Tower Records (record label)


Tower Records (record label)

Tower Records was a record label from 1964 to 1970. It was a subsidiary of Capitol Records.

Named after Capitol's headquarters building, Tower was formed as a subsidiary to Capitol in 1964. In its early years, it released recordings by British invasion artists like Freddie and the Dreamers, (whose "I'm Telling You Now" became Tower's only #1 hit on Billboard) and Tom Jones (only 6 songs recorded in 1963, that were released by Tower on the strength of his hit "It's Not Unusual" two years late in 1965 [http://www.txhighlands.com/deccalisting1.htm Tom Jones on Tower] , much to the dismay of the singer. He was actually signed to London subsidiary, Parrot). It also gave Nilsson his first national releases. Tower's first single (#101) was "Car Party/Outta Gas" by The Sunrays, a California pop group produced and managed by Murry Wilson, father of Beach Boys Brian, Dennis and Carl.

In 1965, Tower made a bit of a risky move by releasing "You Turn Me On" by Ian Whitcomb, a song that was considered racy by some. It became Whitcomb's biggest hit (and Tower's only other Top 10 record, peaking at #8 on Billboard). Other Tower hits that year included "I Live For The Sun" by The Sunrays and "Dirty Water", by The Standells.

In 1966, the label gained what could be called a "future cult" status, becoming one of the premiere purveyors of what would later be called garage rock. While not releasing recordings from this genre exclusively, it seemed their greatest chart successes came from garage bands, such as "Blues' Theme" from "The Wild Angels" by Davie Allan & The Arrows.

Tower released the first recordings by Pink Floyd in the U.S. in 1967 without success after acquiring the rights from EMI's UK Columbia label (a different company than Columbia Records in the U.S. and Canada.) Tower released three Pink Floyd albums. The 5 Pink Floyd singles on Tower have become the most valuable and sought-after of the label's recordings. Tower released the single "See Emily Play" three times between July 1967 and late 1968, but each time it failed to reach the top 40. After the Tower label was dissolved the Pink Floyd albums were re-issued on another Capitol/EMI subsidiary Harvest Records.

Several singles by The Chocolate Watchband were released also in 1967. Today these are very collectible. Mississippi "sunshine pop" group Eternity's Children (who evolved into Starbuck in the 70's) placed Tower back on the charts with "Mrs. Bluebird" in the summer of 1968.

A&R man Mike Curb joined the label in 1968. Curb had a hand in releasing several soundtracks on the Tower label, most notably, "Wild in the Streets", featuring Tower's last major hit: Max Frost and the Troopers' "The Shape of Things To Come".

Capitol shut down Tower Records in 1970. In 1992, the original label was used as part of EMI's "Legends Of Rock And Roll" series of CD's for their "Best Of Freddie And The Dreamers" compilation.

Label variations

*1964–1968: Brownish orange label with Tower logo on left side
*1968–1970: Multi-color striped label with Tower logo on left side (album labels feature the logo at the top)

Charted singles

*Chittlins -- Gus Jenkins -- Tower 107 -- US #113, 11/64
*Apache '65 -- The Arrows featuring Davie Allan -- Tower 116 -- US #64, 2/65
*This Sporting Life -- Ian Whitcomb & Bluesville -- Tower 120 -- US #100, 3/65
*I'm Telling You Now -- Freddie & The Dreamers -- Tower 125 -- US #1, 3/65
*Little Lonely One -- Tom Jones -- Tower 126 -- US #42, 5/65
*You Were Made For Me -- Freddie & The Dreamers -- Tower 127 -- US #21, 5/65
*You Turn Me On (Turn On Song) -- Ian Whitcomb & Bluesville -- Tower 134 -- US #8, 5/65
*I Live For The Sun -- The Sunrays -- Tower 148 -- US #51, 9/65
*N-E-R-V-O-U-S! -- Ian Whitcomb -- Tower 155 -- US #59, 9/65
*Send A Letter To Me -- Freddie & The Dreamers -- Tower 163 -- US #123, 10/65
*Dirty Water -- The Standells -- Tower 185 -- US #11, 4/66
*Chills And Fever -- Tom Jones -- Tower 190 -- US #125, 12/65
*Andrea -- The Sunrays -- Tower 191 -- US #41, 1/66
*Still -- The Sunrays -- Tower 224 -- US #93, 5/66
*Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White -- The Standells -- Tower 257 -- US #43, 8/66
*Theme From "The Wild Angels" -- Davie Allan & The Arrows -- Tower 267 -- US #99, 11/66
*Where Did Robinson Crusoe Go With Friday On Saturday Night -- Ian Whitcomb -- Tower 274 -- US #101, 11/66
*Why Pick On Me -- The Standells -- Tower 282 -- US #54, 10/66
*Winchester Cathedral -- Dana Rollin -- Tower 283 -- US #71, 11/66
*Blue's Theme -- The Arrows featuring Davie Allan -- Tower 295 -- US #37, 4/67
*Riot On Sunset Strip -- The Standells -- Tower 314 -- US #133, 3/67
*Edelweiss -- Vince Hill -- Tower 323 -- US #119, 4/67
*Devil's Angels -- Davie Allan & The Arrows -- Tower 341 -- US #97, 7/67
*Can't Help But Love You -- The Standells -- Tower 348 -- US #78, 11/67
*See Emily Play -- Pink Floyd -- Tower 356 -- US #134, 9/67
*Mrs. Bluebird -- Eternity's Children -- Tower 416 -- US #69, 7/68
*Shape Of Things To Come -- Max Frost & The Troopers -- Tower 419 -- US #22, 9/68
*Sunshine Among Us -- Eternity's Children -- Tower 439 -- US #117, 9/68
*Fifty-Two Percent -- Max Frost & The Troopers -- Tower 452 -- US #123, 12/68

Charted albums

*I'm Telling You Now -- Freddie & The Dreamers -- Tower 5003 -- US #86, 5/65::"Features only two tracks by Freddie & The Dreamers; the other 10 tracks are by other British artists and groups"
*You Turn Me On -- Ian Whitcomb -- Tower 5004 -- US #125, 7/65
*Dirty Water -- The Standells -- Tower 5027 -- US #52, 7/66
*Way Out West -- Mae West -- Tower 5028 -- US #116, 7/66
*The Wild Angels (Soundtrack) -- Davie Allan & The Arrows -- Tower 5043 -- US #17, 10/66
*The Wild Angels, Volume II -- Davie Allan & The Arrows -- Tower 5056 -- US #94, 4/67
*Devil's Angels (Soundtrack) -- Davie Allan & The Arrows -- Tower 5074 -- US #165, 8/67
*Pink Floyd -- Pink Floyd -- Tower 5093 -- US #131, 12/67
*Wild In The Streets -- Soundtrack -- Tower 5099 -- US #12, 7/68
*Best Of The Soundtacks (Compilation) -- Various artists -- Tower 5148 -- US #198, 2/69

Other Tower label artists

*Chocolate Watchband
*The E-Types
*Annette Funicello ::"Her one and only single on Tower, "What's A Girl To Do"/"When You Get What You Want" (Tower 326), shows her name misspelled as "Annettte"
*Susan Hart
*Heinz (Heinz Burt of The Tornados)
*Jake Holmes
*Darlene McCrea (of The Cookies)
*Harry Nilsson
*Teddy & The Pandas
*Justin Wilson

References

External links

* [http://gravediggervideo.com/tower.html Tower Records Discography]
* [http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/PFArchives/DTower.htm Pink Floyd at Tower Records]
* [http://www.txhighlands.com/deccalisting1.htm Tom Jones' Visual Discography: Pre-Decca Period]


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