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Pet Sounds [Stereo LP]
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Pet Sounds 40th Anniversary Stereo Digital
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Audio CD, Extra tracks, Original recording reissued, February 5, 2001
Blu-ray Audio, Import, February 4, 2014
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The Beach Boys' iconic 1966 album, Pet Sounds, is universally hailed as one of popular music's most important recordings of all time. May 16, 2016 marks the acclaimed album's 50th anniversary.180gram heavyweight black vinyl LP reissue of `Pet Sounds' remastered in Stereo with faithfully replicated original artwork.
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Many think that the stereo version of "Pet Sounds" is inferior to the mono version. To me, the stereo version is also a revelation. I've had the stereo and mono versions on CD for several years now and both are amazing. In my opinion, this is on-par with an MSFL recording. It's that clean. It's like listening to a totally different recording than the mono. The mono version sounds so good for nostalgic reasons... it's classic. The songs sound like the way they were originally heard by most people on the radio or an old record player.
The stereo version is like a piece of art. It sounds absolutely HUGE, bright and alive...you are submersed into it.
Both versions are so brilliant. Listen with and without headphones. A good pair of cans will really bring out the depth.
I believe this is pressed on 200g vinyl. Feels significantly heftier than 180g.
"Pet Sounds" is simply a watershed moment in album-oriented music.
This is the must-have reissue LP of the year.
I bought this pressing three times, two times from local stores (one mono and one stereo) and the latest time on Amazon (stereo).
Every record I got had absolutely horrendous sound quality (vocals sounded screechy, bass was muddy, pops everywhere,etc.) and had numerous visible defects, with the Amazon one being warped.
It may be that I've run into a ridiculously unlikely situation, but I'm not giving this pressing a 4th chance. I instead decided to order a 200g record from Analog Productions with the hope that I'm just not cursed .
At least I had a laugh out of it: I was unfamiliar with some of the songs on this album, but I knew it was recognized as an album for being a "concept album," etc. So when it skipped I thought for a little bit "Oh, this is their 'experimental' part!" I kept washing dishes. 5 mins later I realized I was still listening to the same 5 seconds of music and realized it wasn't experimental haha
I've noticed this with ALL vinyl reissues from the UMe empire. In the last few years I've had the same issues with their reissues of: REM, Velvet Underground, Elvis Costello, Nico. Multiple titles by most. OK. I get it. If it's on UMe I won't bother any more. Obviously they don't care about making a decent product. It shouldn't be so difficult.
I'm in my 50s and have been buying LPs since I was a kid in the 70s and have never seen such frequent poor quality from one particular label. It's like they deliberately mistreat the LPs during manufacture and packaging. If I could regularly get great pressings, even on indie labels, in the 90s and 00s for $10- $15, why would I pay over $20 for such a shoddy product? This label should be ashamed of it's product and the artists on it should switch to a label that gives a ****.
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Even now, after playing it quite frequently for the past few months, I can still understand why Pet Sounds may rub people the wrong way. It does not have any specific style and instead chooses to utilises many different sounds, some fairly normal for the time and others that are quite unusual. Fans of the band will be quick to point out the fan favourite tracks like the opening, Wouldn't It Be Nice, Sloop John B and of course God Only Knows. Three stand out songs and for a very good reason.
The album as a whole is an interesting muddled mess of psychedelia and '60s pop. It is very progressive in a way and strange in so many ways. It is too soft to be a rock album, it's too complex for a pop album and the concept is so elaborate that it should by all means put off people from both sides of the fence. But for whatever reason, it works beautifully. It just takes a little time to appreciate.
The copy of the album I own presents the album its original mono as well as a more recent stereo mix. The original sound is very warm, has a traditional '60s production and fits in perfectly with the rest of The Beach Boys catalogue. You could argue that it's exactly how the album should sound and should always be played that way. However, I have grown to appreciate the stereo mix just as much. Where the mono provides us with how it should sound, the stereo gives us an interesting alternative. By separating the tracks and hearing them with a lot of space between each instrument, it's fascinating. It lets you hear a lot of details that can be easily missed in the original print.
I'm not going to pretend that I understand the concept behind the album. But I can say that after many years of listening to it, I finally understand why people love this record so much. It was an extremely daring project by the standards set in the '60s and is an album that has very rarely been matched on a technical and creative scale.
Pet Sounds is worth a purchase, no questions asked. It may seem a bit strange at first, but put on a pair of headphones and listen to the details. I would happily bet that you'll always find something new with every listen.
So what do I have now?
The mono mix of the album on cd1 is different from the previously released ones because now they have found a “superb mono master from 1972, originally supervised by Carl Wilson”. Does it give me a new listening experience? Not really! The instruments stay far behind the vocals (and maybe even more so then before … or it’s been a while to remember). A good thing is that we can listen to the instrumental album on cd2 (when you buy the box set you have these instrumentals also but they are spread across cd2 and 3). Wonderful, sometimes complex, arrangements.
Cd2 ends with live recordings (all previously unreleased). The main reason I bought the album again. 4 times “God Only Knows”, 2 times “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” and “Sloop John B” and 1 time “Good Vibrations”, “Caroline No” and “You Still Believe In Me”. Couldn’t they find live recordings of other Pet Sound songs? We blame marketing strategy again! But we can compare what we have. My opinion is that the 80’s and 90’s versions are the best. Probably because the recording equipment was much better so the sound quality is warmer but also because they have some nice arrangements. Especially the “Sloop John B” Universal Studios version from 1989. Brian Wilson is clearly audible although, in that time, already working apart from The Beach Boys.
I read Capitol Records will release a 50th anniversary edition of “Good Vibrations” somewhere in the fall. Maybe thanks to marketing strategy “Good Vibrations: master track with partial vocals” will be on it!
I wait for a decent quality blu- ray release.
God only knows and Wouldn't it be nice are not just the hits of the album but probably the most complete and resolved songs, while the rest is quite experimental.
It must bought along with Smiley Smile and all the stuff they made in the second half of their career (late sixties).
It contains a lot of ideas, tests, rehearsal and mixed sounds that partially anticipate and follow Beatles' mature era but also sound like a flowing collection of music.
More than an album made of songs, Pet Sounds is a big bag full of music
Overall liked the album but not that much, although good to have in my collection after all these years.
It's very much the sound of the 60s as that is its era, but it's none the worse for that. A great memento of how songs were put together in those days, and a tribute to Brian Wilson on his far-sightedness in making this record.
The Beatles Revolver came out and this spurred Wilson on to write this fine masterpiece and very innovative for the time.... ALL tracks are first class..i dont think thee is ever a "dud" track on ANY of their albums...you get Quality rather than QUANTITY with these guys...a 5 Star Album indeed...
Through their music Carl and Dennis will live on...RIP Boys x
Some of the well know tracks 'Sloop John B', 'God Only Knows' & 'Wouldn't Be Nice' make great demo tracks, to show off your HiFi in surround sound mode.
If you like the Beach Boys, recommended.