Yes, I am a vinyl collector. And a sucker for remastered recordings that feature a cleaner version of classic music. But now we've learned that future remasters might be impossible for some artists - as some priceless original recordings have been lost in a fire.
A Los Angeles law firm representing several recording artists plans to file legal action in response to a news story about the 2008 fire at Universal Studios Hollywood. The report, by the “New York Times,” said a large number of original master recordings belonging to the Universal Music Group were destroyed in the blaze. Included in the blaze, according to the article, were works by Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Muddy Waters, Etta James and Count Basie. Also lost were the original masters for Bill Haley and the Comets' "Rock Around the Clock" and The Kingsmen's 1965 recording of "Louie Louie."
The law firm King, Holmes, Paterno & Soriano is expected to file the suit this week and they aren’t identifying the artists on board. The law firm notes that “There’s some duty to protect that Universal, we learned, breached. Then they compounded the problem by absolutely hiding the fact that these valuable masters had been lost.”
UMG says the report is filled with "numerous inaccuracies, misleading statements, contradictions and fundamental misunderstandings of the scope of the incident and affected assets." They aren’t commenting on the lawsuit.