SDEtv looks back at the ‘High Fidelity Pure Audio’ blu-ray format

The format launched in 2013 and now has only occasional support

SDEtv remembers the blu-ray audio format which for marketing purposes was branded ‘High Fidelity Pure Audio’. This format offered high resolution audio (minimum of 96 kHz / 24 bit), supported lossless 5.1 surround sound and had the capacity to contain an enormous amount of audio and video. For a while, waves of albums were released on this format and album reissue campaigns (Tears For Fears, Grace Jones, Simple Minds etc.) often made a point of include a ‘pure audio’ blu-ray as part of their offering.

Some bands, such as XTC, really embraced the format, and to a degree put major label offerings to shame by putting a box set worth of content (surround mixes, instrumentals, demos, videos and more) onto a single blu-ray disc, but for the most part enthusiasm seemed to peter out.

These days blu-ray audios are largely found within big audio box sets by acts like The Beatles and Pink Floyd, and it’s relatively rare to find them issued as ‘album-only’ releases, although some acts, like Steven Wilson, still support it as a standalone product. For the most part, the ‘high fidelity pure audio’ tag has been consigned to the marketing dustbin of history.

But for a while, there was promise and a period of a few years where a reasonable number of classic rock/pop titles came to market. Watch the video below as SDEtv takes a look back at some of these good, bad and indifferent releases…

Here is a link to the original interview with Olivier Robert-Murphy who was a key player behind the introduction of this format.

See below for list of blu-ray audios still in print:

Compare prices and pre-order

Grace Jones

The Disco Years blu-ray - 3 albums


Compare prices and pre-order

Grace Jones

Warm Leatherette blu-ray with bonus audio


Compare prices and pre-order

Simple Minds

New Gold Dream blu-ray with 5.1 mix

Shop Price gbp Stock
Amazon uk   85

Compare prices and pre-order

Simple Minds

Sparkle in the Rain blu-ray with 5.1 mix


Compare prices and pre-order

Marvin Gaye

Let's Get It On blu-ray with 5.1 mix


Compare prices and pre-order

Alan Parsons Project

Eye in the Sky blu-ray with 5.1 mix


Compare prices and pre-order

Led Zeppelin

The Song Remains The Same blu-ray with 5.1 mix


Compare prices and pre-order

Sex Pistols

Never Mind The Bollocks blu-ray with bonus material

Shop Price gbp Stock
Amazon de   63.41
Amazon jp   6980.00

Compare prices and pre-order

The Doors

The Singles CD+blu-ray with Quad mix


Compare prices and pre-order

The Rolling Stones

Exile on Main Street - stereo only


Compare prices and pre-order


Crime of the Century blu-ray - stereo only



Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mark Reeder

Great post Paul. I have always loved the idea of wrap around surround sound. When the Quadrophenia album was first released, it was announced on the radio that it had actually been recorded in Quad and I so desperately wanted to hear what it would sound like in Quad. (I had to wait 40 years to buy the full album in hi-fidelity audio 5.1). Back then Quad-systems were very expensive and considered ultra-hi-end and well out of reach for a poor teenager like me and besides, the catalogue of titles was far too limited. At the beginning of the 90s, when CDs became cheaper and started to replace vinyl, a few sourround albums were released and I thought now we have fully dynamic CDs, surround is finally possible. It didn’t take off. You needed four speakers for surround and most homes were quite contented to just have two. Decades later, with the introduction of affordable home theatre systems 5.1 audio started to look attractive. We saw 5.1 albums appear by bands like Depeche Mode, King Crimson & Pink Floyd and others started to release their albums in 5.1 I was so excited. I bought everything I could. I thought of all those classic Quad albums from my teens, like Tangerine Dream, Black Sabbath or Ten Years After might finally get see the multi-channel light of day. These albums were very inspiring and that is why I decided to make my own 5.1 surround album (FIVE POINT ONE) featuring some of my remixes in 5.1surround (the album contains remixes i made for artists like Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, John Foxx, Anne Clark, Bad Lieutenant) but I also wanted to give a few young and unknown artists the opportunity to hear what their music sounded like in 5.1 surround sound too. Naturally, I would have loved to have released FIVE POINT ONE on Blu Ray disc, but at the time, the BRD production was far too expensive, and so we opted for DVD. I guess these days 5.1 is a niche for audio nerds only, but I am still very pleased that I did it. The saddest thing today, is that the major record labels are currently planning on phasing out all physical products in the future, even including digital downloads, purely to concentrate on streaming services only, and the current corona-crisis is only going to speed up that proccess.

Eric Kalet

The good news is that even with no physical media, 5.1, 7.1 and Atmos can be streamed. So surround sound and immersive music can still be viable. The KEY will be marketing and education. dvd-a, sacd and BRPA all failed mass acceptance because no one knew what it was/is beyond a niche market. Also need streaming services to embrace it. Spotify, Pandora, etc. It’s amazing how many posts I read on social media from people who just don’t know 1. that surround sound even exists, 2. that it’s affordable in many cases (HT in a box, etc.) 3. and need the popular artists to release.

Derek Langsford

Great retrospective Paul. I have a few of those you highlighted but have many of the boxed sets or SACDs of those albums that were also released with 5.1 recordings.

The changes to the physical digital market has starting to get increasingly frustrating for me and I am sure many digital consumers. While CD freed us from the deterioration of vinyl quality and the inherent problems of cassettes and DVD freed us of the limitations of VHS, the search for higher resolution led us through the SACD/DVD-A battle/fiasco that killed both formats, ultimately to BD which offered a panacea of hi-res stereo or multichannel audio with or without hi-res video that was compatible with the existing hi-res format players that were being bought by the general public. I had dreams of CD/BD double disc sets with a CD and a hi-res BD disc of at least the stereo mix, but also a 5.1 mix if one as made. That would have been an automatic purchase for me and after all albums started to be archived in 96/24, thought it was the automatic next stage for music media. I could see me replacing a good part of my collection again. Or so I thought….

The advent of mp3, Napster, Spotify, iTunes, and Amazon Music meant downloading and streaming took more and more of music out of the physical realm, and CD sales plunged, the BD music format launch was clearly half-hearted and we are now in this predicament of seeing BD discs rarely sold separately and often buried deep inside Super Deluxe Editions, if they are created at all. The resurrection of vinyl is putting salt into the wound.

Kudos to artists like APP and Steven Wilson for providing BD discs as options without the need to buy extra formats. A big raspberry to others who require you purchase vinyl, cassettes, over-sized packaging to access the hi-res BD (e.g. Rush, Fleetwood Mac). IMO, under the current circumstances, the Steven Wilson, APP, and also The Beatles releases have served the music-buying public well. You can buy what the formats you want without having to buy a lot of material you don’t. I seriously fault Rush for switching from a CD+BD combo program that I loved (Moving Pictures, 2112) to combining multiple vinyl, replicated on multiple CDs and 5.1 BD buried in bloated boxes (AFtK, 2112, Hemispheres) that I have not and will not purchase.

Despite all that, I hope that hi-res media and 5.1 and Dolby Atmos BDs will still be made in the future, or at least downloadable and storable on BDR media though I worry about the technical wizardry that will be required for me to make that happen.


SACD/DVD-A battle/fiasco that killed both formats???
There are more SACD and DVD-Audio discs being sold now than ever before!
Every Steven Wilson remix into surround is on DVD-A, (that alone is a massive list) even The Beatles Sgt. Pepper was both DVD-A and Blu-Ray.


Response to MFG:

I have a 2002 DVD-A of Neil Young’s Harvest that sounds exceptional….really warm, sonically balanced, a satisfying listen.
WB/Rhino issued dual-disc copy in 2004 of Grateful Dead’s American Beauty that is equally satisfying.
Late to the HD game, I was forced to go the ebay route for Neil Young Archives Volume 1 in BR-A but it has been a worth it….sound reproduction is stunning…the best NY I’ve ever heard. My only (kinda minor) gripe with it is whoever dictated the menu format must have been playing a lot of Myst (look it up) because there are all sorts of hidden tracks and bonus features scattered throughout certain discs and it’s frustrating to jump through so many hoops for a single track. OK, one more gripe: the discs take awhile to “load up” in my bluRay player…and I have an oppo UDP-205!


I have the DVD set. A ripper is your friend for finding the hidden tracks. I recorded them all on to a hard drive and stream them. It’s not perfect but it saves using that stupid menu system.

Any idea when archives 2 is out? I’d buy that on BRD.

Jarle Lilledal Nyvoll

One of the albums – well, compilations – that were announced in the early days of Pure Audio BDAs was “ABBA GOLD”. Just think if that had happened. Perhaps we would have good remasters of their stuff. I emailed Carl Magnus Palm about a possible hi-res release of any ABBA material, and he was absolutely certain that Björn and Benny would never let the master tapes leave “the compound”. And, of course, it´s their call. Please, B&B, please!

Dave H

The Who 50 was another slated for a Blu-ray Audio release but never materialised.


It’s a little confusing, Polar Music was purchased by PolyGram in 1989 only to be sold to Universal in 1998.
Abba’s recordings are still copyrighted to Polar, but owned by Universal who would presumably own any masters and multitracks as well and could issue hi-rez or surround versions as it is their property.
Frequent visitors to these pages know how many recordings are reissued in multiple formats by the ever-expanding Universal family of labels. (get it, expanding just like our current universe or all consuming like a Black Hit of Space…)
Anyway, Björn and Benny may have a contractual clause giving them final say over their recordings and Abba still bring in enough money that Universal don’t care. Doing surround mixes properly is expensive weighed against who is actually still buying that format.
I know, all of you would purchase at least one.


As an Elton John fan I find it heartbreaking knowing that there are a number of surround mixes sat in a vault somewhere waiting to be heard.

Don’t Shoot Me
Rock Of The Westies
Blue Moves
Made In England

There was supposed to be 2 release campaigns on SACD but after the first set was released Universal pulled the plug.

Scott G

I totally agree.

I wish they would release them.

Elton John’s SACD releases are excellent, the sonics are just superb, the multichannel mixes are some of the best I have heard and should be considered as the benchmark for SACDs. They are my go-to if I want to impress someone with a multichannel experience.


Steven Wilson’s BD album releases are good, but don’t come under the Pure Audio banner as they contain video, too.

His (once upon a time) KScope labelmates the Pineapple Thief have released stuff on Blu-ray, too. Their last album Dissolution was a little underwhelming to my ears after its predecessor, but the 5.1 mix actually makes it a more interesting listen.


To get the aforementioned predecessor on BD you have to buy their concert video Where We Stood which contains a wealth of audio bonuses including that album in 5.1.


Oddly, I was emailed about this today. Soon to be available as a cut price 2 CD and Blu-ray set for a tenner. Blinding value. I should’ve waited!


Scott G

For those considering Sex Pistols, Never Mind The Bollocks the Blu-ray is excellent value because you also get the B-sides of the 4 * singles and 14 live tracks BUT if you want the best hi-res version try and get hold of the Japanese SACD. I have both and IMHO the SACD has got the edge on the Blu-ray.


You would think record companies would realise more people now have the equipment to play blu ray audio (and SACD for that matter) nowadays, and reissue a lot of these out of print titles, surely they’d make more money than it would cost them to repress? Then again, as most people listen to their music on the go these days, and fidelity doesn’t seem to be a huge concern, perhaps it’s such a niche market, they feel it’s not worth catering for properly?

Klaus S.

If you are looking for a true BlueRay Audio player (including SACD and CD playback and network player) and want to use your ipad as remote (or the OPPO remote) and are in for a high end solution please check out the DMT 3.7 transport from the Franch company JMF Audio. You will need a seperate DAC, though. http://jmf-audio.com/dmt37_en.htm . I got mine after two years visiting the High End show in Munich (cancelled this year) and lokk no further.
You will find a list of classical and other pure blue ray audio releases here https://pureaudiorecordings.com/.

Scott G

The following have been given the 5.1 treatment. I wish they would release them:
Pink Floyd – The Wall 5.1
Tears For Fears – Sowing The Seeds Of Love 5.1
MJ – Thriller 5.1 (apparently MJ did not like any of the surround mixes so it was never released)


Nice video, thanks, Paul!
I shows me that I have some little nice treasures.
I enjoy listening to 5.1 Surround mixes for I own a Pioneer/Canton-Equipment and I bought quite a lot of SACDs, DVDs, Bluray and Boxsets over the years. So to me a Release of a DVD or a Bluray with high resolutions audio is not neccessary since my ears are getting worse all the time. I can recognize 5 speakers and a subwoofer working with 5.1 sound, but I can’t tell the difference between a usual stereo CD and a high resolution source anymore. So to me a perfect combination is getting CD/Bluray or CD/DVD combined packages.
I can remember only one shop selling these Pure Audio Bluray, probably this made the start for that format very hard…
Best wishes from Germany


We I took Dave H’s list and added the ones I know (and have). Remember the Dual Disc? Still some good multichannel releases on dual disc and Super Audio (and DVD of course):
Multichannel releases.
Beck Sea Change
Bon Jovi Slippery When Wet
Bryan Adams Reckless
Elton John Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Genesis Selling England By The Pound
Lynyrd Skynyrd Southern Surroundings
Marvin Gaye Let’s Get It On
Queen A Night At The Opera
Rush Fly By Night
Rush A Farewell To Kings
Rush Signals
Simple Minds New Gold Dream 81-82-83-84
Simple Minds Sparkle In The Rain
Simple Minds Once Upon A Time
Tears For Fears Songs From The Big Chair
The Alan Parsons Project Tales Of Mystery And Imagination
The Who Tommy
The Who Quadrophenia

Miles Davis Kind of Blue (not a great 5.1 mix)
Herbie Hancock Headhunters, Thrust and Gershwin World
The Police Every breath you take (the classics)
Keane Hope & Fears (dual disc, not a great 5.1 mix)
Steve Miller Fly Like An Eagle CD + DVD
Jeff Wayne’s War of The World (Super Audio)
Dire Straits Brothers in Arms (super audio)
Mark Knopfler. Shangri-La (Super Audio)
Pink Floyd Endless River Blu Ray, Darkside of moon, Wish You Were Here super audio
David Gilmour Rattle That Lock Blu Ray
David Gilmour Pompei Blu Ray
Jeff Beck Group S/T (Quadraphonic)
Tom Petty Hypnotic Eye Blu Ray
Max Richter Sleep Blu Ray
Donald Fagen Nightly Trilogy dvd’s
Flaming Lips Soft Bulletin DVD
Crystal Method Legion Of Boom DVD
The Doors Perception box DVD
Elton John Tumbleweed Connection, Honky Chateau, Captain Fantastic, goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Madman Across The Water, “Elton John” (all super audio)
Outkast Stankonia DVD (not a good 5.1 mix)
Al Green Greatest Hits DVD
REM Document DVD, Out of Time, Automatic Blu Ray
Bootie & Blowfish Cracked Rear View DVD
Crowded House S/T DVD
Steely Dan Everything Must Go, Two Against Nature, Gaucho DVD
Beach Boys Pet Sounds DVD
Eric Clapton & BB King, Riding w The King DVD
Eric Clalpton, Reptile DVD, Slow Hand DVD, 461 Ocean Boulevard, There’s One In Every Crowd Blu ray
Sting, Nothing Like The Sun, Ten Summoner’s Tales DVD
George Benson Breezin, Songs And Stories, Givin’ It Up DVD
The Thrills So Much For The City DVD
Alan Parsons, On Air DVD,. A Valid Path dual disc, Tales of Mystery, Eye In The Sky Blu Ray
R. Kelly Chocolate Factory Blu Ray
Sheryl Crow Globe Sessions DVD
Seal IV DVD, Best DVD
John Hiatt Bring The Family DVD
Joe Cocker Night Calls DVD
Santana Supernatural, Shaman DVD
Buene Vista Social Club DVD
Don Henley, The End of Innocence DVD
Queen, The Game, A Night At the Opera DVD
Bob Marley, Legend Blu Ray
Duran Duran Astronaut dual disc
Jean Michel Jarre, Teo & Tea, Aero, Oxygene DVD
Eagles, Hotel California (super audio)
The Beatles, Love DVD, Sgt Pepper, White Album, Abbey Road Blu Ray
Fleetwood Mac, S/T DVD, Rumors super audio, Mirage, Tusk DVD
Groove Armada, Vertigo (super audio)
Wings, Venus & Mars DTS (not sure if that is the same as a DVD?)
David Bowie, Reality dual disc
Steven Wilson, 4,5, The Raven, Hand Cannot Erase, To The Bone Blu Ray
Tears For Fears, Song From Big Chair Blu Ray
Kitaro, Best Of Silk Road DVD
Mike Oldfield, Ommadawn, Return to Ommadawn, Incantations, Five Miles Out, Hergest Ridge, Discovery And the Lake, Tubu lol are Bells DVD
Mark Reeder, Five Point One DVD
Simple Minds, New Gold Dream, Sparkle In The Rain, Once Upon A Time Blu Ray
Los Lonely Boys, S/T dual disc
Blues Traveler, Truth Be Told dual disc
Deodato, Prelude & Deodato 2 (Super Audio)
Destiny’s Child, Survivor (Super Audio)
Bryan Ferry, Boys And Girls (Super Audio)
Roxy Music, Avalon (Super Audio), S/T DVD
Paul Weller, Studio 150 (Super Audio)
Robert Cray, Time Will Tell (Super Audio)
Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Rage Hard The Sonic Collection (Super Audio)
Propaganda, Secret Wish (Super Audio)
Norah Jones, Come Away w Me (Super Audio)
Bruce Springsteen, Live in NYC super audio, Devils & Dust dual disc
Wall Flowers, Rebel Sweetheart dual disc
Rob Thomas, Something To Be dual disc
Goldfrapp, Supernatire DVD
Bill Withers, Just As I Am dual disc
XTC, Nonsuch, Oranges & Lemons, Black Sea, Drums & Wires, Skylarking Blu Ray
Marvin Gaye, Lets Get It On, Sexual Healing (Super Audio)
Lemon Jelly ’64-‘o5 DVD
Talking Heads, 77, More Songs, Fear Of Music, Remain In Light, Speaking In Tongues, True Stories, Little Creatures, Naked Dual Discs, Stop Making Sense Blu Ray
John Lennon, Imagine Blu Ray
Jimi Hendrix, Electric Ladyland
Inxs, Kick Blu Ray
Genesis, S/T, Invisible Touch, We Can’t Dance, Calling All Stations, and then there were three, Duke, Abacab, Extra Tracks DVD
All Depeche Mode albums DVD except Spirit
Yazoo, Upstairs At Eric, You And Me Both DVD
All Lord Of The Rings Blu Ray
Kraftwerk, Minimum Maximum DVD
Natalie Merchant, Tiger Lily DVD
Howard Jones, Engage DVD
Marillion, Misplaced Childhood, Clutching At Straws, Brave, Script For A Jester’s Tear (pre-ordered) Blu Ray


Inxs – ‘Switch’ (dual disc)
Jamiroquai – ‘Dynamite’ (dual disc)
Cyndi Lauper – ‘The Body Acoustic’ (dual disc)


Gwynogue, thank you. Cyndi Lauper and INXS are stereo mixers, unfortunately no multichannel mixes. Jamiroquai doesn’t even have a stereo mix on the dual disc as far as I can see but I may be wrong. Discogs doesn’t always mention the stereo mix.


Amazing collection.
I’ve enjoyed The Flaming Lips, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.
Getz/Gilberto is another excellent disc.
Stevie Wonder, Songs in the Key of Life is excellently presented on BR-A but isn’t my favorite SW album.

wayne hill

David Bowie – Heathen (Stunning 5.1)
Townshend.Lane – Rough Mix
Wings – Band On The Run
Brian Wilson – Imagination

Did not know The Thrills had one…….off to Ebay I go.

Paul Soper

Quadrophenia was an essential title because, unlike the super deluxe box which only had a selection of tracks mixed in 5.1 on DVD, The Pure Audio Blu Ray had the full album mixed in surround. It’s the only example in the series that I can think of which featured exclusive 5.1 content, rather than just reissuing a 5.1 mix on the format.

They could have released all the Genesis albums, since they had all previously been released in 5.1 on SACD and by 2013 these mixes were largely out of print, and remain so. Maybe if the format had been more successful, it would have happened.

I was surprised they didn’t release ‘The Game’ by Queen, the sole remaining Queen album to have been mixed in 5.1 and released on DVD-A.


The Quadrophenia 5.1 stand alone release was also issued as part of the deluxe version of The Who’s Quadrophenia: Live In London.

It did seem strange that the full version wasn’t issued as part of the Quadrophenia deluxe box set but only a selection of tracks.

Christopher Merritt

A few months ago I had a friend over and we played some of the Quadrophenia 5.1 mixes from the box set, and tbh it didn’t sound that amazing. Then we tried the Quadrophenia 1973 album 5.1 mixes from the Quadrophenia: Live In London set – which sounded much, much better – fuller range and more immersive. I don’t know if they are truly different from a digital standpoint, but boy the Quadrophenia – The Complete 1973 Album (5.1 Surround Mix Blu-Ray Pure Audio) discs sounded so much better than the box set. IMHO this is the set to get: https://www.discogs.com/The-Who-Quadrophenia-Live-In-London/master/710041 (plus you get a gorgeous blu-ray of the concert).


The 5.1 mixes for each box came from two different sessions according to Wikipedia. That maybe explains the sound difference:

“In 2011, Townshend and longtime Who engineer Bob Pridden remixed the album, resulting in a deluxe 5-disc box set. Unlike earlier reissues, this set contains two discs of demos, including some songs that were dropped from the final running order of the album, and a selection of songs in 5.1 surround sound. The box set came with a 100-page book including an essay by Townshend about the album sessions, with photos. At the same time, the standard two-CD version was re-released with a selection of the demos as bonus content; Some Disc Two tracks were moved to Disc One to accommodate space for these demos. In 2014, the album was released on Blu-ray Audio featuring a brand-new remix of the entire album by Townshend and Pridden in 5.1 surround sound as well the 2011 Deluxe Edition stereo remix and the original 1973 stereo LP mix.”


There are still a few classical albums available in the format… Max Reich’s “Sleep,” so perfect for the current situation, is one of them.


I have a few ‘HFBA’ releases:

marvin gaye – WHAT’S GOING ON
grace jones – “WARM LEATHERETTE”
lenny kravitz ‎– ARE YOU GONNA GO MY WAY
lionel richie – CAN’T SLOW DOWN
tears for fears – THE HURTING
tears for fears – SONGS FROM THE BIG CHAIR

I would have bought more if the prices were better, but it was a lot of money considering my set-up is *very* basic (BR player connected to TV, headphones plugged into TV). I’m never going to hear the full glory of the sound, so I couldn’t justify the expense.

I was mainly after the downloads. I was disappointed that they were all MP3 (Grace “Warm Leatherette” excepted). For a product that was marketing itself as high-quality audio, I had expected the digital files would be high-quality audio too.

But I’m pleased that I was still able to get the downloads – even though they were released 6 or 7 years ago, I only bought them in the last 12 months, so I worried time might have run out.

Lenny was a bit of a let-down – the insert/booklet got torn from being snagged on something inside the case…and when I listened to the downloads I thought something was wrong with my speakers!

Ross Munro

I got the “Tales Of Mystery And Imagination” standalone Blu-ray by the Alan Parsons Project and that contained the album as one 24 Bit / 96 kHz audio download file. Not sure if there was other albums in the series that also had 24 Bit downloads.

Dave H

Here’s a list of Blu-ray releases sold under the Pure Audio banner with the clear plastic cases. These are rock, pop and soul releases though there’s plenty of jazz and classical releases.

If anyone can add to the list it’ll be appreciated to create a complete set of releases.

Multichannel releases.
Beck Sea Change
Bon Jovi Slippery When Wet
Bryan Adams Reckless
Elton John Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Genesis Selling England By The Pound
Lynyrd Skynyrd Southern Surroundings
Marvin Gaye Let’s Get It On
Queen A Night At The Opera
Rush Fly By Night
Rush A Farewell To Kings
Rush Signals
Simple Minds New Gold Dream 81-82-83-84
Simple Minds Sparkle In The Rain
Simple Minds Once Upon A Time
Tears For Fears Songs From The Big Chair
The Alan Parsons Project Tales Of Mystery And Imagination
The Who Tommy
The Who Quadrophenia

Stereo only.
Amy Winehouse Back To Black
Ben Howard I Forget Where We Were
Black Sabbath 13
Bob Marley Kaya
Bob Marley Legend
Deep Purple Made In Japan
Derek And The Dominos Layla
Feist Metals
George Michael Symphonica
Gergory Porter Liquid Spirit
Grace Jones The Disco Years
Grace Jones Warm Leatherette
Grace Jones Nightclubbing
John Lennon Imagine
Lenny Kratvitz Are You Gonna Go My Way
Lionel Richie Can’t Slow Down
Maroon 5 V
Marvin Gaye What’s Going On
Nirvana Nevermind
Nirvana In Utero 
Nirvana Nirvana (collection)
Sam Cooke Portrait Of A Legend
Sex Pistols Never Mind The Bollocks
Stevie Wonder Talking Book
Stevie Wonder Songs In The Key Of Life
Supertramp Crime Of The Century
Supertramp Breakfast in America
Tears For Fears The Hurting
The Rolling Stones Let It Bleed
The Rolling Stones Exile On Main St
The Rolling Stones GRRR!
Underworld Dubnobasswithmyhead
Various Artists Promo Sampler
Velvet Underground Velvet Underground & Nico
Velvet Underground White Light / White Heat


Depends on how you’re defining the genres, but I’d add at least these two:
Serge Gainsbourg ‎– Histoire De Melody Nelson (main album is 5.1, plus bonus tracks in stereo only)
Diane Krall – The Look Of Love (Stereo only)

The Pixies – Doolittle also came out in 5.1 on Pure Audio in 2016 but had a custom cardboard cover rather than the clear plastic case.


Only ever bought one. Nina Simone’s I Put A Spell On You. Glorious sound. I was all set to get started on a collection with Grace’s NightClubbing among others and then JB Hi Fi got rid of them. Real shame.

Rick Marino

You haven’t heard The Yes Album, Fragile & Close To The Edge until you’ve heard them on Blu-Ray audio. This was a major missed opportunity for the labels to jump on & get behind. They glossed over marketing this format about as much as they dropped the ball on SACD (as well). It’s a shame for audiophiles who would get behind these formats if they heard them (for those who haven’t)

Dave B

In Australia, the biggest music retailer in the country (JB Hi Fi) eventually dropped the PABR format from their stores, returning all unsold stock to the distributors. At the time they cited poor sales and lack of promotion for their decision.

I’d already bought The Stones “GRRR!” which I thought sounded absolutely fantastic – WAY better than the (still fine) CD – although, being given no choice but to have a static video PABR disc-menu on my high-end plasma TV screen potentially (stupidly) burning an “after-image” into said screen (for the entire duration of play) did 100% piss me off! Just a dopey idea clearly executed with little thought IMHO.

Lastly, surely the catastrophic LA warehouse fire at Universal that destroyed thousands of master tapes was also another nail in the coffin of this poorly promoted format? Would love to hear your thoughts on this Paul…

Rett Russell

Paul..thanks (again) for a great discussion topic!

Before I forget, can you comment on what effect the devastating 2008 audio master tape fire at the LA Universal Studios will have on the future of remastered discs (CD, DVD-A, BR-A, etc)?
(NY Times article(s) “The Day the Music Burned” reported the near-total destruction of countless labels’ original master tapes that were stored in a Universal warehouse there)

My pet BR-A peeves (other than minimal selection) include crappy booklets (cheaper CD versions are typically superior), occasional horrid remastering, having to fork over $$$ for a box to get one BR disc, insane choices regarding which albums are given BR treatment, lack of bonus material (Steven Wilson remasters typically have 6-8 hours of content!), lack of promotion, etc.

Curiously, Jimmy Page chose the DVD-A format when remastering the Zeppelin catalog….but since it sounds incredible that way (tinny..NO!), I have no complaints. IMO, the DVD-A format is close enough sonically to the BR format to suit me.

For those chafing about needing a video monitor to navigate the menu, 6″ and 8″ car screens can be found cheap online and are simple to install.


What are you talking about? The Led Zeppelin catalogue has not been released on d.v.d-audio.

Brad B.

Hey Dave I’m with you on ‘90125’ on a hi-res format. If you can play it at home I found an SACD hybrid disc of ‘Big Generator’ which I think sounds really great!! It shows off the production and all the interesting bits of that album (it’s one of those albums where a bit of better channel editing/splicing would have done wonders but oddly sounds kind of cool now). I know long-time Yes fans don’t seem to like that album in particular but I was always a fan of the 2 ‘pop’ albums they did more than the side-long-songs Yes. So yes, someone call Steven Wilson or similar stature to remix & remaster ‘90125’ to something hi-res!


There is an extant SACD hybrid version of 90125 (stereo only) which is available from CDJapan for 25 quid. Granted one has to go through the cost and hassle of ordering from Japan, but I have very recently imported the 5.1 SACD of Billy Joel’s The Stranger, which took around 3 weeks for delivery and cost me ‘just’ 15 quid in import duties and admin charges from Royal Mail. Both the Yes and Joel discs are presented in the ‘mini lp’ format, which is the same size as a 7” package and is, I think, rather nice. The Billy Joel package is extremely impressive as it’s chock full of ephemera from when the album was first released and is probably one of the best presented standalone packages I have ever seen. Paul maybe you could do an unboxing video of The Stranger – happy to lend you my copy!


This is great stuff. I have bought all that are or were available in 5.1 surround. Even if I bought the SDE box sets with surround sound DVD or Blu-ray’s, like Pink Floyd and Simple Minds, I still bought the stand alone Blu Ray’s so I can shelve the box and keep the blu-ray close by.
It’s highly disappointing that so many are in only stereo. Why bother, then I might as well just listen to the CD. And unfortunately not all surround sound mixes are good. Most are but definitely not all.

Derek in Canada

Thank you, Paul, as always for a great job covering the SuperDeluxe-related issues, and now, especially the multi-channel/hi-res issues which are close to my heart as I’ve been collecting SACD, DVD-A and PABR for decades now. Over the years I have bought about a dozen PABR titles, and some are real aural gems: Legend(Bob Marley)-30th Anniv. Deluxe Edition, Beck’s Sea Change, XTC releases(Oranges and Lemons, Nonesuch), TAPP Eye in the Sky. And the rest – are sadly somewhat underwhelming.
But for a multi-channel enthusiast like me – one hidden benefit is that this format lets me enjoy my 7.1 setup fully; I can enjoy the Surround Back speakers emulating the “regular” Surround channels thanks to the 7.1 down-mix option in my Oppo. For some reason I can’t make that happen with my SACD’s or DVD-A, so PABR has an advantage there. Plus, it doesn’t really require special equipment, which is what may have crippled the SACD and DVD-A formats. There are, maybe thankfully for us, not that many people that want to buy universal players, let alone even who are even aware of them.
Anyway, I for one hope this format continues to exist; as a matter of fact I just yesterday received my 2CD+PABR copy of the Doors’ The Singles, and it sounds substantially better
(in the 7.1 down-mix) than the DVD-A versions in “TheDoors-Perception” box-set , which I have only recently opened after years of owning it. Thank you again, Paul, for reminding us to see the silver lining of this COVID-19 lockdown, and rediscover our music collections.
Happy listening, everyone!

Paul Ramos

I loved Steven Wilson’s take on Yes’ Fragile album. He really used all the channels to separate ‘Five Per Cent For Nothing’ and bass solos in ‘The Fish”. Using blu-ray ripping tools, I was able to get WAV’s out of them and listen to the channels on their own.

Brian Smith

I’ve accumulated a few now.

Grace Jones nightclub bing.. Sadly on in stereo. Sounds great though.
TFF’s Big chair, Simple Minds’ New Golf Dream, Bob Marley’s Legend.. All sound fantastic.
And two of XTC’s Black Sea and Dukes. Once again superb.

What I find disspointing though is the amount of these out there ts that so many of them are stereo only

Rich E

Great video Paul.

A format I had no interest in until I started obtaining discs as part of bigger box sets. I’ll be honest, having to physically select what I am about to listen to from a visual menu has always marred the listening experience for me (having first encountered it with DVD-A). Maybe that’s just me though.

That said I’ve just seen the Warm Leatherette disc on amazon for 9.99. That is too good to pass up, especially as it has MORE content than any other version (how did that fit in with the less is more philosophy?!) Lots left in stock, for under a tenner it really would be rude not to.


These comments about the Warm Leatherette blu-ray are very triggering for me. All those hours spent trying to access the download and figuring out how to unzip it on a Windows laptop. All the fruitless conversations with Universal’s help desk – no offence to Universal’s people, they were trying very hard to help but didn’t seem to have any support. Happy days.

Mark G

The only one I think I own is a Jonathan Richman/Modern Lovers greatest hits. Which doesn’t strike me as having a high level audio quality in the first place…


I have – where available – BR audio editions of any album [DVD if BR is unavailable].
Even those some releases have just been in stereo [such as The Rolling Bones Grrr] if you have a decent audio system [or decent sound on your computer – forget about most laptop!] you can hear the difference between a BR disc and a CD.
Marillion’s recent deluxe edition re-releases include BR audio discs [including in 5.1]. Of course anything released by Steven Wilson is generally in 5.1 on BR [but why wasn’t the last No-Man album?]. Still waiting for Insurgentes on BR?

Andre Denis

The Alan Parsons Project recently released stand alone blu-ray discs at the same time as a box sets were offered to the public.

Wayne Klein

Great format. I’m just sorry it didn’t take off the way I hoped. I have the Tears for Fears and Genesis ones. I also have the DVD multi-channel of Gaucho. Each had its benefits but I think people were satisfied and then, later, downloads with their convenience, streaming came and it was moot.


The only High Fidelity Pure Audio disc I purchased was Exile on Main Street. Waste of money for me. I couldn’t tell enough of a difference between the Blu-Ray disc and my CD reissue from the mid-90s to justify the purchase. I have a decent mid-range stereo system, so it’s not like I’m listening for differences on a mobile phone or a computer.

Also, +1 to this comment. I have plenty of CDs that sound fantastic, and a few SACDs that don’t sound that great at all.

“There is nothing wrong with CD at all. A great master will sound great on CD, a bad master will sound terrible. I have a few Bluray audio discs, a few DVD audio discs, some SHM and some Blu Spec disks. In my opinion all the improvements are down to the effort invested in what is put on the discs, not the disc technology itself.”


MFG – I totally agree. CDs (can) sound fabulous. Sometimes, they are just not used to their potential. Same could be said of Blu-ray Audio. They could easily have put loads of bonus material on the BD-A discs.

It’s all about artists taking an interest in the quality of what’s released. Also, the (re)mastering Engineer has to understand what the music should sound like. Andy Pearce, who is generally highly regarded, once said that he listens to a number of sources, including original vinyl albums to build up a picture of what something should like before starting to remaster an album.


….or are singularly responsible for them.
Garbage ? Yup.


I’ve collected numerous Pure Audio Blu-ray titles. Although I love high-rez, PABR turned out to be a dodgy affair. Whereas a selection of albums (especially those offering 5.1 mix) had improved sound quality, many albums were simply brick-walled.

Aside from Universal not always taking full advantage of the superior Blu-ray format, I didn’t like the standard Blu-ray ‘movie’ plastic packaging they chose. First, the larger dimensions of the Pure Audio plastic case didn’t allow me to file those titles with my standard CDs. This left me with no choice, but to store the PABRs in my Blu-ray/DVD movie shelving unit located in the hallway closet where they were virtually forgotten. Second, I didn’t like the PABR packaging with its crinkly-wrinkly thin (easy to tear) plastic outer wrap over the album artwork. The low-budget booklet (or sometimes just a 2 page folded insert) located inside contributed to the cheapened look of a great album.

Noting how clever the Blu-ray packaging was for the Steven Wilson remastered XTC and Yes albums, I moved most of my Pure Audio discs to double CD jewel cases to couple them with the standard CD versions of the same album. This was done to satisfy my need to have these historic albums look more prominent, but more importantly so I could file the PABRs with the rest of my music collection where they belonged. I would like more PABRs to be released, and would be willing to pay more money, but only if they have been truly remastered to take advantage of the 96 kHz/24 bit technology, include some extra audio or video content, and offer better packaging.


I have a few of the XTC releases. Can anyone recommend a method of “ripping” audio tracks from the Blu-ray audio disc. I would like to put the content on my network storage device so that I could stream it, but not exactly sure how to go about that,


not sure whether i canm put a link here so theres this

or pop into reddit and type How to Rip Audio From Blu-ray Disc/Folder on Windows/Mac there splenty of tutorials on the web to show you the way.

for some of my discs ( mostly concerts) i’ve found it easier to gain them via other routes ( ahh jim lad) rather than messing about but mine are a bit more ‘popular’ than XTC so you may struggle


What they didn’t mention in the link is that BRs are encrypted and most rippers can’t rip an encrypted BR [or DVDs].
You would need something like MakeMKV to remove the protection. Then you can rip the audio on it.

What? 2020? Worry?

You could USE a Blu Ray ripper such as MakeMKV (as an example) which should rip the BR into MTS files (this is all off the top of my head) you should be able to rip all the audio from MTS using DVD AUDIO EXTRACTOR. Or you can use DVDfab.


@What? 2020? Worry?:
Have you tried DVD Audio Extractor? It will complain if the source is encrypted. DVD Audio Extractor is also not free.

William Klayer

DVD FAB does a very good job but it’s not free.


On a Mac I use MakeMKV to backup the BR disc onto the hard -drive (which decrypts it) and then DVD Audio Extractor to rip the content I want into HD FLAC files. Have done that to all the XTC releases and they sound fabulous …

What? 2020? Worry?

Exactly what I said LOL


What people tend to forget is that when a new format is trying to impress, the execs want the master to sound ‘better’ than it did before, so effort is put in to achieve that aim.

As an example, one of my favourite films is Magnolia. Until it came out on Bluray, it was impossible to find a DVD version without horrible ‘ducking’ compression on the audio track.

This was a trick designed tp be used to maintain a consistently loud dynamic on VHS to beat noise floor. For instance, a gunshot goes off, the audio is compressed and a slow release on a compressor allows the audio to return to level after a couple of seconds. This results in constant level changes which when done badly can ruin a soundtrack.

For the Bluray release, the techs mastered the audio with loads of dynamic range because digital technology allows them to. Hence no compression ducking effects so it sounds great.

When DVD came in, VHS masters were used, hence ducking compression.

When CD came in, loads of pre vinyl mastering (i.e studio output) masters were used to make CD’s which is why some people believe CD’s sound awful.

There is nothing wrong with CD at all. A great master will sound great on CD, a bad master will sound terrible. I have a few Bluray audio discs, a few DVD audio discs, some SHM and some Blu Spec disks.
In my opinion all the improvements are down to the effort invested in what is put on the discs, not the disc technology itself. The effort that record companies make to hype new technology is more about the mastering studio than the manufacturing process.

And if you don’t believe me, compare a few CD masters of The Clash’s London Calling or Massive Attack’s Shashmane Land (which I use to’ tune’ my studio because it’s such a great master).


Really interesting comment.
I’ve never heard of that Massive Attack track, where does it appear?
Any other good sounding cd recommendations?


Sorry, I meant Heligoland – Shashamane Land is African Head Charge (I mis-spelled it too !).

The mixing and mastering is sublime, expecially for low end.
Other CD’s I use for reference :
Serge Gainsbourg – Melody Nelson
Frazier Chorus 1st album
Rozie Plain – Friend (gorgeous master).
Kruder and Dorfmeister sessions (Depeche Mode remix)
Underworld – Beaucoup Fish (Jumbo)
The Clash – London Calling (the last box set remaster or Japanese master).


Thanks for responding, appreciate it.
Will check out your recommendations!

Metal Mickey

Off-topic, but Heligoland is a hugely underrated album, I’d highly recommend it, and it includes no less than two TV show themes – Paradise Circus (Luther) and Splitting The Atom (HBO’s Luck)…


I was interested in the idea of this format and agree with the points about inconsistency in sound, content and value. Another problem for me was where to find them in record shops. I think it was a big mistake to put them in bluray video size boxes. They should be cd box size as XTC have done, so they can be racked with cds, but clearly marked as blurays.


Hello all music lovers!
Well, yes….better sound from the different discs are welcome. The CD-format is really not good enough…..at least the normal “pressings”. The SHM CD`s from Japan are much much better, and then we have SACD and BR. What most people fail in when buying the better editions, are that the reproducing equipment must be up in quality to justify the better formats. Most people do not give a monkey`s behind, as they are used to the crap sounding from mobile phones and/or downloaded music (yes, I know you can download highres), the MP3 are simply an insult to the artists that made/make music.
I have several box sets and SACD`s, and other editions of albums with DVD-A and BR. BUT a lot of the box sets that are released have crap sounding CD`s….like the Family box set. When they charge an arm and a leg for the special editions, the insult the buyers by providing crap sounding CD`s.
And also the craze of the vinyl are a new marketing for the record companies. With a decent CD/SACD player, those machines gives you far better sound than a vinyl record player if you compare apples with apples (prices). But there are exceptions…..the remastered Led Zeppelin CD`s are thin sounding compared to the vinyl, except if you have the SHM CD`s from Japan. Maybe the remastered CD`s are remastered so Jimmy Page could hear the high frequencies? For a man who surely have damaged hearing, he should not be the one to decide of the mastering.
Finally, with all the new editions of “old” music, I find I am ripped off when I buy the same album for the fourth/fifth time…..and sometimes the extra music on those special editions, could have been in the garbage cannister….. And the 5.1 mastering? What the heck, did the artist want you to sit in the middle of a crap sounding system? 5.1 are for movies, not for music….
Oh yes, I have a state of the art sound reproducing system, so I know what I am talking about. So all of you that really enjoy music….go buy decent equipment and have an “eargasm”!


how much would ‘decent’ equipment cost?

What? 2020? Worry?

A few pence


50K did the trick for me. No complains about regular cd’s, if they are done decently

Paul Soper

You obviously haven’t heard a 5.1 surround mix on decent equipment. Done right, they are amazing for music.


If you hear what Rubellan do when they dynamically remaster albums you would be amazed , bog standard CD format but the sound because of the mastering is fabulous.

What? 2020? Worry?

I was in tears over the Visage debut, in tears is a bit much but you get the picture. Lovely sound.


Great video, thanks. I have the Quadrophenia blu ray audio, great 5.1 mix. It also has the original stereo mix. Led Zeps HTWWW is also quite good. Too bad the format never caught on, guess the market for quality is stalker than the one for convenience.


As far as I’m concerned every album should be put out on the Blu-ray Audio format, being physical media that (properly mastered) contains the best possible replication of the studio audio. The Marillion deluxe editions are frankly awesome, for example, whilst the ongoing vinyl fixation (primarily that stems from revived ‘cool’ factor) on the other side of the fence is comparatively pointless. Still, I cherish any Blu-ray audio I can find (I know that the article is about a specific strand of Blu-ray audio, but hopefully readers get my point).

John McCann'

Did Neil young get into this big style or was that something else to do with Blu-ray that he really embraced?


Neil Young released his first (and so far, only) Archives box set on Blu-Ray. At the time, IIRC, he seemed most excited about the interactive features of Blu-Ray discs (which required Internet connectivity), so that listeners could look up photos, liner notes, etc. while listening to the music. This type of interactivity is done much better on the Neil Young Archives streaming web site.

Neil did release some albums in 24/96 hi-res format (especially from the Performance Series concerts), but only as standard DVDs. No SACD, DVD-A, or Blu-Ray Audio. Not that I recall, anyway.


Neil Young released some DVD-A’s, I still have re-ac-tor. It has a 5 channel mix and a high resolution 176kHz stereo mix.


I got the “Greendale” -Dvd-Audio, it has a great 5.1 mix, “Americana” and “Le Noise” Blurays have a fantastic sound (but only stereo).


In addition to the exceptional Archives Vol 1, he also released three later albums in Blu-Ray (Le Noise, Psychedelic Pill and Americana, the latter two having some bonus material), but since then he’s kind of abandoned it. He has said that Archives Vol 2 will only appear physically on CD, and that if you want the super-high-resolution version of it, you can subscribe to Neil Young Archives online and stream it. I’m fortunate that I can stream at the necessary bandwidth, but I realize that not everyone can, so I think he’s kind of hurting the people who want that level of quality but don’t have the internet capacity to do it.

Dave H

Thanks for the link to the interview from 2013, it’s a pity the releases didn’t continue since the only way to get hi-res audio for most releases is via a download site and obviously we all want something to hold in our hands. It’s a pity new releases can’t be released with the best available audio, after all discs are only storage devices that hold data.

After the initial batch of stereo releases, there were a few 5.1 surround releases which were great since you didn’t have to buy an expensive box set for the disc. These included:

The Who Quadrophenia, Tommy
Tears For Fears Songs From The Big Chair (as mentioned on video)
Bryan Adams Reckless
Genesis Selling England By The Pound
Simple Minds New Gold Dream, Once Upon A Time & Sparkle In The Rain

It’s great that artists like Steven Wilson and Alan Parsons continue to release stand alone blu-ray releases. As for value for money, the XTC reissues has to be the best ever reissue programme. There’s so much extra material on their blu-ray discs as well as a 5.1 surround mix. I hope there’s another release being worked on at the moment during the lockdown, what else can one be doing?

You may find the odd Pure Audio disc floating around on Amazon. I think the last one I bought was George Michael Symphonica from Amazon Italy but as is the norm with a defunct format, the value rises when it becomes more difficult to find a copy.

Auntie Sabrina

I have the 3 Grace Jones releases. Maybe the a proper screen on the player in order to navigate the menus would mean a wider take-up of the format?


I think you’ve hit the nail on why it isn’t so popular. The format relies on an extra visual interface in the listener’s set-up. I think it was assumed that we would all have ‘entertainment centre’ type setups and that the visual interface would be an inherent factor.
I use an old HDMI SABA monitor that I fished out of a re-cycle skip ! I haven’t got an ‘entertainment centre’.

Rob Puricelli

A truly calamitous project that promised much and delivered so little. Universal put a complete idiot in charge, someone who saw it as a vanity project and every title they released was flawed in some respect.
Some titles simply featured overly compressed MP3 mixes (Amy Winehouse’s ‘Back to Black, for example) upscaled to hi-res, others were simply duplicates of previously available 5.1 mixes with zero extras. Hi-res download codes were repeatedly broken and there were seldom few of these titles that actually hit the mark in delivering top drawer hi-res 5.1 or stereo.
Labels like Pangyric, who were behind the Yes Blu-Ray releases and APE, who did the XTC Blu-Rays, put this so0called major label affair to shame. They totally got the “box set on a disc” concept and delivered a ton of content, including top notch 5.1 and stereo mixes along with a wealth of extras for the same or less money than the Universal HFPE efforts.
Had Universal got this right, they may well have given Blu Ray audio a real boost and possibly made it the standard format and had it adopted by far more people, but this half-assed attempt hindered rather than helped.

Steven Roberts

To follow up on Rob Puricelli’s comments above, in some cases the blu-ray audio didn’t even feature *as much* content as that already available in other formats, let alone provide extra content.

Case in point – the SACD of Janine Jansen’s Four Seasons (already out-of-print by the time the blu-ray version came around) included both a stereo mix and a fantasic 5.1 mix which put you in the middle of the music. The blu-ray audio disc? Stereo only………

Talk about shooting yourself in the foot!

And yes, the XTC and Yes titles are very much examples of the format done right. If only Yes would get around to doing 90125 in 5.1……

Dave H

I was also hoping for 90125 in 5.1 so disappointed there’s no plan to continue the re-releases.
I thought songs like ‘Owner of a Lonely Heart’ and ‘Leave It’ would sound great in 5.1.

Steven Roberts

To be honest, I’ll buy most ANY album in 5.1 produced by Trevor Horn. Are you listening, Yes?

Are you listening, ABC?

Christopher Merritt

Same. Would kill to hear 90125 in 5.1.


90125 would be fantastic in 5.1! My fave album of theirs.


Man…. I’ve been listening to “Made in Japan” by Deep Purple from that tonight. Amazing

Major statistic on Stones “”Let it Bleed”. Widespread? Must be not a one off. Keen to hear….


Yes my Pure Audio “Let it Bleed” has substantial static problems on I think two of the three different audio formats from memory …. You aren’t alone