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semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: crholmstrom ()
Date: June 11, 2019 16:48

although not mentioned, i wonder if any stones masters were lost:

[www.nytimes.com]

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: jlowe ()
Date: June 11, 2019 17:19

Were the Stones with UMG in 2008?
They had just signed, perhaps.
The DECCA /ABKCO material more likely. Perhaps that's why the Vault is dry from that era?

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: dcba ()
Date: June 11, 2019 17:31

Most depressing article I read in years...

"Among 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.

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"

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: Spud ()
Date: June 11, 2019 17:39

I hadn't been aware of that fire and what was lost !

It's terrible . You can rebuild a cathedral... but you can't now get Ella Fitzgerald or Chuck Berry to do another take.

[Many folks would argue I suppose that we'll have good Digital transfers of all or most of this material...but for an old Luddite like me, that's not the point. ]

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: TornAndFried ()
Date: June 11, 2019 18:00

Quote
jlowe
Were the Stones with UMG in 2008?
They had just signed, perhaps.
The DECCA /ABKCO material more likely. Perhaps that's why the Vault is dry from that era?

They would have made digital copies of these recordings before the fire and it's likely the Stones keep most of their post-1971 masters in their own vault, but it's possible there were low-generation copies and masters of the Decca/ABKCO era records and possibly some unreleased material. And then there is the Chess Records masters. sad smiley



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-06-11 18:17 by TornAndFried.

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: crholmstrom ()
Date: June 11, 2019 22:49

on a more contemporary note, a couple of names that lept out for me were nirvana & nine inch nails. also i know they haven't been able to find the masters for steely dan "aja". sad. & the situation with iron mountain is just totally ridiculous. i thought the article would be of interest to my music head friends here. we who love ALL music. some of this is akin to taking all of monet's paintings & burning them, IMHO.

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: GivenToFly15 ()
Date: June 11, 2019 23:14

R.E.M. posted something about this on social media.

Instagram

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: NICOS ()
Date: June 11, 2019 23:47

That's really sad..........especially for the never released stuff.....................

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: swimtothemoon ()
Date: June 11, 2019 23:56

Wow...This is shocking news. For me as well this was the first I heard of the tragedy!

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: GivenToFly15 ()
Date: June 11, 2019 23:59

A digital backup is never the same as the master itself - the article explains it in detail.

It’s a shame how UMG publicly reacted to the fire, saying it was nothing while speaking of a catastrophic event in its lawsuit. It seems many artists don’t even know about this (hence the R.E.M post). And it’s a long and sad list...

Quote

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.

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: treaclefingers ()
Date: June 12, 2019 00:14

wow...truly a catastrophe for music.

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: GasLightStreet ()
Date: June 12, 2019 00:49

Last year, the Beggars Banquet label unearthed the multitrack master recordings of the Cult’s classic 1985 album, Love, for a planned deluxe edition. The LP was an early digital recording, and to the label’s shock, one master was unplayable; the other contained only 80 percent of the album. “That’s the problem with digital,” says Steve Webbon, head archivist of the Beggars Group. “When it goes, it’s just blank. It’s gone.”

Welcome to the digital nightmare. Until the 1980s, music was recorded on analog tapes that were stored in vaults and easily played back. In the digital era, that process has changed irrevocably. A new report issued by the Library of Congress calls digital formats “not inherently safe harbors of preservation,” and raised red flags about how music collections are being stored.

...

Why does it matter? With the record industry battling shrinking sales, labels have been scouring their catalogs for new revenue streams: deluxe reissues, remixes and video-game and soundtrack licensing opportunities — all of which can require the multitrack masters (these contain all of a song’s separate vocal and instrumental elements). For instance, this year’s hit Exile on Main Street reissue, where the Rolling Stones recorded new material onto sessions from the 1970s, or the new “stripped down” version of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Double Fantasy couldn’t have happened without fully intact multitrack masters.


Wow.

The great advantage of the digital medium — that it’s always evolving — is also its downfall. Modern computers aren’t always compatible with old formats.

Makes me wonder, seeing that clip of Jagger in BEING JAGGER, with him sitting in that room with those master tapes of Stones recordings, if they constantly back things up.

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: StonedRambler ()
Date: June 12, 2019 01:38

Quote
GasLightStreet
Welcome to the digital nightmare. Until the 1980s, music was recorded on analog tapes that were stored in vaults and easily played back. In the digital era, that process has changed irrevocably. A new report issued by the Library of Congress calls digital formats “not inherently safe harbors of preservation,” and raised red flags about how music collections are being stored.
That's not to blame on digital recordings, it's the labels fault. With digital files you can get an exact one-to-one copy of any digital recording. To save digital master tapes only on one hard drive and to expect this hard drive to work forever is really naive.

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: Xam ()
Date: June 12, 2019 02:32

That is kind of... not sure of the proper word to use here... but something stinks about all of this.

11 years later and bands are just finding out?

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: His Majesty ()
Date: June 12, 2019 02:54


Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: GasLightStreet ()
Date: June 12, 2019 02:59

Quote
StonedRambler
Quote
GasLightStreet
Welcome to the digital nightmare. Until the 1980s, music was recorded on analog tapes that were stored in vaults and easily played back. In the digital era, that process has changed irrevocably. A new report issued by the Library of Congress calls digital formats “not inherently safe harbors of preservation,” and raised red flags about how music collections are being stored.
That's not to blame on digital recordings, it's the labels fault. With digital files you can get an exact one-to-one copy of any digital recording. To save digital master tapes only on one hard drive and to expect this hard drive to work forever is really naive.

How they failed to back up and back up is astounding.

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: kowalski ()
Date: June 12, 2019 04:12

A summary of the lost masters : [www.nytimes.com]

"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."

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: Xam ()
Date: June 12, 2019 04:13

-



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 2019-06-12 05:46 by Xam.

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: GasLightStreet ()
Date: June 12, 2019 06:58

Quote
kowalski
A summary of the lost masters : [www.nytimes.com]

"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."

I am not privy to knowing exactly by any means whatsoever but regarding Jimmy Buffett, he recorded 2 albums for Barnaby Records before signing with ABC/Dunhill and releasing 7 LPs (and 1 live album) between 1973 and 1979.

MCA Records then bought ABC and his albums from 1979 - 1996, a total of 13 studio albums and 1 live album, were with MCA directly through 1989, after through his own Margaritaville Records distributed through MCA.

No telling what was lost in that fire.

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: WillInUK ()
Date: June 12, 2019 09:58

Computing Rule no. 1:back up once. Back up twice and store in separate locations. Can't believe they did not do that.

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: Doxa ()
Date: June 12, 2019 11:16

Terrible. It was really depressing to read the article. A part of our cultural history destroyed just like that. And Universal acting like 'no big deal'. Makes me wonder how well all of that stuff is treated by this huge record company, which owns so much of the treasures of the past. Do they really care? They just wanted to buy all the competition out of the way (rivaling record companies), and after they've dead and gone, couldnt care less?

A nice re-newed deal by The Stones last year, including among other things the storages offered by UMG for their stuff...

- Doxa



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-06-12 11:22 by Doxa.

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Date: June 12, 2019 11:52

Very sad indeed sad smiley

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: SKILLS ()
Date: June 12, 2019 12:41

Dam,

I had been super keen for a rerelease of Chuck's recordings with Jimmie Johnson with the Piano restored to it's rightful place. Everytime I listen to Chuck i'm always wanting a different mix.

eye popping smiley

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: Silver Dagger ()
Date: June 12, 2019 12:57

Horrible news.

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: dcba ()
Date: June 12, 2019 13:08

Quote
WillInUK
Computing Rule no. 1:back up once. Back up twice and store in separate locations. Can't believe they did not do that.

You can't do that with Master recordings...

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: His Majesty ()
Date: June 12, 2019 13:21


Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: Doxa ()
Date: June 12, 2019 13:46

Makes me (also) wonder is the record companies like Universal any longer right places to take care such a historically significiant material. The thing is that UMG is a business corporate designated to make money, or, to be precise, nowadays tries to survive in a dying business. Storaging and taking care of stuff asks money, and I do understand that in most cases - think of, say, Chess and Impulse material (RIP) - the profits are smaller than the costs.

My suggestion is that forget 'owning' the stuff and put them (of what is left) into museum or national archives or something. Its value is not any longer importnat business-wise but more that of cultural history. I think the people thinking it in more terms like that would treat them differently too (with more care and respect).

- Doxa

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: tatters ()
Date: June 12, 2019 14:19

How did they manage to keep this a secret for 11 years?

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: GivenToFly15 ()
Date: June 12, 2019 14:29

Quote
tatters
How did they manage to keep this a secret for 11 years?

The article explains it: a masterful fake-news scam.

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