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Universal Music Fire & Audio Fidelity Multichannel SACDs

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quicksrt

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The Who are on that list. I hope the "Who's Next" multitrack tapes were not among the bunt tapes. I'm still craving that album in 5.1 surround!
Townshend is on record stating that the original mono master of the My Generation album was burned up in that fire, but that a 24/96kHz copy was made.

Then after that fire remixes have come out on Tommy and Quadrophenia, plus remastered stereo. So either many Who tapes survived and were in the UK, or some very high quality digital backups were made of nearly everything including multitracks. I think so far as Who tapes are concerned, Townshend and Co knew and saw the writing on the wall, and made backups of everything they possibly could. Some but not all analog tapes are gone, but most everything "Who" is safe.
 
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Old Quad Guy

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bmoura

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What is your opinion on the matter. Do you have any insight as to what is left or lost?
I'm still puzzled as to why it took so long for this story to come out.

It was widely known inside the music industry.
Richard Carpenter mentioned it years ago in interviews and on a podcast after he tried to pull more Carpenters tapes for remasters only to find them all gone in the fire.

Amazing that the scope of the UMG Fire is just now coming to everyone's attention.
 

thebarnman

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That's pretty crappy. There's so much misinformation with this story it's sickening.

It reads there were boxes labeled with only numbers, but there was nothing kept as to what those numbers represented.

"The New York Times Magazine story said perhaps as many as 500,000 master recordings dating back decades were destroyed, including many by Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, Billie Holiday, Judy Garland, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Elton John, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Nirvana, Soundgarden and multiple other artists."

 

thebarnman

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This article makes me even more sick...

"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."


This reminds me of film vault fires like the Fox fire in 1937 destroying most of their silent films. And of course the 1965 MGM vault fire.
 

4-earredwonder

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Townshend is on record stating that the original mono master of the My Generation album was burned up in that fire, but that a 24/96kHz copy was made.

Then after that fire remixes have come out on Tommy and Quadrophenia, plus remastered stereo. So either many Who tapes survived and were in the UK, or some very high quality digital backups were made of nearly everything including multitracks. I think so far as Who tapes are concerned, Townshend and Co knew and saw the writing on the wall, and made backups of everything they possibly could. Some but not all analog tapes are gone, but most everything "Who" is safe.
NORMALLY the master tapes reside in the country of ORIGIN so hopefully the Who's masters are still extant in the UK.
 

ChristopherLees

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well at least Shel Talmy remixed the My generation lp into true stereo before the fire. and made it available as a cd and lp in true stereo.even if the resulting cd is rather brickwalled,at least the lp escaped that part of the mastering.. and I know that some of the MFSL who stuff came from Pete Townsends' personal master tapes, as it says so in the liner notes
 

privateuniverse

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The latest info from Billboard. Apparently Hole has dropped out of the lawsuit after being assured that none of their masters perished in the fire.

Hole has dropped out of the lawsuit because because UMG assured them the band's music was not effected by the blaze.

Hole has dropped out of a class action lawsuit against Universal Music Group after accepting that their masters were not affected by the 2008 fire that reportedly destroyed up to 500,000 master recordings in the record company's archive vaults.

An amended putative class action complaint against UMG was filed Aug. 16 that left off Hole. However, the other original named plaintiffs -- Soundgarden, Tom Whalley on behalf of the Afeni Shakur Trust that oversees Tupac Shakur's estate, Tom Petty's ex-wife Jane Petty and Steve Earle -- that filed their lawsuit June 21 against UMG are still pursing their claims.

The plaintiffs are seeking to recover half of any settlement proceeds and insurance payments received by UMG and half of any remaining loss of value not compensated by such settlement proceeds and insurance payments. According to the lawsuit, UMG's litigation and insurance claims following the fire were reportedly valued at $150 million to recoup the value of the master recordings -- none of which was directly shared with artists. The artists are suing UMG for breach of contract, negligence, reckless conduct, misrepresentation as well as other causes of action.

After Hole dropped out, UMG released a statement accusing the attorneys filing the complaint of rushing into litigation without first knowing exactly which client's archives were effected. News of the warehouse fire came to light after the New York Times Magazine published on an investigative story titled "The Day the Music Burned" on June 11.

"Over a month ago, without even knowing if the 2008 fire on the NBC/Universal Studios lot affected their clients, plaintiffs' attorneys rushed to pursue meritless legal claims," said a UMG spokesperson in a statement. "UMG's dedicated global team is actively working directly with our artists and their representatives to provide accurate information concerning the assets we have and what might have been lost in the fire. Even though our work is not yet complete, we have already determined that original masters for many of the artists named in the lawsuit were not lost in the 2008 fire. We will not be distracted from our focus on providing our artists with full transparency even as the plaintiffs' attorneys continue to pursue these baseless claims."

Attorneys for the musicians said they agreed to drop Hole because UMG assured them the band's music was not effected. "Hole was dropped because UMG is adamant that no Hole master recordings were lost," said Ed McPherson, one of attorneys representing the named musicians. "We agreed to drop Hole from the suit pending confirmation of the non-loss."

While Hole is no longer a party to the case, the remaining artists show no signs of dropping their lawsuit against UMG. Instead, they have brought additional claims of negligence, reckless conduct and conversion in their lawsuit. They are also now accusing UMG of misrepresentation by omission accusing them of concealing that the measures they were taking to protect and preserve their masters were insufficient. They alleged that UMG did not tell them that their "musical works would be stored in an inadequate and substandard, non-fireproof, storage warehouse located on the back-lot of Universal Studios, which was a well known firetrap."

McPherson said the claim was added because "if UMG was going to store invaluable multi-track master recordings -- the lifeblood and legacy of its artists -- in what UMG refers to as "the vault," but in reality was a warehouse, which was not fireproof (or anything proof), it had a duty to inform its artists of that when they signed their recording agreements (and thereafter)."

McPherson continued, "Money is money, but, if UMG had said to its artists: 'Hey, we will pay you C amount of dollars to sign this record deal, but the irreplaceable multi-track master recordings that you will create may very well be irreparably destroyed because we will not bother to protect them in the slightest possible way,' I imagine that not that many artists would have signed with UMG."
 

Old Quad Guy

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Just looking for articles pertaining to the Universal fire. Found this:

Quote:
"It was reported that Moody Blues tapes might have been among those destroyed in the Universal fire. Do you know if they were?

I read it, of course, in a newspaper. It wasn’t reported in England, and it took some time for it to be reported in the U.S. It’s certainly true that we were listed amongst the people whose tapes might have been destroyed. Nobody called me, because there were much more important people to call or to speak about that. And some people were very vocal. I never really thought about it at all. We only made one album in America, with a company called Decca — and, of course, Universal bought Decca. I don’t know what they’ve got stored. The first seven albums, I don’t believe any of those were stored there. But we were on the list. Since then, I’ve been contacted directly by two different lawyers wanting to know if we’ll join some kind of class action heritage — they always have a nice way of putting these things, “heritage artists” — who are working up this giant lawsuit. I always find that “I don’t know” is a good answer, so that’s what I’ve said [laughs].

It’s a fact that Universal has been rushing to release everything — demos, outtakes, scraps, bits of tape between songs of the Moody Blues, in all sorts of box set-y kind of versions over the last two or three years. And they’re still planning on that. I’ve stepped aside from it. They’ve asked me to approve, but I’ve just not answered those emails anymore. I don’t seem to have much control over it, and I’m not interested in sifting through stuff that I didn’t think should have been released anyway. Surely, as in the Moodies case, some kind of nerd — can’t think of a better way of putting it — would love to be among those archives, if they were still there, sifting out things to make a bit of money for Universal and to bring them to light. It’s part of their ethos, these big companies, just to get that stuff out there to monetize old stuff. It’s also true that pretty much everything that wasn’t baked, that was recorded before 1985, most of the oxide will have fallen off by now anyway. Everything that I’ve wanted to be released has been released."
 

keywhiz

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This article makes me even more sick...

"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."


This reminds me of film vault fires like the Fox fire in 1937 destroying most of their silent films. And of course the 1965 MGM vault fire.
Except those fires resulted in the complete loss of many films. This fire, as tragic as it is, still leaves us with thousands and millions of copies of CDs and LPs of the finished product and, in most cases, the two-track masters which resided elsewhere.

It’s not like the world will never be able to hear “My Generation” again.
 

4-earredwonder

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Except those fires resulted in the complete loss of many films. This fire, as tragic as it is, still leaves us with thousands and millions of copies of CDs and LPs of the finished product and, in most cases, the two-track masters which resided elsewhere.

It’s not like the world will never be able to hear “My Generation” again.
But most unfortunately, GENERATIONS removed from [in the case of films] the original camera negatives and the original multitracks from which the stereo masters were derived!
 
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