In 2008, a raging fire spread at Universal Music Group warehouse, and has allegedly burned through hundreds of records from different artists. American singer and song writer, Beck, has expressed his concern and fear over the possible burning of his unreleased albums, Sea Change and his album of Hank Williams Covers.
“My management will won’t tell me what was lost in the fire,” Beck said. “I have a feeling that my management is not telling me because they can’t bear to break the news.”
Beck further explained how he recorded albums in the in ‘90s and early 2000s, which he claims were most likely lost due to the fire at Universal Studios warehouse.
“I don’t know whether it’s gone, nobody’s telling me anything.” Beck said. “We didn’t hear about it until the last year.”
Beck also mentioned how the fire exposed a systematic issue at the label, the poor preservation of artists’ physical recordings.
“I have friends who work in archives and they see the tapes for legendary artists from the ‘50’s just lying there in a cardboard box, not being climate controlled and preserved correctly, in an acid free box,” Beck said.
Beck went on to mention how older tapes, especially those from the ‘50s and ‘60s, must be preserved properly, and remixed and remastered.
“There’s a lot of neglect of masters. It’s a big problem, and guess what, I’ve been in a room where they’ve just put on an original Frank Sinatra three-track from the ‘50s and it sounds phenomenal.” said Beck. “You have artists like the Beatles who get that treatment, where they go and restore recordings and remix them,” Beck continued. “It would be a rebirth for some of these artists who are maybe getting left behind.”
Despite these concerns, Beck has recently released his new album, Hyperspace, on Nov. 22, and will be playing a show in Las Vegas, NV, at the Intersect on Dec. 6, and will be playing another show in Anaheim, CA at the KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas, on Dec. 7.