• Re: Atlantic Records' fire?

    From Brennan McMahon@21:1/5 to Chris Metzler on Thu Jul 6 01:29:07 2023
    On Monday, January 4, 1999 at 3:00:00 AM UTC-5, Chris Metzler wrote:
    In article <368DD4...@cam.org>, Michel Forest <for...@cam.org> wrote:
    Joe Castleman wrote:


    I asked about this a week or two ago, but I wnet out-of-town before I
    could check for an answer:

    What is this big fire that destroyed the tape archives at Atlantic
    Records? I hear about it occasionally, mainly in this newsgroup. When
    was the fire, and what did it consume? How has Atlantic been able to
    re-issue the fire-damaged tapes, or have they?

    I remember posting an answer to this question a few weeks ago... but I'm glad to repost it! Anyway, in 1976, a department store burned down in
    New Jersey. The 4th floor of the store was, strangely enough, the place where Atlantic stored its master tapes from every session recorded
    before 1969. The building burned down to the ground and all was lost. In the Coltrane boxset, it says that the released material was safe, having been released on lp's. But the unreleased material was lost forever. As
    for the source of the unreleased material on the Coltrane box, it seems
    a small amount of session tapes were found in another storage room.
    Maybe these were copies of the master tapes, it's not very clear in the booklet.
    Everyone notes how much wonderful jazz was probably lost in this fire
    -- which makes sense, because it's a jazz newsgroup. It's worth
    noting also, however, that Atlantic was the premier R&B/soul label of
    the 60's, through their own material and through music they
    distributed from smaller companies. Not all of the music they
    distributed for other labels did they have the masters for; but in
    mid-1968, Atlantic took possession of the entire catalog of Stax
    Records up to that point, due to some fine print in a distribution
    contract that Jerry Wexler claims his lawyers snuck in there without
    asking him. So, lost along with Coltrane, Mingus, Coleman, etc. were
    Ray Charles, Don Covay, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Sam & Dave,
    LaVern Baker, Booker T. & the MGs, Wilson Pickett, the Drifters,
    Carla Thomas, etc. etc.
    Chris Metzler Work Address: Loomis Laboratory of Physics
    217-333-1065 (office) University of Illinois
    met...@snip-me.uiuc.edu 1110 W. Green Street
    (remove "snip-me." to email, of course) Champaign, IL 61801-3080 USA
    "As a child I understood how to give; I have forgotten this grace since I have become civilized." - Chief Luther Standing Bear

    Thanks for the history everyone. The Temptations' Atlantic recordings could've also been lost. Hope all is well with this group

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