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Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: Spud ()
Date: June 27, 2019 11:03

That list, kindly and painstakingly posted by crholmstrom, is frightening.

I suspect that most of us will find at least half a dozen or so of our very favourite artists named on it.


Do the Stones take care of and have custody of their own masters ?

I have to confess that when I first read the NYT expose... and before seeing the lists of affected artists... I did wonder if this was the real reason for the 1971-2016 Vinyl re-masters being cut from "..a choice of flat digital transfers provided by universal" .

[ The cutting engineer had said that, for various technical reasons, he was happy with the digital sources for the project...

...but I still couldn't help getting a brief whiff of sewer dwelling rodent ]



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2019-06-27 11:17 by Spud.

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: crholmstrom ()
Date: June 27, 2019 12:26

Quote
Spud
That list, kindly and painstakingly posted by crholmstrom, is frightening.

I suspect that most of us will find at least half a dozen or so of our very favourite artists named on it.


Do the Stones take care of and have custody of their own masters ?

I have to confess that when I first read the NYT expose... and before seeing the lists of affected artists... I did wonder if this was the real reason for the 1971-2016 Vinyl re-masters being cut from "..a choice of flat digital transfers provided by universal" .

[ The cutting engineer had said that, for various technical reasons, he was happy with the digital sources for the project...

...but I still couldn't help getting a brief whiff of sewer dwelling rodent ]

thanks, spud. i felt it was important to get the info out for the true music lovers here in case they missed it. there are a lot. there are a lot of artists on the list that i listen to. its criminal negligence that was swept under the rug. glad the NY times got the story out there!

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: Spud ()
Date: June 27, 2019 12:43

Universal are now evidently claiming that the extent of the losses is being grossly overstated in the news reports .

It would be nice if that were true....[let's pray that it is ]

...but it wouldn't make their failure to safeguard the material any less serious

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: His Majesty ()
Date: June 27, 2019 12:44

Quote
TornAndFried
... And the remainder, I'm glad their master tapes were burned to a crisp!

hot smiley

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: LazarusSmith ()
Date: June 27, 2019 19:39

I cannot resist wondering ... is this really, in the larger scheme of things, a very big deal?

I mean, clearly, there was dereliction of duty, and egregious carelessness involved here.

But, if the ultimate test is ... will the music survive? ... I wonder if any real harm has been done?

First, there's the question of who really cares about these masters, from a commercial perspective? That's a long list of artists effected ... but, given the state of the industry and the market for recorded (as opposed to streamed) music, would anyone really have been able to "do" anything with those recordings, anyway, i.e., would there have been an audience for products derived from items destroyed in the fire?

Second, there's the issue of posterity, of survival of the music, of some of it passing into obscurity and other parts of the music becoming "standards" or what we might think of as "folk songs" that kids will learn in school for the next hundred years ... the way some of us learned "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain" or "Stardust" or "Killing Floor." Those songs survived not due to any single recording but rather due to their primal excellence and universal (relatively speaking, of course) appeal.

What about some of the music just "disappearing," the way, say, some of Bach's music did because sheet music was not retained. Is that possible here? Are there no other recordings available - even if they are not "masters" - which would give the songs at least a shot at immortality? I mean, it's not as if they've vanished from the face of the earth. (I guess the exception to this would be outtakes or other unreleased material that never saw the light of day and so has truly vanished -- but that's probably more a loss for scholars than for any ultimate possible commercial audience for the music.)

Of course, from an audiophile's perspective, I get how this loss could be viewed as tragic. And it's just such a STUPID thing to have happened.

But, in the final analysis, does it really matter? I'm not so sure ...

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: dcba ()
Date: June 27, 2019 20:03

Quote
LazarusSmith

But, in the final analysis, does it really matter? I'm not so sure ...

Consider it like this : we didn't own these tapes we were just keeping them safe so the future generations might enjoy/discover what' on them.
From that angle : WE FAILED! Badly. There's no other way to put : we failed big time. We betrayed the future generations.

And image that by 2050-2070 new technologies would enable people to greatly improve the sound quality of "semi-amateur" tapes. What are they gonna work from now that the tapes have turned to ashes?

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: LazarusSmith ()
Date: June 27, 2019 20:30

Quote
dcba
Quote
LazarusSmith

But, in the final analysis, does it really matter? I'm not so sure ...

Consider it like this : we didn't own these tapes we were just keeping them safe so the future generations might enjoy/discover what' on them.
From that angle : WE FAILED! Badly. There's no other way to put : we failed big time. We betrayed the future generations.

And image that by 2050-2070 new technologies would enable people to greatly improve the sound quality of "semi-amateur" tapes. What are they gonna work from now that the tapes have turned to ashes?

No argument here re: failure. Absolutely UMG have proven themselves irresponsible archivists in the extreme!

But, it's the "betrayed the future generations" angle that intrigues me: wherein does that betrayal lie, exactly? What music has been destroyed that could not still be enjoyed, appreciated, even canonized by those future generations? I don't believe -- and I may very well be in the minority here -- that 'sound quality' is the defining element when it comes to the ultimate 'survivability' of music. Sure, there must be some sound quality: you must be able to hear the music in a way that allows you to discern its elements, its structure, and its emotion enough to have it move you ... but is an audiophile recording a pre-requisite for that sort of experience/appreciation?

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: His Majesty ()
Date: June 27, 2019 20:44

It wasn't just already released music.

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: LazarusSmith ()
Date: June 27, 2019 21:22

Quote
His Majesty
It wasn't just already released music.

There's no doubt that many of us would LOVE to hear what unreleased Chuck Berry might exist somewhere, or what any Iggy Pop The Idiot outtakes might reveal about his "process."

But, two things spring to mind ... and let's say for the sake of argument that the material alluded to above DID exist and WAS destroyed by the fire:

1) What would either the artist or his survivors be able to do with this material today? Would it be pressed onto cd's in runs of 500, or uploaded to Spotify so that it could be ignored? More likely, it might be treasured by a few fans, and pored over by scholars of pop music ... but otherwise its existence would likely have little impact.

2) What might the existence of that unreleased material do for the legacy of Chuck Berry or Iggy Pop, say, 50, or 100, or 200 years from now? How likely is it that that stuff that was "in the can" but never released could have held a candle to "I Wanna Be Your Dog" or "Search and Destroy" or "Promised Land" or "Little Queenie"?

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: Spud ()
Date: June 28, 2019 13:46

The loss is obviously greater in some eyes than others ...I get that.

But some folks I think are missing the point...and not just wit regard to the unreleased stuff and that with historical interest.

I don't doubt that we have some wonderful Digital photos & prints of all the great paintings in the Louvre and the National Gallery ....

....But what if the originals were all lost because those galleries turned out to be unsuitable fire traps with no sprinkler systems ?

Would there be no real loss because we have photos ?

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: dcba ()
Date: June 28, 2019 14:37

Quote
LazarusSmith
But, it's the "betrayed the future generations" angle that intrigues me: wherein does that betrayal lie, exactly?

What we can enjoy in museums has been preserved and protected by those who came before us. Our duty is to protect what we inherited from our fathers/mothers and hand it unharmed to those who'll come after us. It's a tacit promise that's betrayed every time sth horrible happens (UMG fire. Notre Dame horrorshow).

Just my 2 cents of course...

PS : unlike what was posted in this thread I lament any tape destruction by any artist, even those I don't like. I never liked Nirvava (a lucky untalented bunch to me) but reading that their tape cache vanished doesn't please me at all.

PPS : the fact that UMG tried to downplay the extend of the destruction proves it's a major major catastrophe. I hope artists will sue them to death.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-06-28 14:39 by dcba.

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: Spud ()
Date: June 28, 2019 14:50

Quote
dcba
What we can enjoy in museums has been preserved and protected by those who came before us. Our duty is to protect what we inherited from our fathers/mothers and hand it unharmed to those who'll come after us. It's a tacit promise that's betrayed every time sth horrible happens (UMG fire. Notre Dame horrorshow).

Just my 2 cents of course...

PS : unlike what was posted in this thread I lament any tape destruction by any artist, even those I don't like. I never liked Nirvava (a lucky untalented bunch to me) but reading that their tape cache vanished doesn't please me at all.

PPS : the fact that UMG tried to downplay the extend of the destruction proves it's a major major catastrophe. I hope artists will sue them to death.

thumbs up

My fingers remain crossed that journalistic license might now be exaggerating the extent of the loss, as Universal claim ...but I fear this is not the case.

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: LazarusSmith ()
Date: June 28, 2019 22:47

Quote
Spud
The loss is obviously greater in some eyes than others ...I get that.

But some folks I think are missing the point...and not just wit regard to the unreleased stuff and that with historical interest.

I don't doubt that we have some wonderful Digital photos & prints of all the great paintings in the Louvre and the National Gallery ....

....But what if the originals were all lost because those galleries turned out to be unsuitable fire traps with no sprinkler systems ?

Would there be no real loss because we have photos ?

Perhaps this is the best way to illustrate the different ways of looking at this loss. In my opinion - and that's all it is! - in the case of the physical visual arts, the art IS the thing. If you don't have the thing you don't have the art. A 'rendering' or a 'copy' of the thing is not the thing.

But with music ... what is the "thing"? I would maintain that it's the music, itself ... but otherwise might very well argue that the "thing" is a particular recording of the music at a particular time by a particular artist or group of artists. That's probably a more universal way of looking at this issue.

I'm probably too influenced by things like classical music, for example, where the music itself is the thing, rather than any one individual recording of that music.

(Although even in classical, you can talk about "Beethoven's 5th" AND you can talk about "Carlos Kleiber's Beethoven's 5th on DG.")

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: dcba ()
Date: July 20, 2019 11:27

"Universal Now Claims Only 22 Master Recordings, and Not 500,000, Were Lost in 2008 Fire"

[www.metalsucks.net]

Re: semi OT: UMG vault fire
Posted by: StonedAsiaExile ()
Date: July 20, 2019 15:55

It's like loosing family, music's DNA for that matter.

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