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EMI Slates 12 DVD-Audio Titles

EMI Records Group announced that it will begin offering DVD-Audio discs in the United States in December, complementing previously announced plans by sister company Virgin Records to sell multichannel SACD discs in the U.S. beginning in a few months.

At least 12 DVD-Audio titles from the EMI Records catalog will be available in December, and possibly more, said a spokesman.

The first three DVD-Audio titles will be Al Green, Greatest Hits; Leon Russell, Retrospective; and Eric Johnson, Ah Via Musicom. The other nine, which launched in the United Kingdom on Sept. 24, will be from the company’s EMI Classics label, said Jay Samit, senior VP of new media for EMI Recorded Music, parent company of EMI Records and Virgin Records.

Saying that EMI Records is a “confederation of 80 labels,” Samit said he had no information on pricing and whether the discs would feature duplicate soundtracks playable on DVD-Video players.

Following up on Virgin’s previous SACD announcements, Samit outlined a more precise timetable for SACD releases. On top of Tubular Bells released earlier this year, he said, Virgin released three more titles on Oct. 1

They will be followed by three more titles, perhaps by the end of October, and then by three more by the end of the year.

Pricing wasn’t available.

Virgin also markets a DVD-Audio title, Blue Man Group Audio, but hasn’t said whether more DVD-Audio discs are due.