Monday, 24 June, 2019

Decades Of Important Music Revealed Lost In Universal Studios Fire Of 2008

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Adrian Cunningham | 12 June, 2019, 06:41

Nearly of all of Buddy Holly's masters were lost, as were most of John Coltrane's masters in the Impulse Records collection. The 3.5-acre fire took a full day to contain; after drenching it with water and foam fire retardant proved unsuccessful, firefighters had to raze the warehouse. Master music recordings are the original recordings from which all subsequent copies are derived.

Almost all of Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly's masters may have been lost in the 24 hours it took the fire department to control the fire, according to the Times report, which cites litigation and company documents that contrast UMG's public statements about the extent of the damage.

According to a new report from The New York Times, a fire that ripped through Universal Music Studios in 2008 damaged far more than Universal Music Group originally let on.

The Times notes that while the Universal Studios vault known as Building 6197 was not the label's only storage facility, it was the main location.

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The list of artists whose recordings were destroyed reads like a musical hall of fame roll call: Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Judy Garland, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Ray Charles, Elton John, the Eagles, Aerosmith, the Police, Janet Jackson, Nirvana, Tupac Shakur, Eminem and many others. "It's a secret I'm ashamed to have been a part of".

Universal Music Group has criticized The New York Times Magazine report, telling Variety it contained "numerous inaccuracies, misleading statements, contradictions and fundamental misunderstandings of the scope of the incident and affected assets". The Times report has revealed that around 500,000 songs were lost in the devastation.

Over a decade ago, there was a devastating fire at Universal Studios in Hollywood.

After the fire, UMG started a two-year project to try to replicate its library, which resulted in about a fifth of the lost music being "recovered" by obtaining sonically inferior copies, according to Aronson's estimate.