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Other references to the loss - 

Sheryl Crow: Universal Studios fire destroyed all my master tapes

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-48745638

Here Are Hundreds More Artists Whose Tapes Were Destroyed in the UMG Fire

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/25/magazine/universal-music-fire-bands-list-umg.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share

Edited by blessingx
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Dear lord what a list. The only tapes I hadn't saved from there are Yoko Ono's, all the others are just worthy in the worst case, the vast majority are a terrible loss. I can't help wondering what would have been of current music if all those hadn't ever existed.

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Did not Sony also lose a large part of its masters (from Columbia) in a fire?

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There have been fires and worse, master tapes thrown in landfills because they were taking up space that could make more money another way.

I hang out on some archivist forums/mailing lists and I remember when the Universal fire happened. 

There were lots of questions about what was stored there and just a few hints about stuff like the Chess tapes.

UMG did a great job of covering up the whole thing by starting rumors that the claims of priceless masters were folks trying to spin a big story out of a minor one.

It wasn't until this NYT story was released that the true depth of the tragedy was beginning to be reveal to the general public.

Thankfully, other labels haven't been so careless and take their stewardship seriously. 

A lot of these disasters have been allowed to happen because of the endless shuffling of record labels and copyrights ownership. 

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Here's a NYT article from 2011 about a donation that UMG/Sony made to the Library of Congress. 

Instead of "Library of Congress Gets A Mile of Music" the subject line should read something like " UMG Tricks Library of Congress to Preserve and Archive A Mile of Music for Free,.. Forever!" And of course when they say Library of Congress guess who's footing the bill?

Also, it would seem that UMG got some help from the LOC regarding their cover up of what was lost in the fire. Note that 3/4 of the way in the article they mention the Chess tapes, all of which were lost in the fire.

https://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/10/arts/music/10masters.html

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Tom Petty’s Problematic Album Southern Accents https://longreads.com/2019/07/09/tom-pettys-problematic-album-southern-accents/

 

And related... Broken Record Wildflowers podcast https://brokenrecordpodcast.com/episodes#/episode-7-tom-petty-and-the-creation-of-wildflowers/

Edited by blessingx

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