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


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The 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, Billie Holiday, 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.

More jazz artists named in UMG documents:

Rosemary Clooney, Peggy Lee, Sidney Bechet, Betty Carter, Roland Kirk, Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, Milton Nascimento, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Chuck Mangione, Alice Coltrane, Nat Adderley, Gene Ammons, Manny Albam, Patti Austin, Albert Ayler, Gato Barbieri, David Benoit, George Benson, Art Blakey, Cab Calloway, Hoagy Carmichael, Benny Carter, Don Cherry, Ornette Coleman, Sonny Criss, Richard Davis, Kenny Dorham, Tommy Dorsey, Gil Evans, Art Farmer, Curtis Fuller, Hank Garland, Jimmy Garrison, Paul Gonsalves, Benny Goodman, Dexter Gordon, Buddy Greco, Dave Grusin, Buddy Hackett, Charlie Haden, Chico Hamilton, Lionel Hampton, Johnny Hartman, Coleman Hawkins, Earl Hines, Stix Hooper, Shirley Horn, Freddie Hubbard, Milt Jackson, Ahmad Jamal, Keith Jarrett, J.J. Johnson, Elvin Jones, Hank Jones, Louis Jordan, John Klemmer, Steve Kuhn, Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, Yusef Lateef, Meade Lux Lewis, Shelly Manne, Lyle Mays, Les McCann, Jack McDuff, Gary McFarland, Marian McPartland, Carmen McRae, Pat Metheny, Buddy Montgomery, Gerry Mulligan, Oliver Nelson, Red Norvo, Jimmy Ponder, Dewey Redman, Sam Rivers, Max Roach, Howard Roberts, Sonny Rollins, Pee Wee Russell, Joe Sample, Pharoah Sanders, Shirley Scott, Tom Scott, Ben Sidran, Zoot Sims, Valaida Snow, Jo Stafford, Sonny Stitt, Gábor Szabóm, Grady Tate, Billy Taylor, Toots Thielemans, Lucky Thompson, Mel Tormé, Stanley Turrentine, McCoy Tyner, Ben Webster, George Wein, Kai Winding, and Phil Woods.

  Read the full list here.

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