Elvis and Donald Fagen DVD-Audio Releases

It’s been a week of contrasting DVD-Audio releases; Elvis and Donald Fagen couldn’t be more diverse.

Elvis Presley: 30 #1 Hits’ was officially released on the 12th, although pre-orders were shipped a few days prior to this date. The Elvis disc is not only important for fans of the artist, but also represents the first DVD-Audio disc from major label BMG. DVD-Audio proponents hope it will be the first of many.

The disc is unusual as DVD-Audio goes, as there is no video content whatsoever, not even a static menu screen. It’s an odd decision, especially when one considers the number of available audio options, although they can be access directly by group. They include: a multi-channel MLP 96kHz 5.1 mix, a two-channel 96kHz mix (both for DVD-Audio players), a multi-channel Dolby Digital version and the bonus tracks are presented as 44.1kHz 16-bit PCM (stereo) and Dolby Digital.

The disc features six A/B comparison bonus tracks, each being a sample of the original mix of the song that can be instantly compared to the re-mastered version, produced for the CD release.

Elvis, 30 #1 Hits’ (UPC code: 07863650539) can be ordered from the DVD-Empire web site, priced at $19.78.

Track List:

  1. A Little Less Conversation (JXL Radio Edit Remix)
  2. Way Down
  3. Burning Love
  4. The Wonder Of You
  5. Suspicious Minds
  6. In The Ghetto
  7. Crying In The Chapel
  8. (You’re The) Devil In Disguise
  9. Return To Sender
  10. She’s Not You
  11. Good Luck Charm
  12. Can’t Help Falling In Love
  13. (Marie’s The Name) His Latest Flame
  14. Surrender
  15. Wooden Heart
  16. Are You Lonesome Tonight?
  17. It’s Now Or Never
  18. Stuck On You
  19. A Big Hunk O’ Love
  20. (Now And Then There’s) A Fool Such As I
  21. One Night
  22. Hard Headed Woman
  23. Don’t
  24. Jailhouse Rock
  25. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear
  26. All Shook Up
  27. Too Much
  28. Love Me Tender
  29. Hound Dog
  30. Don’t Be Cruel
  31. Heartbreak Hotel

Bonus Tracks (A:B Comparisons):

  1. Burning Love (A/B Comparison)
  2. Return To Sender (A/B Comparison)
  3. (You’re The) Devil In Disguise (A/B Comparison)
  4. In The Ghetto (Elvis’ isolated vocal)
  5. Suspicious Minds (Elvis’ self-harmony vocal and comment)
  6. Crying In The Chapel (with banter, laughter, false start)

Donald Fagen’s ‘The Nightfly, postponed from November 17th, was also finally released yesterday, it includes both multi-channel and two-channel mixes at 48kHz 24-bit (contrary to initial reports), together with Dolby Digital and DTS versions for DVD-Video players. The decision to limit the sample-rate to 48kHz was apparently made to avoid any changes in sample-rate from the original masters, which are still considered to be some of the finest digital productions. Audiophiles will be intimately familiar with the album, produced by the best brains of Steely Dan – including producer Gary Katz and engineer Roger Nichols – ‘The Nightfly’ was one of the first all-digital recordings available during the early years of the Compact Disc. At the time, EQ Magazine listed ‘The Nightfly’ amongst their top-ten best-recorded albums of all time, a list that included the likes of ‘Sgt. Pepper’, ‘Pet Sounds’, ‘Thriller’, and ‘Dark Side of the Moon

Released in 1982, ‘The Nightfly was Donald Fagen’s first release after Steely Dan disbanded, and marked a striking departure from his earlier work. The album eschewed Steely Dan’s usual irony and sardonic distance in favour of autobiographical closeness – almost sentimental in places. The album was recorded with the painstaking attention to detail that had become a trademark of Steely Dan, and Donald used the same top session players to create a beautiful sound, and one of the best-produced records of the CD era. The album was an immediate critical success; it was nominated for seven Grammy® Awards and went on to sell in excess of one million units.

The Nightfly’ (UPC code: 081227813895) can be ordered from the DVD-Empire web site, priced at $15.28.

Track list:

  1. I.G.Y.
  2. Green Flower Street
  3. Ruby Baby
  4. Maxine
  5. New Frontier
  6. Nightfly
  7. Goodbye Look
  8. Walk Between Raindrops