The Beach Boys: The Final Nine Analogue Productions Reissues Part II

Smiley Smile (T/ST9001)

The twelfth Beach Boys studio album released in September of 1967, Smiley Smile has a confusing history both artistically and commercially. It was originally to be a “preview” of an album to be called Smile that ended up being scrapped until a few years ago. The original version of the groundbreaking and highly successful single “Good Vibrations” released in the fall of 1966 is here as are parts of “Heroes and Villains” and “Vegetables”, originally destined for Smile. Most of the rest of the album was tracked in Brian’s home studio in the spring and summer of 1967.

Though he produced it, credit went to the group per Brian’s wishes. This was a home recording in the best and worst senses of the word. The equipment was hardly “state of the art” and lacking a proper echo chamber, the empty swimming pool and a shower stall served the purpose.

In many ways the album serves as a Rorschach test, with listeners making of it as they see fit rather than what it really is, which is somewhat difficult to pin down. It makes use of sound effects, newly invented effects devices and but a few instruments, mostly keyboards.

Perhaps that’s why when originally released late in the “Summer of Love” it sold so poorly. Look at what was the competition earlier in the year!

Compared to glossy studio recordings of that time filled with effects, other than “Good Vibrations”, the album felt “home made”. Over time, that has worn well. The opener “Heroes and Villains” written in collaboration with Van Dyke Parks is a chipper, old-fashioned sounding multi-part number steeped in silent movie nostalgia.

The history of the song’s recording could be turned into a short story.

“Vegetables” has a similarly contorted, confused history with many versions. Some say it was about Wilson’s health obsessions. Others say it was marijuana inspired. That’s followed by a charming “Musique Concrete” piece and then “She’s Goin’ Bald”, which also alludes to silent movies within a moving pastiche of musical settings. The side’s closer “Little Pad”, has a dreamy Hawaiian-motif anchored by a ukulele. It’s a charming side of a record that bears scant resemblance to rock, rock’n’roll, pop or any kind of music of that era.

Side two opens with “Good Vibrations” followed by the soft, effervescent “With Me Tonight”, which sounds like something inspired by The Fleetwoods’ “Come Softly”. It’s a light, frothy and pleasing confection.

“Wind Chimes” is a dreamy, “in your head” vocal pastiche that ends up being more psychedelic and mesmerizing than most of the era’s complex and grandiose attempts at “mind blowing”.

“Getting’ Hungry” has a catchy, almost Reggae-like chorus (before Reggae was born), and a slow, meandering verse backed by simple bass and percussion. It sounds like something that greatly influence Beck and if it didn’t, it should have!

“Wonderful” written with Van Dyke Parks is another multi-segmented song with stops for group giggles, soothing harmonies and a feeling that it’s about to grind to a halt, which is a Parks trademark. It’s not been used in a Pistachio nut commercial—yet. Its lyrical meaning has been interpreted to be about, among other things, a “spring awakening”

The album ends with “Whistle In”, more of a incantation than a song, backed by electric bass and old-timey piano. The album feels as if you’ve been taken to a place inside Brian Wilson’s head, where everything he’s created over the previous five years has gotten denser, smaller, more concentrated and more wondrous but that like the Big Bang creation of the universe, it was about to implode, which of course it and he did.

This is an intimately drawn album of impressive musical doodles that sailed over many heads (pun intended) in 1967 but which can be far better appreciated today and needed today because of how it can help slow you down and draw you in. Into Brian Wilson’s head, which then was an interesting place to be.

This reissue is so much better than the original, so much closer to the closely miked creation you’ll almost feel like wiping off your speakers. Originally released only in mono, it’s now available in stereo as well but again, for me the mono is the way to go. A real magical mystery tour—no bus needed!

Sunflower (MS 2118)

The Beach Boys exited Capitol Records in 1970 and signed with Reprise in a deal to distribute its Brother Records label. Van Dyke Parks, who was then a Warner Brothers Music executive helped broker the deal, which stipulated Brian’s involvement in every release.

The group’s sixteenth studio, released at the dawn of a new decade had a fresh, new mature sound both tuneful and muscular while retaining the group’s signature harmonies. What’s more, it was recorded in “real stereo” that captured real room ambience and not in multi-miked mono stitched together with artificial reverb, and in a new Brothers Records recording studio. Sunflower also had an attractive gatefold cover featuring “next-gen” young Beach Boys offspring.

The album got great reviews too, so what possibly could go wrong? Despite all of those “good vibrations”, it was a commercial flop reaching but 151 on the Billboard album charts—the group’s worst ever performance.

The album opens with “Slip on Through” a Dennis Wilson song and lead vocal that gets things off to a strong start. That’s followed by Brian’s cosmic, feel-good “This Whole World” that can make a bad day good.

Then comes “Add Some Music to Your Day” , another inspiring tune followed by “Got to Know the Woman”, another strong, syncopated Dennis contribution that almost swaggers, which is a Beach Boys rarity. The “good-timey”, Association-like “Deirdre”, written by Bruce Johnston and Brian Wilson, follows that. The strong side ends with the gospel-y “It’s About Time”.

Side two opens with Bruce Johnston’s waltz “Tears in the Morning” followed by “All I Wanna Do,” a dreamy, reverb-drenched Brian Wilson-Mike Love composition. “Forever” is another gem of a love ballad by Dennis Wilson. “Our Sweet Lover” is another love song-ballad—a string drenched one that continues the album’s pleasing ascent into greeting card heaven—and that’s meant as a compliment.

“At My Window” is a charming, child-like observance of a bird. The closer “Cool, Cool Water” is a short, charming Smiley Smile outtake that ends with a mystical, softly chanted plea underplayed by gently rolling “weather”.

Yes this is soft-rock, middle of the road fluff and that’s probably why in the early 1970’s it failed. Rockers were into way harder “blooze” based stuff, and soft rockers had found new heroes like The Carpenters and Bread. However, in retrospect this is a well-crafted, superbly recorded album that stands up well forty-six years later. And yes, it is one of the few ‘true stereo” (soft) rock records ever recorded. Interestingly, the original was mastered at Artisan where Kevin Gray once worked (though he didn’t master the original). His cut here is far superior to the original in every way.

Surf’s Up (MS 2118)

Yesterday I played for the first time Neil Young’s sprawling three LP ecological epic Earth (Reprise 554514-1) and it delivers the same message/warning about pollution Mike Love and Al Jardine deliver on “Don’t Go Near the Water”, the opener here on The Beach Boys’ seventeenth studio album released in 1971. I wonder what Republican Mike Love thinks now of climate change. Is he a denier? (if you are offended by this get over it. Are you offended by “Don’t Go Near the Water”?)

The cover of Surf’s Up let’s you know this is not a surfing album! It hit #29 on the Billboard album charts, which was a hundred plus better than did Sunflower. The second tune, the powerful “Long Promised Road” by Carl Wilson with words by Jack Rieley is a surprisingly sophisticated look at life’s travails and fits well with Rieley’s managerial direction for the band: bringing them into the counter-cultural milieu necessary to advance the band’s relevance in the “post-surfing”, post adolescent world of the band’s original fans. The lyrics draw heavily upon Van Dyke Park’s wordplay.

“Take a Load Off Your Feet” is a podiatrist’s wet dream song about foot care—literally. A cute Desenex-laden tune. Bruce Johnston’s “Disney Girls (1957) is a nostalgic waltz back through time that wasn’t welcome (by me) in 1972 but today its charms and the passage of forty plus years have won me over. I still don’t know what to make of Mike Love’s re-make of Lieber/Stoller’s “Riot in Cell Block Number 9” originally recorded by The Robins.

Love seems to embrace “winds of change” until they turned to flames. He all but canonizes the Kent State Four, killed by The National Guard, but it hardly achieves the darkness of CSN&Y’s “Four Dead in Ohio” and Love ends by basically saying yes, we’re all fed up with war and racial strife but you’d best stay away next time there’s a riot”. Who can argue with that?

Side two is where Surf’s Up shines. It opens with “Feel Flows” another Wilson/Rieley song that’s the equal of “Long Promised Road” and equally mesmerizing. It’s almost all Carl Wilson, which is impressive, and supposedly includes Charles Lloyd (!) on flute and saxophone. The song’s meaning is somewhat more diffuse than that of “Long Promised Road”.

“Looking at Tomorrow (A Welfare Song)” is a short straightforward and well executed look at poverty and unemployment. The delicately told “A Day in the Life of a Tree” could have been on Neil Young’s new album and unfortunately resonates as well today as in 1971 though since then acid rain has been well dealt with no thanks to the usual cast of knuckle heads who denied it or said fixing it would “cost too much.”

Brian’s “’Til I Die” is one of those late night treasures about life and mortality that induces chills every play (even decades after the first play). The title song finale about rebirth by Brian and Van Dyke Parks is a fitting denouement after the transcendent “’Til I Die”. “Surf’s Up” was supposed to part of the abandoned Smile project. Brian at first refused to re-visit the song. This version includes the original backing track from 1966 with Carl’s new vocal overdub for the first part. Near the end of the album’s completion Brian changed his mind and to complete parts and write new lyrics. However it was cut and pasted together it’s among the best Beach Boys tracks.

. This is another “true stereo” recording mixed to “unfold” in surround sound using Dynaco’s passive box. It worked well. You can get much of the surround information with Dolby Pro-Logic but just plain stereo is a well-mixed, superbly transparent, delicately drawn production.

The original Artisan Sound mastering is masterful and if you have a clean one, you’re all set. This reissue is not quite as transparent but the inner detail resolution is superior as is the bottom end. If I had to guess which album(s) were cut from “best available” as opposed to master tapes, I’d pick this one simply because the top end is not as open and airy. If you don’t have an original you won’t know you’re missing something, and you are getting inner detail and bottom end weight the original lacks.

Holland (MS 2118)

By 1973 when this album was released as the group’s nineteenth studio album, it could be argued that The Beach Boys was a group in name only. Sure brothers Carl and Dennis remained as did Al Jardine and Mike Love but added here are Ricky Fataar and Blondie Chaplin, two South African musicians and former members of The Flames, a band Carl Wilson saw play in London and signed to Brothers Records. The group recorded a Carl Wilson produced album and in 1970 broke up.

When Dennis Wilson injured his hand and was no longer capable of drumming, Fataar joined as drummer as did former The Flames guitarist Blondie Chaplin. Later in his career Fataar was the drummer for The Rutles and was seen in the mockumentary “All You Need is Cash”.

This crew retreated to The Netherlands where for this project a complete high quality custom designed recording studio was flown in from Los Angeles. Now that’s dedication! As with Sunflower, Holland, released in January of 1973, was recorded in true stereo.

The opener, “Sail on Sailor” with music written by Brian, Van Dyke Parks and Tandler Almyn and lyrics by Jack Rieley (who co-wrote lyrics with Carl Wilson for many later Beach Boys tunes and managed the group during the 1970’s) and Ray Kennedy, gets the album off to a stellar start.

The loping tune sounds Stevie Wonder-inspired. It’s a song and production that deserves repeated (endless) plays and never grows stale. In fact, side four of this double LP is devoted to a 45rpm version of the song.

Side three is filled with what came with the original LP as a 45rpm bonus EP containing the Brian Wilson written, produced and performed “Mount Vernon and Fairway (A Fairy Tale)”, a Jack Rieley narrated fairy tale musical about a magical transistor radio that enchants a young prince. Mount Vernon and Fairway was the intersection near Mike Love’s childhood home.

After “Sail on Sailor” comes “Steamboat”, one of Dennis Wilson’s most unusual tunes, with even odder words by Jack Rieley. It’s a slow, meandering “tribute” to steam power, including a shout out to Robert Fulton. It’s an endearing oddity aided by excellent production.

Then comes an odd “California Suite” coupling “Big Sur”, “The Break of The Eagles”, and “California”. It’s a combination ecological drama, history lesson and California glorification, with music and spoken word. The third part, “California” by Al Jardine takes “California Girls”, grafts onto it a western slow gallop rhythm and adds a west coast travelogue. It’s like “Hotel California” minus the darkness and cocaine.

Side two opens with “The Trader,” a continuation of side one’s history lesson with a melody filched from “Feel Flows”. That’s followed by “Leaving This Town”, a Fataar/Chaplin/Carl Wilson/Mike Love song, that wears Stevie Wonder on its sleeve even more than does “Sail on Sailor”. It is a downcast song that concludes with a plea for guidance. This album can only be understood in the context of 1972, which was for many reasons unsettling and a time of decay.

“Only With You” is a cloying Dennis love song followed by the odd closer, “Funky Pretty”, written by Brian, Mike Love and Jack Rieley. It’s an odd love song about a “Pisces Lady” and an appropriate conclusion to an altogether odd album.

I won’t begin to describe Brian’s delightful fairy tale. You’ll have to find it for yourself! However, I have an original white label promo copy of Holland that I got in 1973 and while I’ve played the album many times, I admit to not playing the EP.

The original is a standard jacket with a lyric insert and of course includes the EP. To make this work as a gatefold double LP with inside artwork that includes the EP cover art must have taken some time, effort and expense. It’s been very well done.

As for the sound of this reissue, while side one sounds very good, and beats the original as described in some of the other records covered here, side two sounds as if it was mastered from a later generation source: it’s soft, muffled and pretty mediocre-sounding. I guess this is an example of “best available source”. If I’m wrong I’m sure Kevin Gray will slap me down! So much good reissue work here, I hate to end on a down note.

Conclusion

I have listened through to every one of these Beach Boys reissues, mono and stereo. They were sealed copies and not specially chosen for me. So first off let me tell you that there was only one click on one record. Otherwise there was complete silence and the records were all pressed concentrically.

There’s some really shmucky, nasty stuff on The Steve Hoffman Forums written by bitter wankers about these records and Analogue Productions generally. There are complaints about the pressing quality about the cost of the records and about release time delays.

I’m not sure what these people expect or what they think it costs to license a major catalog like The Beach Boys and see this through, which means locating all of the tapes including perhaps a few alternative tapes to find the best ones and then cut lacquers in mono and stereo and reproduce the artwork as exquisitely and perfectly as has been done by Analogue Productions. In every way possible this Beach Boys reissue series (also available on SACD) is as good as reissues can be.

I guess a Beach Boys fanatic will want it all but if you are looking to pick and choose among the entire reissue project my top recommendations would be these:

1) Surfin’ USA (mono)
2) Surfer Girl (stereo)
3) All Summer Long (stereo)
4) The Beach Boys Today! (mono)
5) Summer Days (and Summer Nights)
6) Pet Sounds (mono)
7) Smiley Smile (mono)
8) Sunflower
9) Surf’s Up

(I encourage you to submit corrections to this long piece!) ]

ARTICLE CONTENTS

COMMENTS
rshak47's picture

Thanks so much for filling in some history I had not known. I bought all of the APO Beach Boys reissues and concur that the quality of the pressings is superb. As for *Beach Boys' Party!* - I find it quite enjoyable - - its cheesiness is quite charming.

Grant M's picture

In the review of the first batch of reissues, "For those who are not massive Beach Boy fans but who wish to add to their collections a few of their early albums, I’d recommend the mono version of Surfin’USA and the stereo version of Surfer Girl". Now at the end of this review, Michael is recommending the stereo version of Surfin' USA. Did you change your mind?

Thanks for all the work on these reviews, the only title I disagree with Michael on is Pet Sounds mono, which I found to be just awful sounding, completely lifeless with boomy bass, a strange combination. I bit the bullet and also bought the Stereo, and it's just so much better it's difficult to describe how disappointing the mono is on contrast. So much so I remain curious as to what others are hearing in the mono that i am not. One of life's mysteries i suppose.

i'm also a big fan of AP, and happily support many of Chad's releases, keep 'em coming!

Michael Fremer's picture
I didn't go back and read what I wrote back then and made an incorrect assumption that I will change. However if the Pet Sounds mono sounds boomy on your system I have to blame something about your system (sorry, I know that's like criticizing one's mate) where it can't handle the huge amount of low bass information....perhaps I should post a track and then you can decide if it's your front end, or if it sounds boomy still, it would be the rest of the system because here it sounds amazing. Deep, powerful and very well controlled....
Grant M's picture

I'm sure various vinyl playback systems (and rooms) are going to make a difference. My Rega RP-8/apheta/aria phono stage/Brio-R with Royd Abbot speakers aren't in the league of many people's system, but most quality vinyl sounds pretty darn good. The overall impression of the Stereo Pet Sounds is just in another league to my ears, obviously YMMV.

Michael Bear Arlt's picture

I agree with the above poster, the new reissue of Pet Sounds is kind of on the muddy side. As you may know, the mono (west coast) mastertape has been missing since the mid-90's and the east coast copytape was used on the reissue. That explains why the DCC issue sounds so good. AP should have used the tape that Carl Wilson prepared for the 1972 reissue that was used for the Pet Sounds 50th anniversary set which sounds helluva lot etter.

AnalogJ's picture

A couple things-

One, on your top 10 list, you list Today! (mono) twice.

Secondly, in your Monday vinyl radio show, you mention a slight suckout EQ in these reissues, though you suspect that the EQ may exist on the masters. My originals tend to present vocals with a fuller body and more up front. The reissues present the vocals deeper in the soundstage. I'm wondering if there is a slight recess in the midrange that a bit of reverse EQing might have helped.

Michael Fremer's picture
I think the originals are more "midrange-y" too but not sure if that's because they tend to be leaner in the mid bass and fuller in the deep bass and somewhat brighter (in a good way) on top....
jblackhall's picture

You should definitely post a track (regardless of the reason!)

soundman45's picture

Michael, I wonder if it would be fair to say that the new digital mixes were captured to DSD, not PCM?

Pretzel Logic's picture

Would really like to know why this title isn't part of the series. What a disappointment!

Michael Bear Arlt's picture

I'm also disappointed that Wild Honey wasn't part of the series, it would have been a better pick than Beach Boys Party. I'm hoping that either Audio Fidelity will finish off the series with Wild Honey, Friends, and 20/20. I have all the discs starting with Shut Down Vol.2 up to Holland, the only disappointment is the murky sounding Holland. My hat is off to AP for giving us fans the ultimate Beach Boys reissue series.

Moodeez1's picture

I wouldn't buy one of these selections because you could fit all of the noteworthy Beach Boys tunes on a double LP. I can't see one album here that isn't mostly filler. It's no wonder younger people aren't embracing the high end and audiophile vinyl.

Michael Fremer's picture
But I can't agree. Especially "Pet Sounds" and "Sunflower" and "Surf's Up" and a few others.
Moodeez1's picture

I just feel there are many other artists SO much more deserving of a catalog makeover than these guys. Of their entire recorded output, they have (maybe) one "must have" album.

azmoon's picture

is not what everyone thinks. This is a great reissue series by AP. And I am bot a BB fanatic....or wasn't until I heard these new LPs!

cdlp4578's picture

I have the same opinion about the Beach Boys' music, but in my opinion they are probably more deserving of a catalog makeover than most.

There isn't any doubt that Brian Wilson tried to make good sounding records. There also isn't any doubt that - at the time of the original releases - the overwhelming market for their music was teenagers who didn't have high fidelity equipment. At the rates most of these records were selling, you can't even blame Capitol at the time for serving the Beach Boys' market as job #1.

I'm not a Beach Boys' fan but I do have the DCC Pet Sounds which didn't win me over. And I picked up the Good Vibrations 78 which at least did prove to me that there was a lot of production care that should be preserved before its too late to do so. It may sound morbid, but time is running out - on the life of the source tapes and the original producer. Kudos to AP for getting this done because if it were left to UMe alone it would not be done with as much care.

sandyu's picture

Sorry, but cdlp4578 is just flat out wrong when he says, “There also isn’t any doubt that - at the time of the original releases - the overwhelming market for their music was teenagers who didn’t have high fidelity equipment.”

In fact, Mikey has neglected — or forgotten! — to mention that “Surf’s Up” was a “4-channel” (or “quadraphonic”) release, intended for listening using four (identical) speakers: The “front” pair was wired normally, but the “rear” pair was wired with the “ground” (black) terminals connected and only the left and right channels coming from the amp. The intended effect puts you in the middle of the band, not in a concert hall with a a naturally accoustic reverb. (Another “4-channel release: “Illuminations” by Buffy Ste.-Marie.)

In fact, “quadraphonic”/“4-channel” was the very latest thing in audio. Electro-Voice, a speaker manufacturer, made a special 4-ch. decoder, which you might find today on Ebay, if you look for awhile. Dynaco also made a decoder.

Also, I believe I can shed some light on “There’s A Riot Going On.” Because those shot at Kent State weren’t protesting, they were just walking by, Mike Love isn’t claiming they were saints, Mikey, he was warning that nobody’s safe unless you’re far, far away from any “peace” protest. (Or any protest at all.) No Guardsmen were charged in the killings, just students.

And one week after that, two students were killed by city and state police at Jackson State: Every window in the dormitory was shot out in the middle of the night. This time, nobody was even charged.

The song was, at the time, more controversial than it would be today to say, “Refuse to attend public protests, no matter what the cause or peaceful intent,” because there was, in those days, no other way to publicly object to a war with 500,000 troops involved, or to racial injustice (“civil rights”) government-enforced policies: The Web didn’t exist, and there were no cellphones or even desktop publishing to paper.

Basically, Love was telling us: Stay home and stick to meditation to cure the world’s social ills. And I can’t say his message was well-received at the time. (Nor, arguably, should it have been! Even today I thank God for Pussy Riot and other artists, like Neil Young, with the courage to speak out!!)

Respectfully,

Sandy Untermyer

SimonH's picture

Well every one is entitled to thier opinion but personally I think they are all great - a fantastic set from AP that is up there with the best re-issue series ever.

And when you listen to them you will realise what masterpieces they were.

Would love to see Wild Honey, Friends, 20/20 and Carl and the Passions added.

howardk's picture

Mike, did you ever review the stereo Pet Sounds AP reissue? I don't recall ever seeing it.

Michael Fremer's picture
I think I reference it in the mono review
polar boy's picture

Any idea as to the providence of the source for this release

https://www.amazon.ca/Vibrations-Anniversary-Limited-Sunburst-Vinyl/dp/B...

Good Vibrations (50th Anniversary Limited Edition 12" Sunburst Vinyl EP)

pconley2's picture

Michael, thank you for the yeoman's work of writing this, I know, listening to all of this is a dirty job, but someone has to do it. I am a huge Beach Boy fan and have several copies of their most important albums and almost all of their "regular" albums. IMHO, the only reason that the Beach Boys are not talked about with the same reverence that the Beatles are is that they (Brian) was late in understanding Albums rather than Singles, which the Beatles knew from the beginning. Although there are songs on Beatle albums that are more or less interesting, they would never have released a song like "Bugged at my old man" or "Sonny Wilson versus Mike Clay" (or whatever that terrible song was called). Given that Brian had to be some combination of John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Martin (including writing the orchestral arrangements), the output they had and the staggering song quality they created is amazing. And anyone who had the chance to hear the Beach Boys in concert in the early and mid-70s got to hear an amazing live band, with an enormously deep catalog that could get people dancing and keep them on their feet for hours. I am really happy to have these new albums (expensive as they are) as they give complete analog versions of what I think are definitive four great artists of the 60s. With the analog Beatles from a few years ago, the Mofi 45rpm Dylan catalog, all we need know is definitive versions of the great Stones albums and we are set.
Phil

Lothar's picture

I think it is absolutely fantastic AP has reissued these Beach Boys albums. The ones I have are uniformly great and I believe are much better than the original '60s Capitol presses.

While I'm not going to argue with Michael's top recommendations, I'll add some notes of my own.

If you're the kind of fan I am (not obsessed, but huge fan since 1970 or so), you deserve to hear Surfin' USA in stereo. Yes, there's some hard panning on some of the vocal cuts that suggests they were meant to be mono, but the stereo (as always) gets you closer to the voices, especially Brian Wilson's angelic falsetto on Farmer's Daughter, Lonely Sea and Lana. Those and Finders Keepers are the vocal tracks with the worst stereo panning. Surfin' USA and Shut Down sound pretty good to my ears in stereo. I those employed doubt tracked vocals...

But the main reason I prefer the Surfin' USA album in stereo is the real surf music part -- the instros. The tone and clarity of the guitars is so cool in stereo. Man I love it.

While I agree with The Beach Boys Today! in mono being the one to have if you only have one, boy do I ever love the newly created stereo mix! It makes listening to the album a new experience. I really think The Beach Boys were meant to be heard in stereo for all the beautiful choral effect the doubled vocals created. Sure, there are some compromises you hear in the stereo over the mono, but the stereo edition is getting a lot of play at my house.

Smiley Smile is another one where the newly created stereo mix really does wonders for the listening experience IMO. Frankly, I've never liked the album much. The original Capitol mono kinda stunk, as did every reissue I ever heard until the '80s Capitol "Mastered By Capitol" green label mono reissue, which brought it up to "OK" sometimes. But the AP stereo reissue just stands out to my ears. It reduces that compressed, tinny sound in the original mono mix, opens it up and makes the album far more enjoyable on better equipment. I have to give it a serious thumbs up!

I'm also a fan of the AP stereo Pet Sounds, but again, if you're only going to get one, get the mono.

Summer Days (and Summer Nights!) isn't an improvement in stereo IMO. It seems like the stereo image is pretty narrow so there isn't as much to be gained from it as the others I've mentioned.

I haven't heard the AP Sunflower or Surf's Up. I haven't been hugely interested -- I have NM originals, but I love the music so ... hmm...

Lothar's picture

One last thing -- The Beach Boys Party! I'm sure AP did a wonderful job on this, but I went for The Beach Boys Party - Unplugged issue by Capitol. While it won't be up to the wonderful AP remastering standard, I've been wanted the 'party' noise stripped off this recording for decades and finally I got it. Makes for a better record IMO. I may still end up getting the AP at some point, but it's not a priority just now.

MGM Audio's picture

This is the only Analog Productions’ album I’ve bought and I’m highly delighted.
I bought the original LP in the early ‘70s and stupidly sold it some time later.
Aural memory can be distorted by time, but not with this album.
With higher quality playback equipment it sounds so much better than the original.
AP are to be congratulated on this re-issue.
Perhaps I will be tempted by other titles in the BB catalogue...

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