closed their doors in 2006, Tower Records are making their return online. The new online store will feature new and used records, interviews with artists and more. All of the aspects of Tower Records will make their return on the new website.
— Tower Records (@TowerRecordsUSA) November 14, 2020
“It’s true!” Tower Records said on Twitter. “#TowerRecords is online and open 23/7 with over 500,000 on vinyl, CD, and cassette + exclusive merch. Plus, the latest in music on #Pulse!”
The company had been teasing their return on social media for the past year. Tower Records was first founded in 1960 by Russel Solomon, who sold records inside of his father’s drugstore that had shared a name and building with Sacramento’s Tower Theater. Solomon expanded his store to sell books, posters and plants next door to another Tower Records location in 1976, and the company had been one of the first retailers to move online with Tower.com.
Tower Records had locations in San Francisco by 1967, with the company first expanding to Japan in 1979. The company began publishing their own magazine Pulse! in 1983, which ran until 2002. The magazine featured reviews, interviews and advertising, and had started by first being given away for free in stores to promote record sales.
In 2004, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and in 2006 the company was liquidated. All store locations in the United States were forced to shut down, while a few international locations in Tokyo and Ireland have remained open. Online merchant Caiman, Inc. reopened the Tower Records website in Montreal back in 2007, however the brand relaunch did not move forward until this year. The Ireland franchises of the company continue to be owned and operated by Press Up Entertainment.
Tower Records’ founder passed away in 2018, at the age of 92 following a heart attack. Many musicians would pass through his stores, including Prince and Elton John, who would shop before and after store hours. In 2019, L7 and Bush had performed sets for the Captain Marvel pop-up at Tower Records’ former location on the Sunset Strip.