Eminem, Tupac & 50 Cent's Masters Destroyed In Massive 2008 Fire

  • Eminem, Tupac & 50 Cent's Masters Destroyed In Massive 2008 Fire

Eminem, Tupac & 50 Cent's Masters Destroyed In Massive 2008 Fire

Other master recordings reportedly lost in the flames include offerings from Bobby (Blue) Bland, B.B. King, Ike Turner, the Four Tops, Quincy Jones, Burt Bacharach, Joan Baez, Neil Diamond, the Police, Sting, George Strait, Steve Earle, R.E.M., Janet Jackson, Eric B. and Rakim, New Edition, Bobby Brown, Guns N' Roses, Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, Sonic Youth, No Doubt, Nine Inch Nails, Snoop Dogg, Nirvana and many more. Master music recordings are the original recordings from which all subsequent copies are derived.

Still, the Times reports that a 2009 internal report estimated that 500,000 songs had been lost. The loss included Aretha Franklin's first recordings, Etta James's 'At Last, Chucky Berry's recordings for Chess Records, and masters from Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald and Judy Garland. At the time, however, the entertainment industry heavy-hitter downplayed the damage.

About 500,000 master recordings - many of them historically significant - were destroyed in the fire, The New York Times Magazine reported.

When a fire broke out at Universal Studios in Los Angeles in June 2008, a lot of Hollywood movie magic was lost. Universal Studios told the public that the vault only contained old videotapes. "It's a secret I'm ashamed to have been a part of".

As Adam Block, former president of Legacy Recordings, explained to the Times, a master is the "truest capture of a piece of recorded music", and is used as the original source for all future recordings and copies. In a statement to Variety, the label does not deny that the sound-recording library was damaged in the fire, but does allege that the report contains "numerous inaccuracies, misleading statements, contradictions and fundamental misunderstandings of the scope of the incident and affected assets". "While there are constraints preventing us from publicly addressing some of the details of the fire that occurred at NBCUniversal Studios facility more than a decade ago, the incident - while deeply unfortunate - never affected the availability of the commercially released music nor impacted artists' compensation".