It has emerged that a 2008 warehouse fire at Universal Studios in Hollywood destroyed hundreds of master tapes that include gems by bands like Nine Inch Nails, Nirvana, Soundgarden and more.
An investigation by the New York Times has uncovered that the burnt masters by numerous Universal artists throughout the decades were lost in the fire. What makes this even more tragic is that this also limits the possibilities for high-quality reproductions of the recordings in the future.
When the fire initially took place, the focus of lost works of art was focused on the loss of the King Kong theme park attraction and video content, somehow, the music that was lost in the fire was covered over.
The New York Times report has suggested that the lost masters were swept under the table because of the fear that artists and estates of those original masters that were destroyed may well come after the label in the form of a lawsuit.
As well as the above bands, other notable loses include most of Buddy Holly’s masters, Elton John, No Doubt, R.E.M. Iggy Pop and more.
It’s estimated that in total, Universal Music Group has lost 500,000 song titles in the fire.