Earlier today Sony Music confirmed that they are making a couple of changes to their upcoming Bob Dylan reissue series. The changes include a switch in two of the albums to be released this summer as well as a decision to issue 6 of the albums in 5.1 Multichannel sound rather than issuing all of the titles solely in Stereo.
During the Consumer Electronics Show in January, Sony’s Legacy Recordings label announced that it would release 15 classic Bob Dylan albums as single inventory, Hybrid Layer Stereo SACDs this summer. The releases will mark Sony Music’s entry into the Hybrid SACD market in the U.S. (Prior Sony Music releases in the U.S. and other markets have been Single Layer SACDs with one exception – an SACD issued by the rock group Spitball by Sony Music in the Netherlands.)
A Change in SACD Titles
Today’s announcement from Sony included the news that two albums originally planned for release on SACD this summer: Royal Albert Hall and Time Out of Mind will be delayed until later in the series. In their place, Sony will release Planet Waves and Blonde on Blonde. Sony also characterized the release date for the 15 Dylan SACDs as being in “mid summer” rather than the previously announced dates of May/June 2003.
With these changes, the new lineup of 15 Dylan SACD releases is as follows:
- Another Side of Bob Dylan
- Blonde on Blonde
- Blood On The Tracks
- Bringing It All Back Home
- Free Wheelin’
- Highway 61 Revisited
- John Wesley Harding
- Love and Theft
- Nashville Skyline
- Oh Mercy
- Planet Waves
- Slow Train Coming
- Street Legal
6 Dylan Albums to Appear on 5.1 Multichannel SACD Discs
The SACD rerelease of Blonde on Blonde will be a 5.1 Multichannel release. According to Sony/Legacy, the new Hybrid Multichannel SACD of Blonde on Blonde “will supercede the original stereo SACD version of the recording, which was the first Dylan title ever released in the Super Audio CD format.”
In addition to Blonde on Blonde, five additional Dylan SACDs will also now appear in 5.1 Multichannel format. These albums are Another Side of Bob Dylan, Bringing It All Back Home, Blood On the Tracks, Slow Train Coming, Love and Theft. Since these are Hybrid Layer Multichannel SACDs, these discs will also include Stereo SACD and Stereo CD mixes and will be playable in SACD and CD players as well as SACD compatible DVD Video players.
According to Sony Music
“Music fans will have reason to rejoice this summer as Columbia/Legacy releases 15 of Bob Dylan’s most celebrated titles on hybrid Super Audio CD. From among his very first albums to his most recent, these remasterings will take the listener closer to the master tape sound than has ever before been possible. All original tape sources have been used for every title and the utmost attention to detail has been paid to these landmark recordings. Not only has the sound quality been vastly improved in the stereo mix but six of these titles will be released with an additional 5.1 SACD surround mix, as well.
Bob Dylan is an artist whose importance and stature in the history of popular music in unequaled. Here, for every listener, are some of his finest albums as you’ve never heard them before.”
Sony Launches Hybrid SACD Production Lines in U.S. and Austria
Today’s announcement also included the news that Sony Disc Manufacturing Corporation’s plants in Terre Haute, Indiana in the U.S. and in Austria have started their production of Hybrid SACD discs. Initial production at each of the plants is in excess of 15,000 Hybrid SACDs per day.
The new Dylan SACDs will be the first SACDs to be made at the new Sony Hybrid SACD plant in the U.S. (Hybrid SACDs made at the Sony plant in Austria include the 4 new Hybrid Stereo SACDs on the Alia Vox classical label which are already in stores such as Tower Records.)