Roy Orbisons Black and White Night

Roy Orbisons Black and White Night Released in New SACD и DVD-A + DVD Video Double Disc Editions

Roy Orbison’s classic Black and White Night concert from 1987 has been re-released in two new SACD and DVD-A Double Disc editions. Black and White Night was recorded at the historic Coconut Grove night club in Los Angeles and features Orbison performing his greatest hits backed by the Elvis Presley band and an all-star cast of some of the singer’s biggest fans. The band includes Jackson Browne, T Bone Burnett, Elvis Costello, K.D. Lang, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen, J.D. Souther, Tom Waits and Jennifer Warnes. Burnett also serves as Producer of the concert and the DVD Video edition of Black and White Night.

A 2 Disc Set
The new versions of the concert feature two discs – a DVD Video which features the 64 minute long concert in DTS 5.1 Surround Sound and Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround and 2.0 Stereo as well as a second high resolution audio disc which features the music from the concert in 5.1 Surround Sound on a Hybrid Surround Sound SACD or a DVD Audio Disc, depending on which edition you buy.

A Different Spin on the Double Disc Format
The new Black and White Night release offers a different spin on the industry’s new Double Disc format where the consumer gets a DVD Video or DVD Audio disc and a CD Stereo disc in a Standard CD Jewel Box from a record label.

In this instance, the tables are turned a bit. The release is from Image Entertainment and Orbison Records and comes in a DVD Video box. In the box, the consumer finds the DVD Video disc in a snap on add-in tray. Turning the tray over, you’ll find either a Hybrid Surround Sound Super Audio CD (Image Entertainment ID 2770 OBDVD) or a DVD Audio disc (Image Entertainment ID 2779 OBDVD) where a DVD Video usually resides.

This is an interesting twist since it allows Image Entertainment to take a very popular and well regarded DVD Video Music Release and send it back into the market in a new, Double Disc enhanced package. List pricing for the new editions is $24.98.

Album Credits and New Studio Work
The packaging for the new Double Disc editions includes an insert which lists the same audio production credits as found in the earlier 1999 DVD Video only edition. Interestingly, trade publications report that Black and White Night 5.1 Remix Engineer Elliot Scheiner was in the studio during 2004 working on this project, suggesting that the SACD and DVD-A disc – and perhaps even the DVD Video may feature new audio elements. Unfortunately, there’s no information included with the set one way or another on that.

However, the front cover of each edition does carry the comment that the set was “remixed by Elliot Scheiner from the original analog master tapes”. In addition, the SACD edition notes that the “Audio Disc contains a Bonus Track – the Live Version of ‘Blue Angel'”.

The Band
Roy Orbison – Vocals and Guitar
Alex Acuna – Percussion
James Burton – Guitar
Glen Hardin – Piano
Jerry Scheff – Bass
Ron Tutt- Drums
Mike Utley – Keyboards

Guest Musicians
T Bone Burnett – Guitar
Elvis Costello – Guitar, Organ, Harmonica & Vocals
Bruce Springsteen – Guitar & Vocals
J.D. Souther – Guitar & Background Singer
Tom Waits – Guitar & Organ

Background Singers
Jackson Browne – Background Singer
K.D. Lang – Background Singer
Bonnie Raitt – Background Singer
Steve Soles – Background Singer
Jennifer Warnes – Background Singer

Album Tracks
1. Only the Lonely
2. Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream)
3. Blue Bayou
4. The Comedians
5. Ooby Dooby
6. Leah
7. Running Scared
8. Uptown
9. In Dreams
10. Crying
11. Candyman
12. Go Go Go (Down the Line)
13. Mean Woman Blues
14. (All I Can Do Is) Dream You
15. Claudette, It’s Over
16. It’s Over
17. Oh Pretty Woman
18. Blue Angel (Bonus Track on SACD Disc, not on DVD Video)

The SACD Disc Inside
I picked the SACD edition of the new Orbison Double Disc at the local Tower Records store to have a look at this new release. Interestingly the yellow banner on the front of the DVD Video case bills it as “Includes Exclusive Remastered CD Soundtrack Album”. Only when you read on do you learn that it is a “Hybrid disc featuring CD Stereo Audio, playable on all CD players, and SACD Stereo and Multichannel Audio, playable on SACD-compatible players.”

To my ears, the audio mix on the SACD matches the one on the DVD Video. However, the sonics, definition and separation on the SACD tracks are much better than you’ll find on the DVD Video disc. But then again, that shouldn’t be too surprising since we’re moving from Dolby Digital and DTS to SACD. The bottom line is if you like Orbison’s music and would like to enjoy both the concert on DVD Video and the sonics of Super Audio CD (or in the case of the DVD-A edition, DVD Audio), this is one to check out.

The two new SACD and DVD-A Double Disc editions of Black and White Night are now available. You’ll find the SACD Double Disc at Tower Records stores and both editions on the TowerRecords.Com, CD Universe and Music Direct Web Sites.

I would note that the original 1999 DVD Video only edition of Black and White Night is also on the market as well. So be sure to specify the packaging or the order information on the edition you want when purchasing.