Culture

Tupac Shakur, Eminem, 50 Cent Master Recordings Destroyed in 2008 Fire

Tupac Shakur, Eminem, 50 Cent Master Recordings Destroyed in 2008 Fire”

PEOPLE reported at the time that the King Kong exhibit was "three quarters lost" and that the NY set "has been totally lost". "In fact, it conveniently ignores the tens of thousands of back catalog recordings that we have already issued in recent years - including master-quality, high-resolution, audiophile versions of many recordings that the story claims were 'destroyed.' And it even goes so far as to praise some of our initiatives but does not attribute them to us".

In a confidential report in 2009, Universal Music Group estimated the loss at about 500,000 song titles. Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Judy Garland, Etta James, Neil Diamond, Loretta Lynn, Eric Clapton, Yoko Ono, Elton John, Janet Jackson, No Doubt and Tupac Shakur are among the long list of artists whose master recordings may have gone up in flames. The fire spread to the "video vault", a 22,320-square-foot warehouse that stored film reels but also housed a sound-recordings library containing master recordings from the many labels under the UMG umbrella. Master music recordings are the original recordings from which all subsequent copies are derived.

When a fire broke out at Universal Studios in Los Angeles in June 2008, a lot of Hollywood movie magic was lost. The Times report has revealed that around 500,000 songs were lost in the devastation.

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.

Of the artists that lost masters in the fire are Aretha Franklin, whose first recorded appearances are gone forever, Buddy Holly, who lost almost his entire catalog, and Etta James, who lost her hit single "At Last".

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".



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