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Party/Stack-O-Tracks Extra tracks, Import, Original recording remastered

4.0 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Extra tracks, Import, April 10, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Their 1965 live-in-the-studio release coupled with their slightly bizarre 1968 karaoke album, with bonus tracks Help Me, Rhonda; California Girls, and Our Car Club. 30 cuts!

Party! and Stack-o-Tracks are two of the most unusual conceptions of the Beach Boys' Capitol era. After scoring two hit albums and the smash singles "Help Me Rhonda" and "California Girls" in '65, the Beach Boys' label seemed insatiable. So, literally on the brink of recording Pet Sounds, Brian Wilson and company retreated into a studio for a few nights with little more than some acoustic guitars, a couple bongos, and their spectacular voices. Perhaps taking its cue from Trini Lopez's "If I Had a Hammer" and the early "live" recordings of Johnny Rivers, Party! presented what seemed a spontaneous performance of a few band chestnuts, three cuts by archrivals the Beatles, some telling oldies, and even Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin,'" even if the "party" was actually a track of laughter and small talk dubbed in later. Ironically, the album also produced one of the band's last big chart hits, their lively cover of the Regents' "Barbara Ann."

The Beach Boys' plummeting post-Pet Sounds fortunes again inspired Capitol to try and cash in on the band's feel-good hits, releasing Stack-o-Tracks, what was effectively an interactive album: the instrumental tracks of several key hits and album cuts were presented sans vocals (and originally packaged with music, chord charts, and lyrics), allowing fans to sing along. Unfortunately, few in the turbulent summer of '68 were interested in harmonizing to "Catch a Wave" and the album failed to chart. But to hardcore fans it remains a rare window into Brian's remarkable prowess in the studio. This digitally remastered edition features three great new backing track bonus cuts: "Help Me, Rhonda," the still spectacular "California Girls," and "Our Car Club." This long out-of-print twofer package also includes notes from Brian on both albums, as well as the insightful analysis of Beach Boys and the California Myth author David Leaf. --Jerry McCulley

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Hully Gully
  2. I Should Have Known Better
  3. Tell Me Why
  4. Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow
  5. Mountain Of Love
  6. You've Got To Hide Your Love Away
  7. Devoted To You
  8. Alley Oop
  9. There's No Other (Like My Baby)
  10. Medley: I Get Around/Little Deuce Coup
  11. The Times They Are A-Changin'
  12. Barbara Ann
  13. Darlin'
  14. Salt Lake City
  15. Sloop John B
  16. In My Room
  17. Catch A Wave
  18. Wild Honey
  19. Little Saint Nick
  20. Do It Again
  21. Wouldn't It Be Nice
  22. God Only Knows
  23. Surfer Girl
  24. Little Honda
  25. Here Today
  26. You're So Good To Me
  27. Let Him Run Wild
  28. Help Me Rhonda
  29. California Girls
  30. Our Car Club

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 10, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks, Import, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Imports
  • ASIN: B00005ABWZ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,556 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The "Party" album is a lot of fun, especially if you already know the cover songs before hearing the Beach Boys tackle them at this "party." My favorite is "Mountain of Love" which Johnny Rivers had a big hit with. It's really funny when the other party-goers come in with the backing vocals and Mike Love sort of laughs. The finale to "Barbara Ann" also sticks out in my mind, it's really zany. My one caveat is that it's not in STEREO. Why the heck did Murray have to beat Brian over the head and make him deaf in one ear?
As for "Stack o' Tracks", that's for big fans only - like me. I really enjoyed it because you don't realize how much stuff is going on with all those dense instrumental tracks. The only thing is, they did a ratty job with the tracks. I'm not sure that "Little Honda" is the correct take. I'm not hearing some familiar drum fills at the end. Other songs fade out early. And half of the backing tracks aren't in stereo. However, I'm so glad they tacked on "California Girls" and "Help Me Rhonda" as bonus tracks. One thing though, the 12-string guitar solo for "Help Me, Rhonda" is missing!!!
On a final mixing note, what with the success of the "Pet Sounds" box set and STEREO REMIX, they really ought to release more Beach Boys songs such as "Good Vibrations" and "Heroes And Villains" in stereo for the first time. Some people have been waiting for 30+ years to hear it. To hear it now, you either you have to do synch mixes or else buy bootlegs!!
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Format: Audio CD
In late 1965, Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys was working on his masterpiece, Pet Sounds. Capitol Records was pressuring him for a new Beach Boys album in time for Christmas, but Brian wasn't about to rush to finish Pet Sounds. So, a compromise of sorts was reached. The Beach Boys went into the recording studio and quickly banged out the Party album. It features the boys playing acoustic instruments and singing cover versions of some of their favorite songs. No new songs were written for the album. The performances are pretty sloppy, with forgotten lyrics, missed notes and lots of clowning around. The band's wives, girlfriends, relatives and friends were brought in to hang out and talk in the background, to make it sound like a real party was going on. In fact, friend of the band Dean Torrence shares lead vocals with Brian on the hit "Barbara Ann". It's a fun album, but not really one of the band's best.

Stack-O-Tracks featured just the instrumental tracks to 15 Beach Boys songs. That's right, a Beach Boys album without the Beach Boys on it! Well, I suppose that's not technically true, because they did play some of the instruments on their albums, but most of the instruments were played by session musicians. Anyway, hearing just the instruments theoretically allows Beach Boys fans to study how Brian Wilson put together the backing tracks to some of the bands classic songs. It's somewhat interesting to hear, but the songs definitely sound better with the vocals. The CD adds three bonus track instrumental backgrounds, the hits "Help Me Rhonda" and "California Girls", and the obscure "Our Car Club".
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Format: Audio CD
This is one of the stranger Beach Boys CDs--- which is saying a lot.
It combines "Beach Boys Party" which is a self-mocking unplugged type album with "Stack O Tracks" which is a collection of instrumental tracks of familiar hits from "Pet Sounds" and earlier.
The "Party" album includes a lot of annoying background chatter, clapping, etc., allegedly added after the original sessions. It would be nice if the Beach Boys could reissue the original tracks someday without the background noise. But it's an interesting album anyway, featuring the guys with all acoustic instruments aside from a bass guitar. It includes the hit single "Baba Ram"---errr, I mean "Babara Ann".
It is unsettling hearing the familiar tracks on "Stack O Tracks" without the lushly layered vocals. A lot of the songs sound remarkably different: e.g., "Our Car Club" sounds like the theme from a Quintin Tarantino film without the vocals, and "Surfer Girl" sounds like the slow movement of a Bach cantata. "Stack O Tracks" was the first album with Bruce Johnston included in the band photos, although as far as I know he didn't play any of the instruments. But (aside from a couple of older tunes) the other Beach Boys, aside from Brian, didn't play any of the instruments on these tracks either.
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Format: Audio CD
These two discs have to be the oddest twins in the Beach Boys catalogue, so it seems appropriate that they are packaged together.
The first album, "Beach Boy's Party," is the first Unplugged album ever recorded. Yes, the Beach Boys were the first group to ever record such an album. This album was a quickie to cover the gap made by the intense studio work of "Pet Sounds," but, knowing this, you see the off-hand brilliance of the whole group. This disc is a monument to their abilities as entertainers. All of the tracks are unrehearsed. Everything is spontaneous. And throughout it all, is good, clean musical fun.
All the tracks are covers, or acoustic versions of the Beach Boys Classics. And, yes, you did read the label right, those are three Beatles songs. It is quite the ear candy to hear these Lennon-McCartney classics done in quartet and quintet over an acoustic guitar and bongos.
There are a couple of oldies, like "Alley Oop," and "Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow," which was one of their concert staples. We see the hippie in Al Jardine come out as he sings "These Times Are A Changing."
The two best tracks are "Barbara Ann," which was an accident since Jan and Dean happened to be in the studio, and they had some tape left. It is quite appropriate since Brian Wilson gave them their (and possibly the Beach Boys') first number one hit, "Surf City."
The second track is the sweet "Devoted to You," which I wish they had played in their concerts.
This is a fun album. You hear Mike Love's concert nonsense and sophomoric banter better than any of their three concert albums. You also have the weird background noise that gives this disc a nightclub feel. All of the performances are spontaneous, and the weird Wilson humor comes out in the self-defacing version of "I Get Around.
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