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 Posted:   Jun 1, 2008 - 4:03 PM   
 By:   Ed   (Member)

From Nikki Finke today:

It looks like more was damaged or destroyed in today's Universal Studios fire than anyone previously thought. I've learned that Universal Music, which is a completely separate company and owned by Vivendi (which owns 20% of NBC Universal), rents space in the huge video vault housed on the studio lot. But one source tells me that, as a consequence, inside the video vault that was billowing thick black smoke were 1000's of original Decca, MCA, ABC recording masters from the last century including a wide range of music from Bing Crosby and the Andrew Sisters to Judy Garland and The Carpenters. "This is a tremendous loss in music history. A very sad day indeed. It's too bad they saved the videos that they have backups on instead of the master recordings in which they do not, although they may not have had a choice since the fire had already engulfed much of the music side of the vault," a source just told me. Universal Studios tells me it can't confirm what has been damaged or destroyed music-wise at this point because it doesn't yet know what exactly was housed in the storage rented to Universal Music.

Horrifying, if true.

 
 Posted:   Jun 1, 2008 - 4:12 PM   
 By:   LeHah   (Member)

Dear God almighty

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 1, 2008 - 4:26 PM   
 By:   Sean   (Member)

frown

I'd worried about this earlier in the day, but as long as nobody was seriously hurt and the cause isn't deliberate, I'll be more than pleased to give my money to Joel McNeely for a re-record. There's so much we don't have already, and at any rate, the latest offerings across the board have been a thrilling embarrassment of riches.

I wonder if they'll rebuild Kong?...

 
 Posted:   Jun 1, 2008 - 4:34 PM   
 By:   MWRuger   (Member)

That's fine for film score lovers but there isn't going to be anyway to recover those lost vocal recordings except through vinyl or 78 transfer.

I think I'll put on an Andrews Sister & Bing Crosby rarities album.

This sucks. A lot.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 1, 2008 - 4:36 PM   
 By:   Marko   (Member)

Isn't there a possibility that film scores could be in there?

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 1, 2008 - 4:45 PM   
 By:   BigMacGyver2000   (Member)

"Isn't there a possibility that film scores could be in there?"

Its MCA and Decca, two companies that are known to have released and own various soundtrack album masters and lp soundtrack masters. Correct me if i am wrong, but MCA is right now working with intrada on all those Cd reissues of their lp filmmusic catalogue? There you have it! I am afraid the LP back catalogue may be gone. And shame on universal that they dont even know for sure what tapes are stored there only because they are owned by their sub-company... what a clumsy organization.

 
 Posted:   Jun 1, 2008 - 4:47 PM   
 By:   Steve Johnson   (Member)

Sad. Too bad they weren't more forward thinking in preservation. These big companies....

What are you going to do?

 
 Posted:   Jun 1, 2008 - 4:47 PM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

Does that info postdate the stuff on this thread?:

http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=51060&forumID=7&archive=0

If the material WAS duplicated, then that's good news.

Since no-one was hurt, it's fair to say that this incident should be used as a leverage point to lobby and persuade Universal that any material not already transferred now should be, and that THIS is the time to release archive recordings on CD. It should bring home the fragility of the whole set-up.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 1, 2008 - 4:50 PM   
 By:   Sean   (Member)

That's fine for film score lovers but there isn't going to be anyway to recover those lost vocal recordings except through vinyl or 78 transfer.

I think I'll put on an Andrews Sister & Bing Crosby rarities album.

This sucks. A lot.


Well ... at least we have the vinyl, right?...

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 1, 2008 - 4:50 PM   
 By:   BigMacGyver2000   (Member)

" If the material WAS duplicated, then that's good news. "

I am afraid this is only true for the video reels but not for the music:

"It's too bad they saved the videos that they have backups on instead of the master recordings in which they do not, although they may not have had a choice since the fire had already engulfed much of the music side of the vault"

The material is lost.

 
 Posted:   Jun 1, 2008 - 4:51 PM   
 By:   William Stromberg   (Member)

Isn't there a possibility that film scores could be in there?

If the fire was in the same building as the copying office, then yes. That would be a real shame, as I have been trying to get all of Bernard Herrmann’s original manuscripts for the Alfred Hichcock Hour series for possible new recordings. I sure hope they didn't go up in flames

 
 Posted:   Jun 1, 2008 - 4:54 PM   
 By:   Stefan Miklos   (Member)

Since Universal is sliced in many parts: what is the department of the Studio that own the original recordings of film and television scores but not the album recordings.

 
 Posted:   Jun 1, 2008 - 4:57 PM   
 By:   Lukas Kendall   (Member)


WOW. This was the first thing I thought about as I heard about this in the morning...like most people. Awful.

What would be in there as far as film music? Not the complete recording sessions to Universal films -- those are probably in deep storage somewhere else. But this would be include the LP masters to UMG labels like Decca (Cowboy by Duning?), ABC (Gold by Elmer?), 20th Century Fox (old Malcolm Arnold titles), things like that. Whether they had copies at other locations, I don't know. Good thing Doug Fake did The Last Valley already...

And why would NBC Universal have the list of UMG's inventory? They are different companies, it's Sunday, and an inferno is going on.

Lukas

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 1, 2008 - 5:09 PM   
 By:   BigMacGyver2000   (Member)

" And why would NBC Universal have the list of UMG's inventory? They are different companies, it's Sunday, and an inferno is going on."

I dont know why? It just seems logical that a company knows whats in their storage room... in case there is a big inferno on a sunday wink

Now everyone just seems to scratch their heads and even that journalist finke seems to be better informed than the companies involved. That's both disturbing and funny.

 
 Posted:   Jun 1, 2008 - 5:11 PM   
 By:   Steve H   (Member)

I've heard that Courthouse Square which includes the clocktower from Back To The Future has been destroyed.
I believe Doc Brown was seen Loitering in the area. Too many jigawatts? big grin

 
 Posted:   Jun 1, 2008 - 5:12 PM   
 By:   Agent Norman Newman   (Member)

But this would be include the LP masters to UMG labels like Decca (Cowboy by Duning?), ABC (Gold by Elmer?), 20th Century Fox (old Malcolm Arnold titles), things like that.

frown What does this mean for all those long OOP Williams titles like Jaws 2, Dracula and Earthquake? Maybe varese still has masters? But I imagine they'd gone back to universal?

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 1, 2008 - 5:23 PM   
 By:   Michael24   (Member)

This is really sad news. Backlots can be rebuilt, but it seems like lots and lots of great music will forever be lost. frown

 
 Posted:   Jun 1, 2008 - 5:25 PM   
 By:   Trent B   (Member)

You'd think with recording sessions they'd be stored at the sound studios in which they were recorded at and not at not at a place like Universal.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 1, 2008 - 5:28 PM   
 By:   Ford A. Thaxton   (Member)

Guys,

CHILL OUT ALREADY.


Right now everyone is just GUESSING as to what MIGHT BE LOST or not.

Before everyone go nuts, the damage might not be as bad as news reports lead us to believe.

Also the masters would more likely are stored in vaults off the lot for at least the features.

So relax and let's get a bit more HARD INFORMATION before we start going nuts.



Ford A. Thaxton

 
 Posted:   Jun 1, 2008 - 5:37 PM   
 By:   Lukas Kendall   (Member)

" And why would NBC Universal have the list of UMG's inventory? They are different companies, it's Sunday, and an inferno is going on."

I dont know why? It just seems logical that a company knows whats in their storage room... in case there is a big inferno on a sunday wink

Now everyone just seems to scratch their heads and even that journalist finke seems to be better informed than the companies involved. That's both disturbing and funny.


One thing I've learned over the years is how to navigate the studio bureaucracies. If the studio rented space to another company (the music company, which is now a separate entity - they're both named Universal just for historical purposes) they would not have the list anymore than the bank knows what's in your safety deposit box (as long as it's not a bomb or something).

"You have to learn why things work on a starship..."

Anyhow, if this is what I think it is -- what Nikki Finke said -- this would affect very specifically film or TV scores where there was an album master on a UMG owned label like ABC, MCA or Fox AND the original recording sessions (from whatever entity produced the film) happened to be lost.

But Ford is right, we should not make ourselves crazy with speculation.

lk

 
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