The list of artist’s who’s master recordings were lost in a 2008 Universal Studios warehouse fire continues to grow, as over 100 more artists, including Blink-182, Eric Clapton, Audioslave, Limp Bizkit and Weezer, appeared on a list documenting the fire’s losses. This 2008 fire is said to have destroyed over 500,000 master recordings from a variety of musical acts from Aretha Franklin, all the way to Soundgarden.
This announcement comes a week after the Universal Music Group’s (UMG) CEO Lucian Grainge, urged company officials to be transparent with artists regarding their losses. “Let me be clear: we owe our artists transparency. We owe them answers. I will ensure that the senior management of this company, starting with me, owns this,” Grainge explained.
He then went on to elaborate:
“Even though all of the released recordings lost in the fire will live on forever, losing so much archival material is nonetheless painful. These stories have prompted speculation, and having our artists and songwriters not knowing whether the speculation is accurate is completely unacceptable.”
Earlier this month a report from The New York Times uncovered details surrounding a warehouse fire in the Universal Studios backlot. Although it was revealed over 11 years later that master recordings were destroyed, initial coverage just recorded damage to the theme park’s King Kong attraction, and the destruction of an old video vault.
Despite the widespread news coverage of the event after the report, UMG officials have been skeptical and have criticized the pieces accuracy. Reps for the company have stated that The New York Times piece as having “inaccuracies, misleading statements, contradictions and fundamental misunderstandings,” regarding the fire.
“While there are constraints preventing us from publicly addressing some of the details of the fire that occurred at NBC Universal Studios facility more than a decade ago, the incident – while deeply unfortunate – never affected the availability of the commercially released music nor impacted artists’ compensation,” UMG reps explained.
Multiple artists, however, have not backed the company as a result, with many including Hole, Soundgarden, and the estates of Tupac Shakur and Tom Petty suing UMG as a result of the fire.