Elton John

Rummaging Through the Collection

Rummaging Through the Collection

Some months back I wrote a music article about rediscovering some terrific cd’s in my collection. With Clarke taking a well-deserved month off I decided it was time for another dig through my new storage drawers for some terrific music. Below are four fine discs that those of you enjoy that particular style of music should take a listen to once again. read more…

2005 Surround Music Awards Gallery – Part Two

Surround Music Awards 2005 – Our second gallery of exclusive photographs from the SMA ceremony held in Hollywood last night… Greg Penny, who accepted last year’s High Fidelity Review Listener’s Choice Award for ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,’ picked up this year’s Best Multichannel Reissue for another repurposed Elton John album, ‘Captain Fantastic’, in a category I hear it was almost impossible to judge the standard was so high. read more…

Elton John SACD Surround Sound Sampler & Marketing Campaign

Sony Electronics & Universal Records are teaming up for a major marketing campaign to support the 6 upcoming Surround Sound SACDs by Elton John.

Of special note, music fans who attend the marketing events will receive a 7 track Elton John Surround Sound SACD Sampler. 

According to representatives from Sony Electronics and Universal Records, the release of the singer’s new “Peachtree Road” album and five catalog albums – “Elton John”, “Tumbleweed Connection”, “Madman Across The Water”, “Honky Chateau” and “Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy” – in Super Audio CD Surround Sound will be backed up with

“a major radio and retail promotional campaign that features Sony DVD Dream Systems and ES high-end audio products to raise awareness of these new SA-CD titles.”

read more…

Universal Releases 4 Mercury Living Presence SACDs & Announces Elton John SACD Extras

On Tuesday, Universal Music’s Mercury label made U.S. Classical Music fans very happy with the release of the first 4 albums in their long-awaited Mercury Living Presence SACD reissue series. Along with the 4 Mercury Living Presence SACDs, they also released 3 more recent Classical Music albums in Surround Sound Super Audio CD. Other news this week included a listing of the bonus tracks in the 5 upcoming Elton John Surround Sound SACDs as well as the news that the upcoming SACDs from Elton John and Eric Clapton were being moved back a bit on the SACD Release List. Here are the highlights of this week’s SACD news from the Universal Music Group.

4 Mercury Living Presence SACDs Arrive in the U.S. Market
The first 4 albums in the long-awaited Mercury Living Presence SACD reissue series arrived in the U.S. on Tuesday as scheduled. As with most of the Universal Music Group classical music SACDs, the Mercury Living Presence SACD series debuted in the European and Japanese markets ahead of the U.S. In fact, all 10 of the Mercury Living Presence SACDs are now available in those areas.

The new SACDs contain for the first time the original 3 Channel recordings of these well known classical albums. High Fidelity Review readers will recall that Universal Music polled Classical Music fans on their Internet forum as to which titles to bring out first in 3 Channel SACD format, and the initial batch of releases largely reflect the most popular selections from that poll.

Three of the SACDs are single SACD discs selling for $18.98 list price while the Janos Starker performance of Bach Suites for Cello is a two SACD set selling for a $37.98 list price. The SACDs were made by Universal in SACD replication lines in Germany and Hong Kong. In fact, in the case of the Starker SACD set I picked up, Disc 1 was made in Germany while Disc 2 was made in Hong Kong.

Early reaction to the sonic quality and value of the 3 Channel SACD playback option on each disc’s Surround Sound SACD layer has been very positive. As I reported last week, imported copies of two of this week’s releases are being used to demonstrate the new Meitner CDSD SACD Transport, DAC6e 6 Channel DSD Converter and Switchman III preamp/switcher to good effect. Listening to the first four 3 Channel SACDs on my system also validated the early praise. They will be a well appreciated addition to any Classical Music fan’s SACD collection.

  • Antal Dorati, London Symphony Orchestra – Stravinsky: The Firebird (Complete); Tango; Scherzo à la Russe (Mercury Living Classics)
  • Byron Janis, Antal Dorati, London Symphony Orchestra, Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra – Rachmaninov: Piano Concerti 2 & 3; 2 Preludes (Mercury Living Classics)
  • Paul Paray, Detroit Symphony Orchestra – Suppé: Overtures (+Auber) (Mercury Living Classics)
  • Janos Starker – Bach: Six Suites For Solo Cello (2 SACD Set) (Mercury Living Classics)

Three Newer Classical Titles Arrive in Surround Sound SACD
For Classical Music fans looking for full Surround Sound SACD playback, Universal Music has you covered as well this week. They released three more recent titles in Surround Sound Super Audio CD. These include the Cinderella Suite performed by Argerich & Pletnev and two boxed sets – the 3 disc SACD edition of Mozart’s Don Giovanni featuring Bryn Terfel, Claudio Abbado and Chamber Orchestra Europe and the 5 disc SACD set of Beethoven’s Complete Symphonies as performed by Jaap van Zweden conducting the Residentie Orchestra.

  • Argerich & Pletnev – Cinderella Suite from the Ballet for 2 Pianos & La Mere (Deutsche Grammophon)
  • Bryn Terfel, Claudio Abbado, Chamber Orchestra Europe – Mozart: Don Giovanni (3 SACD Box Set) (Deutsche Grammophon)
  • Jaap van Zweden, Residentie Orchestra – Beethoven: Complete Symphonies (5 SACD Box Set) (Philips)

All seven of this week’s Super Audio CD releases from the Universal Music Group are now available at Tower Records stores and other music stores that carry SACDs. They can also be purchased from Acoustic Sounds, CD Universe, Elusive Disc and Music Direct.Bonus Tracks Announced for Elton John SACD Series
High Fidelity Review readers know that one of the highlights of the Surround Sound edition of Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road last year was the bonus track of Candle In The Wind performed acoustically. Looking to repeat that reception, 4 of the 5 upcoming Surround Sound SACDs by Elton John will also have bonus tracks as well.

According to Universal Music, the line up of bonus tracks on the upcoming Elton John Surround Sound SACDs are as follows:

Elton John

  • Bad Side of the Moon
  • Grey Seal
  • Rock ‘N’ Roll MadonnaTumbleweed Connection
  • Into The Old Man’s Shoes
  • Madman Across The Water (Original Version)Honky Chateau
  • Slave (Alternate Version)Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy
  • Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
  • One Day At A Time
  • Philadelphia Freedom

Universal Music Comments on the Elton John SACD Releases
Universal Music also issued a statement about the Surround Sound SACDs stating that “The legendary career of international singer/songwriter and performer, Elton John, has spanned more than three decades. By all measures, Elton is one of the world’s most successful touring artists and one of the top-selling solo artists of all time. Elton John has sold more than 200 million records world-wide, with 29 consecutive Top 40 hits, earning 35 gold and 25 platinum albums.These classic catalog titles from Elton John all feature new SACD Surround Sound mixes and totally remastered SACD and CD Audio Stereo programs. All were created using the original analog master tapes. These new SACDs update the classic mid-1990’s reissues, including liner notes, graphics and bonus tracks.

An extensive marketing campaign will be launched in support of the releases of these monumental catalog titles on SACD, which will also include the new Elton John album Peachtree Road on 11/9. Radio buys, listening parties and system product give-aways will be conducted in key markets in conjunction with local radio stations. The radio markets will include New York, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Detroit, Cleveland, Columbus, Ohio, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta, San Francisco, San Diego, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Houston, Phoenix, Denver, Hartford and Seattle. Consumer advertising will also run supporting these releases in
Rolling Stone, Spin, Tracks, Blender, Sound & Vision & Absolute Sound.”

Release Dates for Eric Clapton and Elton John Moved Back
Turning on news on the release date front, Universal Music has announced a one week delay in the release of the upcoming Surround Sound SACDs from Eric Clapton and Elton John. These SACDs are now due in stores on November 2, 2004.

Upcoming Universal Music SACD Release List
Here’s the complete list of upcoming SACDs from Universal Music in the U.S. market that includes the additions and changes mentioned above:

October 19, 2004 SACD Release

  • Antal Dorati, Philharmonia Hugarica Orchestra – Respighi: Ancient Airs & Dances for Lute (Mercury Living Classics)October 26, 2004 SACD Release
  • Nick Drake – A Collection [Greatest Hits] (Island)November 2, 2004 SACD Releases
  • Eric Clapton – 461 Ocean Boulevard (Polydor)
  • Eric Clapton – Slow Hand (Polydor)
  • Derek & the Dominoes – Layla (Polydor)
  • Elton John – Captain Fantastic (Universal/Rocket)
  • Elton John – Elton John (Universal/Rocket)
  • Elton John – Honky Chateau (Universal/Rocket)
  • Elton John – Madman Across The Water (Universal/Rocket)
  • Elton John – Tumbleweed Connection (Universal/Rocket)November 9, 2004 SACD Releases
  • Chet Baker – Baker’s Holiday: Chet Baker Plays & Sings The Billie Holiday Songbook (Verve)
  • Andrea Bocelli – Andrea [Limited Edition Digi-Pak] (Philips Classics)
  • The Carpenters – Singles: 1969-1981 (A&M Records)
  • John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman – John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman (Impulse)
  • Cotrubas, Domingo, Kleiber, Bayerischer, Staatsorchester – Verdi: La Traviata (2 SACD Set) (Deutsche Grammophon)
  • Richard Croft, Minkowski, Les Musiciens du Louvre – Gluck: Orphee et Eurydice (Deutsche Grammophon)
  • Antal Dorati, London Sympohny Orchestra – Rimsky-Korsakov: Capriccio Espagnol (Mercury Living Presence)
  • Akiko Suwanai, Charles Duoit, Philharmonia Orchestra – Poeme (Philips Classics)
  • Frederick Fennell, Eastman Wind Ensemble – Sousa Marches (Mercury Living Classics)
  • Renee Fleming – Handel (Decca Classics)
  • Juan Diego Florez – Great Tenor Arias (Decca Classics)
  • Ferenc Fricsay – Rosette Collection: Mozart: Magic Flute (Deutsche Grammophon)
  • Paul Mc Creesh, Gabrieli Consort & Players – Music for San Rocco (Deutsche Grammophon)
  • Hilary Hahn, Colin Davis, London Symphony Orchestra – Elgar: Violin Concerto Op. 61 & Williams: The Lark Ascending (Deutsche Grammophon)
  • Herbie Hancock – Gershwin’s World (Verve)
  • Howard Hanson, Eastman Rochester Orchestra – Hanson: Symphonies No. 1 (Nordic) & 2 (Romantic); Song of Democracy (Mercury Living Classics)
  • Joe Henderson – Lush Life: The Music of Billy Strayhorn (Verve)
  • Shirley Horn – Here’s to Live: Shirley Horn With Strings (Verve)
  • Elton John – Peachtree Road (Universal/Rocket)
  • Los Romeros, Victor Alessandro, San Antonio Symphony Orchestra – Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez (Mercury Living Presence)
  • Bob Marley & the Wailers – Burnin’ (Island)
  • Michael McDonald – Motown Two (Motown)
  • Anna Netrebko, Claudio Abbado, Mahler Chamber Orchestra – Sempre Libera (Deutsche Grammophon)
  • Seiji Ozawa, Saito Kinen Orchestra – Bruckner: Symphony No. 7 (Philips Classics)
  • Paul Paray, Detroit Symphony Orchestra – Chabrier: Espana, Rhapsody & Roussel: Suite in F (Mercury Living Presence)November 23, 2004 SACD Releases
  • Keane – Hopes and Fears (Interscope)
  • Nine Inch Nails – Downward Spiral (Nothing/Interscope)SACD Releases Coming Soon
  • Count Basie & His Orchestra – April In Paris (Verve)
  • Dorati, Enescu, London Symphony Orch – Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsodies (Decca Classics)
  • John Fogerty – Deja Vu All Over Again (Geffen)
  • Ferenc Fricsay – Rosette Collection: Mozart: Magic Flute (Deutsche Grammophon)
  • Tonu Kaljuste – Te Deum (ECM)
  • Eleni Karaindrou – Soundtrack: Ulysses’ Gaze (ECM)
  • Christina Milian – It’s About Time (Island)
  • Motley Crüe – Greatest Hits (Hip-O Records)
  • Anne Sofie Mutter, Andre Previn, London Symphony Orchestra – Tchaikovsky & Korngold: Violin Concertos (Deutsche Grammophon)
  • Zimerman, Polish Festival Orchestra – Chopin: Piano Concertos No. 1 & 2 (Deutsche Grammophon)
  • Linda Ronstadt – Humming to Myself (Verve)
  • Andreas Scholl – Senesino Album (Decca Classics)

Universal Releases 2 Classical SACDs and Sets Date for New Elton John SACD

The Universal Music Group released two more Surround Sound Super Audio CDs this week as they move closer to their goal of issuing 350 SACDs worldwide during 2004. The record group also provided a new update to its SACD Release List. Of key significance was the announcement of a firm in store release date for Elton John’s next album. Here’s a look at this week’s SACD news from Universal Music. read more…

2004 Surround Music Award Winners and Exclusive Report

Surround 2004: The Surround Music Award winners were announced at a gala event held at the Highlands, Hollywood last week, the third annual event of its kind.

The evening’s highlight came from an all-star tribute performance for 2004 Surround Pioneer Award recipient Herbie Hancock. read more…

Universals SACD Plans for Elton John, John Fogerty, Keane and Nine Inch Nails

Universal Music Group set release dates for 5 of Elton John’s classic albums in Super Audio CD Surround Sound this week. The record company also announced plans for SACD releases from John Fogerty, Keane and Nine Inch Nails. In addition, 5 Jazz Super Audio CD titles were promoted from the Coming Soon list to the SACD Release List and a Classical Music SACD received a new release date. Here are the highlights of this week’s SACD release news from Universal Music. read more…

Allman Brothers & Vince Gill SACDs Arrive With Elton John Announcement

Eat A Peach by the Allman Brothers Band arrived in stores on Tuesday as the first installment of two planned Surround Sound Super Audio CDs from the famed rock group on the Mercury Records label. Also arriving on Tuesday from the Universal Music Group was the new Surround Sound SACD by Vince Gill (High Lonesome Sound). Of equal interest to many Super Audio CD fans was the news that five Elton John albums along with several other albums by other artists have been added to the SACD Coming Soon list by Universal Music. read more…

Britney Spears, Elton John, The Who and Pink Among New DVD-Audio Releases

The DVD-Audio format continues to grow with over 40 new titles set to be released second quarter 2004. To date there are over 730 DVD-Audio titles available. The DVD-Audio Council serves as a complete resource for all press, technical and marketing information related to the DVD-Audio format in the United States and Europe. read more…

DVD-Audio Penetration Explodes – Over 700 Albums Available

The DVD-Audio Format is seeing exponential growth. To date, over one hundred and sixty DVD-Audio player models are available from more than thirty-five manufacturers. Over fourteen million players are already in the market, far outstripping the sales of competing audio formats, with player sales up 500% on the previous year. read more…

Upcoming Moody Blues & Elton John SACDs Top News from MIDEM

MIDEM 38: During the recent 38th MIDEM International Music Mart show in Cannes, several key announcements were made about work to advance the Super Audio CD format. Among the most significant was the news of upcoming SACD releases from Universal Music and Sony Music including several new discs by The Moody Blues and Elton John. Also announced were new marketing programs to promote the format as well as updated figures on the number of SACD discs on the market. read more…

Elton John & Elvis Costello Headline New Universal Music SACDs

New SACDs from Elton John (two versions of “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road: 30th Anniversary Edition”) and Elvis Costello (“North”) headline this week’s new titles from Universal Music. Today’s SACD new releases from Universal also included titles from John Hiatt as well as classical SACDs from Luciano Pavarotti and a 6 SACD set of the Beethoven Symphonies by Herbert von Karajan conducting the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.

All of today’s new SACDs are Hybrid Layer SACDs. They feature both SACD and CD Audio versions of the music on each album and are playable on SACD, CD and SACD compatible DVD Video players. Here’s more information on each of today’s SACD releases from Universal Music. read more…

Universal Music Group Announce DVD-Audio Release Schedule

Universal have announced their upcoming DVD-Audio release schedule, and it looks like a veritable who’s who of big name artists, including Andrea Bocelli, Diana Krall, Elton John, Shania Twain, Steely Dan, Sting and The Who.

The news heralds Universal Music Group’s first American DVD-Audio releases, which are slated to begin appearing on shelves from September 23rd onwards. According to the official company press release, UMG plans an ongoing DVD-Audio release program that will “…offer best-selling artists and core catalogue titles to major markets worldwide.” read more…

Elton John, Sting & Rush Coming in Surround Sound SACD

Universal Music has announced that Surround Sound SACDs by Elton John, Sting and Rush will headline their Fall 2003 Pop, Rock and Jazz SACD releases. The new listing of Universal Music SACDs was provided to key music dealers earlier this week as they prepare their orders for the Fall and Christmas selling season. While the August and some of the early September SACD releases were previously announced, this new list provides release dates for the SACDs slated after early September. read more…


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