The New York Time Magazine recently shared an interesting story that detailed the loss of master recordings in the 2008 Universal fire, losses that hadn’t been reported until now. The lists of artists whose work was impacted is an unfortunately long one, and artists like Hole and R.E.M. have spoken out about the status of their masters. Now it has been revealed that the master recordings for one of the most iconic albums ever, Nirvana’s Nevermind, are gone.
In response to the story, a fan asked Krist Novoselic, “Does this mean that just the Nevermind masters are gone? Assuming In Utero was safe since the reissue was after this,” and he responded, “I think they are gone forever.”
Meanwhile, The Roots also suffered some big losses, as Black Thought said that the masters for their first two major-label albums, Do You Want More?!!!??! and Illadelph Halflife, are no more. He said, “We had a couple classics destroyed in the fire as well. In short, that was the most depressing article ever. Not ‘EVER,’ but it was pretty heavy. I remember when it went down. Our first two classics — Do You Want More?!!!??! and Illadelph Halflife — were lost in the blaze. But I also strangely feel like […] though things are often beyond our comprehension, still they happen as they should.”
Questlove confirmed the news on Twitter, writing that although it’s unfortunate, the band isn’t totally out of luck when it comes to those records: “i mean, it’s sad to lose a piece of my life, but we still have the final masters—as in how it was released in 95/96 are still there.” Questlove also offered more insight into the artists that were affected by the blaze, saying, “They sent someone to check out the vault log and then it hit them: B-F & O-S artists took a hit the most. I think everything else was salvaged.”
Find a longer list of the impacted artists here.