I'm just guessing that they have to focus on material that they can obtain release rights to relatively cheaply in order to make a profit worth the effort. So, I doubt if we'll be seeing any "big names" from DV, and that is O.K. I'm sure that Dave is working with them to explore all the realistic options. That said......
, has the Philly Soul Sound been examined? I don't keep up with everything released, but you don't see MF of AP issuing O'Jays, Spinners, etc. other than the teasers on the AF Collection. With no knowledge of ownership rights or costs, those are some I'd like to see come out. Wishful thinking perhaps.....
I'm not privy to all the legal, financial or contractual goings on by any means, but there are a lot more factors in play than just if the rights to an album can be obtained cheaply. The one that 'quadblocks' the majority of things right out of the gate is if other UK labels already have a title under license - the major labels that reissue companies like D-V license from make no distinction between CD and SACD as far as licensing goes, so if one of D-V's competitors (and there are a lot of them, including BGO, Cherry Red, Edsel/Demon, etc.) has stereo CD of something out, D-V can't pursue it for quad/stereo SACD release until the other company's license period has expired. If you have a look at BGO's website
for example, you'll see how many quad titles are being blocked because of equivalent stereo CD releases. The good news, however, is that license periods are constantly expiring so things that were out of reach become availalble again on a rolling basis. D-V have nearly 20 years experience in the reissue business so they're more au fait with this than any of us. I've certainly tried to contribute my bit with lists of various quad holdings and information and research about what is and isn't available.
Beyond that, putting out reissues like the ones we want involves a number of moving targets all being hit at once - if licensing a reissue is like shooting an arrow at a target, imagine all the conditions that need to be met as moving rings that your arrow needs to pass through on the way to hitting the target. If you miss any of the rings whether or not you hit the target is irrelevant because the project is a no-go. Assuming the license is available, these "moving rings" can include artist approval, licensing fees, availability of both stereo and quad master tapes, legal & contractual issues, mastering/artwork/production costs, and probably lots more that I don't even know about. Knowing what little I do know of this whole process and the hurdles that need to be jumped, I've come to regard each of of these releases (and the ones from AF as well) as minor miracles. As Tom Hanks said in A League Of Their Own, "if it were easy, everyone would do it." In the last 20 years I think only 3 independent labels have tried to reissue quad, Brad Miller's HDS, Audio Fidelity, and now Dutton Vocalion - in an industry that's full to overflowing with reissue labels and reissues, that should show you how challenging it is to make this stuff happen.
I think it's somewhat of a misconception that D-V is only pursuing cheap or easily licensable titles. If you put everything released in quad on a scale, on one end you're going to have easily licensable titles that no one wants to buy (anyone wanna try and sell thousands of copies of Lee Michaels 'A Nice Day For Something'?) and on the other end you have the stuff everyone wants but either costs a fortune or the artist has full control of their catalog (Aerosmith, Eagles, Barbra Streisand, etc.). The good news is that (for D-V at least) I think a lot of the quad stuff that exists between those two extremes is in that middle ground where the costs and sales potential both make sense. I also think that even if D-V aren't able to license some of those "marquee titles", the work they're doing (and what AF did before them) increases the chances of the major labels putting some of this stuff out themselves. Things like the Chicago Quadio box don't happen in a vaccuum - especially in these risk-averse times, labels are more apt to take a chance on something if they can see there's an established business model and demand for something. Personally, I couldn't be happier with the direction D-V are taking, because they've managed to unearth all kinds of quad obscurities across a number of genres that the major labels they've licensed them from probably didn't even know existed let alone wanting to release them. I never dreamed we'd get any soul. funk, R&B or jazz on quad SACD but less than 18 months after D-V put out its first quad SACDs (and lets remember they were Mancini, Montenegro and Floyd Cramer, just to show how much their scope has widened in such a short period) that's exactly what's happened along with other things like Ray Davies and Michel Legrand that are being heard widely in surround for the first time ever thanks to D-V.
I also remember when I first got in to quad about 20 years ago, all I wanted was the Chicago quad mixes. Being a child of the CD generation, I was used to being able to just walk in to a store and buy what I wanted so I found it incredibly frustrating at first not being able to get what I wanted. EBay was in its infancy back then and online shopping wasn't nearly what it is now, and we were still 5 years away from the birth of this site. So I spent ages trawling the web, finally picking up a few of the SQ LP's (which cost a fortune) but a funny thing happened - on the way to that, I started picking up other things in the meantime, because they were cheap or just available, and as a result my musical repertoire expanded enormously. If it wasn't for quad I never would have discovered groups like The Eleventh House, Rufus & Chaka Khan, Chase, and so many others - there's a list of quad titles a mile long that are obscure or lesser known but feature either great music, a great quad mix or both. I know that not everyone has the same appetite to expand their musical horizons as I did (and there's nothing wrong with that) but I'm hopeful that with this quad reissue program that D-V has embarked on that a few people who haven't heard these albums before will take the plunge and have the same kind of 'quad awakening' I did when I first got in to the hobby. It's definitely something that motivates me when I'm researching and writing for these releases, the "holy crap!" feeling I used to get (and still often do) when something awesome happens in a quad mix.
As far as the Philly soul quads go, suffice it to say there's no one that wants them more than me, aside from maybe fredblue, and I say this as someone who owns an 8 foot tall O'Jays 'Survival' promo poster (pictured below). My interest in that music is so high that I actually reached out to one of the main engineers who worked on all the quad mixes done at Sigma Sound (all the PIR stuff, Spinners, Stylistics, William DeVaughan, etc.) and we've had an ongoing dialogue for a little while now. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with all the information he's given me thusfar, but I'm sure I'll share it here in one form or another. Suffice it to say that D-V are well aware of all of these quad mixes, and are probably tired of me advocating for them at this point! The reissue market for this kind of material in the UK is particularly fierce though, so D-V have to go up against labels like Big Break Records, Expansion and Funkytowngrooves who specialise in reissuing these kinds of albums.