New Barbra Streisand & James Taylor SACDs from Sony Music

December 13, in SACD News

Sony Music has released three new Hybrid Surround Sound SACDs this week. The new SACDs include Barbra Streisand’s debut on SACD as well as the fourth and fifth Surround Sound SACDs by James Taylor.

Also worth noting is that all three of the new SACDs feature a revised album insert that describes the features of a Super Audio CD that has Surround Sound (as these three do). It also refers to the format as “SA-CD” rather than the more traditional “SACD” term used by other record labels that are issuing these discs.

As Hybrid Layer Surround Sound SACDs, all three of these new Sony Music releases feature SACD Surround Sound, SACD Stereo and CD Audio versions of the music on each album. They are playable on SACD, CD and SACD compatible DVD Video players. Here’s more information on these new SACD releases.

The Movie Album
Barbra Streisand
SACD Surround Sound/SACD Stereo/CD Audio

(Columbia CH 90748)

The Movie Album is Barbra Streisand’s latest album and her first appearance on SACD. It features Streisand performing 12 well known songs from the movies backed by a 75 piece orchestra. The album was recorded at The Sony Pictures Studios Scoring Stage, Grandma’s House in Malibu and The Hop in Studio City by David Reitzas who also did the Stereo and Surround Sound mixes and mastering for the SACD. The SACD was authored by Woody Pornpitaksuk at Sony Music Studios in New York.

The SACD’s Surround Sound mix places Streisand and the orchestra up front with the surround channels used for occasional accents as well as room filling ambience. It will be an SACD that Streisand fans will want to audition.

Album Selections
1. Smile (from “Modern Times”)
2. Moon River (from “Breakfast At Tiffany’s”)
3. I’m In The Mood For Love (from “Every Night At Eight”)
4. Wild Is The Wind (from “Wild Is The Wind”)
5. Emily (from “The Americanization of Emily”)
6. More In Love With You (from “The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse”)
7. How Do You Keep The Music Playing? (from “Best Friends”)
8. But Beautiful (from “Road To Rio”)
9. Calling You (from “Bagdad Café”)
10. The Second Time Around (from “High Time”)
11. Goodbye For Now (from “Reds”)
12. You’re Gonna Hear From Me (from “Inside Daisy Clover”)

Flag
James Taylor
SACD Surround Sound/SACD Stereo/CD Audio

(Columbia CH 90749)

Flag was one of James Taylor’s early albums on the Columbia Records label. It was originally released on CD in 1979 and features Taylor’s version of Up On The Roof and Day Tripper as well as several favorites including Company Man.

The Stereo and Surround Sound mixes for the SACD edition of Flag were done by Nathaniel Kunkel who also handled these tasks on Taylor’s award-winning “JT” Surround Sound SACD. Mastering of the SACD was done by Doug Sax at James Guthrie’s Das Boot Recording in Tahoe, California. Sax also handled the mastering on the original CD edition of Flag. The SACD was authored by Woody Pornpitaksuk at Sony Music Studios in New York.

Kunkel’s work on the SACD’s Surround Sound mix of Flag does not disappoint. Like the “JT” SACD, it places Taylor’s vocals in the Center Channel speaker only to highlight them while making good use of the surround channels.

Album Selections
1. Company Man
2. Johnnie Comes Back
3. Day Tripper
4. I Will Not Lie For You
5. Brother Trucker
6. Is That The Way You Look?
7. B.S.U.R.
8. Rainy Day Man
9. Millworker
10. Up On The Roof
11. Chanson Francaise
12. Sleep Come Free Me

Dad Loves His Work
James Taylor
SACD Surround Sound/SACD Stereo/CD Audio

(Columbia CH 90750)

Dad Loves His Work was originally released on the Columbia Records label in 1981. The album was produced by Peter Asher and features Taylor and singer J.D. Souther performing the hit single “Her Town Too”.

As with Flag, the Stereo and Surround Sound mixes for the SACD edition of Flag were done by Nathaniel Kunkel. Mastering of the SACD was done by Doug Sax at James Guthrie’s Das Boot Recording in Tahoe, California. Sax also handled the mastering on the original CD edition of Flag. The SACD was authored by Woody Pornpitaksuk at Sony Music Studios in New York.

The SACD features well done sonics and use of the Surround channels is appropriate for the material. As with the Flag SACD, Kunkel mixes James Taylor’s vocals to the Center Channel only and uses the surround channels extensively. One quibble with the mix is in the decision on the Surround Mix of “Her Town Too” to place J.D. Souther’s vocals across the front speakers (phantom center) vs. in the center channel along (as is done with Taylor). The result is that Souther’s part in the song is a little buried in the mix. As I said, a quibble with an otherwise well done SACD.

Album Selections
1. Hard Times
2. Her Town Too (with J.D. Souther)
3. Hour That The Morning Comes
4. I Will Follow
5. Believe It Or Not
6. Stand And Fight
7. Only For Me
8. Summer’s Here
9. Sugar Trade
10. London Town
11. That Lonesome Road

Availability
The new Hybrid Surround Sound SACDs by Barbra Streisand and James Taylor are now in stock and available from Tower Records (in the regular CD section vs. the audiophile section) and the Acoustic Sounds, Elusive Disc, Music Direct and Red Trumpet web sites. In addition, the SACD versions of Barbra Streisand’s The Movie Album and James Taylor’s Dad Loves His Work and Flag are available from Best Buy stores for $14.99 each.

Titanic Soundtrack Moves on to Upcoming SACD List from Sony Music
The big news on the upcoming SACD release list from Sony Music is the addition of the Titanic Soundtrack as a January 20, 2004 release. SACD fans know that this album was one of the early Single Layer Stereo SACDs made available by Sony Music.

It has been shown as an upcoming Surround Sound SACD reissue for some time now. So long, in fact, that some fans may have given up on its re-release in Surround Sound. But the good news is that it will indeed appear as a Surround Sound SACD – and a Hybrid one to boot!

Before we see the Titanic Soundtrack on Hybrid Surround Sound SACD, the next SACD up from Sony Music is slated to be the recent album by The Thorns. Here’s how the upcoming Sony Music SACD list is looking:

Upcoming SACD Release (Hybrid Layer Surround Sound SACD Disc) – December 16, 2003

  • The Thorns – The Thorns (Columbia CH 90751)

    Upcoming SACD Release (Hybrid Layer Surround Sound SACD Disc) – January 20, 2004

  • Original Soundtrack – Titanic (Sony Classical SH 93091)

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