A Single Inventory Surround Sound SACD of the 20th Anniversary Edition of Brothers In Arms by the Dire Straits was released this past Monday by Vertigo Records and Universal Music International’s Mercury Records U.K. division. The much anticipated anniversary edition of this 1980’s rock classic features a brand new 5.1 Surround Sound SACD mix that was produced by lead vocalist and guitarist Mark Knopfler and veteran producer and engineer Chuck Ainlay and mastered by famed mastering engineer Bob Ludwig of Gateway Mastering.
According to Sony’s European SACD Project Team, the Brothers In Arms Anniversary Edition SACD is the Super Audio CD format’s 3,000th release. As we noted in an earlier article on the planned release, a similar honor was bestowed on Knopfler last fall when the Super Audio CD edition of his last album – Shangri-La – became the 2,500th SACD release.
- So Far Away
- Money For Nothing
- Walk Of Life
- Your Latest Trick
- Why Worry
- Ride Across The River
- The Man’s Too Strong
- One World
- Brothers In Arms
Early Applause from Surround Sound Fans
Even though the Brothers In Arms SACD has only been on the market for a few days, it has already received strong praise from Surround Sound fans on the Internet. In a poll rating new Surround Sound releases on a 1 to 10 scale (10 being the highest rating) on the Quadraphonic Quad web forum, all but one rater gave the Brothers In Arms SACD a “10” score at last glance.
I certainly agree with their verdict. The new 5.1 Surround Sound mix of the album features vocals by Knopfler and Sting (track 2 – Money for Nothing) primarily in the Center channel with drums and bass up front. The Surround Channels are used for percussion and other instruments.
Highlights in 5.1 SACD Surround Sound include Walk of Life (track 3) and Ride Across The River (track 6). The storm sounds of the title song Brothers In Arms on track 9 are notable as well as the dynamic booms on The Man’s Too Strong (track 7) which will remind you why the .1 channel can come in quite handy with 5.1 Surround Sound rock titles.
Chuck Ainlay is said to have worked 3 months on the Surround Sound mix of this new SACD. It shows – the end result is quite impressive indeed, it’s a real showcase for taking a rock classic to another level.
Two SACD Versions?
One of the interesting aspects of the Brothers In Arms 20th Anniversary Edition SACD release was the announcement that it would be available in both a Limited Edition DigiPack (Vertigo/Mercury 9871497) and Regular Edition (Vertigo/Mercury 9871498). Several readers asked about what the difference between the two versions would be.
Looking at the SACDs on the market, it appears that the only difference is the packaging. Both editions feature the 9 songs from the original album and the same production credits.
The DigiPack version of the SACD has the famed picture of the guitar on the cover slightly embossed and outlined. As a result, I’d suggest that readers interested in picking up this SACD base their decision on the packaging. Unless you’re a DigiPack fan or perhaps a collector, I suspect that means grabbing the regular edition SACD in the familiar SACD Super Jewel Box with the curved corners.
The 20th Anniversary Edition of Brothers In Arms in Surround Sound SACD is now available for purchase in music stores in the U.K. and Europe. It is also available from a number of web sites in Europe including Amazon.co.uk (U.K.), Amazon.de (Germany), Amazon.fr (France) and JPC.de (Germany).
Some U.S. web sites are also carrying the Brothers In Arms Anniversary Edition SACD as an import selection. These sites include Acoustic Sounds and Elusive Disc which have the U.K. SACD for $34.98 and CD Universe which is selling the Hong Kong SACD for $31.99.
The lowest price I’ve seen to date in the U.S. market is on the CD Wow U.S. web site (www3.cd-wow.us) which is selling the disc for only $18.95 including free delivery.