Universal Music Group admitted at least 22 masters were destroyed in the 2008 fire.
The New York Times revealed in June that the company had downplayed the extent of the damage caused by their 2008 lot fire. The article had estimated that 500,000 recordings were destroyed, including master tapes of Aerosmith, Guns N’ Roses, Nirvana, and The Who.
While seeking to dismiss a class action lawsuit by several artists, UMG only admitted to losing 22 “original masters.” “Of those assets, we believe we’ve identified 424 that could be missing or lost due to the fire, with audio assets accounting for 349 of them. Our data suggests that 22 of those could be ‘original masters’ which are associated with 5 artists. For each of those lost masters, we have located high-quality alternate sources in the form of safety copies or duplicate masters.”
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