Billy Joel / 52nd Street SACD

Japanese 40th anniversary SACD • 5.1 mix • Lavish packaging

Sony Music in Japan will issue a 40th anniversary edition of Billy Joel‘s album 52nd Street as a multi-channel hybrid SACD (Super Audio CD) which boasts a ludicrously lavish (and satisfyingly geeky) packaging.

Like the recent Miles Davis Bitches Brew SACD edition this features a 5.1 surround sound mix and a stereo version (which is the 2011 remastering by Ted Jensen).

This comes in oversized seven-inch cardboard sleeve packaging and as can be seen from the video above (courtesy of CDJapan) it includes loads of ‘goodies’ such as replica tour programme (in die-cut folder), poster, OBI strips, seven-inch single artwork and more.

Anyone who owns the Miles Davis package (or any of the previous editions) will tell you how good these are. Expensive, but superb. Obviously, you do need an SACD player to access the SACD layer hi-res audio and surround sound (and the latter will require the necessary home cinema-style amplifier and speaker set-up).

This was actually released yesterday in Japan, although if you purchase via Amazon in the UK you’ll have to wait until the end of next week for it (later in the US).

Compare prices and pre-order

Billy Joel

52nd Street - Japanese SACD with 5.1


1. Big Shot 4:01
2. Honesty 3:50
3. My Life 4:43
4. Zanzibar 5:10
5. Stiletto 4:39
6. Rosalinda’s Eyes 4:40
7. Half a Mile Away 4:06
8. Until the Night 6:35
9. 52nd Street 2:27

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[…] and includes the Carnegie Hall concert included on the 30th anniversary edition. As with the recent 52nd Street SACD, the packaging is exemplary, since it comes in a seven-inch card sleeve with inner bag, booklet, […]


Heads up everyone….CD Japan has this back in stock. Only 17 left with 1-3 days shipping time…..you can thank me later

Steven Roberts

Personally I ordered this from importcds.com. It’s going to come in around the £40 mark with import taxes, though because the taxes are taken upfront I shouldn’t be stung by Royal Mail’s absurd £8 ‘handling fee’ (which has always been a problem for me with items from CDJapan)….

Fingers crossed the success of this release encourages Sony Japan to also release M-Ch SACDs for Piano Man and Turnstiles.

And Bridge Over Troubled Water. And Janis Ian. And….

Mathew Lauren

Nice post, Paul. Well done!

I have the original Japanese 5.1 SACD of “52nd Street” (SIGP 1) – sonically similar to ‘01 (Jersey-pressed) U.S. 5.1 of “The Stanger” SACD. I heard the American pressings of “52nd Street” 5.1 SACD weren’t so good. I can’t speak to that. Also, these were BOTH mixed by “Appetite for Destruction” (bonus-songs) 5.1 mix engineer: Frank Filipetti.

The original 5.1 SACD came out on Oct 11th 2001! (Kinda got overlooked here in America). The (Japanese) SIGP 1 (stereo/multi) SACD “52nd Street” is a simple (cd) Jewel Box, numbered and comes with an OBI. I paid many times the m$rp for my “Mint Condition” OOP find (which was allegedly Japanese-mastered (despite what the back-tray print states), many years after the ‘01 release. It sounds very sonically-similar to the ‘01, 5.1 (U.S.) SACD “The Stranger.” This 2018 5.1 SACD 40e “52nd Street” RE (beneath all its wonderful bells and whistles) allegedly utilises the original “reference” 5.1 (‘01 FILIPETTI) mix and is also Japanese-mastered. The SIGP 1 (at least) is a reference 5.1 SACD disc, imho.

When I saw this 5.1 SACD “52nd Street” 40e celebration on the CDJapan website, I checked for ALL 2017-18 Sony 5.1 SACD releases worldwide and found “The Stranger” 5.1 SACD was also RE’d circa 2018, but via the EU – an Austrian pressing. I, also, have this (as mentioned earlier) 2001 Sony U.S. (DADC New Jersey) 5.1 SACD (“The Stranger”), though the SACD back-tray print states: 1999 (as in New Jersey pressed in ‘99) Discogs lists it as ‘01, as does my memory…

As a surround-sound enthusiast-turned-collector, however, once I had the 2018 5.1 RE of one, I had to have the other. “The Stranger” 2018 RE 5.1 SACD just arrived (on the 16th) for about the same price (+/- 10-15%) as the “52nd Street” 40e 5.1 SACD RE, so shop around.

I still can’t believe CDJapan sold out of this item already – save for proxy-purchases. That’s the fastest I’ve ever seen one of their items (including 5.1 SACDs) sell-out. Wow!

I hope this does NOT go unrecognised and that ALL of the (unreleased and even some formerly-released) 5.1-mixes in vaults all over the world see Japanese “DSD-mastering” and 7” mini-lp 5.1 SACD offerings.

More Japanese-mastered & packaged 5.1+ SDE Rock ‘n Roll releases would be welcome, as well, regardless of whether some of these mixes need a “touch-up” or a total re-mix!

My recent, NEW (old stock) Universal Japan-find (4shm-cd / 1 dts 5.1 dvd boxset) “Layla and other Assorted Love Songs” (containing Elliot Scheiner’s 2011 Grammy-winning 5.1 mix) would make an awesome 7” Japanese-mastered mini-lp, 5.1 SACD, SDE!

Back to the 2018, 5.1 SACD of “52nd Street,” don’t fret! It looks like AMAZON will have it for roughly the same price (within 10-15% – delivered), especially if you’re a PRIME MEMBER.

Regardless, $how some love and use the widget from the SDE-site to pre-order or purchase.

Florentino Stabile

This item is too incredible to pass up.
I inquired with Amazon UK customer service and I was told that the disc has several layers…. layers that could play in conventional CD as well as SACD.
Ordered mine before they vanish into thin air.

Shawn Huckaby

As this is a Sony release, it presumably will be the same 5.1 multichannel mix from their 2001 Columbia (CS 69385) SACD, which is long out of print, and very pricey to find on the secondhand market. I will say it’s a great surround mix, for those who appreciate that kind of thing.

Allan Johansen

In short: apart from the technical details, a lot of extra paper but no extra tracks (studio or live), so will pass. Like Neil, I can also recommend CDJapan!


CD Japan is SOLS OUT!!! I got mine did you get yours?


Try OfferUp for an inexpensive SACD and older receiver with the analog inputs. I was bale to get an excellent older Pioneer Elite receiver and SACD player for about $200 combined and they sound excellent.


I’ve got all of these Japanese Sony SACD issues with 7-inch covers: five different Jeff Beck titles (both Jeff Beck Group albums, Beck Bogert & Appice, Blow By Blow, and Wired), Santana Lotus, Carole King Tapestry, and the entire Yes discography from the first album through Rhythm of Love (except the Yesshows double album; they all use the same Japanese remasters as the earlier High Vibrations SACD remasters. Most of all, I treasure the two Japanese 7-inch boxes that were briefly for sale via King Crimson’s website (each 7-inch slipcase box contained four of the 2-disc CD+DVD-A editions of their early catalogue: Box One had In the Court…, Wake of Poseidon, Lizard, and Islands, while Box Two had Larks’ Tongues in Aspic, Starless & Bible Black, Red, and USA…no Earthbound as that had not yet been issued in a deluxe CD+DVD-A standalone).

I’m sure there are others I’m forgetting…anyone know of other Japanese SACD titles in 7-inch covers that have been released? Here’s to Sony for these fun reissues!


SACDs will kill its own market with the rediculous prices being asked.
I was in Hong Kong recently and the official SACDs were going for $70US+!
DVD-Audio did not last long and they were considerably cheaper

Andrew Mogford

Any recommendations on a budget SACD player? I used to have a Pioneer that played DVD-A and SACD via analogue outputs but you can’t get an amp with those inputs any more so I have all the gear apart from the actual player that can play SACD via HDMI output. ideally it would be a combo player that can play Blu-rays and other formats too.

Scott G

OPPO. Very highly respected universal disc player and streamer. Excellent players and their DSD DACs are very good. Maybe not budget but you should be able to pick up a Blu-ray BDP-103 or 105 for reasonable price. If your a bit more flush you could always try to get hold of the 4K UDP-203 or 205.
If you wish to get the optimum sound from your SACDs you should always try to get straight DSD to analogue conversion.
With OPPO you have a variety of options – you can send DSD over HDMI to a pre-amp that supports DSD or convert the DSD to PCM over HDMI or go DSD to analogue on its analogue outputs.
There are plenty of surround pre-amps that take analogue input.
I believe Paul has a UDP-205. So I recon thats a good approval recommendation.

Andrew M


I’m aware of the Oppos and would love one, but sadly with two babies that aint happening any time soon. Got a nice bonus at work, and had it earmarked for one, but the next day our telly packed up! :(

Looking for something more budget…..

Adrian Swatridge

You need the Sony UDP X800 4k bluray…excellent SACD and DVD-A sound and much much cheaper. I think the other models may do multichannel audio as well and are even cheaper…less than 200 quid.


I have an OPPO and have tried several ways to get DSD out of the HDMI port but that is not possible. The reason for that is that DSD is licensed by SONY and they don’t allow for DSD from the player to be funneled through to a pre-amp. The only way that I have been able to get DSD files is through ripping on a Playstation and I believe that SONY has closed that loophole or buy native DSD recordings online. I would love to hear if you are able to get DSD output through HDMI as the only output I have is either optical or PCM in which the local DAC converts it.


Sorry to say Oppo is getting out of the disc player business, and they no longer have any units to sell direct. (There may still be some floating around from 3rd party sellers.)

From their website:
“Though OPPO Digital will gradually stop manufacturing new products, existing products will continue to be supported, warranties will still be valid, and both in-warranty and out-of-warranty repair services will continue to be available. Firmware will continue to be maintained and updates released from time to time. Customers can rest assured that they will continue to receive the high quality service and support that they have come to expect from OPPO Digital.”

Scott G

Hi R

I’ve not played around with this for a long time but I have just been listening to Elton Johns ‘Honkey Chateau’ in 5.1 with my OPPO BDP-105 set SACD for DSD and HDMI set as bitstream sending this into my Marantz surround amp works fine. Also swapped between DSD and PCM and it works both ways although DSD is better. Even better is listening via the OPPO analogue outputs into the Marantz.
Does you amp/pre-amp support DSD decoding?


Hi Scott.
Yes. I have a dedicated D/A DAC with ability to process DSD files that I have stored on a hard drive.
I am curious how your system can accomplish this and am happy that you can. My oppo has two HDMI outputs and one allows for DSD output but that output is only after it has been converted to PCM. It’s a bummer as what my DAC receives is not DSD.
I will call OPPO to see what they say. Mitchell, I read the sad news this summer. Too bad as they made real solid and good players, amongst others.

Andrew Vizor

I’m running Oppo DSD out to Amp, over HDMI. My own amp is a Yamaha, but I’ve installed many systems over the years with players from Sony, Pioneer, Denon, etc into amp from the usual suspects – all running DSD on HDMI. These are just suggestions & I’m sure you’ve tried these… HDMI is a two way connection, the player “asks” the amp what it can/can’t understand, so if the amp doesn’t support DSD, the player won’t send it. Not all amps do DSD, they are few and far between. I have occasionally had issue with a crappy HDMI Lead not being good enough to support DSD Data Rates.
Another common issue is if you have the TV connected to the Amp via HDMI (which I agree you should) the Disc Player “sees” the TV as the destination device – which won’t support DSD, so it won’t send it. I’ve had to disconnect the HDMI to TV, connect TV via analogue, force the disc player into DSD on the amp, then lock settings. Make sense? HDMI really is a bag of worms.
BTW PlayStation mostly doesn’t output DSD over HDMI, it converts to PCM 1st.

Peter Leahy

You may have found it already, but the Sony UBP X700 and X800 seem to be going in the range of 185.00 to 349.00 (GBP). They also have a latest manufacture that will play all region Blu-ray and NTSC/PAL all region DVDs as well as SACD. Check those out on Amazon…

Mathew Lauren

Sony. Give me specifics and I’ll give a a model number.

Mathew Lauren

Hey there:


I have 2 of these. Now that OPPO is “dead,” wait for the holiday sales. This can be found for under $150 (new).

If that is still too much $$, almost ANYTHING Sony is Blu-ray/SACD. You may like an older, refurbished model or used from Amazon (that carries a warranty of sorts and a liberal return policy) that plays SACD (with the proper AVR) over HDMI, and then the problem is solved.

Mathew Lauren

To restate: 2.0/multi-DSD SACD over HDMI with proper AVR — most (not all) newer, Sony Blu-ray players come with SACD.

*Check first as some budget ‘17 Sony Blu players dropped SACD.

Good Luck. Hope all these suggestions from us (SDE) have helped!


Sorry, but I hate this packaging. Oversized and overloaded with paper stuff in japanese language.
Multiple OBI replicas?

Dave Fearon

Sure these look good, especially the Santana Lotus. But currently 123 pounds on Amazon !
In the streaming age its hard to justify paying this money. I am keen to explore more 5.1 mixes as I have only got Jethro Tull and XTC so far. But at least I can buy them at a reasonable price. I see Eye in the Sky bluray has reduced as well so will pick that up. Too many others are only on the Super Deluxe editions pricing many out. Looks self defeating.


Hi Dave Fearon

You can buy Sanatan Lotus for $71.09 US from CDJapan plus shipping :-)

Sammy Waslow

I ordered this a month ago from CD Japan, having not ordered anything from them for a while. It’s working out at around €49 (including postage), and I know I’ll get duty charges on top of that, but it was too nice to resist.


In the good old days, most of the major record companies had an import service and they imported titles from various affiliates. Larger quantities to manufacture and therefor cheaper to produce. It would make sense for some titles that are manufactured to follow that route and would make them cheaper available in the local markets. Sounds like a win-win to me. Charles


I purchased the Santana album Lotus in this format. I agree with everyone that the quality of these 7″ releases is outstanding. Although expensive, well worth my Yen.


Pretty fancy package, but since all the swag is in Japanese, pretty pointless to purchase for those reasons.


I really hope that this is the start of a Billy Joel SACD series from Sony Japan. (They have done multiple Jeff Beck titles in this fashion.) Would love to have the original quadraphonic mixes of “Piano Man” & “Turnstiles”.


Amazing packaging… and it even includes an actual disc with the “52nd Street” album

Narendra Kumar Alambara

Ordered this from CDJapan in late September – when it was first announced. The 7″ packaging of these releases are awesome – have picked up most of the recent releases – Jeff Beck Albums, Carole King – Tapestry, The Rolling Stones – Satanic Majesties… and of course Miles Davis – Bitches Brew!

Scott G

From CDJapan
£30 + postage £5 + import duty £6 + Royal Mail handling £8 = £49

Tony O

apparently one of the early billy joel albums was the first to be pressed in japan as a commercial release, he mentioned in when in concert in japan.


Yes! Indeed! And the first CD to be released in Europe by CBS in 1984 with a CD manufactured in Japan (DIDP-1). And I still got it! What a disc… One of my first CD purchase in 1984… along with Pipes of Peace (McCartney) and Dark Side of the Moon (Pink Floyd) with CDs also manufactured in Japan at the time. WOW! And all available in Canada! Incredible…


CDJapan are great to deal with and it’s only £30 on there but be prepared to be hit with custom charges. I see this came out on SACD in 1999 and i wonder if it’s just a reissue anyway much like vinyl i have no way to play this and would have preferred Blu-ray audio.


Hi no it’s a newer remix/remaster from 2011 or 2010 if I remember correctly. CD Japan is SOLD OUT as of yesterday

Andre Denis

I do not need this Billy Joel but I can indeed recommend this release if you are a fan.
I own of couple of others from this series. They are expensive but made with soooo much care.
The sound and remastering is a pleasure to listen to in stereo but also in surround.


Getting this. If only they’ll give Piano Man the same treatment.


I can’t wait for the 2020 50th anniversery edition of Attila


Ordered 2 days ago from a Japanese record store. Fantastic packaging as always from Japanese record labels.

Thomas K

Which store?