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Devastating news for all music lovers.
Loss of the original analog master tapes is a catastrophe, but I didn’t see any mention of the extent the archive had been digitised and what digital copies remain.
I don’t think anyone knows. There’s a much longer piece explaining the reporting behind this:
Sadly, there is more on this today:
My sources helped me understand that the destruction of the Universal Music Group vault was a major cultural catastrophe, and they helped me to place that disaster in a larger frame, to understand the huge challenge of archiving and preserving the physical relics of recorded sound in the age of streaming media.
I went through the list with Mr. Aronson: “John Lee Hooker, did he have recordings in the vault?” “Yes.” “Joni Mitchell, did she have recordings in the vault?” “Yes.” “Judy Garland, did she have tapes in the vault?” “Yes.” I remember kind of staggering out of Mr. Aronson’s house that day, getting into my rental car and driving back to L.A. in a daze.
I wish I didn’t know this.
I intend to forget this info as soon as possible.
Raises too many questions.