The Second Disc

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Archive for August 15th, 2011

On Target: Audio Fidelity Introduces New Retro Reissue Line

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Can anybody doubt that Audio Fidelity knows its audience?  The audiophile label is taking niche marketing to another level with the introduction of its new line of reissues.  To the average consumer, a “Target CD” might be one purchased at that retail giant.  To certain collectors, though, the words “Target CD” have a different meaning altogether.

In the infancy of the compact disc, target CDs were pressings released by WEA (Warner-Elektra-Atlantic) in the early-to-mid 1980s. Most were manufactured in either West Germany or Japan for distribution in the U.S. before pressing plants here had converted to CD manufacture, though some of the discs were indeed pressed in the U.S. and even in France. Target CDs are so called for their label design, which resembles crosshairs or, well, a target.  Many of these labels, though not all, were painted, for a smooth feel and unique look.  Moreover, some collectors of target CDs prefer the sound on these discs, a result of many being derived from “flat transfers” of the LP masters and not subject to later remastering techniques.

It’s with that in mind that Audio Fidelity is introducing its new Target Series.  According to the label’s copy, “the series will feature popular recordings on vinyl and CD that will carry the rich tradition of the original early 1980’s CDs that have become known as the Target CDs.  The Target CDs are synonymous with unique design and rich sound.”  Audio Fidelity is promising to deliver on both counts, with the design updated from the original target style, and the sound handled by mastering engineers Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray.  (The acclaimed if sometimes controversial Hoffman runs the popular Steve Hoffman Music Forums, where many of the target collectors regularly offer their findings as to the discs’ sonics in comparison to later reissues.)

The first two titles in Audio Fidelity’s Target series have been confirmed as Riot’s Fire Down Under and 10,000 Maniacs’ Our Time in Eden.  Both titles will be available on the Target Vinyl Series.  Hit the jump for more details including complete track listings! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 15, 2011 at 15:29

Posted in News, Reissues, Riot

Monday Morsels: Pink Floyd On 5.1 SACD, Lost Dave Davies LP Joins Kinks Reissues, Kritzerland Is In “Style”

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This weekend offered so much news that we couldn’t wait to share it all with you!  From the first-time release of Dave Davies’ “lost” 1969 album to Kritzerland’s restoration of a classic Italian film score and Analogue Productions’ new Pink Floyd SACD, we’ve got something for everyone to kick off the week!

  • Why Pink Floyd?  EMI answered that question with the May 10 announcement of a stunning new reissue campaign for the legendary band.  Now, another component of that series is confirmed to be on the way.  The eagerly-awaited 5.1 mix of 1975’s masterpiece Wish You Were Here, the band’s ninth studio album, will arrive on hybrid SACD on November 7.  The releasing label is Analogue Productions, the same company behind the recent Nat “King” Cole SACD remasters produced in association with EMI.  James Guthrie has mixed the original album into 5.1 surround sound and Gus Skinas has produced.  The SACD is arriving on the very same day as the Experience and Immersion editions of the album, the latter of which will also contain Guthrie’s mix on both Blu-Ray (96 kHz/24-bit resolution) and DVD (in both 448 kpbs normal resolution and 640 kpbs high resolution).  In addition, the Immersion edition will offer the album’s original quadraphonic mix on DVD.  For those fans of Wish You Were Here not willing or able to shell out for the Immersion edition, this single-disc, stand-alone SACD route seems a terrific way to make Guthrie’s 5.1 mix more widely available.  As this is a hybrid SACD, it is playable on all CD players, but will (of course) only play in stereo for those utilizing the CD layer.  Wish You Were Here, the 5.1 Analogue Productions SACD, is currently available for pre-order at Acoustic Sounds here.

  • Pietro Germi’s Divorce, Italian Style remains one of the most beloved comedies in the Italian cinema canon, and its success wasn’t unrecognized in America.  The 1961 film won the Academy Award for Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, and was nominated for both Germi’s work as a director and Marcello Mastroianni’s turn as Actor in a Leading Role.  The film starred Mastroianni as a Sicilian nobleman who desires to marry his cousin (!) but there’s one small problem with the plan: he’s married.  With divorce then illegal in Italy, he tries to set his wife up to have an affair, so he can catch her, murder her, and receive a legal “slap on the wrist” for an honor killing.  (Yes, it’s a comedy!)  The prolific composer Carlo Rustichelli (1916-2004) supplied the original score, which is receiving its debut on CD today from Kritzerland.  Though based on the 1962 United Artists album presentation, the Kritzerland edition features additional, never-before-released music.  Producer Bruce Kimmel told Film Score Monthly’s discussion board that “we had the album master and we also had another reel that had stuff – most of what was on that reel was from the album master, but there were some additional cues, a couple of alternates and we squeezed about ten additional minutes. I love the score and I love the film. I think people just forget how popular it was – it’s a little shocking it’s never been on CD before.”  Divorce, Italian Style follows the label’s reissue of Dave Grusin’s score to the 1967 film Divorce, American Style, whose title was inspired by the Germi film.  (We’ll have a review of that soundtrack up later this week!)  It’s available as a limited edition of 1,000 units only, and can be ordered directly from Kritzerland here.

Hit the jump for the full scoop on Universal’s upcoming Lost Album for Dave Davies of the Kinks! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 15, 2011 at 08:48