Universal Music Group admits at least 22 masters were likely lost in 2008’s fire

After The New York Times claimed recordings from over 700 artists were believed to be destroyed

Universal Music Group (UMG) has responded to The New York Times’ report that the company’s warehouse fire in 2008 resulted in the destruction of thousands of original recordings by some of the most popular musicians of our lifetime.

According to Variety, UMG Senior Vice President of Recording Studios and Archive Management Pat Kraus told employees in an internal statement that his team reviewed 30 artists’ work, finding 349 audio assets, including 22 master recordings, by five yet-to-be-revealed artists that “could be missing or lost” because of the fire.
 


This response marks the first results from UMG’s recently revealed 70 person team of archivists, engineers, and other specialists looking into and responding to the potential loss of master recordings. According to Kraus’ memo, around 275 artists and representatives have asked for more information about the fire.

The Times report claimed that recordings from more than 700 artists including Nirvana, The Who, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and more were believed to be destroyed.