Tower Records pop-up honors iconic brand

Remember flipping through those iconic yellow dividers?

Music fans in the 80s and 90s remember going to record stores and flipping through the vinyl records or compact discs shopping for their favorite artist's last albums.  For many, that experience happend at Tower Records, which started in 1960 in California and spread to over 200 stores across 15 countries at its peak.

MeTV had a chance to visit a Tower Records pop-up store in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park, where the iconic brand partnered with The Smashing Pumpkins for a nostalgic music experience.

The iconic yellow sign with red letters stood outside the pop-up.

Before walking in, the signage included a red neon light Tower Records logo above the door.

The pop-up took over the inside of Madame ZuZu's Cafe in Highland Park, Illinois, transporting you back in time to a 1993 version of a Tower Records store.

A retro record player sat next to a working photo booth.

When you see the row of vinyl records, memories of flipping through the albums are brought back to life.

They even have the Tower Records yellow dividers to help you search for the artist you're looking to find.

And of course there was Tower Records apparel.  You could even get one of the iconic yellow shopping bags with your purchase.

A stage was set up for a live performance by The Smashing Pumpkins, scheduled for September 17, 2023. The band is performing acoustic sets of the same songs they played from their Siamese Dream album back in 1993 at a Tower Records.

“The Smashing Pumpkins played an unforgettable in store performance at Tower Records, Chicago. We’re excited to celebrate Siamese Dream once again, 30 years after hosting the original album release party,” said Danny Zeijdel, President of Tower Records.

Billy Corgan, of The Smashing Pumpkins, was enjoying the experience and talking with employees wearing their Tower Records shirts.

Danny Zeijdel, president of Tower Records, added that more unique music experiences are coming. "In the future, we intend to provide the same platform for young, emerging artists. We will continue with this at Tower in Brooklyn and new online experiences forthcoming."

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18 Comments

DB50 6 months ago
Watched live feed on Veep for free.
Was a Great acoustic set
plantlife 6 months ago
Loved the Tower Records on Sunset Blvd
Yort 6 months ago
I just saw this the other day - Fun with Dick and Jane (1977).
Bapa1 6 months ago
loved going to record stores as a kid back in the 70's. Miss it. we had a bunch of them down here in SoFL.
KawiVulc 6 months ago
Iconic. Most overused word in the history of the English language.
Bapa1 KawiVulc 6 months ago
That's an iconic statement.
Wolfie 6 months ago
Tower Records and Virgin MegaStore were the last Shops where you could purchase music + magazines from a newstand (when both closed? it was the end of an era this Gen X'er will never forget!)
Jerryfan 6 months ago
I loved Tower Records when I was younger. There was a massive one in West Covina (not too far from LA) in Southern California. It was next to a mall and there was even a Liquorice Pizza across from it which I could understand how it stayed in business. The Liquorice Pizza that is.
justjeff 7 months ago
With the recent resurgence of vinyl (and to some extend CDs), Tower could make a comeback... that is, if you find forking over $29.95 for an LP no big deal...
Bapa1 justjeff 6 months ago
Think they will have a cut-out section?
justjeff Bapa1 6 months ago
I think not in this day and age. They press less and charge more...
MrsPhilHarris 7 months ago
That looks like a fun time. As a kid I loved going to record stores.
KJExpress MrsPhilHarris 7 months ago
Me too. Record stores and book stores. And stationery stores. Okay, maybe that one was a little strange.
MrsPhilHarris KJExpress 7 months ago
Same here! How bizarre. 😁
justjeff KJExpress 7 months ago
I loved stationery stores because it's where I'd looked for stencils and other lettering devices (as well as art supply stores)...
LoveMETV22 justjeff 6 months ago
Same here, as long as the long as the store remains "stationary", meaning not changing location.
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