Universal lost thousands of historic masters in 2008 fire

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GoogaMooga
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Universal lost thousands of historic masters in 2008 fire

Postby GoogaMooga » 12 Jun 2019, 19:33

Right, hang on to those remasters released before 2008. The scale of this loss is so big, I can't even cry, this is a music fan's worst nightmare come true.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/11/us/m ... -fire.html
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Re: Universal lost thousands of historic masters in 2008 fire

Postby John aka Josh » 12 Jun 2019, 20:54

Bet that's scuppered some box sets from the so alluring alternative takes & unreleased songs.
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Re: Universal lost thousands of historic masters in 2008 fire

Postby Muskrat » 15 Jun 2019, 04:08

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Re: Universal lost thousands of historic masters in 2008 fire

Postby Muskrat » 15 Jun 2019, 04:56



A high-profile Los Angeles law firm representing multiple recording artists plans to file legal action as early as next week in response to news that a massive number of original master recordings were destroyed in a 2008 fire at Universal Studios Hollywood.

“We have many very concerned clients,” attorney Howard King, partner in King, Holmes, Paterno & Soriano, said Thursday. “This has a potentially huge impact on their future, coupled with the rather disturbing fact that no one ever told them that their intellectual property may have been destroyed. There is a significant amount of discussion going on, and there will be formal action taken.”

King declined to identify specific artists signed to Universal Music Group labels whose master recordings may have been destroyed, according to a blockbuster investigation published Tuesday by the New York Times Magazine, but said that, as of Thursday, “more than 10 but fewer than 100 clients” would be seeking legal redress, noting the fast-moving response after the extent of the fire damage came to light.


One of the attorneys involved is Peter Paterno. And watch for Irving Azoff's name to show up before long.
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Re: Universal lost thousands of historic masters in 2008 fire

Postby Charlie O. » 15 Jun 2019, 16:22

I guess maybe no-one's talked about it "on the record" before now, but I - hardly the most well-connected person - heard about this not long after it happened (and, in retrospect, surprisingly accurate reports at that). If little ol' I heard about it, how did the artists and managers not hear about it?
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Re: Universal lost thousands of historic masters in 2008 fire

Postby GoogaMooga » 15 Jun 2019, 16:25

It was hushed down, bad for business.
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Re: Universal lost thousands of historic masters in 2008 fire

Postby Charlie O. » 15 Jun 2019, 16:31

Of course. But, again, I'm not even in the business and I heard about it.
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Re: Universal lost thousands of historic masters in 2008 fire

Postby Muskrat » 15 Jun 2019, 21:38

It’s coming up now because Universal Music is up for sale...now, a fire sale. And everybody is trying to get a piece of the action.
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Re: Universal lost thousands of historic masters in 2008 fire

Postby Charlie O. » 15 Jun 2019, 23:19

Muskrat wrote:It’s coming up now because Universal Music is up for sale...now, a fire sale.

And no-one likes getting burned. Yuk-yuk-yuk.
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Re: Universal lost thousands of historic masters in 2008 fire

Postby backwards7 » 16 Jun 2019, 15:30

Krist Novoselic, formerly of Nirvana, reckons that that the master tapes for Nevermind may have been lost. The fire was in 2008, so what the hell were they using as a basis for the 2011 remaster of the album?

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Re: Universal lost thousands of historic masters in 2008 fire

Postby Muskrat » 17 Jun 2019, 00:48

backwards7 wrote:Krist Novoselic, formerly of Nirvana, reckons that that the master tapes for Nevermind may have been lost. The fire was in 2008, so what the hell were they using as a basis for the 2011 remaster of the album?


There are tapes all over the place, just not first-generation. Dupes are (or were) sent abroad to be cut in international markets, for instance. Digital files, unlike analog, don't degrade from one generation to the next. It's also possible the multi-track, pre-mixdown tapes were stored separately. Or they might wind up in somebody's closet.
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Re: Universal lost thousands of historic masters in 2008 fire

Postby bobzilla77 » 18 Jun 2019, 16:19

Muskrat wrote:
backwards7 wrote:Krist Novoselic, formerly of Nirvana, reckons that that the master tapes for Nevermind may have been lost. The fire was in 2008, so what the hell were they using as a basis for the 2011 remaster of the album?


There are tapes all over the place, just not first-generation. Dupes are (or were) sent abroad to be cut in international markets, for instance. Digital files, unlike analog, don't degrade from one generation to the next. It's also possible the multi-track, pre-mixdown tapes were stored separately. Or they might wind up in somebody's closet.


That occurred to me too, but Todd is correct, there are always safety copies of the two-track stereo masters used for production.

There may or may not be safety copies of the multi tracks that you would need for remixing.

These secondary sources may be good enough to use in some cases. But you always want theeee master as a starting point. The one tape that came off the deck when the producer finally threw in towel and said "it's done!"
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Re: Universal lost thousands of historic masters in 2008 fire

Postby Muskrat » 19 Jun 2019, 01:35

Update


The chairman of the world’s largest music conglomerate on Tuesday instructed all who work for him to be transparent with musicians who contact the company to find out whether their recordings were among those destroyed in a 2008 fire reported to have consumed as many as 500,000 recordings.

“Let me be clear: we owe our artists transparency,” Universal Music Group CEO Lucian Grainge said in an internal memo that was issued to staff globally, a copy of which was obtained by The Times. “We owe them answers. I will ensure that the senior management of this company, starting with me, owns this.

“If any of you hear from any artist asking about the status of archived assets, please immediately have them contact … our SVP of Recording Studios & Archive Management. In the past few days, [he] has formed a special team specifically to field these requests and respond to them as promptly as we can.”
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Re: Universal lost thousands of historic masters in 2008 fire

Postby Charlie O. » 19 Jun 2019, 01:47

Good for him (assuming it isn’t bs).
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