Universal lost thousands of master recordings in 2008

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Universal lost thousands of master recordings in 2008

Post by ghostrunner »

Apparently tons of master recordings were lost in 2008 and Universal kept it quiet.

https://nationalpost.com/entertainment/ ... ssion=true
Universal Music estimated in a confidential 2009 report that the loss encompassed about 500,000 song titles, the article said.

In a statement on Wednesday, the company called the incident “deeply unfortunate,” but said the Times story contained “numerous inaccuracies, misleading statements, contradictions and fundamental misunderstandings of the scope of the incident.”

The extent of the loss, documented in litigation and company records the article cited, was largely kept from the public eye through a concerted effort on the part of the music label, the magazine said.
According to the Times, the lost works most likely included masters in the Decca Records collection by Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Al Jolson, Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald and Judy Garland. The fire probably also claimed some of Chuck Berry’s greatest recordings, produced for Chess Records, as well as the masters of some of Aretha Franklin’s first appearances on record.

Almost of all of Buddy Holly’s masters were lost, as were most of John Coltrane’s masters in the Impulse Records collection. The fire also claimed numerous hit singles, likely including Bill Haley and His Comets’ “Rock Around the Clock,” Etta James’ “At Last” and the Kingsmen’s “Louie Louie.”

The list of artists affected spans decades of popular music. It includes recordings by Ray Charles, B.B. King, the Four Tops, Joan Baez, Neil Diamond, Sonny and Cher, Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Al Green, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Buffett, the Eagles, Aerosmith, Rufus and Chaka Khan, Barry White, Patti LaBelle, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, the Police, Sting, Steve Earle, R.E.M., Janet Jackson, Guns N’ Roses, Mary J. Blige, No Doubt, Nine Inch Nails, Snoop Dogg, Nirvana, Beck, Sheryl Crow, Tupac Shakur, Eminem, 50 Cent and the Roots.
Krist Novoselic, a founding member of the 1990s grunge band Nirvana, responded to a fan on Twitter asking whether the Times article meant that the masters for the group’s landmark Nevermind album were gone. He wrote: “I think they are gone forever.”

Freed Roger
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Re: Universal lost thousands of master recordings in 2008

Post by Freed Roger »

I heard Neil Young is OCD about preserving his recordings. Seems like he was right to do so.

What a shame

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Re: Universal lost thousands of master recordings in 2008

Post by Famous Mortimer »

I would guess that most anything that's been re-released on CD in the last 10 years has a digital copy of the masters anyway.

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