A YEAR ago, not only were we starved of anything resembling a wide choice in recorded music, but many of those with the power in the industry thought we weren't interested, as well as plain unsophisticated. Thank goodness one outfit thought the record companies were wrong. And so we say, happy birthday Tower Records. This weekend, to celebrate our unexpected hunger, we get to buy it all at a 20-per-cent discount - CDs, magazines, laser discs and even clothing. But that, as they say in K-tel land, is not all. This weekend also marks the grand opening of another, even bigger record store . . . the 10,000-square-foot HMV Megastore in Causeway Bay. Musical gluttony is ours! The fact that Tower Records is marking its anniversary with a sale, in-store DJ and giveaways on the same weekend HMV officially opens its doors is pure coincidence, says Tower's advertising and promotions manager, Vince Parr. Tower and HMV are entering into the spirit of friendly competition, Parr said, adding that the more music the better for Hong Kong's music industry. 'The more pressure there is on the record labels means the more creative they will have to get. And the more CDs that are sold, the more we will see live bands in Hong Kong.' HMV and Tower are used to competing, Parr said, noting that throughout the world, wherever Tower is, inevitable so are HMV and Virgin. KPS is also gearing up to enter the CD market in a much more competitive fashion. And he believes there is room in the territory for both an HMV Megastore and Tower Records - and even more. While Tower is still negotiating the lease, a new store should be opening in Tsim Sha Tsui around February and there are plans for smaller stores in the New Territories and Central. 'It's almost like, the more stores there are, the more awareness there is and the bigger the demand. We had been thinking about coming into Hong Kong for a number of years, but it wasn't until a year and a half ago that we decided to go with it because we knew the demand was there and wasn't being met. 'When we came, the attitude of the major record labels was, there's no demand, but the demand wasn't there because the music wasn't in the stores. You've got to bring it in to see how the market responds and I think we've done that,' said Vince. And demand has been bigger than anticipated, especially in the jazz and British independent sections. One mission Tower has for its second year is to bring classical music to a 'street level'. 'Already younger people than you would expect are turning up for in-store appearances for people like Philip Glass, but we'd like to introduce more classical music to younger people and we plan to expand our collection,' Parr said. The Tower Records sale will offer newly-released CDs for $92 on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.