'All Things Must Pass'
(Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Dave Grohl, Russ Solomon, Chris Cornell, et al / DVD / NR / 2016 /MVD Visual)
Overview: 'All Things Must Pass' is a documentary that explores the rise and fall of Tower Records, and its legacy forged by its rebellious founder, Russ Solomon.
DVD Verdict: 'All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records' is, quite easily, the BEST documentary that I have seen in a decade! 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. Ergo, '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.
For me, and so many millions of others around the world, Tower Records was the place to shop for vinyl records back in the day. Shit, even in the 00's! For three decades, Tower Records was an established place of business that, not matter what went on online, they stood firm, held firm as the interweb ease-of-record-selling to the general public from their homes waters began to rise.
Directed by Colin Hanks, 'All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records' chronicles that decline, and delves into the reasons why such a massive establishment, such a beloved dwelling went into bankruptcy so quickly - seemingly. I mean, this is the amazing story of how a soon-to-be music store powerhouse founded by Russ Solomon came from such humble beginnings in a Sacramento location; before beginning to expand, and become at one with San Francisco’s hippie culture, through the south, into the big city of Los Angeles and beyond.
As for the documentary itself, using some terrific photographs and video clips, accompanied by spot on music selections, director Hanks brilliantly and generously allows the actual players to tell the story. The expected celebrity drops are present, and even the words of David Geffen, Dave Grohl, Bruce Springsteen and Sir Elton John carry emotion. However, far and away the most impact comes from extended interviews with the unconventional and charismatic Tower Records founder Russ Solomon and his devoted and forthright employee team.
As Grohl says, he was hired by Tower Records, because they were the only, the ONLY store in town that would hire a man with long hair! Yep, the largest records store in the universe (a direct quote from the film) was a place "that had everything", and who "were like friends" (Elton John) didn't care what you looked like - if you loved music you were hired. There was no dress code and it was always a party atmosphere and as Solomon himself says in the film, "Even if you threw up, you still had to show up"!
Simply put, they were in the right place at the right time. Solomon says in the film that "If you want to call that luck, call it luck". When the interviewer asks him what he would call it, he crosses his arms, pauses and they says, "Luck", before laughing broadly. The doors are closed, but the legacy lives on, my friends. The legacy lives on. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9.