Published Jun 26, 2019After a bombshell investigation that revealed more than 500,000 master recordings were lost in a 2008 fire at Universal Studios Hollywood, the New York Times has revealed hundreds more artists whose work was also lost in the blaze.
Bryan Adams only realized his master recordings with A&M were largely gone after reading the Times investigation. It filled in a lot of the gaps, though, from when he tried to contact anyone and everyone about putting together a 30th anniversary release of Reckless in 2013, and no one could come up with any mixes, artwork, photos or videos. He eventually found an unmastered mixtape in his own vault in Vancouver.
"I can tell you with 100 percent certainty that I couldn't find anything at Universal that had been published to do with my association with A&M records in the 1980s," Adams told the Times. "If you were doing an archaeological dig there, you would have concluded that it was almost as if none of it had ever happened."
The Times has released a list of hundreds of artists across labels like Decca, Chess, Impulse, ABC, MCA, Geffen, Interscope and A&M, all of whom have also had master recordings destroyed in the 2008 fire.
The names were gleaned from Universal Music Group documents that assigned letter grades to each recording, ranking them in importance so that employees could begin "Project Phoenix" (a.k.a. tracking down duplicates). After two years, the initiative was shut down, and it is estimated that duplicates of only one fifth of the recordings were found.
The Times' massive list of newly uncovered artists includes: Adam Ant, Audioslave, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Blackstreet, Blink-182, Glen Campbell, Cher, Crosby & Nash, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday, Etta James, Jimmy Eat World, Limp Bizkit, Meat Loaf, Ennio Morricone, Dolly Parton, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Sublime, Supertramp, Voivod, the Who, Neil Young and Rob Zombie.
See the truly astonishing list of affected artists here.
That's in addition to work by the likes of Aerosmith, Joni Mitchell, Nirvana, Soundgarden, R.E.M., Eminem, Nine Inch Nails, Tom Petty, Iggy Pop, Beck, Sonic Youth, Hole, the Roots, Steely Dan and many others.
As previously reported, a number of those artists — including Soundgarden, Hole, Steve Earle, and the estates of 2Pac and Tom Petty — have filed a class action lawsuit against Universal Music Group.