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  • Universal Master Tapes Lost In Blaze

    Eleven years ago this month, a fire ripped through a part of Universal Studios Hollywood.

    At the time, the company said that the blaze had destroyed the theme park’s “King Kong” attraction and a video vault that contained only copies of old works.

    But, according to an article published on Tuesday by The New York Times Magazine, the fire also tore through an archive housing treasured audio recordings, amounting to what the piece described as “the biggest disaster in the history of the music business.”

    What happened?

    The fire started in the early hours of June 1, 2008.

    Overnight, maintenance workers had used blowtorches to repair the roof of a building on the set of New England Street, a group of colonial-style buildings used in scenes for movies and television shows. The workers followed protocol and waited for the shingles they worked on to cool, but the fire broke out soon after they left, just before 5 a.m...

    ... What was lost?

    Almost all of the master recordings stored in the vault were destroyed in the fire, including those produced by some of the most famous musicians since the 1940s.

    In a confidential report in 2009, Universal Music Group estimated the loss at about 500,000 song titles.

    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’s “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.
    NY Times

    Ouch

  • #2
    Reports yesterday suggest that the connections of Tupac Shakur and Tom Petty have launched a “class action” against Universal over this. Apparently Universal were paid our several millions in insurance money and tried to cover things up and keep all the money for themselves (when legally they should have made pay outs to the artists). Typical music business behaviour sadly.

    Comment


    • #3
      Feck


      38 Special
      50 Cent
      Colonel Abrams
      Johnny Ace
      Bryan Adams
      Nat Adderley
      Aerosmith
      Rhett Akins
      Manny Albam
      Lorez Alexandria
      Gary Allan
      Red Allen
      Steve Allen
      The Ames Brothers
      Gene Ammons
      Bill Anderson
      Jimmy Anderson
      John Anderson
      The Andrews Sisters
      Lee Andrews & the Hearts
      Paul Anka
      Adam Ant
      Toni Arden
      Joan Armatrading
      Louis Armstrong
      Asia
      Asleep at the Wheel
      Audioslave
      Patti Austin
      Average White Band
      Hoyt Axton
      Albert Ayler
      Burt Bacharach
      Joan Baez
      Razzy Bailey
      Chet Baker
      Florence Ballard
      Hank Ballard
      Gato Barbieri
      Baja Marimba Band
      Len Barry
      Count Basie
      Fontella Bass
      The Beat Farmers
      Sidney Bechet and His Orchestra
      Beck
      Captain Beefheart
      Archie Bell & the Drells
      Vincent Bell
      Bell Biv Devoe
      Louie Bellson
      Don Bennett
      Joe Bennett and the Sparkletones
      David Benoit
      George Benson
      Berlin
      Elmer Bernstein and His Orchestra
      Chuck Berry
      Nuno Bettencourt
      Stephen Bishop
      Blackstreet
      Art Blakey
      Hal Blaine
      Bobby (Blue) Bland
      Mary J. Blige
      Blink 182
      Blues Traveler
      Eddie Bo
      Pat Boone
      Boston
      Connee Boswell
      Eddie Boyd
      Jan Bradley
      Owen Bradley Quintet
      Oscar Brand
      Bob Braun
      Walter Brennan
      Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats
      Teresa Brewer
      Edie Brickell & New Bohemians
      John Brim
      Lonnie Brooks
      Big Bill Broonzy and Washboard Sam
      Brothers Johnson
      Bobby Brown
      Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown
      Lawrence Brown
      Les Brown
      Marion Brown
      Marshall Brown
      Mel Brown
      Michael Brown
      Dave Brubeck
      Jimmy Buffett
      Carol Burnett
      T-Bone Burnett
      Dorsey Burnette
      Johnny Burnette
      Busta Rhymes
      Terry Callier
      Cab Calloway
      The Call
      Glen Campbell
      Captain and Tennille
      Captain Sensible
      Irene Cara
      Belinda Carlisle
      Carl Carlton
      Eric Carmen
      Hoagy Carmichael
      Kim Carnes
      Karen Carpenter
      Richard Carpenter
      The Carpenters
      Barbara Carr
      Betty Carter
      Benny Carter
      The Carter Family
      Peter Case
      Alvin Cash
      Mama Cass
      Bobby Charles
      Ray Charles
      Chubby Checker
      The Checkmates Ltd.
      Cheech & Chong
      Cher
      Don Cherry
      Mark Chesnutt
      The Chi-Lites
      Eric Clapton
      Petula Clark
      Roy Clark
      Gene Clark
      The Clark Sisters
      Merry Clayton
      Jimmy Cliff
      Patsy Cline
      Rosemary Clooney
      Wayne Cochran
      Joe Cocker
      Ornette Coleman
      Gloria Coleman
      Mitty Collier
      Jazzbo Collins
      Judy Collins
      Colosseum
      Alice Coltrane
      John Coltrane
      Colours
      Common
      Cookie and the Cupcakes
      Barbara Cook
      Rita Coolidge
      Stewart Copeland
      The Corsairs
      Dave “Baby” Cortez
      Bill Cosby
      Don Costa
      Clifford Coulter
      David Crosby
      Crosby & Nash
      Johnny Cougar (aka John Cougar Mellencamp)
      Counting Crows
      Coverdale•Page
      Warren Covington
      Deborah Cox
      James “Sugar Boy” Crawford
      Crazy Otto
      Marshall Crenshaw
      The Crew-Cuts
      Sonny Criss
      David Crosby
      Bob Crosby
      Bing Crosby
      Sheryl Crow
      Rodney Crowell
      Pablo Cruise
      The Crusaders
      Xavier Cugat
      The Cuff Links
      Tim Curry
      The Damned
      Danny & the Juniors
      Rodney Dangerfield
      Bobby Darin
      Helen Darling
      David + David
      Mac Davis
      Richard Davis
      Sammy Davis Jr.
      Chris de Burgh
      Lenny Dee
      Jack DeJohnette
      The Dells
      The Dell-Vikings
      Sandy Denny
      Sugar Pie DeSanto
      The Desert Rose Band
      Dennis DeYoung
      Neil Diamond
      Bo Diddley
      Difford & Tilbrook
      Dillard & Clark
      The Dixie Hummingbirds
      Willie Dixon
      DJ Shadow
      Fats Domino
      Jimmy Donley
      Kenny Dorham
      Jimmy Dorsey and His Orchestra
      Lee Dorsey
      The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra
      Lamont Dozier
      The Dramatics
      The Dream Syndicate
      Roy Drusky
      Jimmy Durante
      Deanna Durbin
      The Eagles
      Steve Earle
      El Chicano
      Danny Elfman
      Yvonne Elliman
      Duke Ellington
      Cass Elliott
      Joe Ely
      John Entwistle
      Eminem
      Eric B. and Rakim
      Gil Evans
      Paul Evans
      Betty Everett
      Don Everly
      Extreme
      The Falcons
      Harold Faltermeyer
      Donna Fargo
      Art Farmer
      Freddie Fender
      Ferrante & Teicher
      Fever Tree
      The Fifth Dimension
      Ella Fitzgerald
      Five Blind Boys Of Alabama
      The Fixx
      The Flamingos
      King Floyd
      The Flying Burrito Brothers
      John Fogerty
      Red Foley
      Eddie Fontaine
      The Four Aces
      The Four Tops
      Peter Frampton
      Franke & the Knockouts
      Aretha Franklin
      The Rev. C.L. Franklin
      The Free Movement
      Glenn Frey
      Lefty Frizzell
      Curtis Fuller
      Jerry Fuller
      Lowell Fulson
      Harvey Fuqua
      Nelly Furtado
      Hank Garland
      Judy Garland
      Erroll Garner
      Jimmy Garrison
      Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers
      Gene Loves Jezebel
      Barry Gibb
      Georgia Gibbs
      Terri Gibbs
      Dizzy Gillespie
      Gin Blossoms
      Tompall Glaser
      Tom Glazer
      Whoopi Goldberg
      Golden Earring
      Paul Gonsalves
      Benny Goodman
      Dexter Gordon
      Rosco Gordon
      Lesley Gore
      The Gospelaires
      Teddy Grace
      Grand Funk Railroad
      Amy Grant
      Earl Grant
      The Grass Roots
      Dobie Gray
      Buddy Greco
      Keith Green
      Al Green
      Jack Greene
      Robert Greenidge
      Lee Greenwood
      Patty Griffin
      Nanci Griffith
      Dave Grusin
      Guns N’ Roses
      Buddy Guy
      Buddy Hackett
      Charlie Haden
      Merle Haggard
      Bill Haley and His Comets
      Aaron Hall
      Lani Hall
      Chico Hamilton
      George Hamilton IV
      Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds
      Marvin Hamlisch
      Jan Hammer
      Lionel Hampton
      John Handy
      Glass Harp
      Slim Harpo
      Richard Harris
      Freddie Harts
      Dan Hartman
      Johnny Hartman
      Coleman Hawkins
      Dale Hawkins
      Richie Havens
      Roy Haynes
      Head East
      Heavy D. & the Boyz
      Bobby Helms
      Don Henley
      Clarence “Frogman” Henry
      Woody Herman and His Orchestra
      Milt Herth and His Trio
      John Hiatt
      Al Hibbler
      Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks
      Monk Higgins
      Jessie Hill
      Earl Hines
      Roger Hodgson
      Hole
      Billie Holiday
      Jennifer Holliday
      Buddy Holly
      The Hollywood Flames
      Eddie Holman
      John Lee Hooker
      Stix Hooper
      Bob Hope
      Paul Horn
      Shirley Horn
      Big Walter Horton
      Thelma Houston
      Rebecca Lynn Howard
      Jan Howard
      Freddie Hubbard
      Humble Pie
      Engelbert Humperdinck
      Brian Hyland
      The Impressions
      The Ink Spots
      Iron Butterfly
      Burl Ives
      Janet Jackson
      Joe Jackson
      Milt Jackson
      Ahmad Jamal
      Etta James
      Elmore James
      James Gang
      Keith Jarrett
      Jason & the Scorchers
      Jawbreaker
      Garland Jeffreys
      Beverly Jenkins
      Gordon Jenkins
      The Jets
      Jimmy Eat World
      Jodeci
      Johnnie Joe
      The Joe Perry Project
      Elton John
      J.J. Johnson
      K-Ci & JoJo
      Al Jolson
      Booker T. Jones
      Elvin Jones
      George Jones
      Hank Jones
      Jack Jones
      Marti Jones
      Quincy Jones
      Rickie Lee Jones
      Tamiko Jones
      Tom Jones
      Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five
      The Jordanaires
      Jurassic 5
      Bert Kaempfert
      Kitty Kallen & Georgie Shaw
      The Kalin Twins
      Bob Kames
      Kansas
      Boris Karloff
      Sammy Kaye
      Toby Keith
      Gene Kelly
      Chaka Khan
      B.B. King
      The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
      Wayne King
      The Kingsmen
      The Kingston Trio
      Roland Kirk
      Eartha Kitt
      John Klemmer
      Klymaxx
      Baker Knight
      Chris Knight
      Gladys Knight and the Pips
      Krokus
      Steve Kuhn
      Rolf Kuhn
      Joachim Kuhn
      Patti LaBelle
      L.A. Dream Team
      Lambert, Hendricks & Ross
      Frankie Lane
      Denise LaSalle
      Yusef Lateef
      Steve Lawrence
      Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gormé
      Lafayette Leake
      Brenda Lee
      Laura Lee
      Leapy Lee
      Peggy Lee
      Danni Leigh
      The Lennon Sisters
      J.B. Lenoir
      Ramsey Lewis
      Jerry Lee Lewis
      Jerry Lewis
      Meade Lux Lewis
      Liberace
      Lifehouse
      Enoch Light
      The Lightning Seeds
      Limp Bizkit
      Lisa Loeb
      Little Axe and the Golden Echoes
      Little Milton
      Little River Band
      Little Walter
      Lobo
      Nils Lofgren
      Lone Justice
      Guy Lombardo
      Lord Tracy
      The Louvin Brothers
      Love
      Patti Loveless
      The Lovelites
      Lyle Lovett
      Love Unlimited
      Loretta Lynn
      L.T.D.
      Lynyrd Skynyrd
      Gloria Lynne
      Moms Mabley
      Willie Mabon
      Warner Mack
      Dave MacKay & Vicky Hamilton
      Miriam Makeba
      The Mamas and the Papas
      Melissa Manchester
      Barbara Mandrell
      Chuck Mangione
      Shelly Manne
      Wade Marcus
      Mark-Almond
      Pigmeat Markham
      Steve Marriott
      Wink Martindale
      Groucho Marx
      Hugh Masekela
      Dave Mason
      Jerry Mason
      Matthews Southern Comfort
      The Mavericks
      Robert Maxwell
      John Mayall
      Percy Mayfield
      Lyle Mays
      Les McCann
      Delbert McClinton
      Robert Lee McCollum
      Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr.
      Van McCoy
      Jimmy McCracklin
      Jack McDuff
      Reba McEntire
      Gary McFarland
      Barry McGuire
      The McGuire Sisters
      Duff McKagan
      Maria McKee
      McKendree Spring
      Marian McPartland
      Clyde McPhatter
      Carmen McRae
      Jack McVea
      Meat Loaf
      Memphis Slim
      Sergio Mendes
      Ethel Merman
      Pat Metheny
      Mighty Clouds of Joy
      Roger Miller
      Stephanie Mills
      The Mills Brothers
      Liza Minnelli
      Charles Mingus
      Joni Mitchell
      Bill Monroe
      Vaughn Monroe
      Wes Montgomery
      Buddy Montgomery
      The Moody Blues
      The Moonglows
      Jane Morgan
      Russ Morgan
      Ennio Morricone
      Mos Def
      Martin Mull
      Gerry Mulligan
      Milton Nascimento
      Johnny Nash
      Nazareth
      Nelson
      Rick Nelson & the Stone Canyon Band
      Ricky Nelson
      Jimmy Nelson
      Oliver Nelson
      Aaron Neville
      Art Neville
      The Neville Brothers
      New Edition
      New Riders of the Purple Sage
      Olivia Newton-John
      Night Ranger
      Leonard Nimoy
      Nine Inch Nails
      Nirvana
      The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
      No Doubt
      Ken Nordine
      Red Norvo Sextet
      Terri Nunn
      The Oak Ridge Boys
      Ric Ocasek
      Phil Ochs
      Hazel O’Connor
      Chico O’Farrill
      Oingo Boingo
      The O’Jays
      Spooner Oldham
      One Flew South
      Yoko Ono
      Orleans
      Jeffrey Osborne
      The Outfield
      Jackie Paris
      Leo Parker
      Junior Parker
      Ray Parker Jr.
      Dolly Parton
      Les Paul
      Freda Payne
      Peaches & Herb
      Ce Ce Peniston
      The Peppermint Rainbow
      Pepples
      The Persuasions
      Bernadette Peters
      Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
      John Phillips
      Webb Pierce
      The Pinetoppers
      Bill Plummer
      Poco
      The Pointer Sisters
      The Police
      Doc Pomus
      Jimmy Ponder
      Iggy Pop
      Billy Preston
      Lloyd Price
      Louis Prima
      Primus
      Puddle Of Mudd
      Red Prysock
      Leroy Pullins
      The Pussycat Dolls
      Quarterflash
      Queen Latifah
      Sun Ra
      The Radiants
      Gerry Rafferty
      Kenny Rankin
      The Ray Charles Singers
      The Ray-O-Vacs
      The Rays
      Dewey Redman
      Della Reese
      Martha Reeves
      R.E.M.
      Debbie Reynolds
      Emitt Rhodes
      Buddy Rich
      Emil Richards
      Dannie Richmond
      Riders in the Sky
      Stan Ridgway
      Frazier River
      Sam Rivers
      Max Roach
      Marty Roberts
      Howard Roberts
      The Roches
      Chris Rock
      Tommy Roe
      Jimmy Rogers
      Sonny Rollins
      The Roots
      Rose Royce
      Jackie Ross
      Doctor Ross
      Rotary Connection
      The Rover Boys
      Roswell Rudd
      Rufus and Chaka Khan
      Otis Rush
      Brenda Russell
      Leon Russell
      Pee Wee Russell
      Russian Jazz Quartet
      Mitch Ryder
      Buffy Sainte-Marie
      Joe Sample
      Pharoah Sanders
      The Sandpipers
      Gary Saracho
      Shirley Scott
      Tom Scott
      Dawn Sears
      Neil Sedaka
      Jeannie Seely
      Semisonic
      Charlie Sexton
      Marlena Shaw
      Tupac Shakur
      Archie Shepp
      Dinah Shore
      Ben Sidran
      Silver Apples
      Shel Silverstein
      The Simon Sisters
      Ashlee Simpson
      The Simpsons
      Zoot Sims
      P.F. Sloan
      Smash Mouth
      Kate Smith
      Keely Smith
      Tab Smith
      Patti Smyth
      Snoop Dogg
      Valaida Snow
      Jill Sobule
      Soft Machine
      Sonic Youth
      Sonny and Cher
      The Soul Stirrers
      Soundgarden
      Eddie South
      Southern Culture on the Skids
      Spinal Tap
      Banana Splits
      The Spokesmen
      Squeeze
      Jo Stafford
      Chris Stamey
      Joe Stampley
      Michael Stanley
      Kay Starr
      Stealers Wheel
      Steely Dan
      Gwen Stefani
      Steppenwolf
      Cat Stevens
      Billy Stewart
      Sting
      Sonny Stitt
      Shane Stockton
      George Strait
      The Strawberry Alarm Clock
      Strawbs
      Styx
      Sublime
      Yma Sumac
      Andy Summers
      The Sundowners
      Supertramp
      The Surfaris
      Sylvia Syms
      Gábor Szabó
      The Tams
      Grady Tate
      t.A.T.u.
      Koko Taylor
      Billy Taylor
      Charlie Teagarden
      Temple of the Dog
      Clark Terry
      Tesla
      Sister Rosetta Tharpe
      Robin Thicke
      Toots Thielemans
      B.J. Thomas
      Irma Thomas
      Rufus Thomas
      Hank Thompson
      Lucky Thompson
      Big Mama Thornton
      Three Dog Night
      The Three Stooges
      Tiffany
      Mel Tillis
      Tommy & the Tom Toms
      Mel Tormé
      The Tragically Hip
      The Trapp Family Singers
      Ralph Tresvant
      Ernest Tubb
      The Tubes
      Tanya Tucker
      Tommy Tucker
      The Tune Weavers
      Ike Turner
      Stanley Turrentine
      Conway Twitty
      McCoy Tyner
      Phil Upchurch
      Michael Utley
      Leroy Van Dyke
      Gino Vannelli
      Van Zant
      Billy Vaughan
      Suzanne Vega
      Vega Brothers
      Veruca Salt
      The Vibrations
      Bobby Vinton
      Voïvod
      Porter Wagoner
      The Waikikis
      Rufus Wainwright
      Rick Wakeman
      Jerry Jeff Walker
      The Wallflowers
      Joe Walsh
      Wang Chung
      Clara Ward
      Warrior Soul
      Washboard Sam
      Was (Not Was)
      War
      Justine Washington
      The Watchmen
      Muddy Waters
      Jody Watley
      Johnny “Guitar” Watson
      The Weavers
      The Dream Weavers
      Ben Webster
      Weezer
      We Five
      George Wein
      Lenny Welch
      Lawrence Welk
      Kitty Wells
      Mae West
      Barry White
      Michael White
      Slappy White
      Whitesnake
      White Zombie
      The Who
      Whycliffe
      Kim Wilde
      Don Williams
      Jody Williams
      John Williams
      Larry Williams
      Lenny Williams
      Leona Williams
      Paul Williams
      Roger Williams
      Sonny Boy Williamson
      Walter Winchell
      Kai Winding
      Johnny Winter
      Wishbone Ash
      Jimmy Witherspoon
      Howlin’ Wolf
      Bobby Womack
      Lee Ann Womack
      Phil Woods
      Wrecks-N-Effect
      O.V. Wright
      Bill Wyman
      Rusty York
      Faron Young
      Neil Young
      Young Black Teenagers
      Y & T
      Rob Zombie

      Big hitters in there. Some serious court time to follow, you'd think?

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm finding this very depressing. Let alone the unreleased things, but when you play a record and realise that (unless there is a high quality tape copy or digital transfer in another studio somewhere, and someone knows it's there) there will never be another reissue (or even a reissue at all) that won't just be a vinyl or CD rip.

        Absolutely no reason for them to have even been storing tapes in Hollywood, the whole situation was ludicrous

        Comment


        • #5
          Many of my favourite artists on that list. To me this is as bad as the fire at Notre Dame. Thousands of works of art destroyed.

          I think the saddest part is all the unreleased material that may now never be heard again. You would think, however, that for the “crown jewel” recordings they will have stored copies of the master tapes elsewhere as a back up. Surely that will be the case for many recordings?

          Comment


          • #6
            Or its like the hard disk crash that destroys all those files you've been sitting on for years, with vague ideas of doing 'something' with them, and now suddenly they're all gone and you're ... free ..??
            Dave Lee Roth, I Too Am Running With This Devil Of Which You Speak (sic)

            Comment

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