Column from May 28th, 1999

Another week, another CD replacement format arrives. Sony and Phillips have just launched "SACD" (Super Audio CD). Sounds great, all of 13 releases are available in the format and they’re all from Sony’s catalogue of jazz and classical releases. What’s the point, don’t Phillips and Sony remember how they screwed up royally when they championed Betamax video tapes for years and years!

None of the other major labels have any SACD releases scheduled, though they do have DVD-Audio releases on the way. The problem here is that the CD music market has reached maturity and labels and equipment manufacturers are desperate to find a new format that can stimulate sales to an excessive degree and quickly at that. But they’re missing the point, CD succeeded before because it was such a convenient format, but for the average listener the sound benefits of the new all singing and dancing formats will be small. DVD-Video will succeed because the quality over a VHS video tape is a huge leap (and I do mean huge!), but all these other new formats are really just trying to tweak things….

To me, it shows how retrograde the music industry has become. Never mind the music think of the medium! Music is what sells to the masses, not a nice new format!

So, getting back to music, 8084 have a new, much enhanced web site at http://www.8084.com. There’s lots of music samples there and lots of good information too. GB Music (the same outfit behind all the New England re-releases) is heavily involved with 8084, and GB also has a "new" release on the way from Starz called "Greatest Hits Live". It’ll be out in June and run for 70 minutes and should be ideal for Starz fans everywhere. Further details from http://www.gbmusic.com.

The Outfield have a secured a deal with Platinum Entertainment and will have a new CD released July 14. Titled "Extra Innings – Unreleased" it will feature 15 tracks (many of which have also been on the "It Ain’t Over" limited edition release), some of which are older unreleased tracks, while some were recorded in 1998 and 1999. Further details on the CD and The Outfield’s touring schedule in the US from http://www.theoutfield.com/.