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.”

Included in the marketing effort will be demonstrations of the new Surround Sound SACDs and giveaways featuring a 7 track Elton John Surround Sound Sampler SACD. Also included will be demonstrations from the Super Audio Surround Sound edition of “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” by Elton John which was released last year and won two Surround Sound awards at the recent Surround 2004 Conference in Hollywood.

In announcing the Elton John SACD promotion, Mike Fidler, senior vice president in charge of Sony’s Home Products Division, said that “With Elton John’s prolific SA-CD catalog and nearly three million SA-CD products – like our DVD Dream Systems – in the U.S., we hope to drive awareness across all segments of the consumer market.”

Commenting for Universal Records, Mike Etchart, one of the key players behind Universal Music’s SACD program and director of product and market development for Universal Music Group e-Labs added “Having the SA-CD release of Peachtree Road available at the same time as the CD release will give Elton John enthusiasts a way to experience this great music like never before. Working with Sony will also help drive adoption of the SA-CD format.”

Sony Electronics and Universal Records describe the upcoming marketing effort on behalf of the new Elton John Surround Sound SACDs as a “three phase marketing promotion”. We’re told that the promotion will start in early November to coincide with the release of the 6 new Super Audio CDs and will last through the balance of the year in the U.S.

In terms of the promotion details, Sony and Universal say that the campaign will “will incorporate Sony and Universal-sponsored retail events and radio spots in 14 markets, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C.

Radio stations in each city, along with leading AV specialty retailers, will host SA-CD “Peachtree Road” listening parties, distribute hybrid SA-CD sampler discs, and promote giveaways of the Elton John SA-CD catalog and Sony DVD Dream Systems. Stations will also run on-air promotional spots highlighting the new Elton John release and Sony SA-CD compatible products. In addition, there will be live in-store radio station remotes.

The campaign culminates with a national grand prize sweepstakes for a fan to receive a free trip to Las Vegas to see Elton John in concert, along with a Sony SA-CD DVD Dream System and the entire Elton John SA-CD catalog.”

As noted above, during the Elton John SACD marketing campaign, music fans that attend Elton John listening parties and events at music stores and radio stations will receive an Elton John SACD Surround Sound Sampler. The sampler disc is a Hybrid Surround Sound SACD that features 7 Elton John cuts from the albums coming out in Super Audio CD.

The line up of the sampler is as follows:

  1. Answer In The Sky – from Peachtree Road
  2. Take Me to the Pilot – from Elton John
  3. County Comfort – from Tumbleweed Connection
  4. Madman Across The Water – from Madman Across The Water
  5. Honky Cat – from Honky Chateau
  6. All The Young Girls Love Alice – from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road [Deluxe Edition]
  7. Someone Saved My Life Tonight – from Captain Fantastic & The Brown Dirt Cowboy

Turning to the sampler jacket, it notes that “Congratulations! You have a special player. You deserve a special disc. The Elton John Sampler you’re holding in your hands is very special. It’s a Super Audio CD (SA-CD) and it was developed by the same people who invented the Compact Disc. And it was made especially for you to enjoy on your new SA-CD compatible player. Because There’s So Much More to Hear™

Elton John has produced one of the most enduring bodies of work in popular music history. Now you can rediscover this great artist’s albums all over again on Super Audio CD. And don’t miss his newest album Peachtree Road on SA-CD. All these albums have been mixed in both high-resolution stereo and breathtaking 5.1 surround sound. So get ready for an unscheduled visit by Elton John in your living room!”

The Elton John Surround Sound SACD Sampler sounds very interesting indeed. It will be worth watching for as the Sony/Universal Elton John marketing campaign moves around the U.S. in the next two months.