A 2008 Warehouse Fire Destroyed Masters from Tupac, Nirvana, Snoop Dogg, Eminem & More

hypebeast.com - 06-12


As The New York Times reports, master tapes of well-known projects from Nirvana, Tupac, John Coltrane, Eminem, R.E.M., The Roots, Nine Inch Nails, Etta James, Janet Jackson, Chuck Berry and many other beloved acts were permanently lost in a 2008 warehouse fire. Writing for a lengthy piece titled The Day the Music Burned, journalist Jody Rosen calls the aforementioned event the “biggest disaster in the history of the music business,” while also noting that “almost nobody knew.” Although the actual fire was far from a secret when it happened, Rosen calls Universal’s damage control surrounding the event a “triumph of crisis management;” instead of headlines shining the spotlight on the musical masterpieces that were destroyed, the company aimed to avoid serious problems with the impacted parties by ensuring that the initial media coverage focused on the damaged “King Kong theme park attraction” and lost “video content.” However, as an internal investigation and analysis conducted by Universal in 2009 reveals, the blaze undeniably wiped out “a huge musical heritage.”