Paul Simon Releases DVD-A

Two years after they were first announced, DVD-Audio discs may finally be on their way from major labels.

In mid-August, Warner Brothers Records announced the release of Paul Simon's You're the One in the new format. Originally released last year as a two-channel CD, the material for the new disc has been remastered in the six-channel Advanced Resolution Surround Sound format. The DVD-A is compatible with Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 decoders, or can be played back as a high-resolution two-channel recording, according to the Warner Brothers statement.

Music lovers with CD players only won't be able to enjoy the enhancements, however; the new disc is playable only on DVD machines. An unspecified amount of video content has been worked into the new release; viewing it, of course, requires a DVD-Video player and appropriate display.

You're the One is clearly intended for the home-theater market rather than the audiophile market. In the US, there may be as many as 10 million home-theater systems at all quality levels, according to Consumer Electronics Association estimates. Warner Brothers describes the Simon release as a "hypnotically beautiful, powerful song cycle rich in emotion and energy . . . a compelling guitar-driven rhythmic pulse . . . Simon's most accessible and melodic collection of songs in more than a decade . . . his best work to date."

Earlier this year, Warner issued a VHS/DVD with the same title that was intended as a companion piece to the CD. That version was live concert footage of Simon performing in Paris during the autumn of 2000.

Twenty years ago, Paul Simon was one of the first big-name artists to embrace the CD and to experiment with video as an artistic extension of the music. His excellent album Graceland was a big seller for Warner Brothers. In this writer's opinion, the music video for the cut "The Boy in the Bubble" remains one of the best pieces of video art that ever emerged from the music industry. Released August 14, the DVD-A version of You're the One has a suggested list price of $24.98.