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That's indeed terrible, especially for those recordings that are never released.

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What are master recordings, and why do they matter?

A master recording is the one-of-a-kind original recording of a piece of music. It’s the source from which other vinyl records, CDs, MP3s and all other recordings are made.

According to the article, documents show that the vault contained masters dating back decades, including multitrack recordings on which individual instruments remained isolated from one another. There were also session masters, including recordings that had never been commercially released. The recordings within the vault came from to some of the most important record labels of all time.

Audiophiles and audio professionals view such recordings with special regard.

“A master is the truest capture of a piece of recorded music,” Adam Block, the former president of Legacy Recordings, Sony Music Entertainment’s catalog arm, told the magazine. “Sonically, masters can be stunning in their capturing of an event in time. Every copy thereafter is a sonic step away.”
 

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That's indeed terrible, especially for those recordings that are never released.

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these masters were never going to be forever, but to lose them this way is very unfortunate.
I guess, there will never be a true re-release of these recordings, not one that is derived from the master tapes.
And one can only imagine what was never released.
Of course, I'm thinking of the Impulse Coltrane recordings the most.
Some of the most important music for me personally.
But masters for Nirvana, Steely Dan, Elton John were also lost.
 

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surprised to see the picture of The Coltrane quartet with almost no microphones ( 2 surround / above the drums , one in front of the bass and one in the piano . Nothing in front of Coltrane. And the room has a brick wall and what looks like a stone / cement floor.. Rather big room. No sheet music either.. Is that really where all this great sounding records were made ? wow...
 

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A lot of Coltrane's Atlantic tapes were damaged or destroyed in storage in a New Jersey warehouse back in '78. Fortunately most of the masters of released material were stored in New York at the time. What was lost were mostly masters of unreleased recordings.

I wonder if the lost Coltrane masters were Atlantic masters as well as Impulse masters.

I wonder how much all of those masters were insured for and who got the payday.
 
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