Michel Sardou SACD Sells 160,000 Copies in Europe

Universal Music International, the European division of the Universal Music Group, has announced that a new Hybrid Surround Sound SACD by French Chanson singer Michel Sardou on the AZ record label has reached the #1 position on record charts in France and Belgium. The SACD edition of the album has sold 160,000 copies in Europe in a 3 week period, with the balance of the album’s sales (an additional 190,000 copies) coming from a Stereo CD edition. Universal Music officials say that the album’s #1 chart status is “thanks in a large part to SA-CD sales”.

SACD Released Ahead of CD Version
Sardou’s SACD release is somewhat unique in that it was released initially only as a Super Audio CD. A conventional Stereo CD edition followed 10 days later.

This is similar to Universal Music International’s decision to release Sting’s Sacred Love album exclusively on Surround Sound SACD before it became available on Stereo CD earlier this year. In the case of the Sting SACD, this led to the Super Audio CD edition moving over 600,000 units in the European market according to Universal Music officials (see our earlier story linked below).

Dirk de Clippeleir, Managing Director of Universal Music Belgium commented that

“Michel’s outstanding vocal talent makes him one of our most popular and top-selling artists in Europe. Making his music available on SA-CD at such an early stage exposes a large audience to this versatile audio platform. Number 1 position and platinum sales show what can be achieved when record companies release their top selling artists on SA-CD. Releasing music on hybrid SA-CD does not harm sales or chart position – and it provides a great bridge between the two formats. Consumers can future-proof their music collections, buying the hybrid disc now even if they don’t have an SA-CD player. No other format comes close to this in terms of common sense practicality.”

The Next Step Beyond “Day & Date” Releases?
In the U.S. market, Universal Music has issued two of their recent big name album releases – Diana Krall’s The Girl In The Other Room (Verve B0002293-36) and blues/rapper Everlast’s White Trash Beautiful (Island Def Jam B0002542-36) as “day and date” releases where the Surround Sound SACD and Stereo CD editions of the album appear in store on the same date.

We’ve also seen Universal Music release a Single Inventory Surround Sound SACD awhile back when they issued the anniversary edition of Every Breath You Take: The Classics by the Police (A&M Records 0069-493607-2) without a separate Stereo CD edition. But they have yet to bring any of their key titles out in Surround Sound SACD prior to issuing the Stereo CD version in the U.S. market.

As a footnote, I should mention that the pioneer in that category is Telarc International which has issued several of their Surround Sound SACDs in the U.S. market several weeks – and in one case over a month – before the Stereo CD edition. According to Telarc officials, they have done this to highlight the sound quality and surround sound mix of the albums in question.

I expect we will continue to see both “day and date” and Single Inventory SACD releases – both in Europe and in the U.S. markets. But it will be interesting to see whether other labels adopt the practice of Telarc in the U.S. and Universal Music International in Europe to release albums initially in SACD only – and then later bring out a Stereo CD edition. It could indeed be a “next step” in drawing attention to the hi resolution Super Audio CD format.

Album Tracks

  1. Loin
  2. Non merci
  3. La vie, la mort etc
  4. La rivière de notre enfance
  5. Je n’oublie pas
  6. Du plaisir
  7. Même si
  8. Ce n’est qu’un jeu
  9. Les hommes du vent
  10. J’ai tant d’amour
  11. Esperer
  12. J’aurais voulu t’aimer
  13. Le livre du temps
  14. Dis-moi

The Hybrid Surround Sound SACD of Du Plaisir by Michel Sardou is available in record stores in France, Belgium and throughout Europe. It is also available from several web stores including Fnac.Com and Amazon.Fr.