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The fire in the studios of Universal in 2008 devoured “a great musical legacy”

The fire unleashed at Universal studios in Los Angeles (California) in 2008 not only ended King Kong’s attraction at the theme park, but also “a great musical legacy,” which included originals from trumpeter Louis Armstrong to the rapper Eminem.

According to an investigation by The New York Times, although the official version argued that the fire only lost King Kong and an old file with copies of videos, the truth is that the fire unleashed at dawn on June 1 In 2008, around 500,000 “masters” – original copies – of songs that date back to the 1940s were lost.

According to a confidential report to which the newspaper has had access, the works consumed by the deflagration include originals by Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, as well as the first recordings of Aretha Franklin.

However, the loss covering up the latest music, because in the list of artists whose masters were lost Ray Charles, Joan Baez, Sonny and Cher, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Aerosmith, Janet Jackson, Snoop Dogg, Nirvana or 50 appear Cents, among others.

The importance of these master copies resides in that it is the original of the song or album that later is transferred to the recordings in vinyl, discs or MP3, among many other supports.

In an internal document of the company dated in 2009, the Universal group defined what happened as the loss of “a great musical legacy”.

This musical inheritance of the 21st century contained multitrack recordings, where the recording of each instrument remained isolated from each other, as well as themes never commercialized.

At that time the magnitude of the disaster was not revealed, says the New York newspaper, as the video file was the main focus of media coverage, while the company tried to hide the seriousness of the matter and to avoid “public embarrassment” that this supposed for the company.

In addition, by hiding what happened, he avoided the company’s concerns of possible complaints by artists or owners of the rights of the recordings destroyed in the fire.

At present, a large part of the commercial recordings of the last century are in the hands of three major recording groups: Sony Music Entertanment, Warner Music and Universal Music. (EFEUSA) .-

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