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All Things Must Pass

If you are a lifelong music & video buff, you're going to have a lot of fun reliving the heyday of the music business in ALL THINGS MUST PASS: THE RISE AND FALL OF TOWER RECORDS.

I used to spend literally hours (and who knows how many thousands of dollars) in Tower Records in Phoenix near Chris-Town, in Tempe by ASU and at Southern & Alma School.

From albums, through CDs, from Beta to VHS to Laserdiscs, Tower Records owned me.

Colin Hanks (great actor in TV's FARGO and son of Tom) directs a savvy and entertaining tale of the rise of Tower Records from a single section in a drug store to a massive international retailer.

Founder Russ Solomon narrates the entire tale, from his first venture selling 45's in his Dad's store, then expanding into a new building, then a separate store, and so on. He has fun sharing the work place adventures of a bunch of kids through the 60's, 70's and 80's that grew into a massive family that expanded into THE destination for music and video.

It's heartbreaking for those of us that loved that store to see all those massive shelves and shelves of selection, the great signage for new releases, the immersion of the customer in a buying experience that's been lost forever on a grand scale.

There are plenty of laughs and some surprisingly moving moments as well.

Elton John and Bruce Springsteen show up to tell their tales and the documentary is packed wall to wall with footage of the stores and the characters that worked there.

I still head to Amoeba Records in LA when I visit to try and grab a fix of that old retail store magic, but I truly miss the days of collecting those titles.

As the digital age appears and then explodes and you watch Solomon's business model become unsustainable almost overnight, you cant help but feel sad for him and his team.

By the time they could react, it was too late.

As Hanks and his crew film Solomon visiting Japan, where Tower Records still exists in all its glory, its enough to make any album aficionado wax painfully nostalgic.

All things must pass

but what a shame!

This entertaining blast from a treasured past gets an A.

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