A harrowing article from The New York Times Magazine this morning about the 2008 Universal backlot fire. UMG (Universal Music Group) lost their entire vault of 150,000 masters in the fire and never made it public. Apparently some of Neil’s masters were lost — I’m assuming what UMG was storing in 2008 were the Uni and MCA recordings, but the article doesn’t say and I don’t know for sure.
Hundreds of artists’ masters were lost, it’s overwhelming to read the entire list. And apparently they never told the artists what happened. The article quotes Richard Carpenter saying that he only found out the Carpenters masters were lost at the end of 2014, over six years later. It also tells the story that, in 2010, Irving Azoff realized some Steely Dan masters weren’t available and he took UMG to task, and they basically fooled him to hide the fact that the masters had been destroyed.
A long article and a really tough read for music lovers.