Universal Changes Gears On Guero Album by Beck

Universal Music’s Geffen label in the U.S. has announced that they are changing gears when it comes to next month’s release of the next Beck album on March 29th. Entitled Guero, the new album is said to be more upbeat in its tone than the singer’s earlier album Sea Change which was released in both SACD and DVD-A Surround Sound editions.

Guero Album in CD, LP and CD + DVD-A
Initially, we were told that Guero would be issued in the U.S. market in several formats including CD, Vinyl LP, SACD Surround Sound and DualDisc Surround Sound. This week Universal Music changed direction on the Guero album by dropping their plans for an SACD Surround Sound edition and by changing the DualDisc release to a CD + DVD-A release, which some music industry professionals now call a “Double Disc”.

Double Discs vs. DualDiscs
High Fidelity Review readers will recall that Warner Music’s Robin Hurley indicated at last year’s Audio Engineering Society (AES) Convention that some artists on that label might prefer the release of their future DVD-A releases as Double Discs rather than DualDisc. At that time I wondered if this might be a “Plan B” approach Warner might take if the Dual Disc didn’t catch on (see linked article below).

Apparently Warner isn’t the only label that plans to experiment with the Double Disc approach as an alternative to DualDisc. It will be interesting to see if Universal Music has other Double Disc releases coming in the months ahead.

The Guero CD + DVD/A Package
According to pre-order information on the Beck.Com and music store web sites including Jpc.de in Germany, the CD + DVD-A version of Guero will be a “special limited edition”. This version of Guero will feature a CD that has 3 bonus tracks and 4 remix tracks and a DVD-A disc that includes a 5.1 Surround Sound version of the album, 2 videos and other “extras”.

Classical Music Surround Sound SACDs in April
As for the balance of Universal Music’s SACD release schedule, the 4 Classical Music Surround Sound Super Audio CDs from the Philips Classics and Deutsche Grammophon labels (listed below) remain slated for in store availability on April 12th. They follow several earlier Classical Music SACDs as well as two Jerry Goldsmith Soundtrack SACDs on the Varese Sarabande label and the Carpenters Singles 1969-1981 Surround Sound SACD that were released by Universal in January.

  • Lang Lang, Pianist, Valery Gergiev, Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre – Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2, Paganini Rhapsody (Deutsche Grammophon)
  • Yundi Li, Pianist – Chopin: Scherzi, Impromptus 1-3 (Deutsche Grammophon)
  • Valery Gergiev, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra – Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 (Philips Classics)
  • Valery Gergiev, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra – Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 (Philips Classics)