It’s been a rough two weeks for Universal Music Group following the shocking report from The New York Times last Tuesday that stated the major record label had lost thousands of master recordings of countless artists both deceased and still active (many of whom claim were never alerted) during a warehouse fire on their Hollywood backlot in 2008. On Tuesday, however, UMG along with YouTube gave music fans more optimistic news that they two will give more than 1,000 classic music videos a High-Definition makeover.
According to another report shared by the NYT on Wednesday, a number of artists under UMG’s massive umbrella of content ownership including Lady Gaga, Beastie Boys, Soundgarden, The Killers, and The Spice Girls will all have their older music videos rebuffed and reformatted to meet today’s video definition standards. The full digital makeover initiative is expected to be completed by next year. Many of the older music videos currently uploaded to YouTube come with visuals and audio which were designed for older generations of television screens with single speakers.
The remastered videos will maintain the same URLs, view counts, and other pre-existing statistics, and fans will notice when a certain video has been given an HD upgrade as it will include a “Remastered” label in the description.
A rep from UMG also clarified that the origins of each video were considered in terms of the challenges that come with repurposing decades-old styles and formats. YouTube even contacted director Spike Jonze to make sure the Beastie Boys‘ 1994 video for “Sabotage” didn’t lose any of its “’70s cop shows”-style editing initially used by Jonze after being brought up to HD standard in an early draft.
Watch the newly-remasted video for “Sabotage” below.
Beastie Boys – “Sabotage” (Remastered)
Other artists whose videos will receive the 2020 remaster treatment reportedly includes Boyz II Men, George Strait, Janet Jackson, Lady Antebellum, Lionel Richie, Meat Loaf, No Doubt, Gwen Stefani, Smokey Robinson, KISS, and Tom Petty.