A glittering wall of mirrors reflects 100 images of you as you clamber onto the elevator down into the basement of your local Tower Records. It’s 2001 and excitement abounds as you examine glittering jewel CD cases and try on 15 different pairs of headphones to sample the hottest new albums posted around each genre-specific section of the store. For many people, this is where a love of music was born and fostered throughout adolescence into adulthood.
Tower Records began as a passion-project of Richard Solomon in his father’s Sacramento drug store in 1960. After becoming a music empire spanning 15 countries, Tower Records shuttered nearly 200 stores in 2006 to the dismay of music lovers across the map. Though 2020 is a year that has seen untold loss, Tower Records stands as a phoenix risen from the ashes, relaunched as an online one-stop-shop for all things music.
The familiar red logo is displayed prominently at the top of the site, spearheading the options to search for tunes based on genre, store merch, virtuaL events and updates on the pulse of the music world.
Similar to the physical storefronts, the new Tower Records website offers a variety of genres from rock to soul, reggae to folk. There are also separate tabs to browse based on medium, if you just want to scroll through colored vinyl or CDs. Also resurrected on the site is the beloved “Staff Picks” section, which offers inspiration for those who are looking for something new that comes recommended.
The “Pulse” tab featured on the site is a new take on the music magazines that used to be sold in stores. The site currently features over 40 pages of articles that feature a plethora of genres with information about artists both big and small. Though the billboards and posters can’t be replaced in the store windows, it’s clear the staff of Tower Records are working hard to keep up that same fountain of information.
Although the live music industry has certainly had to adapt in 2020, Tower Records still features an events page with information about upcoming events that will be streamed on their Instagram account. Like everything about the empire, the events feature a variety sure to attract anyone who’s bemoaned the lack of events this year.
In a year with so many changes, the rebirth of Tower Records is a shining star of nostalgia brought back to life. It may not be the store where you hang out with your friends until closing anymore, but the new online store-front offers an expansive collection that will keep you scrolling until the early hours of the morning. Even the familiar slogan of “No Music, No Life” has been modernized. Check out the new site now and revitalize the way you “Know Music, Know Life.”
Featured Image: Tower Records