The Day the Music Burned

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I couldn’t find another good thread to post this on. This article about the 2008 destruction of UMG’s vault of original master recordings was shocking, especially how well the company was able to cover it up:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/11/magazine/universal-fire-master-recordings.html

o. nate, Tuesday, 11 June 2019 13:32 (two months ago) link

Yeah, it's a grim read. How on earth can companies be persuaded to start taking this stuff much more seriously?

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 13:34 (two months ago) link

They can't.

Simon H., Tuesday, 11 June 2019 13:38 (two months ago) link

Buy more deluxe reissues!

Thanks for posting this

maffew12, Tuesday, 11 June 2019 13:41 (two months ago) link

Yet the news has never reached the broader public. In part, this represents a triumph of crisis management. In the days following the fire, officials at UMG’s global headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif., and in New York scrambled to spin and contain press coverage.

That's how you put all those undelivered artist royalties to work.

bendy, Tuesday, 11 June 2019 14:51 (two months ago) link

related article:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/11/us/master-recordings-universal-fire.html

"Decades ago, employees of CBS Records reportedly took power saws to multitrack masters to sell the reels as scrap metal."

:O

Ambient Police (sleeve), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 14:53 (two months ago) link

Damn. That was fascinating but hard to read. And as for their so-called "Project Phoenix":

UMG began Project Phoenix in October 2008. The plan was to gather duplicates of recordings whose masters were lost. ... The project lasted two years and, by Aronson’s
estimate, recovered perhaps a fifth of what had been lost .... Copies were placed in storage holds on both coasts: at an underground vault in Boyers, Pa., and a high-rise facility in Hollywood. Both vaults are run by Iron Mountain, the global information-management and storage giant.

...well, I hope they read up on the company first: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Mountain_%28company%29#Data_losses

(we, ah - just don't mention that name in front of my old boss) (not in a music-related job)

a passing spacecadet, Tuesday, 11 June 2019 15:10 (two months ago) link

one last note, for music journalists who follow me: there's no indication that artists and estates were told about any of this. some definitely knew; others may be finding out about it this week. in other words: there are a LOT of musicians to be asked what they think.

— Nitsuh Abebe (@ntabebe) June 11, 2019

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 17:00 (two months ago) link

it's quoted in the piece, but much of this is an expansion upon this talk from the 2014 EMP Conference

http://www.andyzax.com/goodbye

like, I’m eating an elephant head (katherine), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 17:49 (two months ago) link

I mean you can drop the needle just about anywhere in this piece and hit some heartbreaking information but this fucking killed me:

Most of John Coltrane’s Impulse masters were lost, as were masters for treasured Impulse releases by Ellington, Count Basie, Coleman Hawkins, Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, Art Blakey, Sonny Rollins, Charles Mingus, Ornette Coleman, Alice Coltrane, Sun Ra, Albert Ayler, Pharoah Sanders and other jazz greats

chr1sb3singer, Tuesday, 11 June 2019 18:38 (two months ago) link

I was wondering about the Sun Ra tapes, though. I believe Sun Ra's masters have always resided with Sun Ra's estate -- the Lost Reel Collection series, among other releases, suggests as much. With the exception of Space Is The Place, his ABC/Impulse recordings were reissues of Saturn material. That is, there's a chance that the now-destroyed Impulse tapes for Astro Black and Pathways To Unknown Worlds could have been copies of the Saturn masters.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 19:01 (two months ago) link

I have Sugar Pie DeSanto singles comp on Kent where in the liner notes it's mentioned in passing that all of her unreleased Chess masters had been destroyed in that fire. The one outtake included came from an acetate that iirc came from a private collection.

a large tuna called “Justice” (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 19:42 (two months ago) link

You can’t really force people to take better care of their stuff, I’m sure that the fate of millions of manuscripts and mountains of architects drawings isn’t much better.

Siegbran, Tuesday, 11 June 2019 19:46 (two months ago) link

I was just reading last night, in a book about Marvel Comics, about how most original artwork from 1960s comics was destroyed after publication (in the context of a rare/surviving original Ditko cover illustration).

Theodor Adorno, perhaps the greatest philosopher alive today (morrisp), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 19:52 (two months ago) link

it's quoted in the piece, but much of this is an expansion upon this talk from the 2014 EMP Conference

Those of us there in the room will remember the literal vocal agony we all went through when hearing about this. The full details of the fire's toll weren't talked about by Andy as much as in Jody's piece but yeah...that was not a good twenty minutes (and given all the other stories Andy was telling, that was just a part of it). There was definitely a sense of 'can this information leave the room?' about the whole thing, so reading in Jody's piece about how it was talked about, just in a way that wasn't getting any kind of real shine anywhere, was sadly illuminating.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 11 June 2019 20:07 (two months ago) link

just finished reading this piece. gutted.

blue light or electric light (the table is the table), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 20:22 (two months ago) link

Postscript to @jodyrosen's article: Charles Wright made A Lil' Encouragement in '75. ABC Records cancelled its release after making a few 8-track cartridges. The album masters burned in the Universal fire; this tape--the only known copy--is now the sole evidence of its existence. pic.twitter.com/9qqJfM26vw

— Andy Zax (@andyzax) June 11, 2019

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 11 June 2019 21:01 (two months ago) link

The lawyers will be gearing up

REMHQ is receiving inquiries from many people concerned about the New York Times article on the Universal Music fire 11 years ago. We are trying to get good information to find out what happened and the effect on the band’s music, if any. We will detail further as and when.

— R.E.M. HQ (@remhq) June 11, 2019

For over a decade, @Holerock didn't know a warehouse fire destroyed their master recordings https://t.co/mZrDI1jFvU

— Pitchfork (@pitchfork) June 11, 2019

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 11 June 2019 21:06 (two months ago) link

fuuuuuck

Ambient Police (sleeve), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 21:10 (two months ago) link

This might explain why nobody can find the original Asia album masters. Very sad, and UMG have kept it quiet for more than 10 years. https://t.co/eWMaEcoBRC

— Geoffrey Downes (@asiageoff) June 11, 2019

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 11 June 2019 21:11 (two months ago) link

Holy shit!

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 21:17 (two months ago) link

There's a third-party version of this story going around social media claiming in the headline that Eagles masters where among those destroyed.

So there's that...

a large tuna called “Justice” (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 21:19 (two months ago) link

The story leaves it unclear. Azoff was shown tapes but were they the tapes, etc.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 11 June 2019 21:22 (two months ago) link

I'll bet Elton John'll have something to say about his masters getting torched.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 21:25 (two months ago) link

XP I think what they meant were Henley's solo albums.

And I guess Frey's too?

Eagles tapes should be w/Warner Music.

Apparently what Azoff took were Steely Dan tapes.

a large tuna called “Justice” (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 21:28 (two months ago) link

Fun Fact: Azoff was the head of MCA Records in the mid-'80s.

a large tuna called “Justice” (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 21:31 (two months ago) link

UMG's lawyers are having a fine day, I'm sure. This was a really rough read, but gripping. Scary to realize how fast this stuff can disappear.

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 21:33 (two months ago) link

It is sad to read this. The decline of the SACD format aside, this is another reason we won’t ever get more high-definition reissues of Coltrane’s Impulse albums than we already have.

Melomane, Tuesday, 11 June 2019 21:37 (two months ago) link

Most countries in Europe, I imagine, would’ve already declared these recordings historic and placed them under preservation laws funded by the government. Would America do the same?

Naive Teen Idol, Tuesday, 11 June 2019 21:44 (two months ago) link

the Eagles are mentioned in the apocalyptically large and awful list of artists mentioned from the article

like, I’m eating an elephant head (katherine), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 21:53 (two months ago) link

mong the incinerated Decca masters were recordings by titanic figures in American music: Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Al Jolson, Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland. The tape masters for Billie Holiday’s Decca catalog were most likely lost in total. The Decca masters also included recordings by such greats as Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five and Patsy Cline.

The fire most likely claimed most of Chuck Berry’s Chess masters and multitrack masters, a body of work that constitutes Berry’s greatest recordings. The destroyed Chess masters encompassed nearly everything else recorded for the label and its subsidiaries, including most of the Chess output of Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Willie Dixon, Bo Diddley, Etta James, John Lee Hooker, Buddy Guy and Little Walter. Also very likely lost were master tapes of the first commercially released material by Aretha Franklin, recorded when she was a young teenager performing in the church services of her father, the Rev. C.L. Franklin, who made dozens of albums for Chess and its sublabels.

Virtually all of Buddy Holly’s masters were lost in the fire. Most of John Coltrane’s Impulse masters were lost, as were masters for treasured Impulse releases by Ellington, Count Basie, Coleman Hawkins, Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, Art Blakey, Sonny Rollins, Charles Mingus, Ornette Coleman, Alice Coltrane, Sun Ra, Albert Ayler, Pharoah Sanders and other jazz greats.

...

The list of destroyed single and album masters takes in titles by dozens of legendary artists, a genre-spanning who’s who of 20th- and 21st-century popular music. It includes recordings by Benny Goodman, Cab Calloway, the Andrews Sisters, the Ink Spots, the Mills Brothers, Lionel Hampton, Ray Charles, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Clara Ward, Sammy Davis Jr., Les Paul, Fats Domino, Big Mama Thornton, Burl Ives, the Weavers, Kitty Wells, Ernest Tubb, Lefty Frizzell, Loretta Lynn, George Jones, Merle Haggard, Bobby (Blue) Bland, B.B. King, Ike Turner, the Four Tops, Quincy Jones, Burt Bacharach, Joan Baez, Neil Diamond, Sonny and Cher, the Mamas and the Papas, Joni Mitchell, Captain Beefheart, Cat Stevens, the Carpenters, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Al Green, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Elton John, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Buffett, the Eagles, Don Henley, Aerosmith, Steely Dan, Iggy Pop, Rufus and Chaka Khan, Barry White, Patti LaBelle, Yoko Ono, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, the Police, Sting, George Strait, Steve Earle, R.E.M., Janet Jackson, Eric B. and Rakim, New Edition, Bobby Brown, Guns N’ Roses, Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, Sonic Youth, No Doubt, Nine Inch Nails, Snoop Dogg, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Hole, Beck, Sheryl Crow, Tupac Shakur, Eminem, 50 Cent and the Roots.

like, I’m eating an elephant head (katherine), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 21:53 (two months ago) link

(the comments are also full of "why didn't they digitize them?" which is an especially bleak chaser, considering 50 million digital songs were reported lost in a separate incident just two months ago)

like, I’m eating an elephant head (katherine), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 21:56 (two months ago) link

That's weird. The Eagles' catalogue is with Warner Music, who weren't using that wearhouse.

a large tuna called “Justice” (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 22:01 (two months ago) link

holy shit, this is horrifying

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 22:01 (two months ago) link

The REM tweet and Hole comment sort of confirm what I was thinking while I was reading that I bet most of these artist have no clue this happened

chr1sb3singer, Tuesday, 11 June 2019 22:03 (two months ago) link

Yes, and Geoff Downes trying to locate the masters for his own album, completely unaware that they may have went up in smoke. Clearly, nobody told him that it might have even been a possibility.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 22:06 (two months ago) link

Unsurprisingly, there seems to be very real tears shed over this over at the Hoffman boards. An effect of this, of course, is that a lot of recordings issued post-2008 on reissue labels for audiophiles may not have come from first generation masters, which is very embarrassing for those labels.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 22:14 (two months ago) link

Most countries in Europe, I imagine, would’ve already declared these recordings historic and placed them under preservation laws funded by the government. Would America do the same?

― Naive Teen Idol, Tuesday, June 11, 2019 10:44 PM (fifteen minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

From my research into early recordings for centuries of sound, easily the best archive of acoustic era recordings is that of UCSB, in terms of scope of collection, preservation quality and ease of access for the public, there is nothing even approaching it anywhere in Europe. I love the British Library, but they have nothing to compare. UCSB is what, 100 miles from the Universal Studios lot? So I think this is less to do with the lack of a national culture of preservation, and more to do with these assholes at UMG.

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 22:15 (two months ago) link

This Twitter thread is interesting:

Looking back, the massive loss of music master tapes at Universal seems like a secret hiding in plain sight. The label's reissue division slowed considerably in the past decade, releasing very few of the deluxe and expanded editions they offered during the 2000s.

— Stephen Thomas Erlewine (@sterlewine) June 11, 2019

What it made me think about is that the recent cheapo catalog boxes, 5 CDs for $20, which started rolling out in roughly 2010-2011, all came from the other two majors, Sony ("Original Albums Series") and WMG ("Original Album Classics") - Universal never had their own line like those, and maybe this was why.

shared unit of analysis (unperson), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 22:35 (two months ago) link

An effect of this, of course, is that a lot of recordings issued post-2008 on reissue labels for audiophiles may not have come from first generation masters, which is very embarrassing for those labels.

I was wondering about this. Sundazed, for instance, has done a ton of UMG reissues on vinyl and CD in last several years that were pitched as coming from original tapes and such.

a large tuna called “Justice” (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 22:36 (two months ago) link

XP UMG did a number of those boxes, usually branded "# of Great Albums" (the number usually being 3-5), but they weren't as widely marketed, and some of them were poorly put together (like, say, three KISS or Skynyrd albums paired w/Greatest Hits covering the same period).

a large tuna called “Justice” (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 22:40 (two months ago) link

xp yeah and at least the mono Safe As Milk was a total hack job/scam:

http://www.zappateers.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=30559

Ambient Police (sleeve), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 22:43 (two months ago) link

XP Those UMG boxes were also pretty much exclusively Rock and R&B albums that had been remastered prior to the fire.

a large tuna called “Justice” (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 22:44 (two months ago) link

the fire actually explains a lot about why that particular reissue (Safe As Milk) was so badly botched, they had nothing to work with

Ambient Police (sleeve), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 22:44 (two months ago) link

Yeah I'm not sure that the situation is much better in Europe. First there's WW2 where most efforts were made to save old works, and also after that you read story after story of wiped and reused tapes, water damage (like the recent Bob Marley finds), etc.

Siegbran, Tuesday, 11 June 2019 22:54 (two months ago) link

This is like the saddest thing I have ever read

Bee OK, Tuesday, 11 June 2019 23:03 (two months ago) link

I brought this up over on a Sonic Youth thread not too long ago, but I had looked into the library of UMG Deluxe Editions, which did slow down to a halt Stateside in the early '10s. The line kept going for a few more healthy years in the UK, but with almost exclusively UK artists (Thin Lizzy, Sandy Denny, Uriah Heap etc.) whose tapes presumably weren't stateside.

a large tuna called “Justice” (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 23:03 (two months ago) link

Chronological Discogs List of UMG Deluxe Editions

Most of the last several pages are European Artists/Editions.

a large tuna called “Justice” (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, 11 June 2019 23:18 (two months ago) link

That’s five of my albums up in smoke

— Maria Mckee (@realmariamckee) June 12, 2019

Elvis Telecom, Wednesday, 12 June 2019 00:23 (two months ago) link

Yeah reading between the lines of the article it seems pretty clear that UMG had a ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ policy with regard to artists and their tapes - some seem to know, but seems like UMG wasn’t proactively informing artists who were affected. Like all coverups, now it seems like the blowback from having kept it secret all these years will be worse than if they had just come clean in the first place.

One Eye Open, Wednesday, 12 June 2019 00:47 (two months ago) link

Harold Faltermeyer!

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 26 June 2019 03:22 (one month ago) link

F’in NY Times, I swear

Consider the coconut (morrisp), Wednesday, 26 June 2019 03:28 (one month ago) link

it's a large but incomplete list of artists who had material that umg believed with "reasonable certainty" had been "destroyed." that seems worth publishing.

fact checking cuz, Wednesday, 26 June 2019 03:45 (one month ago) link

I disagree, especially under that headline. With those caveats, it’s a worthless list.

Consider the coconut (morrisp), Wednesday, 26 June 2019 04:10 (one month ago) link

Then one day morrisp is buried under all the tape ashes, dim cries of 'fake news' are heard from its depths.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 26 June 2019 04:22 (one month ago) link

Fake news, right. Try me...

My point here is — if I jump right to the list (which is what most readers will probably do, skipping or merely skimming the article) and see my favorite artist, “The Simpsons,” all I know is that in 2009-10, UMG believed that some of that artist’s masters may have been lost in the fire — despite the label’s “insoluble discographical puzzle,” and the fact they were wrong about Neil Young, etc. I haven’t actually learned anything of value, and the definitive-looking monolith of names implies certainty and gravity that the article takes pains to undercut as a prelude (probably b/c they know exactly how the list will come off).

None of this is to let UMG off the hook; but printing that list, especially under that headline, is stupid and bad.

Consider the coconut (morrisp), Wednesday, 26 June 2019 04:36 (one month ago) link

“If I don’t read the article I may draw the wrong conclusions from it, therefore they should not have published it.”

quelle sprocket damage (sic), Wednesday, 26 June 2019 04:38 (one month ago) link

I read the article. R.E.M. is on the list — does that mean they lost only the master tape of “Voice of Harold,” or their entire IRS discography? Or nothing at all? We won’t know until it’s investigated further. So what have I learned?

Consider the coconut (morrisp), Wednesday, 26 June 2019 04:39 (one month ago) link

Melissa Manchester :(

Creames Fartpoop, Wednesday, 26 June 2019 04:43 (one month ago) link

The problem in many ways is simply that a negative can't be proved. A slew of items were lost, a large amount, with no accounting of exactly what it all was. Assume though that UMG somehow accounts for everything else it has access to elsewhere (doubtful obv but this what they claim to be doing right now). Theoretically you could then claim that whatever else is missing based on what label holdings they had equals what is actually gone.

For all my cracks, morrisp ain't wrong on the one hand, but spelling out the implications -- via a monolith, if you like -- has a role. And if UMG was already sorting, prioritizing and assuming, that itself is a sign.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 26 June 2019 04:44 (one month ago) link

And if UMG was already sorting, prioritizing and assuming, that itself is a sign.

and if umg also spends 11 years covering up what happened, not even telling many of its own artists, then someone has to do the work of sifting through those ashes. if not for the nytimes' reporting, there'd be no lawsuit, there'd be no public awareness, and a lot of artists would still have no idea where there masters were.

fact checking cuz, Wednesday, 26 June 2019 04:50 (one month ago) link

*their* masters, d'oh

fact checking cuz, Wednesday, 26 June 2019 04:51 (one month ago) link

does that mean they lost only the master tape of “Voice of Harold,” or their entire IRS discography? Or nothing at all? We won’t know until it’s investigated further. So what have I learned?

you -- and quite possibly rem -- have learned that *something* has been lost. there'd probably be no way to get to the next step, the step of itemizing that loss, without going through this step, the step of acknowledging the loss, first.

fact checking cuz, Wednesday, 26 June 2019 04:53 (one month ago) link

We won’t know until it’s investigated further. So what have I learned?

good point, we should wait until UMG release the results of the investigation. shame on Rosen for rushing to print so soon after the disaster.

quelle sprocket damage (sic), Wednesday, 26 June 2019 05:10 (one month ago) link

you -- and quite possibly rem -- have learned that *something* has been lost. there'd probably be no way to get to the next step, the step of itemizing that loss, without going through this step, the step of acknowledging the loss, first.

― fact checking cuz, Wednesday, June 26, 2019 12:53 AM (eighteen minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

If every artist on that list lost exactly one non-essential song ... it would still be a huge loss!

space invaders are smokin penises!!!! (Whiney G. Weingarten), Wednesday, 26 June 2019 05:15 (one month ago) link

we should wait until UMG release the results of the investigation. shame on Rosen for rushing to print so soon after the disaster.

Snark noted — but you have it backward, IMO. It’s been 9 years since that list was put together; we know it’s inaccurate in at least certain respects, and UMG is now undertaking a new inventory and also getting sued by a bunch of artists, which will result in discovery etc. Why publish this particular list now (especially under that heavily misleading headline)... why not, yes, continue to report on the lawsuit(s) / investigations and what is actually confirmed about lost tapes, rather than fuel speculation.

Consider the coconut (morrisp), Wednesday, 26 June 2019 05:23 (one month ago) link

Btw I take fcc’s point that this info may spur certain artists or estates, who were previously on the fence about pursuing any claim against UMG (due to costs etc.), into taking the plunge and doing so (by seeing the name on this old list).

Consider the coconut (morrisp), Wednesday, 26 June 2019 05:25 (one month ago) link

(I also have no problem with the chunks of names included in the text of the article itself, in the context of “artists with losses may include and be as diverse as...” — but something about the implied authority of the solemn, alphabetical list printed in its entirely, especially under that headline, really bugs.)

Consider the coconut (morrisp), Wednesday, 26 June 2019 05:33 (one month ago) link

the reason i posted this list is two fold. first i assumed most on ILM have been following this story and have read said article. second, NYT only gives like three complimentary articles per month and i always get block out of that site for reaching their limit. i was happy i didn't go over my limit this month and reposted the list for reference, without having to go back to that article time and time again.

sorry morrisp for upsetting you.

Bee OK, Wednesday, 26 June 2019 05:57 (one month ago) link

Snark noted — but you have it backward, IMO. It’s been 9 years since that list was put together; we know it’s inaccurate in at least certain respects

We don't know anything of the sort, unless we're making assumptions about it that are contradicted by the article that contains it

(I have no idea what the headline is, and likely didn't read it, but/as it's highly unlikely that Rosen wrote it)

quelle sprocket damage (sic), Wednesday, 26 June 2019 07:49 (one month ago) link

The Hollywood Flames

mark e, Wednesday, 26 June 2019 09:07 (one month ago) link

L: Jane Petty R: Jody Rosen

Siegbran, Wednesday, 26 June 2019 09:41 (one month ago) link

Cheech & Chong

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/4a/Up_in_Smoke_%28soundtrack%29.jpg

(Released by Warner Bros. Records, so one of the not-lost ones fyi)

Vernon Locke, Wednesday, 26 June 2019 12:32 (one month ago) link

But this one was on MCA...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Street_Survivors#/media/File:StreetSurvivorsFlames.jpg

Vernon Locke, Wednesday, 26 June 2019 12:33 (one month ago) link

Fwiw the headline is "Here Are Hundreds More Artists Whose Tapes Were Destroyed in the UMG Fire"

The list is preceded with "What can be said with certainty is that these are artists whose material UMG believed had been lost in the fire and whose recordings the company spent tens of millions of dollars trying to replace."

Seems fine imo

One Eye Open, Wednesday, 26 June 2019 12:48 (one month ago) link

(the article, not the fire. fire bad, imho)

One Eye Open, Wednesday, 26 June 2019 12:49 (one month ago) link

sorry morrisp for upsetting you.

You didn’t! I already saw the list in the article, lol... it was useful to have it here for discussion

We don't know anything of the sort, unless we're making assumptions about it that are contradicted by the article that contains it

Yes — Neil Young; the other caveats about the list in the article itself. Universal also claims to have found certain tapes in the intervening 9 years (maybe that’s BS)

Fwiw the headline is "Here Are Hundreds More Artists Whose Tapes Were Destroyed in the UMG Fire"

Exactly — not “Believed” Destroyed, just “Destroyed”. The lack of that (necessary) qualifier makes it indefensibly inaccurate (you don’t agree?), and the headline + list printed in its entirety feel like a clickbait exercise meant to generate “oh, no” reactions even though knowledge of actual losses remains thin.

Consider the coconut (morrisp), Wednesday, 26 June 2019 14:32 (one month ago) link

Remove Bookmark from this Thread

Ambient Police (sleeve), Wednesday, 26 June 2019 14:34 (one month ago) link

Ah but there's an update

In memo, UMG archivist says the company has assembled a team of "70 professionals...responsible for timely and open responses to artists about the status of musical assets under our care, as well as the extent to which certain assets were lost." https://t.co/S6Ybv5crm5

— Jody Rosen (@jodyrosen) June 26, 2019

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 26 June 2019 20:17 (one month ago) link

How the prospect of lawsuits concentrates the mind wonderfully.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 26 June 2019 20:19 (one month ago) link

speaking of odd headlines:

"Universal Music’s Chief Archivist Explains Company’s Post-Fire Artist Outreach Plan" would be more accurately rendered as "Universal Music’s Chief Archivist Explains Company’s Post-Article-About-Fire Artist Outreach Plan"

fact checking cuz, Wednesday, 26 June 2019 21:04 (one month ago) link

Ever so minor details!

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 26 June 2019 21:07 (one month ago) link

I was not kidding with this post, this is an actual headline, via Alternative Nation

This is an actual headline about the Universal archive fire. NOT THAT YOU COULD TELL. pic.twitter.com/LZrdDZCyPS

— Ned Raggett (@NedRaggett) June 27, 2019

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 27 June 2019 04:48 (one month ago) link

The power of the press

https://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2019/06/26/vivendis-sale-umg-indefinite-pause/

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 27 June 2019 17:10 (one month ago) link

Every artist who has been cursing the majors' terrible inventory practices for decades must now be praying that they were so bad there still may be a chance their recordings survived.

Naive Teen Idol, Thursday, 27 June 2019 21:29 (one month ago) link

finally read the articles, and thus, this thread

as i scrolled through the complete list of artists i thought to myself this is a bee ok post, guaranteed and lo(l)

mookieproof, Sunday, 30 June 2019 21:44 (one month ago) link

I just noticed this obit. Mickey Kapp, who ran Kapp Records for many years, died on June 11. The masters for nearly the entire Kapp discography were destroyed in the June 2008 fire at the UMG vault on the Universal studios backlot. https://t.co/3fZqVRQcWF

— Jody Rosen (@jodyrosen) July 9, 2019

Naive Teen Idol, Tuesday, 9 July 2019 19:00 (one month ago) link

i dunno if you can beat "made mixtapes for astronauts" as an epitaph

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Tuesday, 9 July 2019 19:29 (one month ago) link

UMG files motion to dismiss, arguing (among other things) that the destroyed tapes were its own property: https://variety.com/2019/music/news/universal-fire-motion-dismiss-soundgarden-hole-tupac-tom-petty-1203270567/

stan by me (morrisp), Thursday, 18 July 2019 03:53 (one month ago) link

Also (FWIW), a long new memo from the label’s head archivist: https://variety.com/2019/biz/news/universal-music-fire-damage-update-masters-archivist-internal-memo-read-1203270621/

stan by me (morrisp), Thursday, 18 July 2019 04:02 (one month ago) link

I suggest reading this thread from Jody Rosen in response:

In a new Variety piece, Universal Music Group offers an update on efforts to tally its losses in the fire that struck its Hollywood tape vault in 2008. UMG also pushes back—again—on @NYTmag reporting on the fire & losses incurred. https://t.co/e2MvM8A642

— Jody Rosen (@jodyrosen) July 17, 2019

As well as this separate follow-up tweet:

Hours after UMG pushes out a memo downplaying its losses in the '08 fire, its lawyers file a motion to dismiss lawsuit by artists...bc the statute of limitations has expired & after all UMG "publicly stated that hundreds of thousands of recordings were destroyed" in '09. Wild. pic.twitter.com/shsOCs3hFk

— Jody Rosen (@jodyrosen) July 18, 2019

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 18 July 2019 04:18 (one month ago) link

New thread just now as well

Universal Fire update: I thought I'd devote a few tweets to highlighting some rather extraordinary discordances between the message that Universal Music Group is pushing in public statements & the assertions that the company has made & is continuing to make in legal filings.

— Jody Rosen (@jodyrosen) July 18, 2019

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 18 July 2019 18:30 (one month ago) link

Separately but relatedish, this thread is making the rounds:

Warner Music Group has halted ALL archiving globally, except ultra-specific Abbey Road projects, until at least Oct 1. No indication was given if archiving would continue after that. Archivists received an email on July 1, indicating a 3-month minimum lay-off would begin July 10. pic.twitter.com/ZX6TzK2D7f

— Zachary Jaydon (@ZacharyJaydon) July 18, 2019

Internal documents provided to me, indicated archivists were to keep this information out of the press, & not to discuss past mastering projects or losses of Master Recordings, due to damaged or lost tapes, & acknowledged the company has over a million “assets” left to archive. pic.twitter.com/pSOTqBkHdp

— Zachary Jaydon (@ZacharyJaydon) July 18, 2019

“We do not need @JodyRosen calling,” indicating WMG are aware of the press that UMG is currently receiving, criticizing their lack of accountability for the 2008 fire that gutted the company of more than 150,000 Master Recordings from some of the best-selling artists in history. pic.twitter.com/kdNKz4Fd6e

— Zachary Jaydon (@ZacharyJaydon) July 18, 2019

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 18 July 2019 20:13 (one month ago) link

Jody shared it but notes:

THREAD.

If true, this is quite weird. Also, I think it's fair to say, poorly timed. https://t.co/W0UxR0qU8F

— Jody Rosen (@jodyrosen) July 18, 2019

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 18 July 2019 20:17 (one month ago) link

ffs, UMG is handling every aspect of this, and every subsequent step, in the dumbest way imaginable.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Thursday, 18 July 2019 20:43 (one month ago) link

one month passes...

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