Earlier today, Koch International announced release dates for 15 albums in their upcoming Kinks Remastered and Restored SACD Series on their Velvel Records label. High Fidelity Review readers will recall that plans for the Kinks SACDs were announced last month at the HE 2004 show in New York City. At that time, the label revealed plans for the SACD series as well as the 5 titles due out on August 24th. With today’s announcement, we now have the release sequence and further information about the upcoming discs.
Celebrating the Kinks 40th Anniversary
As with earlier SACD Remastered Series, the Kinks series will commemorate a milestone in the group’s history. In this case, the 40th anniversary of the group’s first album in the U.K. on October 2, 1964. The Kinks “restoration and reissue program” will involve reissuing the group’s albums that originally appeared on the RCA and Arista labels in the U.S. as Hybrid Stereo SACDs in digipak cases. According to the announcement from Koch “The hybrid discs will be issued in stereo and were transferred directly from the original analog 2-track masters.”
More on the Kinks Remastering Program
The Kinks SACD Remastered Series project was managed by Bill Crowley at Koch Records. Crowley says that “Koch left no stone unturned to deliver the best sound ever heard in a commercial Kinks release. In the course of the project, we conducted a massive archival search to assure the use of the best possible sources. Working with noted mastering engineer Alan Silverman, we assembled the latest tools from some of the most innovative development companies in professional audio, taking advantage of the work of some of the most brilliant electronics engineers and mathematicians in audio today. The resulting SACD’s are revelatory, capturing both the raw guitar power and the crystalline arrangements for which The Kinks are legendary.”
He went on to note that “‘Muswell Hillbillies’ (Stereo Review’s album of the year in 1972), is almost startling in its newly-revealed clarity. Revered by Kinks fans for its memorable songs and roots & blues stylings, ‘Muswell Hillbillies’ has been lamented by audiophiles for a somewhat muddy reproduction over the years. For the first time, both the SACD and standard CD layers of this hybrid disc allow you to hear the album the way it must have sounded to Ray and Dave in the studio — a seemingly simple masterpiece actually built with intricate layers of acoustic, slide and electric guitars and breathtaking vocal harmonies.”
The Release Sequence
The Kinks Remastered SACDs will include 13 original albums and 2 compilation albums. They will be released in three groups, with the initial five due out on August 24th. The albums and their release dates are as follows:
August 24, 2004 – Kinks SACD Releases
September 21, 2004 – Kinks SACD Releases
Early 2005 – Kinks SACD Releases
Preordering the SACDs Due in August
Checking around, we learned that two music outlets on the web – Elusive Disc and Music Direct – are already taking pre-orders for the five Kinks SACDs that are due in August. Each of the Kinks SACDs will carry a list price of $15.99.