Universal Music Brings The Who and George Thorogood to SACD

Earlier this week Universal Music released three new single inventory Hybrid SACDs. The new releases include The Who’s Tommy on the Geffen label as well as two albums by George Thorogood & the Destroyers on the Rounder Records label. Tommy by The Who is a 2 Disc Hybrid Surround Sound SACD while the George Thorogood & the Destroyers SACDs are Hybrid Stereo SACD discs.

The Who’s Tommy Deluxe Edition
Universal Music’s Geffen Records label issued a single inventory, Hybrid Surround Sound SACD of The Who’s Tommy earlier this week. According to Universal Music, this is the first time that an album in their “Deluxe Edition” series has been “first issued” as a Hybrid SACD. (The next Deluxe Edition album to be given this treatment will be Elton John’s “Goodybe Yellow Brick Road”. It will be available in two Hybrid Surround Sound SACD editions on November 25th from Island Records).

The Hybrid Surround Sound SACD Deluxe Edition of Tommy goes back to the original album master tapes to bring listeners “newly minted, high resolution SACD and CD Stereo” tracks mastered from the original stereo mixes as well a new 5.1 Surround Sound remix by Peter Townshend, the group’s guitarist, songwriter and leader. Mastering on the new album was handled by Jon Astley at Close to the Edge with Pre and Post 5.1 production consulting from Elliot Mazer and David Pelletier and SACD Supervision by UMG’s eLabs team headed by Paul Bishow and Michel Etchart.

The Deluxe Edition features an 8 panel digipak which holds the two SACD discs in the release. It comes in a plastic double digipak sleeve, similar to the single plastic sleeves used by Sony Music and Concord Records for their dual inventory SACD releases.

Listening to the new Deluxe Edition of The Who’s Tommy is a treat. The 5.1 Surround Sound tracks feature an excellent mix that uses the surround sound field very well with vocals up front center and instruments in all 5 speakers. The clarity and crispness of the classic tunes on the album, especially songs such as “Pinball Wizard” and “Eyesight to the Blind” make this one a “must have” for fans of the group.

  • Tommy (Deluxe Edition) by The Who (Geffen B0001386-36)George Thorogood Reissues on SACD
    Also new this week are two George Thorogood albums that have been reissued as Single Inventory Hybrid Stereo SACDs by Rounder Records with the new SACDs serving as the album’s new SACD and CD edition. Rounder is distributed by Universal Music in the U.S. market. The new SACDs are the albums “George Thorogood & The Destroyers” and “Move It On Over”.

    In an interesting twist, the new SACD editions of the Thorogood albums qualify as two of the most stealth SACD releases yet. Unlike most Universal Music SACDs which include an “information bar” on the back of the album jacket (indicating whether SACD Surround Sound, SACD Stereo or CD Audio tracks are present) along with the DSD and SACD logos, all of this information has been omitted from the Thorogood discs.

    Instead it simply has a 2003 copyright date at the bottom of each disc along with the text “This product is a Hybrid SACD designed to play in both CD and SACD players as well as SACD compatible DVD players. SACD and DSD and their logos are trademarks of Sony.” We’ll have to watch and see if future Rounder and Universal Music SACDs use this very low key approach to labeling Single Inventory SACD releases.

  • George Thorogood – and the Destroyers (Rounder 11661-3013-2)
  • George Thorogood – Move It On Over (Rounder 11661-3024-2)Availability
    The new Hybrid SACDs of The Who’s Tommy Deluxe Edition and George Thorogood are now available for purchase at record stores including Best Buy, Fry’s Electronics and Tower Records. They are also available for purchase at the Acoustic Sounds, Elusive Disc, Music Direct and Red Trumpet web sites.

    Also worth noting is that several of these outlets have the Tommy Deluxe Edition on sale. A look around local record stores found Tommy at $24.99 at Fry’s Electronics and $25.99 through December 1st at Tower Records stores. So some comparison shopping will be a worthwhile effort for this disc.

    Upcoming SACD Release List
    Universal Music continues to work on additional SACD releases for the weeks and months ahead. In the latest release list, the SACD by group 112 moves back one week to November 25th and the release by Musiq moves from December 9th to December 16th. Here are the latest Pop, Rock & Jazz SACD titles on the release list with projected release dates.

    November 11, 2003 SACD Releases

  • Sarah Vaughan – With Sarah Vaughan (Verve)
  • Dinah Washington – What A Diff’rence A Day Makes! (Verve)

    November 25, 2003 SACD Release

  • 112 – Hot And Wet (Def Jam)
  • Elvis Costello – North (Deutsche Grammophon)
  • John Hiatt – Bring The Family (A&M)
  • Elton John – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (2 SACD Deluxe Edition) (Island Records)
  • Elton John – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (2 SACD & DVD Video Special Edition) (Island Records)

    December 9, 2003 SACD Release

  • Randy Newman – Seabiscuit Soundtrack (Decca)

    December 16, 2003 SACD Release

  • Musiq – Soulstar (Def Jam)

    February 17, 2004 SACD Release

  • Count Basie & His Orchestra – April In Paris (Verve)
  • Herbie Hancock – Gershwin’s World (Verve)

    SACD Releases Coming Soon

  • Ryan Adams – Rock ‘N Roll (Lost Highway)
  • Allman Brothers Band – Live At Filmore East (Mercury)
  • John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman – John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman (Impulse)
  • Joe Henderson – Lush Life: The Music Of Billy Strayhorn (Verve)
  • Motley Crьe – Greatest Hits (Hip-O Records)
  • Nana Mouskouri – Nana Swings (Deutsche Grammophon)