Tower Records committed suicide

From the always excellent RockRap Confidential listserv, this will also appear in the print edition.

The calamity caused by the liquidation of Tower Records doesn’t just consist of the 2700 workers fired and the dozens of small label releases that will lose their most important national outlet. It isn’t just that Tower will certainly take down with it some indie labels and distributors to whom it owed a fortune. It certainly isn’t just the eight-figure losses each of the major labels will absorb, probably resulting in more firings at those that aren’t already pared to the bone.

Tower Records was a poster child for “hip capitalism,” a fig leaf term meant to cover a system which justifies itself by providing “competition” that leads to “innovation”–until the reckoning comes and the cartel or monopoly begins to take shape, driving out all not on the inside. The idea that this has made our society wealthy, efficient and convenient is lunacy, as Tower’s demise confirms.

RockRap is edited by Grammy-winning writer Dave Marsh and it lives at the intersection of politics and music. There’s no other publication like it.

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