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800+ Artists Lost Tapes In Universal Fire [NY Times]

image from celebrityaccess.comThe New York Times has published a list of over 700 more artists believed to have lost their masters in the 2008 fire that swept the backlot of Universal Studios in Hollywood. This follows an existing tally of more than 100 artists named in an investigation earlier this month.

The new list, which journalist Jody Rosen says is a “partial selection” and “was culled from three separate UMG lists prepared for Project Phoenix” (a recovery program initiated by Universal Music Group in 2009/2010 to recover duplicates of recordings lost in the fire), includes:

Aerosmith, the Andrews Sisters, Joan Baez, Chet Baker, Count Basie, Beck Elmer Bernstein, Chuck Berry, Mary J. Blige, Blink 182, Dave Brubeck, Jimmy Buffett, T Bone Burnett, Ray Charles, Patsy Cline, John Coltrane, Bing Crosby, Neil Diamond, Fats Domino, Jimmy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Peter Frampton, Aretha Franklin, Judy Garland, Amy Grant, Al Green, Guns N’ Roses, Don Henley, Hole, Janet Jackson, Jodeci, Elton John, George Jones, Toby Keith, Ramsey Lewis, Jerry Lee Lewis, the Louvin Brothers, Loretta Lynn, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Meat Loaf, Charles Mingus, Bill Monroe, Wes Montgomery, No Doubt, Nirvana, Nine Inch Nails, Oingo Boingo, Tom Petty, the Police, Sun Ra, R.E.M., Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg, Steely Dan, George Strait, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Ernest Tubb, Weezer, Kitty Wells, Howlin’ Wolf, Neil Young and Rob Zombie.

Rosen also spoke with several artists, including the story’s lead character singer, songwriter and pop icon Bryan Adams, who’d tried to assemble archival projects over the years and thrown up their hands when Universal reps told them their master tapes couldn’t be located. In all but one of the scenarios – songwriter Richard Carpenter of The Carpenters fame apparently knew about the condition of his masters – UMG made no mention of the 2008 fire.

Several artists, including Soundgarden and Hole, as well as the estate of Tupac Shakur, have already launched a class-action lawsuit against UMG over their losses in the fire. The suit is seeking up to $100 million in damages.
 
Read the full list here.
 
photo: The 2008 Universal Lot Fire [ pinguino kCC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
 

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