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Roger Waters / “Amused to Death” reissue: more details emerge

amused_to_death

Jett Galindo from the Mastering Lab recently got in touch with us to point out a few details about Roger Waters forthcoming 5.1 SACD and vinyl reissue of Amused to Death and at the same time Sony issued a press release about the reissue. We thought this was a good opportunity to clarify/discuss some of the details.

The first thing to mention is that engineer/producer James Guthrie has created a new stereo mix as well as the brand new 5.1 surround mix. The SACD will obviously contain both, but since the vinyl is being cut from the original tape masters then the new stereo mix cannot be used for the vinyl pressing.

Some of you questioned the use of SACD as an appropriate hi-res format, and one wonders if blu-ray audio would have been a better choice where – like the recent Yes and XTC releases – a variety of mixes (original, remixed, instrumental? etc.) could have been included.

The exact wording of Sony’s press release is as follows (the bold is ours not theirs): “The new mixes, along with additional never before released content and brand new graphics, will be included in the 2014 reissue releases from Columbia/Legacy Recordings and Acoustic Sounds.” What is this never before released content? Notice the wording talks not about ‘audio’ but ‘content’…

Jett from The Mastering Lab also pointed (“on behalf of Doug Sax”) that both the mixing and the mastering of the 5.1 release will be done by James Guthrie himself. Doug Sax will be cutting the vinyl release from the original tape masters. Jett also adds that he, Doug and the Mastering Lab team were “blown away” when Guthrie recently visited their facility to play them the new surround mix.

Amused to Death anniversary SACD and LP will be released on 23 September 2014.

Multi-channel 5.1 SACD

2LP Heavyweight Vinyl (200g)

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26 responses to Roger Waters / “Amused to Death” reissue: more details emerge

  1. Andy says:

    Is it actually going to be released in the UK or will it be import only? Amazon UK is not showing any details.

  2. Deckard says:

    @Andy: I believe it will be available at European Amazon websites. Most other titles (e.g. Wish You Were Here SACD) from Analogue Productions are/were available too at the European Amazon websites.

    I really find it sad tbh that the original mix, mastered by Doug Sax will not be available in the SACD format. I really don’t see the point of a new stereo mix. A 5.1 mix I can understand and is added value to the SACD, but a new stereo mix? What’s wrong with the original mix?

    I would’ve been much more happy if the SACD contained the original mix + the 5.1 mix, but all mastered by Doug Sax. I believe he did a wonderful job on The Doors Analogue Productions SACD’s.

  3. Dean says:

    Love Roger Waters.

    Love Amused to Death.

    Love 5.1 mixes.

    Love deluxe editons.

    Don’t have, and don’t want, SACD.

    Oh well, that’s that then.

  4. Simon Long says:

    I presume the new “content” is what’s in the booklet – artwork, photos etc – like the WYWH SACD. I just hope this is easier to get hold of than that was…

  5. Phil says:

    There are 3 layers on an SACD so could they be putting the original on the CD layer and then the new stereo mix on the 2nd 2.0 SACD layer followed by the 5.1 mix on the 3rd layer?

  6. Ranasakawa says:

    If it came on BluRay i’d buy it. I am not a fan of SACDs as its not easy to find a bloody player that plays them, AND its even harder to find a player that plays SACDs in 5.1

  7. Phil says:

    Try Amazon they have Oppo universal players that play everything including SACD’s in 5.1 and they are $499

    • Dean says:

      Thanks for that, Phil. But $500 seems excessive just so I can hear Amused to Death in surround. ;-)

      Really, this needs to support more widely accepted formats, sticking only with SACD is ridiculous. No wonder the music business struggles – it never does what their customers want.

  8. Andrew M says:

    I own 400+ Pink Floyd and PF related items (LPs, CDs, singles, bootlegs, books, flexis, almost 1K including downloads)… I’ve just received the Nick Mason signed book (just to mention the latest).
    I think that Pros & Cons was a wonderful record, but ATD????
    Sorry, maybe I ‘m wrong, but it’s a record that I don’t want to own more than once (my 22 yo original copy)…

  9. Ben says:

    Is there anywhere we can read the press release?

  10. Ron Fleischer says:

    It was revealed by James Guthrie this past weekend at the Princeton University Pink Floyd Conference that there are plans to release Amused to Death on Blu-ray by Sony but that it will most likely be at a lower resolution than the SACD.

    “Lower resolution” were James’ exact words…. the understanding of what was said is that this arises because Acoustic Sounds have the high resolution distribution deal, Sony have the regular formats for ordinary human ears… but then Sony also expressed interest in releasing the 5.1 mix so this is the compromise that makes the least number of important people miserable.

    In my opinion, the high resolution format is being held hostage by the SACD release which I find frustrating and reprehensible.

    I cancelled my pre-order for this release because I don’t want to support this type of marketing ploy.

    • Dean says:

      Are you serious? Oh for the love of God. The music industry doesn’t seem to want to exist. They keep looking for ways to kill themselves off. We’re so confused and determined, we’re going back to vinyl, because in the 20+ years since CD first came out – things haven’t improved. It just can’t get better?!?!?

      Oh wait, it can – but it’s got to be some exclusive format, requiring new gear. Because hell, we wouldn’t want to provide a premium experience on the players most everyone has…… even if it can play it back.

      And you know what’ll happen? Do you know? Do they really think that I have to go without just because I refuse to go SACD? Seriously? The only difference is – I can’t pay my hard earned for the product. I hope they don’t think I’m going to pay for hi-res files. (Apologies if this offends members here, but it’s the reality, I’m afraid I’m into physical product.)

      I WANT to buy this. I WANT to hear it. I’m WILLING to pay for it.

      I will NOT buy an inferior copy to the SACD – I already own this recording on CD twice (The original CD release, and the Japanese Mini LP).

      I guess the record companies just don’t want to sell to me. WTF. What happened? I’ve been buying music for 40 years. This is like Corn Flakes releasing two different versions of their product – one is nice and crispy, and goes soft in milk. The only is a paste. Only people willing to invest in $500 breakfast bowls can get the crispy version.

      /rant over.

      • Grady says:

        Welcome to the HiRes frustration club. I’ll be plain and simply for ya….SACD is still the best format for HiRes. You can still get the players very cheap. Or, nuy the OPPO players, they are worth every penny. Bluray? That format has failed so far…reviews are very mixed, most audiophiles do not like whats been put out. And releases seem to be slow, and the same albums we collectors of HiREs already own. In the end, it doesn’t matter if you label it HD or HiRes, or whatever, the original mix/engineering is what dictates the quality of what you hear. The red book of this in Q sound is fantastic. 5.1 will make new fans of this album for those 5.1 junkies that never heard this.

        • Grady says:

          I think the OPPO players are Class A components, see stereophile reviews. Thats class A for 1200 bucks for the OPPO 105, it plays everything. THe 103 is a less expensive. Check on your price options on a class A LP player, and a good preamp for that class A LP player. You could score an older pioneer SACD/DVD-A player for 100 bucks, or less. An older playstation plays SACD. If you have 5.1, I would think you have checked out OPPO anyway.

  11. Dean says:

    Thanks for the advice. However, I am not going to buy into SACD. I am not interested in a acquiring another format. There is no reason why Blu-Ray should sound worse. The point is, I’d wager there are more Blu-ray players in homes connected to surround setup’s, than there are SACD players. The consumer has spoken. The Audiophile proprietary format approach is anti-consumer, anti-music, and one big red herring. In other words, there is simply no reason for it to exist – let alone record companies signing agreements so hi-res versions can ONLY come out in that format – not for any technical reason, but because they can make more money from it. It’s wrong, and for a music buyer like myself, I feel it is an attack on the art form I love.

    I’ll get a copy of Amused to Death in surround. I just won’t pay for it. I’m not proud and arrogant in writing that. But I’m also not going to be led around by the nose by business practices that try to limit my choices.

    It’s long passed time for SACD to leave the stage (my setup, by the way, is all Linn). I admit, this does make me angry. I don’t see how the record business can, ultimately, win this battle. But when they choose to fight against me as a customer…. it’s just ridiculous.

    I’ll tell you what my biggest problem with Audiophiles is – they get far too entrenched in formats. Vinyl is always better than redbook. SACD is always better than Blu-Ray etc. It’s a nonsense. Some Vinyl sounds horrible. Some redbook sounds great. And Blu-Ray can equal SACD. Record companies should be looking to sell as much music as they can. This situation with Amused to Death isn’t apparently doing that. It’s idiotic. And I don’t consider myself remotely anti-record label. Not getting Amused to Death isn’t exactly going to kill me. But that’s not the point. Music is made to be heard. We should not be held to ransom by squalid format wars.

  12. Mike the Fish says:

    SACD is a long running hi res format, and there are loads of players out there. For blu ray I’d have to buy a new player and a new amp just to take advantage of the audio. There are to my knowledge around 5 discrete digital surround sound formats, and 4 of them can fairly easily be played from one DVD A/SACD player.

  13. Dean says:

    I hear you, Mike. Aside from music, I – like many other people – watch movies too. Blu-Ray is the format of choice for that, Hence more people have Blu-Ray players. And since movies benefit from surround, hence why so many Blu-Ray/Surround combo’s exist.

    I do think the bigger picture is being missed here. There is no reason at all why we should be discussing formats. They could release the hi-res music on any format they choose. But they choose not to. That’s the problem. I have no issue with you loving your SACD. As a music lover, I’m genuinely pleased for you. However, I just don’t believe I, or anyone else, should be forced to buy into SACD just because of some licensing agreement. This braindead decision isn’t being made because SACD is a better format – it’s being done because of stupidity and marketing.

    I honestly don’t know why anyone would support this kind of thinking.

    Still, I look forward to hearing this when it comes out, it happens to be an album I love.

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  15. Mike the Fish says:

    Hey Dean, I don’t particularly love SACD to be honest, but my entry into surround music was a multi format DVD player. I think blu ray is still not the mainstream – the racks in the shops seem to indicate that anyway, but then compare that to the no racks of SACD… Maybe SACD has a wider reach though for 5.1. Maybe the people that shout the loudest want SACD. I dunno, but frequent format changing by the industry is expensive and frustrating for consumers and neither you nor I want to invest in another format at present, it seems!

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  17. keith says:

    I’m one of those that believe that SACD was always and inferior product to DVD let alone DVDA and that Blu ray is probably the best way to release anything in Hi Rez, the benefits are obvious a higher installed base (home cinema systems) offering greater sales opeprtunities.
    The format also offers teh oppertunity to add contemporary Video press packs etc. all of which can not be done on SACD.

    I dont want to get into the hard filtering that has to happen with domestic SACD because DSD is such a bad format at high frequencies, so bad in fact that a well mastered CD will have greater clarity at thetop end.

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  19. peter crisp says:

    Dean i am with you in regards to SACD players you are 100% correct, how many music fanatics have the above format in their own living room? At the moment i have 3 bd players, the latest Oppo, L.G. and a Kogan inclusive. All in all what we all want here is the best sounding format,
    i am extremely blown away by 5.1 bluray surround sound!! Especially the
    past couple of years, Pink Floyd’s W.Y.W.H, D.S.O.T.M. Jethro Tull’s
    Aqualung, the recent Yes “Close To The Edge” and next week “The Yes Album” in glorious 5.1. Also in June will see the Who’s “Quadrophenia Live In London” in various formats and also bd. I guess it has taken a long time but no doubt bd is here to stay as there really isn’t that much on sacd, except at the moment in Japan.

  20. richard jones says:

    Hi
    All I want to know is when Amused To Death will finally be coming to my house. I preorded two copies for myself and for my over the top for Roger Waters, grandson. Around April of 2013 and to be released in September of 2013. That is quite a long time to create perfection. Please let it go forth to be enjoyed and reloved by all of us restless music lovers.

    HAPPY TRAILS
    Richard

  21. Phil says:

    According to analogue productions this title is now listed as a “no show”, ie cancelled… boooooooo!

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