felser

Scope of 2008 MCA Vault Fire

47 posts in this topic

6 hours ago, Captain Howdy said:

Here's an interesting question? Would it be better if the masters were owned by the artists? In some cases probably, but in many cases it's easy to imagine masters ending up in cardboard boxes in flooded basements, or passed after death from one increasingly distant relative to another, or tied up in probate court, or simply lost.

I know that at least a few musicians keep their masters stored in a vault in Hollywood where I would want to be in case of a major disaster. 

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Moderators: Can you please remove Adam's post on the first page in which he simply copies the entire NYT's article? The post is pure copyright infringement. It also embodies part of the reason why the newspaper industry has collapsed, partly why so many of my former colleagues are out of their jobs, and in its broader effects, partly why I left the Detroit Free Press (voluntarily) in 2016. 

Thanks in advance.

Edited by Mark Stryker

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25 minutes ago, Mark Stryker said:

Moderators: Can you please remove Adam's post on the first page in which he simple copies the entire NYT's article? The post is pure copyright infringement. It also embodies part of the reason why the newspaper industry has collapsed, partly why so many of my former colleagues are out of their jobs, and in its broader effects, partly why I left the Detroit Free Press (voluntarily) in 2016. 

Thanks in advance.

Seconded. In any case the article is available at the site legally to non-subscribers. Plus it is just a mess to paste in so much material. 

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Ok, bulk of the post in question has been deleted.

E2E paywalls suck, though. Just sayin'...

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On 11/06/2019 at 0:00 AM, Captain Howdy said:

Doesn't answer the question. And if you're implying that capitalist parasites and shareholders are exclusively white, well, it's time to refill your Rx.

Life is too short to get bogged down in discussions of economics with 'Mericans, Cap'n Toodeloo. And I am not implying what you think I'm implying, no sir.

Edited by erwbol

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Thinking about all these obscure albums I own on labels such as Decca, Kapp, ABC Paramount, albums that were never reissued, and probably never digitized.  They were probably lost in that fire, if MCA didn't trash the masters decades earlier.

This only strengthens my resolve to want to own music.   

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Based on the article, there have been so many acquisitions that probably few of the operational people knew all that they had acquired. When I was working on mergers and acquisitions (in a completely different business), I (as an attorney) knew more about some of the smaller assets we had acquired than some of the business people. It’s not surprising that some assets were neglected; had there not been a fire, some probably would have been lost anyway. 

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There’s also those 1st generation copies sent to the UK and used for the 1960s HMV and UK Impulse vinyl - also 70s UK Impulse I think. Some of those were accessed in the past for CD reissues. Hopefully they still exist and were not caught up in this disaster.

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Ok, I'm a churlish lout no doubt, but this loss of history upsets me more in the abstract than in does in the reality. Sure, there's some really impactful losses there in terms of original masters, but pretty much most of that has been harvested enough to where there are adequate backups if/when there's a demand. And all the stuff that is now "worrisome" in its loss now that we know about it, let's say the fire never happened and it's all right where it was left. Who's going to all of a sudden go looking for it? Who would even know about it?

Again, worrisome in the abstract, but in the real world, not so much. It only affirms that collectors need to keep collecting (every so often, looking through the junk bins and the 78s in Half Price, I get a seriously WTF? moment, like a set of Myron Cohen Yiddish 78s, waaaay pre-RCA era, so, there's still shit out in the wild), listeners need to demand new recordings (or god forbid, make their own music) that matters to them right there in front of them as much as old records, and don't trust a business to give a damn about any of that. Look inward, and look forward. Looking back has always been an iffy proposition, because "winners" write the history, and there you go, most of us are not those type of "winners" - we are consumers, we are "losers", and who gives a damn for losers?

Don't depend on a government or a business to "take care of you". For anything. Take care of yourself and then be kind to others.

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I had worked at Universal a few years before and  lived relatively nearby.  I remember the night of the fire worrying about what was stored there. 

Edited by medjuck

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On 11/06/2019 at 7:34 PM, David Ayers said:

Horrible. 

 

On the other hand, I just saw a teenager on the train in Belgium today holding an Elvis in Hollywood LP in the original RCA sleeve which cheered me up. I want one!

I am now officially obsessed with this French RCA LP. 

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VINTAGE-Elvis-Presley-1998-HOLIDAY-Russe

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Image result for elvis lunch box hollywood

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Rick Beato makes a very interesting point amidst his ranting against Youtube and UMG for suppressing his videos: for the past 11 years and from now on, when UMG presents "remastered" product it probably isn't from the original analog tapes. 

One commenter summed it up well:

Regarding Remasters: You are all thinking about "new transfers from the original analog masters". That's actually not what remastering means (when a label uses this term, at least). You'd be surprised how many "remasters" were made from DAT tapes the label made once in the late 80s/early 90s.

The term "remaster" just refers to someone doing a new mastering job from whatever transfer at hand. Which usually means taking this transfer, compressing and brickwalling it into a distorted mess with zero dynamics and cashing in on the re-release.

Usally what you want is a fresh high bitrate, high resolution transfer from a properly stored analog master tape. That's what the labels are suggesting happened when they sell you remasters. More often than not that's not really the case. Sometimes it's a higher generation production copy that's being used (and with UMG, that's their only option now if you want fresh analog transfers). Sometimes they use old transfers made to DAT.

And there are cases where even an old CD release from the 80s might be the best source material you can find, since they quite often did nice flat, uncompressed transfers back then (simply because they didn't have the time nor the technology to fuck around with it all too much), while the analog master deterioated into an oxide sheddding mouldy mess and the DAT transfer from back then is dropout fiesta.

 

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19 hours ago, Captain Howdy said:

Rick Beato makes a very interesting point amidst his ranting against Youtube and UMG for suppressing his videos: for the past 11 years and from now on, when UMG presents "remastered" product it probably isn't from the original analog tapes. 

One commenter summed it up well:

Regarding Remasters: You are all thinking about "new transfers from the original analog masters". That's actually not what remastering means (when a label uses this term, at least). You'd be surprised how many "remasters" were made from DAT tapes the label made once in the late 80s/early 90s.

The term "remaster" just refers to someone doing a new mastering job from whatever transfer at hand. Which usually means taking this transfer, compressing and brickwalling it into a distorted mess with zero dynamics and cashing in on the re-release.

Usally what you want is a fresh high bitrate, high resolution transfer from a properly stored analog master tape. That's what the labels are suggesting happened when they sell you remasters. More often than not that's not really the case. Sometimes it's a higher generation production copy that's being used (and with UMG, that's their only option now if you want fresh analog transfers). Sometimes they use old transfers made to DAT.

And there are cases where even an old CD release from the 80s might be the best source material you can find, since they quite often did nice flat, uncompressed transfers back then (simply because they didn't have the time nor the technology to fuck around with it all too much), while the analog master deterioated into an oxide sheddding mouldy mess and the DAT transfer from back then is dropout fiesta.

All of that is irrelevant.  Those albums at least were digitized.

The outrage is the loss of all the stuff that was never digitized.  

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I don't think the loss of Cheryl Crow's unreleased tracks is what people are outraged about.

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8 hours ago, Captain Howdy said:

I don't think the loss of Cheryl Crow's unreleased tracks is what people are outraged about.

I'm talking about entire albums and, in some cases, artists' entire discographies that were never digitized.  

I couldn't begin to list all the albums on labels like ABC Paramount, Decca, and Kapp that were never digitized.  The original vinyl is what is left.

Edited by Teasing the Korean

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12 hours ago, Teasing the Korean said:

I'm talking about entire albums and, in some cases, artists' entire discographies that were never digitized.  

I couldn't begin to list all the albums on labels like ABC Paramount, Decca, and Kapp that were never digitized.  The original vinyl is what is left.

Yes, so don't be surprised if someday UMG releases a NEWLY REMASTERED! CD and neglects to mention that the source used was the original vinyl. How will you know? How many people know exactly what was lost in the fire? How many people know what safeties survived?

And I don't know about you, but I will be going back and looking at all of my "remastered" CDs to see if they say "from the original analog tapes."

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