Charles Duhigg and Geoff Boucher of the Los Angeles Times report that at least three major music companies cut off CD shipments to Tower Records on Thursday after record executives said that the iconic music retailer had stopped paying its bills.

Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group Corp. and EMI Group sources confirmed to the Los Angeles Times privately that each of the companies had stopped sending albums to the Sacramento-based chain, which has struggled with declining sales as digital technologies have changed the way consumers buy music.

Industry insiders and analysts said it was unclear whether Tower Records had run out of money or was attempting to pressure the record companies to extend better terms.

If the music companies suspend shipments for long, Tower Records could be forced to shutter its 89 locations, including the famous store on Los Angeles' Sunset Strip, analysts said.

Music fans bemoaned the potential loss of a retailer that catered to fanatical tastes.

"LED ZEPPELIN changed my life, AC/DC changed my guitar playing, and BLACK SABBATH changed my approach to songwriting — and I found all of them because of Tower Records," said Dave Mustaine, lead singer of the veteran heavy-metal band MEGADETH. "What could they possibly put in the place of that Sunset store? Another Starbucks?"



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