Moody Blues fans in the U.S. were treated to three more Moody Blues Hybrid Super Audio CD releases by Universal Music Group’s Polydor label under the Deram and Threshold imprints that the albums originally appeared under in the U.S. and Europe. The three two-disc “Deluxe Edition” releases of the group’s classic albums Days of Future Passed, In Search Of The Lost Chord and To Our Children’s Children’s Children arrived in U.S. music stores on September 19th.
The release follows the release of these titles in Europe this spring as part of a 5 album Deluxe Edition release of these classic Moody Blues albums as new Deluxe Editions.
A Staged Release In The U.S. Market
While all five of the Moody Blues Deluxe Edition SACDs came out together in Europe, Universal Music elected to bring them to the U.S. in a staged release.
On June 6th, Universal released both of the Single Disc SACDs in this series – On The Threshold Of A Dream (Deram/Polydor 983215-3) and A Question Of Balance (Threshold/Polydor 983770-6) – in the U.S. market. As with the European editions, both albums arrived packaged in Digipaks with a Hybrid Surround Sound SACD inside that featured the newly remastered Stereo album and a new Surround Sound mix inside along with a booklet describing the remastering and remixing process.
Moody Blues – Deluxe Edition – Surround Sound SACDs – Released on June 6, 2006 in the U.S.
Three More SACDs in September
Following on September 19th were three more Moody Blues Deluxe Edition albums. All three featured a Super Audio CD disc of the classic album by the band and a second Stereo CD (not an SACD disc) that featured alternate versions, outtakes, single and radio versions of the material from each album.
The albums Days of Future Passed (Deram/Polydor 983215-0) and To Our Children’s, Children’s Children (Threshold/Polydor 983215-6) feature Stereo and Surround Sound mixes of the classic albums. The albums come in a Double-Digipak with a plastic case with a black sticker on the front and text and the SACD logo on the back cover indicating that a Hybrid Layer Surround Sound SACD is included as Disc 1 of the set and a Stereo CD is included as Disc 2 of the set.
Moody Blues – Deluxe Edition – Surround Sound SACD/Stereo CD – 2 Disc Set – Released on September 19, 2006 in the U.S.
A Stealth Hyrbid Stereo SACD Release
The story is a bit different when it comes to the album In Search Of The Lost Chord. The Deluxe Edition booklet talks about a Surround Sound remix of the album and Disc 1 is indeed a Hybrid SACD pressed by Sonopress in Germany.
However, Disc 1 in this set turns out to be a Hybrid Stereo SACD rather than a Hybrid Surround Sound SACD. Also worth noting is that the SACD symbol is missing on the back of the album cover and on the disc itself. So while we do have a Hybrid Stereo SACD here playable on SACD and CD players, it appears that when the disc was changed from a Surround Sound SACD release to a Stereo SACD release, all references to SACD were removed from the album – save the “Disc Made In Germany” sticker on the back of the album which tells you Disc 1 inside was made by Sonopress in Germany.
Moody Blues – Deluxe Edition – Stereo SACD/Stereo CD – 2 Disc Set – Released on September 19, 2006 in the U.S.
More to Come?
With the release of five of the Moody Blues classic albums in Super Audio CD, some may ask what about the other two (Every Good Boy Deserves Favour and Seventh Sojourn)? A visit to Justin Hayward’s web site reveals that he is working with engineers to bring these two albums to Surround Sound SACD in the months ahead. While we don’t have a release date for that yet, it’s certainly something to look forward to!
A Treat for Moody Blues Fans
Regardless of whether you pick up these new Moody Blues Super Audio CDs as imports from Europe or more recently as domestic U.S. releases, you will find them to be a real treat. Several of the albums were planned from the start as Surround Sound releases. This is very apparent when you listen to the group’s songs in Surround Sound SACD. It really opens up the songs and involves the listener that music more. These SACDs are a must have for any serious Moody Blues fan.
All five of the Moody Blues Deluxe Edition SACDs are now available in the U.S. as noted above. You will find them at music stores as well as Borders book stores. They sell for a list price of $18.98 (Single Disc albums) and $29.98 (Two Disc albums). As the imports of these five SACD reissues sell out in the U.S., I expect we will see the U.S. editions replace them on the various web sites that have carried the Moody Blues SACDs as well.