Universal Studios Fire Destroyed Music History and Kept Quiet for a Decade

It was over a decade ago a giant fire consumed a famous lot at Universal Studios Hollywood, June 1, 2008. Major pieces of music history were destroyed and kept quiet until a new report byThe New York Times.

The paper says that a blaze at Universal Studios Hollywood in 2008 destroyed hundreds of master tapes, but that Universal kept the focus on the burned “King Kong” theme park attraction and losses of video content, and attempted to keep the master tapes losses off the radar. The report states that the company feared legal and PR reaction from artists and estates that lost their masters.

The staggering list of masters burned in the fire crosses multiple genres -- works byTom Petty and the Heartbreakers,The Police,Sting,R.E.M.,Janet Jackson,Guns n’ Roses,Mary J. Blige,No Doubt,Nine Inch Nails,Snoop Dogg,Nirvana,Beck,Sheryl Crow,2Pac,Eminem,50 Cent,The Roots,The Four Tops,Neil Diamond,Joni Mitchell,Cat Stevens,Gladys Knight and the Pips,Al Green,Elton John,Eric Clapton,Jimmy Buffett,Eagles,Aerosmith,Rufus and Chaka Khan,Barry WhiteandPatti LaBelle. Also lost were most ofBuddy Holly's masters, much ofChuck Berry’s greatest recordings, and iconic singles likeBill Haley and His Comets’ “Rock Around the Clock,”Etta James’s “At Last” andThe Kingsmen’s “Louie Louie.”

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