As we have reported previously, the Peter Gabriel SACDs recently released in the US are different from their counterparts released in Europe. The European versions are hybrids, containing both a Red Book CD layer and an SACD layer. The US releases are SACD only.
A source at Universal Music in the US, who wishes to remain anonymous, has explained to me that the disc format is a matter for the record label. In the US Peter Gabriel’s record label is Universal Music. ‘Peter’s catalog was already remastered and released on CD [in the US], therefore releasing it as a hybrid SACD was not necessary,’ our source told us, ‘Peter is on Virgin Records in the UK. They make their own decisions.’
So that’s the official line. It still makes little sense to me when you think about the combined cost involved in creating two different versions of each disc. Economies of scale anyone?