Morrissey's masters possibly destroyed?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Anonymous, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Day the Music Burned

    It was the biggest disaster in the history of the music business — and almost nobody knew. This is the story of the 2008 Universal fire.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/11/magazine/universal-fire-master-recordings.html


    Now, before Skinnybob and his tribe come in here and start talking bollocks, I'd like to tell them that whatever you've read about Morrissey, will pass. So please try and stay on topic.

    @ the moderator(s) Any chance you can delete comments unrelated to this topic?

    Is there a chance that Morrissey's masters have been destroyed?
     
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  2. Famous when dead

    Famous when dead Vulgarian Moderator

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    My local record shop owner told me they (via Universal) had been denying/minimising this issue for years and was a well known scandal amongst collectors as to why certain master recordings weren't being used in reissues. It was believed that there was no humidity control or proper fire provision too.

    From the sub-article:

    "The lost works most likely included masters in the Decca Records collection by Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Al Jolson, Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald and Judy Garland. The fire probably also claimed some of Chuck Berry’s greatest recordings, produced for Chess Records, as well as the masters of some of Aretha Franklin’s first appearances on record.
    Almost of all of Buddy Holly’s masters were lost, as were most of John Coltrane’s masters in the Impulse Records collection. The fire also claimed numerous hit singles, likely including Bill Haley and His Comets’ “Rock Around the Clock,” Etta James’s “At Last” and the Kingsmen’s “Louie Louie.”

    The list of artists affected spans decades of popular music. It includes recordings by Ray Charles, B.B. King, the Four Tops, Joan Baez, Neil Diamond, Sonny and Cher, Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Al Green, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Buffett, the Eagles, Aerosmith, Rufus and Chaka Khan, Barry White, Patti LaBelle, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, the Police, Sting, Steve Earle, R.E.M., Janet Jackson, Guns N’ Roses, Mary J. Blige, No Doubt, Nine Inch Nails, Snoop Dogg, Nirvana, Beck, Sheryl Crow, Tupac Shakur, Eminem, 50 Cent and the Roots."

    A lot of bands had the sense to keep copies of their own masters and we know several Morrissey albums have been remastered since, so he may have escaped this tragedy. I don't think anyone believes the things listed above are the full extent of it though simply due to how it's been handled.

    Regards,
    FWD.

     
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  3. The Truth

    The Truth gamma member

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    There is no such thing as a copy of a master unless it's digital and even then unless they have a hard drive full of everything recorded during the entire sessions they would not have the ability to later remaster the works. It's possible that the Morrissey remasters do indicate that his recordings are intact. But "remaster" can mean different things, anywhere from going back to individual source tracks and remixing as Jimmy Page did with Led Zeppelin's catalog to boosting levels and compression.
    When CD's first came out there was a rush to put everything on CD. Rather than remastering from scratch they often took a master that was optimized for vinyl and made a digital copy. The problem is that the optimum levels for digital and vinyl are not the same and these first "digital masters" were pretty much equivalent to recording a vinyl album and burning a CD from the wav files. Because of greed these new "digital masters" became "the master" and were used that way. So you could buy a vinyl record that was made from a digital master because "digital" was thought to be the standard by some people.
    Most people are listening to mp3's on earbuds and are not going to know the difference anyway but remember that many people do not like "remastered" versions, and this has been true with Morrissey's work. It is possible that those new remastered digital masters are the default now and if the original multitrack analog recordings are gone they are gone.
    Also, not to argue but it's not about bands having sense to have their masters. Bands since the beginning of what became pop music, starting right before the 1920's, have been treated like contract workers. There is no way most artists could have a master copy.
    You would think John Lennon might be one of the exceptions but on one of the projects they did together Phil Spector took the tapes and they had to negotiate to complete the record.
     
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  4. The Truth

    The Truth gamma member

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    This guy is a Guns'N'Roses fan but the video has a lot of information and isn't really about Slash and Axl.
     
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  5. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    [​IMG]

    Seeing the above list of artists and bands I'd say no harm done.
     
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