The U.K.’s Dutton Vocalion label has announced its first batch of hybrid SACD releases for 2020, all of which feature original quadraphonic and stereo mixes. (The stereo mixes are playable on all CD players.) This round follows an eclectic array of titles released in 2019 including albums by Paul Revere and The Raiders, The Guess Who, Argent, Blood Sweat & Tears, Carlos Santana, and numerous others. (Visit the Dutton Vocalion website for information on all of these titles and more!) The following group of releases is available now from the U.K. label, all newly remastered by the label founder Michael J. Dutton:
The Philadelphia International legends’ 1973 and 1975 albums produced by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff are brought together on one hybrid SACD. Black and Blue, featuring arrangements by Bobby Martin, Lenny Pakula, Norman Harris, and Vince Montana, introduced the R&B chart-topper and top ten Pop smash “The Love I Lost.” The poignant and powerful Wake Up Everybody introduced Gene McFadden, John Whitehead, and Victor Carstarphen’s stunning title track as well as the future disco hit for Thelma Houston, “Don’t Leave Me This Way.” Harris, Martin, and Ronnie Baker provided the sizzling, sweeping charts. All tracks are in stereo and 4.0 multichannel.
This hybrid SACD pairs The O’Jays’ third and fourth Philly International platters, both Gamble and Huff productions from 1975. Survival boasts another R&B No. 1, “Give the People What They Want,” while its follow-up has two chart-toppers: “Livin’ for the Weekend” (No. 20 Pop) and “I Love Music” (No. 5 Pop). Bobby Martin, Tony Bell, and Norman Harris scored the lavish arrangements for this enduring pair of soul classics. All tracks are in stereo and 4.0 multichannel.
Vocalion combines recent Kennedy Center Honorees Earth Wind & Fire’s 1976 and 1975 albums on one SACD (in reverse order). 1975’s That’s the Way of the World, arranged by the band and Charles Stepney, premiered the anthemic title song by Maurice and Verdine White and Stepney (No. 5 R&B/No. 12 Pop) as well as the irresistible, Grammy Award-winning floor-filler “Shining Star” (No. 1 Pop & R&B) by Maurice White, Philip Bailey, and Larry Dunn. Stepney, whose style was so integral to the creation of the EWF sound, died during the recording sessions for Spirit (one album, Gratitude, came in between). The LP, which yielded the No. 1 R&B/No. 12 Pop hit “Getaway,” was dedicated to him. All tracks are in stereo and 4.0 multichannel.
After the departure of leader Smokey Robinson, The Miracles pressed on with new lead singer Billy Griffin at Motown for five albums including the hits Do It Baby and Don’t’cha Love It as well as the concept album City of Angels. In 1977, Griffin, Pete Moore, and co. moved to Columbia where they released a pair of albums. The two LPs introduced a couple of moderate R&B hits: “Spy for Brotherhood” and “Mean Machine,” respectively. In 1982, Billy Griffin would go solo on Columbia. This two-fer has Love Crazy in stereo and quadraphonic, and Miracles in stereo only. (Due to time constraints on the standard CD layer, the “Love Crazy Overture (Reprise)” is available only on the multichannel layer.)
Helen Reddy’s third and fourth albums for Capitol Records, both produced by Tom Catalano, get the hybrid SACD treatment. I Am Woman was titled after Reddy’s second recording of the title track. Due to the strength of that indelible anthem, the album was certified Platinum. In addition to the chart-topping “I Am Woman,” the LP produced by Tom Catalano also included songs by Paul Williams, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Kenny Rankin, Don McLean, and arranger-conductor Artie Butler. The vocalist’s follow-up, Long Hard Climb, was another top ten, Gold-certified smash, including the Pop and AC crossover No. 1 hit “Delta Dawn” and the AC No. 1/Pop No. 3 hit “Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress).” Featuring arrangements by Lee Holdridge and Al Capps, Long Hard Climb also featured songs by Paul Williams, John Sebastian, and Peter Allen and Carole Bayer Sager. All tracks are in stereo and multichannel.
Beautiful music maestro Paul Mauriat’s 1976 Love Sounds Journey presented eleven lush, original compositions from the composer-conductor. It’s expanded by Vocalion with seven bonus tracks including three mixes of “Love Is Still Blue,” a disco cover of “There’s a Kind of Hush,” and a Mauriat recording of his own “I Will Follow Him (Chariot).” All tracks are in stereo (there is no multichannel layer on this disc).
All titles are available now, and can be ordered directly from Dutton Vocalion or Amazon for worldwide shipping.