Universal Music has released two long awaited Multichannel SACDs this week by Steely Dan and Peter Frampton. The new SACDs are Steely Dan’s album Gaucho and the multi-million selling album Frampton Comes Alive! Both SACDs feature SACD Surround Sound and SACD Stereo tracks, with Gaucho also offering a CD Audio track for compatibility with CD players. Universal also announced some additional release dates for upcoming SACDs, including October release dates for The Who’s “Tommy” and Ludacris’ “Chickens and Beer” albums on Multichannel SACD disc.
SACD Surround Sound/SACD Stereo/CD Audio Disc
(MCA Records B0000868-36)
Steely Dan’s Gaucho album appeared in a 5.1 Surround mix in 1997 as a DTS Music Disc. When Universal Music first announced their plans to release SACDs, the album was among the first group of catalog albums intended for release on Multichannel SACD. The release was delayed when producer/engineer Elliot Scheiner asked Universal Music to consider a new 5.1 hi rez audio remix to take advantage of advances in audio technology in the intervening years.
For this edition of Gaucho in SACD Surround Sound, the original master tapes were pulled from the Universal Tape Archive.
Scheiner worked with restoration specialist Bruce Maddocks at Cups ‘n Strings in Santa Monica to bake most of the master tapes so they could be used in this project. A completely new mix was created for the release which Scheiner has said is even more ambitious that the DTS version with more instruments appearing in the Surround Channels this time around. The new SACD was mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering. Ludwig also handled the mastering on the CD edition of the album as well according to the liner notes.
Listening to the SACD, I think Scheiner has succeeded – both in updating the sonics of the album and in creating an even more exciting Surround mix than before. This will be an SACD that Steely Dan fans will want to pick up for sure.
- Babylon Sisters
- Hey Nineteen
- Glamour Profession
- Time Out Of Mind
- My Rival
- Third World Man
Frampton Comes Alive!
SACD Surround Sound/SACD Stereo
(A&M Records B0001017-26)
This week’s other big SACD Surround Sound release from Universal Music is Peter Frampton’s Frampton Comes Alive! album. The new SACD edition of the album is a 2 SACD disc set that includes all 18 of songs from the recently released 25th Anniversary Edition of Frampton Comes Alive! This includes Frampton’s big hits from the album (Show Me The Way, Baby I Love Your Way and Do You Feel Like We Do) as well as 4 bonus tracks that first appeared on the 25th Anniversary Edition. The new SACD captures the feel of the live concert performances by Frampton on the album with Frampton and the band primarily appearing in the front channels and the hall applause starring in the surround channels.
In 1976, Frampton Comes Alive! was one of the top albums of the year and surprised many in the music industry by outselling Carole King’s Tapestry album, which had been the album sales champ in the U.S. up until that time. The album’s liner notes observe that
“Twenty Five years after its January 1976 release, Frampton Comes Alive! stands as the cornerstone of Peter Frampton’s career, a successful artistic journey now in its fourth decade. For Frampton, the album remains a work of special significance. “It still sounds great today. I have always been very proud of it. We took great care in the recording and the mixing and that made it stand out at the time” says Frampton.”
The new 5.1 SACD Surround Mix on the album was done by producer/engineer Chuck Ainlay. Ainlay has done a number of 5.1 mixes in the 5.1 DTS Music Disc series as well as the recent 5.1 SACD Surround Mix of George Strait’s Honkytonkville album. The SACD was mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering.
- Introduction/Somethin’s Happening
- Doobie Wah
- Lines on My Face
- Show Me the Way
- It’s a Plain Shame
- Wind of Change
- Just the Time of Year
- Penny for Your Thoughts
- All I Wanna Be (Is by Your Side)
- Baby, I Love Your Way
- I Wanna Go to the Sun
- Nowhere’s Too Far (For My Baby)
- (I’ll Give You) Money
- Do You Feel Like We Do
- Shine On
- White Sugar
- Jumping Jack Flash
- Day’s Dawning
SACD Release Dates for The Who’s Tommy and Ludacris
In our last story on Universal’s SACD release plans, I mentioned upcoming Surround SACDs including The Who’s Tommy and Ludacris’ Chickens and Beer album on the Def Jam label. Universal has announced that the SACD edition of Tommy is now slated for release on October 28th while the Chickens and Beer SACD is scheduled for a October 7th in store date.
The SACD Surround Sound editions of Gaucho and Frampton Comes Alive! are available from Best Buy and Tower Records as well as the Acoustic Sounds and Music Direct web sites. Frampton Comes Alive! is also available from the Elusive Disc web site. Universal plans to release DVD-A versions of both albums later this year.