Yesterday, an article was published regarding a destructive fire that happened over a decade ago in 2008. At the time, it was revealed that one park attraction and a video vault were burned down at Universal Studios. That alone was a major deal because, in the vault, there were tons of important moments in cinematic history. It took over ten years for this new information to come out but thousands of master recordings were reportedly destroyed in the fire as well. Universal had allegedly tried to keep it a secret because of how insane the prospect of 500K masters burning down sounds, but they're now forced to fight back the claims.
As reported by Variety, Universal is now disputing the article that was published by the New York Times, saying that it is not totally factual. They say that the article contains "numerous inaccuracies, misleading statements, contradictions and fundamental misunderstandings of the scope of the incident and affected assets."
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"Music preservation is of the highest priority for us and we are proud of our track record," says the statement from Universal. "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."
Universal is not arguing the fact that over 500K master recordings were destroyed. However, they are hammering home the notion that they take music preservation more seriously than any of their competitors. "UMG invests more in music preservation and development of hi-resolution audio products than anyone else in music," they continued before clarifying some of the precautions they've taken.
Black Thought recently spoke to HipHopDX where it was confirmed that two classic The Roots albums were damaged in the flames. "We had a couple classics destroyed in the fire as well," said Black Thought. "In short, that was the most depressing article ever. Not ‘EVER,’ but it was pretty heavy. I remember when it went down. Our first two classics — Do You Want More?!!!??! and Illadelph Halflife — were lost in the blaze."
The fire has been referred to as "the biggest disaster in the history of the music business."