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Universal Music CEO Promises Artists "Transparency" Over 2008 Master Tapes Fire: "We Owe Them Answers"

Universal Music CEO Promises Artists "Transparency" Over 2008 Master Tapes Fire: "We Owe Them Answers"

Universal Music CEO Promises Artists "Transparency" Over 2008 Master Tapes Fire: "We Owe Them Answers"

Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

The fire destroyed an estimated 500,000 song titles, including the master recordings of two of The Roots’ albums.

Lucian Grange, the CEO for Universal Music Group, has issued a letter to his staff addressing the 2008 fire at Universal Studios Hollywood that recently resurfaced in a lengthy report by the New York Times.

“Even though all of the released recordings lost in the fire will live on forever, losing so much archival material is nonetheless painful,” Grange wrote in the letter, which was obtained by the Los Angeles Times. “These stories have prompted speculation, and having our artists and songwriters not knowing whether the speculation is accurate is completely unacceptable.”

“So, let me be clear: we owe our artists transparency. We owe them answers,” he continued. “I will ensure that the senior management of this company, starting with me, owns this.”

Initially, Universal Music Group downplayed the damage reported by the Times, as well as insisted there were several “inaccuracies” in the piece. But artists whose music was damaged in the fire that were mentioned in the report also spoke out, and offered details on the specific projects that were destroyed that day.

Following the story’s release, Questlove shared it on Twitter, adding: “For everyone asking why Do You Want More & Illdelph Halflife wont get reissue treatment.”

Responding to fan inquiries from that tweet, Quest went on to explain that his plan for both of the albums was “to release all the songs and instrumental/acapella mixes on 45.”

“They sent someone to check out the vault log and then it hit them: B-F & O-S artists took a hit the most,” he explained. “I think everything else was salvaged.”

Source: Los Angeles Times



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