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Established in 1960, Tower Records was once a retail powerhouse with two hundred stores, in thirty countries, on five continents. From humble beginnings in a small-town drugstore, Tower Records eventually became the heart and soul of the music world, and a powerful force in the music industry. In 1999, Tower Records made $1 billion. In 2006, the company filed for bankruptcy. What went wrong? Everyone thinks they know what killed Tower Records: The Internet. But that's not the story. All Things Must Pass is a feature documentary film examining this iconic company's explosive trajectory, tragic demise, and legacy forged by its rebellious founder, Russ Solomon.

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All Things Must Pass movie full length review - Records & Humanity Personified By A Man & His Vision

All Things Must Pass, no not the utterly fantastic George Harrison landmark triple LP, the story of Tower Records.

In the title there's a melancholy sadness since we know it alludes to the passing of the LP, then the decline of all other physical music media. It's only fitting a documentary of an amazing music related business is entitled after an equally amazing actual album, one that broke new ground being an over-the-top triple-LP set by a Beatle.

Tom Hank's son Colin is behind this lovingly put together visual journey of the Tower Record story. If ever a there was an untapped gargantuan market at a particular time in history that was expertly tapped it has to be the record business as defined by Tower Records. What a ride it was. Probably the most loosely structured billion-dollar business empire ever created that wasn't based on criminal intent. Quite the opposite, it was based on the joy of music and how it enhanced life.

Watching the documentary you get the feeling it wasn't entirely the loose management, the sometimes ill-advised entry to strange foreign markets, or even musical tastes of the times that killed Tower Records. It was the changing technology as we now see taken even further with on line streaming. Could the company have survived, like Japan, and flourished even as the physical media sales sagged? That's the huge question. Things started to break, perhaps, before the exit of founder;s Russ Soloman's right hand accountant having to exit due to health. His exit, however, started a new chapter where the banks took over. Everything the bank dictated broke a little more of the foundation that built the company while never, actually, fixing anything.

As I sit and write this I read LP sales are growing once more. Jack White has actually built a new record pressing plant in Detroit. Granted, it's just a small thing, but it's a sign. The real sign will be when once more there's just a single Tower Records store somewhere in the United States. Music is such a powerful medium I wouldn't bet against it. If you have a love of music and have good memories of spending time in any record store you simply must watch this. A great American success story that runs against most everything they teach in business school.