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Stack-A-Tracks

4.6 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Omnivoire
  • ASIN: B009PSG6LK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #358,277 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Stuart Jefferson TOP 100 REVIEWER on April 3, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
"I wanted records three, four, and five to be "Spilt Milk" times 10." Roger Manning on the breakup of JELLYFISH.

Having gone to college in the Bay Area in the late 60's/early 70's, that's the music I identify with. That era from somewhere starting in the 1960's and into the 1970's was (is) the period of music I like best. It seemed that with each passing year (and decade) I heard less of what I listen for in music. And by the 1990's, thanks to my age and the then current musical styles, I heard even less I liked when compared to the 60's. But then along came JELLYFISH. Their first album, "Bellybutton", seemed to fit in with my musical likes. And with "Spilt Milk", they proved they weren't a "one album" band. Yes I know, they had that retro vibe from the period I like. But underneath all that they were truly a good band. In the studio they played real instruments or hired players for certain sounds/arrangements they wanted. Even sound effects were done live-they actually broke a large mirror in the studio because they wanted to use the sound it made-instead of using a prerecorded sound effect. And live they proved they were exciting to hear in person.

And that brings me to this set. It's the basic instrumental tracks as originally laid down by the band all those years ago-no tinkering. Who would think that both albums-shorn of vocals-would be such an interesting and entertaining listen? And could stand on their own? With (virtually) no vocals to concentrate on, so much more of the music-the arrangements and the actual sounds of the instruments-is brought into the clear light of day. There's nothing that will really hit you over the head-it's the subtleties that make for great listening-like the guitar that begins "Russian Hill".
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I suppose you have to be a fan -- or a musician -- to want the instrumental versions of albums that are known for their great vocal harmonies. Newbies to Jellyfish, then, probably shouldn't start with this one. But it's genius anyway. The songs are so beautifully arranged and played, but when listening to the originals, the great vocals distract you from noticing what's going on in the background. Here you can hear it all, bright and clear, and the details you never noticed will jump out at you -- the organ in the "into battle" part of "The Man I Used To Be," the chiming bell sounds in the middle eight of "Glutton of Sympathy," the banjo (I think) in the chorus near the end of "The Ghost at Number One." If you love Jellyfish, there's no question. You want this.
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Format: Audio CD
I'll try to be coherent because I'm inclined to jabber on with gut reactions, ranging from "oh my god," to "genius stuff" to "can you BELIEVE this?!" etc.

These guys made two of greatest albums of the last 20 years or so, each song brimming with more melodic ingenuity, vocal and instrumental chops, and songwriting and arranging craftsmanship than most bands achieve over the course of 10 or 20-year careers. So what could be better than this collection of instrumental backing tracks, allowing us to listen into the mix and to hear in all their glory these insanely great recordings.

Bellybutton and Spilt Milk contain some of the most memorable, catchy, hook intensive post-Beatles pop/rock on the planet. For those who have not had the pleasure, get those records and brace yourself. For those of you who already know how great these albums are, here's your chance to hear them in a whole new light. What a gift for Jellyfish fans!
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Format: Audio CD
Jellyfish released only two albums during their brief lifetime. "Stack-A-Tracks" features both of those albums without lead vocals (backing vocals are left intact for some tracks). Since the band's songs were filled with catchy hooks and great melodies, they were essential listening for fans of power pop. The question is whether or not "Stack-A-Tracks" which is being released for Black Friday/Record Day for 2012 is worthwhile without the vocals and whether or not the songs stand on their own as primarily musical vehicles.

Yes and yes. Why four stars? There are a couple of tracks here and there that really needed the vocals to make them shine. Most of the music stands well on its own although I'm a bit partial to the first album vs. the second personally. A pity that there aren't any incomplete/alternate mixes included but that's a minor quibble given that we can get this release "offically" when it was only available as a bootleg for the last decade.

The first disc includes all of their debut Bellybutton. This allows fans to hear all the detailed playing that provided the backbone for the songs. The second disc includes all of Spilt Milk. The CDs are packaged in a gatefold cardboard sleeve. Each is embossed with a number on the back (this is limited to 2500 or 2000 copies the offical Omnivore website had BOTH numbers listed)and my only complaint with this set is that mine set, for example, ended up with some minor surface scratches after CAREFULLY pulling them out (I suspect they sustained them when they were either put in or from moving around inside the packaging).
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