High-Rez Releases

Recent news from Universal Music Group should bode well for the SACD format. It's not exactly a flood, but the world's largest music company finally made good on the promise it made at the 2002 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and announced last week its first Super Audio CD (SACD) titles to be released in the United States.

Starting with the first releases October 29, Universal says, it plans an ongoing program to make a combination of "best-selling artists and core catalog titles" available on SACD in major markets around the world. The label adds that a substantial number of these releases will be multi-channel surround-sound discs.

The initial UMG titles slated for release on Super Audio CD include: Diana Krall: Look of Love, Andrea Bocelli: Ciele Di Toscana, Fischer/Budapest Festival Orchestra: Dvorak, Karajan/Berlin Philharmonic: Beethoven: Symphony No. 9, Natalie Cole: Ask a Woman, E.T. The 20th Anniversary Soundtrack, A Beautiful Mind Soundtrack, Muddy Waters: Folksinger, Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto: Getz & Gilberto, and Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong: Ella and Louis.

In November, Universal says it plans to release additional SACDs: Ryan Adams: Gold, Bon Jovi: Bounce, Diana Krall: When I Look in Your Eyes, Al Jarreau: All I Got, Quincy Jones: Ultimate Collection, John Coltrane: A Love Supreme, Anne-Sophie Mutter: Beethoven: The Complete Sonatas, and Steve Earle: Guitar Town.

According to the label, other artists slated for future release include: Peter Gabriel, The Wallflowers, Steely Dan, Three Doors Down, The Police, Marvin Gaye, Shaggy, The Roots, and The Who.

Some possible good news for DVD-Audio fans was revealed this week as well. The Digital Bits is reporting that, according to Roger Water's manager, Mark Fenwick, EMI will release Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon as a DVD-A disc on the album's 30th anniversary, March 3, 2003 (or 3/3/03).