Carpenters Singles Album and 4 Classical Albums Released by Universal in SACD Surround Sound

A&M Records has released a new Surround Sound Super Audio CD of the Carpenters Greatest Hits entitled Singles 1969-1981 this week. Also new from the Universal Music Group family of labels are 4 new Classical Music Surround Sound SACDs. Here’s more information on this week’s SACD releases from Universal as well as their announced SACD plans for January.

Singles 1969-1981
The Carpenters
SACD Surround Sound/SACD Stereo/CD Audio

(A&M Records B0002996-36)

Singles 1969-1981 features 21 of the best known songs recorded by Karen and Richard Carpenter. The cover of the SACD includes a sticker noting that the disc includes “13 Top Ten Hits featuring Close To You, We’ve Only Just Begun, Rainy Days and Mondays, Top of the World, Goodbye to Love and Yesterday” (the latter reference presumably referring to the song Yesterday Once More.) Looking through the song listing on the SACD, it includes all of the songs a fan of the group would want on such a collection.

Checking the liner notes, the disc indicates that it was Produced for SACD by Richard Carpenter, Supervised for SACD by Paul Bishow and Michel Etchart and that it includes a Surround Sound mix by veteran surround sound producer and engineer Al Schmitt and Richard Carpenter done at Capitol Studios in Hollywood. The SACD authoring was done by Lon Neumann from the Super Audio Center’s Hollywood Studio and the two “Stereo Fold Down Mixes” on the cuts Superstar and Top of the World were done by Richard Carpenter and Bernie Grundman at Bernie Grundman Studios in Hollywood. The SACD was made at Sony Disc Manufacturing in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Providing “Stereo Fold Down Mixes” credit presumably tells us that the SACD Stereo versions (and perhaps the Stereo CD versions as well) for those two tracks were created from the new Surround Sound mixes of the songs on the album rather than the original stereo mixes. An interesting choice, given the familiarity of these songs to the public.

The Surround Sound mix highlights Karen Carpenters lead vocals on the disc. The Surround channels are used for background vocals, harmonies, some discrete placement instruments and reverb with the later tracks on the SACD featuring the more ambitious use of the surrounds. The best example of the Surround Sound mix is Ticket to Ride with interesting mixes on the tracks This Masquerade, Top of the World, Close to You and Touch Me When We’re Dancing, among others.

Album Selections
1. Yesterday Once More
2. We’ve Only Just Begun
3. Superstar
4. Rainy Days And Mondays
5. Goodbye To Love
6. I Believe You
7. It’s Going To Take Some Time
8. This Masquerade
9. Ticket To Ride
10. Top Of The World
11. Only Yesterday
12. Hurting Each Other
13. Please Mr. Postman
14. Merry Christmas, Darling
15. Sing
16. Bless The Beasts And Children
17. I Won’t Last A Day Without You
18. Touch Me When We’re Dancing
19. For All We Know
20. (They Long To Be) Close To You
21. Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft
(The Recognized Anthem Of World Contact Day)

4 Classical Music SACDs
In addition to the new Surround Sound SACD by the Carpenters, Universal Music also released 4 new Classical Music SACDs this week. All 4 feature Surround Sound mixes and include performances by Riccardo Chailly conducting the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Valery Gergiev conducting the Kirov Orchestra, violinist Anne Sofie Mutter performing with Andre Previn conducting the London Symphony Orchestra and Thomas Quasthoff.

  • Riccardo Chailly, Royal Concertgebouw Orch – Mahler: Symphony 9 (Decca Classical)
  • Valery Gergiev, Kirov Orch – Shostakovich: Symphony 4 (Philips Classical)
  • Anne Sofie Mutter, Andre Previn, London Symphony Orchestra – Tchaikovsky & Korngold: Violin Concertos (Deutsche Grammophon)
  • Thomas Quasthoff – Bach: Cantatas (Deutsche Grammophon)

    The new SACDs by the Carpenters and the 4 Classical Music SACDs listed above are now available at Tower Records and web sites that sell SACDs including Acoustic Sounds, CD Universe, Elusive Disc and Music Direct. In addition, Best Buy is also carrying the Carpenters SACD.

    Universal Music’s SACD Release List for 2005
    Next up on the Universal Music SACD release schedule is the release of two Surround Sound Soundtrack SACDs by the late composer Jerry Goldsmith on Varese Sarabande. These SACDs are available now on the Varese Sarabande web site but their in-store debut will be on January 25th.

    Next up will be an Surround Sound SACD release of the next album by Beck which is still untitled. The album is now slated to arrive first on Stereo CD on March 1st, followed a week later on March 8th in both Surround Sound SACD and Dual Disc versions.

    January 25, 2005 SACD Releases

  • Jerry Goldsmith – The Great Train Robbery (Varese Sarabande)
  • Jerry Goldsmith – Timeline (Varese Sarabande)

    March 8, 2005 SACD Release

  • Beck – TBA (Geffen)