Tower Records Is Back, Sort Of
Nov 13, 2022
Tower Records was a mainstay for many NYC record buyers who enjoyed its vast selection, listening station, and record release parties (I was more of an indie shop kind of buyer, but even I was lured into Tower from time to time). Originally founded in CA in 1960, owner Russell Solomon oversaw Tower Records' expansion across the US and eventually the globe. The iconic store at 4th and Broadway was the locus of a mini empire that included the Tower Video and the Annex, and where you could buy records, books, merch, and see artists mingle with fans to celebrate their latest releases.
Tower Labs aims to bring that back. Succumbing to rapid changes in the way people consumed music, Tower Records went bankrupt 16 years ago. With the advent of Tower Labs, the company has carved out a performance space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (of course) with a loungey vibe that offers the chance for some physical interaction in a digital world, where artists can have "a physical space where they can connect and create,” says Tower Records’ president, Danny Zeijdel.
The Labs' page on the Tower Records site goes further. "This may consist of listening parties, jam sessions, podcast interviews, gear demos, and more. Tower Labs is an experimental space, as we continue to explore the potential reopening of retail locations. While this is not a traditional store, there will be pop-ups open to the public offering limited edition physical music, clothing, collectibles, and more." Sounds cool. I hope it works out.