A lot of priceless material from some of the most influential artists of the last decade was reportedly burned in a fire that at Universal Studios Hollywood’s archive building on June 1, 2008.
The New York Times reports that the master recordings from Eminem, 50 Cent and Tupac Shakur were among some of the materials burned in the fire. If this report is factual, the masters for every Eminem album from The Slim Shady LP (1999) to Encore (2004) is gone forever. This goes for every single album record by Pac and Fifty up to that point.
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.
The Times clearly put a lot of effort into recovering this information but a rep for UMG told Variety that the publication’s report has “numerous inaccuracies, misleading statements, contradictions and fundamental misunderstandings of the scope of the incident and affected assets.”
The statement also says, “the tens of thousands of back catalog recordings that we have already issued in recent years – including master-quality, high-resolution, audiophile versions of many recordings that the story claims were ‘destroyed.'”