Will be moving some older BB posts and threads into here.
ok kind of a niche/nerding out thing but whatevs
there's a contingent of freaks who swear The Beach Boys in Mono is better - this can be sorta kinda true in some very rare cases - there's certain sounds (e.g. the first snare in Wouldn't It Be Nice) that pack a punch that isn't quite the same on the stereo version, and there's some songs where the elements in the true stereo mixes (mostly made by Mark Linett and Co. in the 90's - present, before then the stereo mixes weren't true stereo) are a little too spaced out. Not Beatles bad, but still a bit too spaced out for my liking, a good example being Caroline No. Despite these issues, I'm still 100% on Team Stereo in spite of the nerds who think Mono is better. The stereo mixes are like taking a thick blanket off a speaker. The songs have a depth and clarity that is just non-existent on the thumpy, hollow mono versions, and I prefer the stereo equivalents 99% of the time. However, I still have to admit these issues, which I largely ascribe to Mark Linnett and not stereo as a medium.
A minor example of the latter issue is California Girls, which is maybe my favorite BB song pre-Pet Sounds. It's not as bad, but is still kinda noticeable. But the big issue with this stereo mix that has just never been addressed is that the vocals are out sync with the instrumental (listen below)
Do you hear that? Because I sure do, and it's beyond irksome, because even though they're pretty fucking out of time, it's not such a deal breaker that it overshadows how great the rest of the mix is, but it comes very close. Staggeringly enough, there have been like four or five stereo remasters of this song since the first true stereo mix from 1998.
That said, someone has finally made a mix where the vocals are synced properly. I still wouldn't call it perfect by any means, I'd even argue the vocals are a little too perfectly timed, and YT's audio compression has turned the audio quality a good bit muddier, but it's fixed the most niggling issue I have with all existing stereo mixes, and it's beyond satisfying to hear it finally be in time, especially the second verse, which had the worst timing issues IMO, even if, as I said, it still isn't perfect.
Not really a fan of them but nice write up
it's etching in the boomer rock canon has done such a disservice to Pet Sounds IMO. people forget this, but until like, the 90's, it was mostly regarded as a curio and a minor cult classic.
After 1974, Pet Sounds went out-of-print. In Granata's description, the album subsequently "fell into obscurity" and was "relegated to the cutout bins" for decades. Sociomusicologist Simon Frith wrote in 1981 that Pet Sounds continued to be largely regarded by "the music world" as a "'weird' record".
Pet Sounds was such a left turn for the band in every way, and the band's popularity cratered not long after it came out, so even for music fans, the surf stuff was all people knew for years. That enshrinement in the canon has funnily enough obscured the fact that it, and the direction that the band would go in past that point, was so different from pretty much anything else in pop, which was teetering towards pure psychedelia and then the more commercialized offshoots of that in the form of awful bubblegum pop.
Even though it's technically not 100% possible, I would kill for a proper stereo version of Smile. This guy has taken an admirable swing at it.