In the next few weeks, all the major record labels will release their schedules for 2005. At this early stage, it seems that SACD and DVD Audio pressings are noticeably absent. To make matters worse, news arrived this morning of Sony\BMG's apparent ditching of a seminal surround sound reissue.
In 1968, keyboardist extraordinaire Al Kooper joined forces with Dylan compadre, Michael Bloomfield and Buffalo Springfield's Stephen Stills to create a hippy-psychedelic-blues masterpiece. Their "Super Session" proved to be a landmark both in its performance and selection of songs. The highlight of this recording was the exceptional cover version of Donovan's "Season of the Witch".
Alas...at some point someone from Sony Legacy decided that this album was worthy of a surround sound reissue. Al Kooper was dispatched to spend the better part of a year reworking the tapes and sifting through all the tracks to reconstruct both "Super Session" and his debut Blood Sweat and Tear's release for audiophile consumption. This morning Al Kooper issued the following..
"To the best of my knowledge, based on an unnamed source, the new head of SONY/BMG shut down the 5.1 SACD department and let everyone go. A year and a half ago I remixed Super Session and Child Is Father To The Man for them in 5.1 SACD. They both came out incredible and so I mastered them with Bob Ludwig.Now it seems they will languish on the shelves under the current administration of SONY/BMG.,........Typical, in soooo many ways
The future looked bright in 2003...the SACD format seemed to be capturing the market. Fresh off a springtime of Rolling Stones reissues dozens of us lined up to buy last year's Bob Dylan SACD reissues from Sony. This year slowed down some, but we still blew our allowance on muilti-channel reissues from Eric Clapton, The Animals, and the cream of Elton John. It's interesting to note that during these holidays, home theater has never been more economical. Instead of a pull back, shouldn't the labels be increasing their surround sound audio offerings?
Over the last week, I've been surfing around trying to uncover any and all news, rumour and conjecture concerning surround sound audio. The results are troubling.