Audio Fidelity has gone through many changes in their grand history that started with the emerging SACD format before producing solid rounds of reissues using Gold CDs. after a time, Audio Fidelity dropped the production of SACDs, but have since come back to them with a real splash. With Stereo Hybrid only reissues of popular titles that included albums from Rush, Yes, America, Eric Clapton, Heart, and others, it is refreshing to learn (for fans of the 5.1 format) that Audio Fidelity will now focus on 5.1 Surround reissues of popular titles, perhaps visiting something that you have desired since, well…forever, (or at least during the life of SACD).
While we don’t have a solid date as of yet, it is fun to note the first two reissues in Audio Fidelity’s 5.1 Multichannel series. The first one will be the famed Super Session that featured Al Kooper, Mike Bloomfield, and Stephen Stills way back in 1968. This vibrant and electric album was an important set that brilliantly reflects the times that it was recorded in, a time where Rock was growing fast. It will be interesting to hear how this turns out, and what a multi-channel aspect will bring to it.
It will feature the unreleased Al Kooper 5.1 mix, mastered by Bob Ludwig, and remastered by Steve Hoffman. In addition, new liner notes will be written for the set by Al Kooper. This is an exciting release, especially for the Stereo SACD remastering.
Also planned for 5.1 Multi-channel Surround will be Breezin’, the 1976 George Benson classic. Breezin’ was home to the brilliant jazz cover of Leon Russell’s “This Masquerade”, and the album’s title track, the Bobby Womack penned “Breezin'”, both big hit singles from Benson. The album itself was a staple of jazz fusion fans having sold over three million units. As with Super Session, it will be interesting to hear a Surround version of this title.
If I may offer up a suggestion, I like to offer up this: There are completed 5.1 Surround mixes of Rocks by Aerosmith, and Fifth Dimension by The Byrds. If these were acquired, what a coup Audio Fidelity will have pulled off. With both titles’ SACD finishes, and the desire of both bands’ audiences to acquire them, the interest would be quite high.