Nirvana 'Nevermind' Master Tapes Lost In Fire

Extensive Losses of 2008 Blaze Revealed

June 12, 2019

Scott Gries / getty


A recently published investigative report, covering the extent of a 2008 Universal lot fire, has revealed previously unknown carnage in the form of a decimated archive which housed in the ballpark of 500,000 master tapes including classic albums from Nine Inch Nails, Beck, and R.E.M. 

Additionally, today Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic also confirmed Nirvana's iconic Nevermind masters are believed to be "gone forever".  Not simply limited to alternative the destruction also include the loss of catalog staple recordings from Guns N roses, Tupac, Buddy Holly, Elton John, Snoop Dog, The Police, The  Eagles, Aerosmith, Janet Jackson, Etta James, Chuck Berry, Eminem, 50 Cent, Sherly Crow, and still more. 

Randy Aronson, Senior Director of Vault Operations in that era has escribed it as being "like those end-of-the-world-type movies", adding "it felt like my planet had been destroyed".  In all the company estimated monitary losses from the fire to land in the market of $150 million dollars, though obviously the sort of devistation described aobve is unfathomably unqauntifiable. Adding insut to injury, there was no formal record of preciesly what each tape or hard drive housed, rendering whatever alternate takes, incomplete tracks, or fun oddities were hidden between album takes all but unborn. 

Universal themselves dispute the article however, releasing a statement of their own alledging the article contains, "numerous inaccuracies, misleading statements, contradictions, and fundamental misunderstandings of the scope of the incident and affected assets.”

“Music preservation is of the highest priority for us and we are proud of our track record.  While there are constraints preventing us from publicly addressing some of the details of the fire that occurred at NBCUniversal Studios facility more than a decade ago, the incident – while deeply unfortunate – never affected the availability of the commercially released music nor impacted artists’ compensation.”

Read the whole thing for yourself, here