New details have emerged of what exactly was lost from the fateful fire that destroyed Building 6197, the Universal Music Group facility that housed a bunch of priceless sound recordings.
The huge fire engulfed Universal Studios’ Hollywood backlot on June 1, 2008. A feature from the New York Times has uncovered that Building 6197 held original master recordings dating back as far as the late ’40s, and confidential documents revealed that an estimated 500,000 song titles were lost.
Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic told a user on Twitter he thinks the master recordings for Nevermind are “gone forever”. If this is the case, it’s safe to assume we won’t be seeing a re-release of Nevermind on vinyl anytime soon.
I think they are gone forever.
— Krist Novoselić (@KristNovoselic) June 12, 2019
In addition to Nevermind, the Times article reports masters of Billie Holiday, Buddy Holly, Louis Armstrong, Judy Garland, Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington were also destroyed.
Other artists, such as REM, are currently seeking information about the fate of their recordings.
REMHQ is receiving inquiries from many people concerned about the New York Times article on the Universal Music fire 11 years ago. We are trying to get good information to find out what happened and the effect on the band’s music, if any. We will detail further as and when.
— R.E.M. HQ (@remhq) June 11, 2019