The California-based record merchant made its filing with the US Bankruptcy court in Wilmington Delaware, which is likely to result in the sale of 93 stores around the country.
It is unknown how this will effect Tower Record stores in the UK, including the flagship store in Piccadilly Circus, London.
In the US, the business has suffered from competition from discount retailers undercutting its prices.
At its peak, Tower Records ran 200 stores in 21 US states with numerous international franchises and had revenues of more than $1bn (£538m).
However earnings had tumbled for 13 consecutive quarters resulting in mounting losses and store closures.
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