Bryan Adams released a 30th anniversary reissue of his landmark album Reckless back in 2014, and in the latest piece from The New York Times about the Universal Music Group (UMG) vault fire in 2008, Adams details reaching out to UMG for the master tapes but coming up with nothing.
Adams wrote in an email to the NYT, “I contacted the archive dept of Universal Music [for] the master mixes/artwork/photos/video/film…I called everyone, former A&M employees, directors, producers, photographers, production houses, editors, even assistants of producers at the time…I can tell you with 100 percent certainty that I couldn’t find anything at Universal that had been published to do with my association with A&M records in the 1980s. If you were doing an archaeological dig there, you would have concluded that it was almost as if none of it had ever happened.”
Reckless was released on A&M Records, a subsidiary of UMG. While Adams wasn’t able to locate his masters, he was still able to release the reissue thanks to an “unmastered final assembly mix tape” he stored in his own personal vault.
This story is just another example of UMG’s efforts to not only cover up the extent of what was lost in the 2008 vault fire but the fact that they seemed to not inform many artists of their lost masters.
So far, one class-action lawsuit has been filed from the estate of Tom Petty, Soundgarden, Hole, Steve Earle and Tom Whalley on behalf of the Afeni Shakur Trust that oversees Tupac Shakur‘s estate since The New York Time Magazine published their original feature on the UMG vault fire. More are expected in the near future. Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Times reported that the law firm King, Holmes, Paterno & Soriano is representing “more than 10 but fewer than 100″ artists whose master recordings were lost in the UMG fire. Those lawsuits, according to attorney and firm partner Howard King, will be filed individually because “The claims of our clients are significant enough to justify individual lawsuits.”