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Thread: The Day The Music Burned

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    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    Default The Day The Music Burned

    The full story detailing the tragic scope of the 2008 Universal Music warehouse fire that destroyed thousands of priceless master tapes.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/11/m...ecordings.html
    Short-term thinkers are rewarded with reelection, while those who dare to take seriously our responsibility to future generations commonly find themselves out of office.

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    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starthrower View Post
    The full story detailing the tragic scope of the 2008 Universal Music warehouse fire that destroyed thousands of priceless master tapes.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/11/m...ecordings.html
    I'm about halfway through the article, which is from the Times Sunday Magazine section, and thus long. Heartbreaking.

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    Senior Member D Smith's Avatar
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    This was an excellent article and illustrated what the major record companies priorities were and are. (HINT: It's not about preserving our musical history.)

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    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    Master tapes are the solid gold bars of the record industry. I can't see why this incredibly valuable asset would be dealt with carelessly. The fire was a careless accident that resulted in a monumental tragedy for the posterity of recorded musical culture and history. Future developments in mastering and playback technology have now been made irrelevant to advancing the state of the art presentation of these now lost musical artifacts. We're left with only a digital snapshot of original materials. And all that was not digitized is lost forever.

    It seems absurd that Universal would not have an interest in this preservation. But maybe these behemoth entertainment conglomerates are going the way of the giant oil companies if I may offer a crude analogy? Pun intended.
    Last edited by starthrower; Jun-12-2019 at 15:14.
    Short-term thinkers are rewarded with reelection, while those who dare to take seriously our responsibility to future generations commonly find themselves out of office.

    - Marcia Bjornerud, Geologist

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    Senior Member gardibolt's Avatar
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    Although there are claims that Decca US and Decca UK are not the same thing, I have suspected that the masters for the Solti Ring went up in that fire; the mysterious claims that the masters are no longer in a condition to be used struck me as very, very peculiar for one of the company's most valuable assets. Just because Decca US masters were there doesn't mean at least some of Universal's other holdings (including Decca UK) weren't there too.
    Hours of unrecorded, unpublished and unknown Beethoven works at The Unheard Beethoven

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    Senior Member apricissimus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starthrower View Post
    It seems absurd that Universal would not have an interest in this preservation. But maybe these behemoth entertainment conglomerates are going the way of the giant oil companies if I may offer a crude analogy? Pun intended.
    It's pretty common for people to make unwise decisions in the name of saving a few bucks in the short term. Management in large companies also often have perverse incentives. Raise revenues, lower operating costs in this quarter, etc. Those types of short term goals are what gets rewarded, and the decision makers are motivated (like all of us, to some degree) by self interest.

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    Senior Member Baron Scarpia's Avatar
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    I wonder if the Mercury Living Presence tapes were there. Very few of the mono Mercury recordings have been released and there are some very interesting recordings never released on CD.

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    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    An interesting if rather overlong article.

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