LOL! And it only took the New York Times ELEVEN YEARS to report on it!
"The paper of record", indeed!

LOL! And it only took the New York Times ELEVEN YEARS to report on it!
"The paper of record", indeed!
Cheap shot. Did you read the article? Universal made every effort to conceal the extent of the damage. NYT got this story the hard way - mostly through court records and first-hand sources. More details here.

If NYT hadn’t reported this story, you still wouldn’t know what happened. That the newspaper didn’t allow orchestrated deception and the passage of time to conceal the truth is to its credit, not its shame.
@millercarbon  bought any remastered releases from the Universal catalog in the last 11 years?
And if we accepted that journalism is the "enemy of the people", we would be left only with Faux Newsless.....losers!  
Actually, no cleeds, if the OP hadn’t posted it then I would still not know.

Remasters, yyzsantabarbara, Universal or otherwise, are such crap I never buy them any more.

With music the sad yet fascinating truth is the best most faithful record of this music is on the vinyl that has already been pressed. This is because, while it is technically true that the very best version is on those gone forever master tapes, the very real reality is none of us will ever experience that. The only chance we have of hearing this music is to buy a record. Which unfortunately it seems they never, ever manage to remaster anything any good, and hardly ever even manage to reissue (ie press more copies) that are as good as the original run pressings. It does sometimes happen but very much the exception not the rule.

Because of this those of us who really want the best pressings of the best recordings have just one option:

The bad news is the price. The good news is they actually exist. You can still get them. Unlike the burned master tapes, which while they did once technically exist in practice it did not matter because no one was ever going to hear them anyway.

Which think about it. Here you have just one guy, a very well-read but otherwise ordinary audiophile, and he is able without any "reporting" whatsoever off the top of his head able to inform you better than the NYT. Better, and more accurately. Granted, I never won a Pulitzer. Also never was proven to have lied to win one, unlike all the Times reporters from Walter Duranty to Jayson Blair to Ali Watkins
Which is why oregonpapa and I laugh derisively at the NYT.

I’ve known for years the NYT was awful. But eleven years late to the fire? Literally late to the fire. And even then they got the story wrong.

Here you have just one guy, a very well-read but otherwise ordinary audiophile, and he is able without any "reporting" whatsoever off the top of his head able to inform you better than the NYT.
I’m not aware of any one person - no matter how smart or talented - who can inform me "better than the NYT." Neither is there any one person who has worked so diligently to protect the public; see Times v. Sullivan, for example.

But I understand many put their faith in Fox News and sources even worse than it. That has always been the case.

Sure, the Times gets it wrong sometimes. That’s because it is comprised of humans who actually work at something bigger than themselves. Humans, you know, are fallible.

How pathetic. First a predictable, Pavlovian, right wing knee jerk reaction and then a another, predictable deflection.

And despite all the blather about the NYT, they sure came in handy with the lies they reprinted verbatim from the Bush administration in the lead up to the Iraq war and they sat on the story of the Bush administration illegally spying on all Americans until after the election.

Thank goodness the Gray Lady is still a paper of record but they still step on stories they shouldn’t and have a strange conservative strain that leads to repeated retractions, omissions and some very biased headlines and stories.

All the best,
Agreed, @nonoise, the NYT is flawed. Much so. I'm not willing to throw the gray lady out with the bathwater, though, or to proclaim it "the enemy of the people."

Granted, I never won a Pulitzer.
Chances are excellent that you never will.

The New York Times has won 127 - so far.
Here’s a list of a few hundred more awards won by the NYT.

A google search for awards won by Fox News only displayed 404 Not Found pages.  🤔

     A lesson to all current and future musicians:

Record all your masters direct to high resolution digital of at least 24Bit/96KHz, use Master Source (MS) coding for the tracking of provenance from the MS to the commercially delivered format and store them on this nonflammable, non-dynamic range limiting up to 150db, non-deteriorating and low distortion format that will sound exactly as pristine decades or more from now as it did when recorded. These masters also allow unlimited exact copying and delivery of literally master-quality music files to consumers for purchase,playback and enjoyment.
     Here's more details on the subject and requirements:

The Times' Walter Duranty won a Pulitzer for writing about the amazing success and perfect future that awaits us all under communism, while hiding the fact of millions being starved to death in the Ukraine.

If lying to promote evil is what it takes to win a Pulitzer you can include me out. If publishing lies to promote evil isn't the enemy of the people then maybe cleeds or steakster you can tell me what it takes.

A few years ago the Times ran a "fashion" special with full page spreads devoted to showing us all just how glamorous a burka can be.

The starvation of millions. The subjugation of women. This is what you're defending. 
You simply gloss over what’s been said and just keep on trucking. A couple of examples do not make for the totality of record. One can, however, go to any site you regularly visit and have a field day fact checking them and come to the conclusion that they are the polar opposite of proper journalism.

You can do it half in your bottle of choice and still come away with the correct perception that they are propaganda, conjecture, and whitewashed lies pretending to be journalism. If it wasn’t for the internet, they wouldn’t be able to put out anything for mass consumption. The internet makes it easy for even you to come up with your own site and have at it.

These sites are like People or Us magazine, for the addel brained. You know, for those who don’t like to read.

All the best,
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That New York Times link, actually both of them, are in some private mode and cannot be read without logging in.

This particular thread started as an info about what could be of interest to people on this website. Thank you yyzsantabarbara.

It is getting a little sick that any thread about pretty much anything becomes some "communism vs. us" non-sense.
Well, I, for one, wouldn't go off if it weren't for them. They seem to wait for things to die down and then it's "send in the clowns."
NY Times is leftist propaganda from the first page to the last page, every single day.  There is barely a story that isn't slanted progressive.  It's trash.  And if you can't see that, it's sad.  But of course their business is in the toilet.  For a good reason.
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There are very few if any news outlets that aren't selling propaganda now days.
Has the Russian troll farm infiltrated Audiogon? 😮
Or just another Fox News viewer?
1-I think they've always been here.
2-Does the pope wear a funny hat? 

Post removed 
Thanks for sharing the article about the lost music. A real cultural loss—I suppose those of us who have vinyls of those recordings do have an important artifact. Unfortunately, with all of the unreleased music, we will never know what was lost and how much beauty disappeared from the world on that day. 

For those who went political, I offer you a few questions to ponder on your own dime and your own time: what benefit, psychic or otherwise (certainty, adrenaline release, proud anger), do you receive from forcing a story about lost music into your political worldview? And what costs (feelings of anger, self-righteousness, agita) do you incur? On balance, is your benefit greater than your cost? And why do you think It is acceptable behavior to force the rest of us to take part in your own internal drama?

Please understand-politics matter. Yet when I want political analysis, I don’t turn to A-gon and I am deeply disinterested in opinions that show up here, left, right or center.

I am here for things music and the devices that reproduce it. When things turn political, it means the purpose of this forum is debased, while the political discussions on a music site will of necessity also be limited. Important topics, but the wrong locale. It seems sadly unfair to force those of us here on a music forum to have to weed through off topic posts. 

Might it be possible for those who care deeply about music and politics find separate fora where they can enjoy the appropriate community for each endeavor? 

I would appreciate it if you could  give my request some consideration. 

Thank you. Well said. I’m tired of the political drivel that has shown up on Audiogon. If I want that kind of soapbox I can watch MSNBC, FoxNews or any of the hundred “news” channels. I come here to get away from that and if this becomes the norm myself and others like me will have to find a more relevant forum. 
That is truly tragic...and why I buy as many original or as near as can be pressings of the old standards when I can find them, whether on Ebay or thrift stores. Once gone they are gone. 
I have copies of all the originals so if you are interested, let me know.  I will be giving them away at only $999.99 per copy!

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I think film preservation is somewhat ahead of the efforts of the music industry. Googling film preservation shows a long standing effort. Celluloid is notorious for it's degradation and I recall temperature controlled vaults being built a long time ago, along with archival steps.

All the best,
Read the article yesterday via internet.  Tried to buy a record mentioned-all sold out.  Imho, the advent of the CD changed a lot of the music business models.  Some older artist's catalogues became gold, some not so much.  We will never know the complete loss.  Agree with Dramatictenor, I don't care about your politics, just the Music.
Has the Russian troll farm infiltrated Audiogon? 😮
Or just another Fox News viewer?
1-I think they've always been here.
2-Does the pope wear a funny hat?"

Hello nonoise,

   I always thought it was 'Does the pope poop in the woods?'

Boy, I'm so embarrassed, I've been saying it wrong for the last 40 years.

Oh well,
I Agree with the 3 above. The loss of the master tapes is the tragedy. Some truly amazing artists and their recordings of a piece of time that will never be heard again. I have not posted a lot but it seams sometimes it is difficult for people to stay on point.  I am saddened by the tragic loss of the music. Plus any future use of these master tapes to further reinforce our commitment to the accurate reproduction of their sound. Which is what we audiophiles all about. 
It is truly distressing that when we learn that approximately a half million irreplaceable masters of some of the greatest and often groundbreaking music of the greatest artists of the 20th Century, predominantly American artists, were lost to a fire, that some on this site of supposed audiophiles would rather turn this into a political debate rather than mourn the loss of these masters and use their energy constructively to consider ways that we could band together to encourage better protections for the other priceless masters still out there. Whatever happened to 'we the people'? Do the views of only one camp and their political agenda matter? Or do we all inhabit and love this land, our Constitution and the Bill of Rights? When supposed adults act like petulant 2 year olds, no worse, we have lost much more than priceless masters, we have lost the very basis of these United States of America. If even 'audiophiles' can gloat over the burning of music, I can only imagine the festivities that will take place when books and libraries are set ablaze. 
And here I was, thinking that those "vaults" were dug deep into some mountain with constant temperature, far from any traffic, heavily guarded, under seven locks, behind fireproof doors.

Now I have an impression that I take better care of my "masters" than Universal ever did of theirs.
Do not forget, people around the world enjoy(ed) the music recorded on those masters. It is not only USA  that is at loss.
Absolutely, this is a worldwide loss, with amazing masters from musicians spanning the globe lost. My prior comment did not mean to imply otherwise, only to address the intrusion of politics into a music site in a way that might promote a bit of understanding given the likely sources of those comments. I am sorry for not being clearer. Music is a universal language.
So that was a bear I saw in that hat."

Hello nonoise,
     No, that was the pope just doing his business in the woods.

Times is good to line bird cages.....if news and intelligent commentary is what you want get the Wall St. Journal

This week, The New York Times Magazine published an in-depth account of a 2008 fire on the Universal Studios Hollywood backlot that hadn’t previously been understood as the cultural calamity that it truly was. Thousands of masters of recordings by artists ranging from Al Jolson to Yoko Ono, Patsy Cline to Tupac Shakur, had been incinerated.

As Jody Rosen, a contributing writer to the magazine, put it in the piece: “Had a loss of comparable magnitude to the Universal fire occurred at a different cultural institution — say, the Metropolitan Museum of Art — there might have been wider awareness of the event, perhaps some form of accountability.”

I asked Jody to tell us a little more about how the story came together:

The Universal fire was dramatic event, a story of flames consuming buildings, of precious artifacts going up in smoke, of historical loss on a vast scale. But the story first came to my attention in the most banal form imaginable: in the dry bureaucratese of legal documents and company reports.

About five years ago, I obtained a bunch of paperwork related to the fire. It took me some time to orient myself and begin to wrap my head around what those documents were saying. It took me even longer to find people who knew about the fire and the master recordings that were destroyed in it — and it took longer still to persuade those people to speak to me, both on and off the record.

[Here are the top takeaways from the piece.]

It was really those interviews that parted the mists for me. My sources helped me understand that the destruction of the Universal Music Group vault was a major cultural catastrophe, and they helped me to place that disaster in a larger frame, to understand the huge challenge of archiving and preserving the physical relics of recorded sound in the age of streaming media.

One of the people who agreed to speak on the record was Randy Aronson, who worked as UMG’s director of vault operations for years, both before and after the fire. Mr. Aronson was — still is — very emotional about the fire and the huge toll it took. He told me: “The way I felt in the months after the fire — the only thing I can compare it to is when my mother passed away.”

[Here’s what artists like Questlove and R.E.M. had to say about the losses.]

The first time I visited Mr. Aronson at his home near Los Angeles, we sat together and I showed him some of the documents I’d gotten. One of these was an internal UMG report that included a huge list of recording artists, page after page famous musicians, alphabetized by first names.

I went through the list with Mr. Aronson: “John Lee Hooker, did he have recordings in the vault?” “Yes.” “Joni Mitchell, did she have recordings in the vault?” “Yes.” “Judy Garland, did she have tapes in the vault?” “Yes.” I remember kind of staggering out of Mr. Aronson’s house that day, getting into my rental car and driving back to L.A. in a daze.

Thanks to the OP for sharing the link to the article about this colossal tragedy in the history of recorded music.  I am personally very dismayed at the cavalier attitude that was afforded to these heirloom treasures.

It’s also a sad statement on the lack of integrity in certain members here who choose to grandstand politics whilst they should be redirecting their negative energy to lobbying the industry to practice due diligence instead. 
And here I was, thinking that those "vaults" were dug deep into some mountain with constant temperature, far from any traffic, heavily guarded, under seven locks, behind fireproof doors.

Now I have an impression that I take better care of my "masters" than Universal ever did of theirs.

Well, the way the record companies go on about their precious "crown jewels" you'd think that, right. Apparently not so much. Such a shame they were so callous.