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

For music lovers of a certain age, there used to be no better way to spend a Tuesday afternoon (or a lonely Saturday night, for that matter) than making a pilgrimage to Tower Records and riffling through the bins of vinyl, hungry for discovery. It was more than a record store—it was a sprawling, all-inclusive clubhouse for like-minded misfits and zealots. Then one day it was gone. In this passionately nostalgic documentary, actor-turned-director Colin Hanks brings that era back to life, tracing the rise and fall of Russ Solomon’s retail music chain, which first opened its doors in Sacramento in 1960. There are a handful of testimonials here from rock icons like Bruce Springsteen and Elton John (who would gobble up so many LPs that the clerks would open early for him), but the real beating heart of the film is its collection of wild war tales told by the company’s former employees, who regarded Tower as more than just a paycheck gig or a commercial proposition. For them (and a lot of us, too), it’s a paradise lost. B

All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records
2015 movie
  • Movie
  • 100 minutes