“The Day the Music Burned”

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by dkmw, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. dkmw

    dkmw Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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  2. Hatfield92

    Hatfield92 Tele-Meister

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    I had no idea. Jesus. Thanks for sharing dkmw.

    Among the incinerated Decca masters were recordings by titanic figures in American music: Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Al Jolson, Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland. The tape masters for Billie Holiday’s Decca catalog were most likely lost in total. The Decca masters also included recordings by such greats as Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five and Patsy Cline.

    The fire most likely claimed most of Chuck Berry’s Chess masters and multitrack masters, a body of work that constitutes Berry’s greatest recordings. The destroyed Chess masters encompassed nearly everything else recorded for the label and its subsidiaries, including most of the Chess output of Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Willie Dixon, Bo Diddley, Etta James, John Lee Hooker, Buddy Guy and Little Walter. Also very likely lost were master tapes of the first commercially released material by Aretha Franklin, recorded when she was a young teenager performing in the church services of her father, the Rev. C.L. Franklin, who made dozens of albums for Chess and its sublabels.

    Virtually all of Buddy Holly’s masters were lost in the fire. Most of John Coltrane’s Impulse masters were lost, as were masters for treasured Impulse releases by Ellington, Count Basie, Coleman Hawkins, Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, Art Blakey, Sonny Rollins, Charles Mingus, Ornette Coleman, Alice Coltrane, Sun Ra, Albert Ayler, Pharoah Sanders and other jazz greats. Also apparently destroyed were the masters for dozens of canonical hit singles, including Bill Haley and His Comets’ “Rock Around the Clock,” Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats’ “Rocket 88,” Bo Diddley’s “Bo Diddley/I’m A Man,” Etta James’s “At Last,” the Kingsmen’s “Louie Louie” and the Impressions’ “People Get Ready.”​
     
  3. Hatfield92

    Hatfield92 Tele-Meister

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    I’d always assumed stuff this invaluable was kept underground. I’d read somewhere once that was standard industry practice.
     
  4. Bones

    Bones Telefied Ad Free Member

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    At least they can remaster everything.
     
  5. Hatfield92

    Hatfield92 Tele-Meister

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    It’s hard for me to find the humor in something so catastrophic.
     
  6. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Reading the article makes it clear that these were the ORIGINAL tapes.....irretrievable loss.
     
  7. MattyK-USA

    MattyK-USA Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Maybe I don't understand the process well, but why couldn't they be re-mastered from other copies / tapes etc.?
     
  8. ElJay370

    ElJay370 Tele-Meister

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    It goes on....

    "The list of destroyed single and album masters takes in titles by dozens of legendary artists, a genre-spanning who’s who of 20th- and 21st-century popular music. It includes recordings by Benny Goodman, Cab Calloway, the Andrews Sisters, the Ink Spots, the Mills Brothers, Lionel Hampton, Ray Charles, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Clara Ward, Sammy Davis Jr., Les Paul, Fats Domino, Big Mama Thornton, Burl Ives, the Weavers, Kitty Wells, Ernest Tubb, Lefty Frizzell, Loretta Lynn, George Jones, Merle Haggard, Bobby (Blue) Bland, B.B. King, Ike Turner, the Four Tops, Quincy Jones, Burt Bacharach, Joan Baez, Neil Diamond, Sonny and Cher, the Mamas and the Papas, Joni Mitchell, Captain Beefheart, Cat Stevens, the Carpenters, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Al Green, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Elton John, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Buffett, the Eagles, Don Henley, Aerosmith, Steely Dan, Iggy Pop, Rufus and Chaka Khan, Barry White, Patti LaBelle, Yoko Ono, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, 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, Soundgarden, Hole, Beck, Sheryl Crow, Tupac Shakur, Eminem, 50 Cent and the Roots."

    I remember when this fire occurred but I also had no idea it destroyed anything besides a few iconic movie sets. (which they can rebuild fairly easily)

    Holy crap. This is a massive loss not only for modern music but also for American history.

    Well, my day's ruined.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
  9. Hatfield92

    Hatfield92 Tele-Meister

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    First of all, it’s the whole “copy of a copy” thing. When future generations have even better, clearer, more multi-dimensional ways to master from the original tapes, those original tapes are no more.

    Secondly, there were things lost they didn’t have backups for. I’m sure they had backups of the “biggies” but so much unreleased stuff lost.
     
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  10. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    There is only one original recording of anything, isn’t there? Anything else is, as Hatfield92 notes a copy of a copy of a copy.....and there is degradation at every step.
    I have a pristine recording on a 78 of Cab Calloway’s Hi De Hi De Hey Ho.......the sound quality is incomparable. I have never heard a recording that is so life like. I can only imagine what the tape master must sound...or have sounded...like.
     
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  11. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Poster Extraordinaire

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    Thanks for posting. It is, indeed, a long read, but I hope most of you can take the time. Like many people, I never gave a lot of thought to old master recordings....I guess I assumed they were archived in secure "bank vault"-like facilities.....boy, was I wrong. Heart-breaking tale, reminding me of George Harrison's admonishment that All Things Must Pass.....but we don't have to be happy about it. :(
     
  12. Bellacaster

    Bellacaster Tele-Holic

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    The master is the actual recording. Copies are just that. The analogy used in the article is comparing a painting to a photograph.
     
  13. Heathfinn

    Heathfinn TDPRI Member

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    coming soon, "remastered from original Spotify stream!"

    Very sad.
     
  14. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    After I have digitized most of my tapes (my playing, bands, and composition), I still kept all of the original recordings. Or at least, the earlier generations.

    I was compelled to keep the original, analog recordings after reading about the Zapruder film. I forget where the original has been kept and where it is now, but there was a disagreement years ago about whether the US government should keep control if it, or if it eventually was to revert back to the family's control. At any rate, the article I read quoted someone saying that future technology might shed more light on the original film. So, that's the issue with old stuff. We lose things from the original when we digitize them.
     
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  15. GibbyTwin

    GibbyTwin Tele-Meister

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    Just finished reading it. Such a loss, and they do not know the extent of what was lost and what will never be heard since some of the older items were not catalogued correctly in the first place. What was actually on the tapes and not noted. Recording notes written on the boxes....
    I found the comment about the ability to record in the past far surpassing the listener's playback ability to reproduce the sonic quality of the master really highlighted the importance of the original masters to subsequent re-releases in modern formats.
     
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  16. rjtwangs

    rjtwangs Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Blues collectors have been crying about this fire for years now. All of the Chess masters are gone...Muddy, Wolf, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson and so many more. There were plans at the time for a second Wolf set, and a domestic 4cd Sonny Boy Williamson set( like the 4cd Charley boxset ). Yes, a truly tragic loss of history.


    RJ
     
  17. dkmw

    dkmw Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I didn’t mean to ruin anyone’s day with this post:(

    I wasn’t exactly happy when I was done reading. The pictures were wonderful, though.

    I’m going to start a much cheerier thread soon, I promise:)

    Nothing about loss of music, or history; just some pure hedonistic pleasure...
     
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  18. ClashCityTele

    ClashCityTele Tele-Holic

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    This is the first time I'd heard of this. I feel sick.
    I wasn't having a good day & this hasn't helped.
    So much musical history destroyed.
    And remember...there is no such thing as an accident!
    It was avoidable.
    Louie Louie ffs Louie Louie!
     
  19. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Poster Extraordinaire

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    Dang, this is awful. I'd put this on par with the Notre Dame fire a few weeks ago.
     
  20. Manual Slim

    Manual Slim Tele-Afflicted

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    I hate to sound like I’m diminishing the Norte Dame fire, but these recordings can’t be remade.
     
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