The ultimate pressings of the Beach Boys discography from Analogue Productions!
Original stereo mixes created in 1963 under Brian Wilson's supervision
One of 10 titles featuring 33 1/3 mono and stereo remastered editions: Surfin' USA, Surfer Girl, Little Deuce Coupe, Shut Down Vol. 2, All Summer Long, Today!, Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!), Beach Boys Party!, Pet Sounds and Smiley Smile
Audio production — Mark Linett
For Brother Records — Elliott Lott
Mastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio, most from the original master tapes or best sources available
Lacquer plating by Gary Salstrom and 200-gram vinyl pressing by Quality Record Pressings!
"These are the best sounding and best-looking versions of the Beach Boys records that have ever been produced. We want everything about these to be better than the original." — Chad Kassem, owner and CEO, Acoustic Sounds
"These reissues restore whatever was really on the tapes — and given who was involved and where they were recorded, you can be sure the bass heard on these reissues was not added by Kevin Gray. ... As for the quality of these reissues, it's quite clear that, whether or not you like the sonic results, Analogue Productions sets the reissue standard. The company insists upon using analog master tapes (where available), not analog copies, it uses the best available artwork, and packages in 'Tip-on'TM jackets. It masters where the tapes are located using Kevin Gray in California, Ryan K. Smith in New York and Willem Makkee in Germany." — Michael Fremer,AnalogPlanet.com
"Listening to the stereo version, I was struck by the separation, the wide soundscape, the detail, and the depth; I could imagine the voices filling a cathedral. ... The rich blending of the vocal harmonies on the stereo versions of 'Surfer Girl,' 'The Warmth of the Sun,' 'In My Room,' and other songs is praiseworthy ... the voices envelop you in a three-dimensional soundscape that can be mesmerizing." — Jeff Wilson, The Absolute Sound, October 2015
"What I can say is that Kevin Gray has been able to extract every last bit of information from whatever tape is in the box, and present it in a way that is pleasing and natural to the ear. ... in my opinion, the Analogue Productions pressings are now THE definitive issue of each Beach Boys album, and will be my reference copies until if and when something better comes along — which may be never." — Lee Dempsey, Endless Summer Quarterly, Summer 2015 Edition
"Here you have a choice between mono and stereo versions. I think the mono version has it all over the stereo version, which, while not hard left/right like early Beatles albums, still sounds as if the intent was to combine the elements to create a mono mix. The mono mix holds together far better in every way — particularly the way in which Dennis's drums are mixed and in the vocal integrity. ... Both the mono and stereo reissues sound open, transparent and full frequency." — Michael Fremer, AnalogPlanet.com. Read the whole review here.
A musical legacy that began in Hawthorne, California and went on to conquer the world. Analogue Productions presents the ultimate pressings of 14 essential Beach Boys albums! Mastered by Kevin Gray, most from the original master tapes, and plated and pressed by Quality Record Pressings, the finest LP pressing facility in the world, these are awesome recordings to experience. And the look of each album befits its sonic superiority! Presented in "old school" Stoughton tip-on jackets, these time honored favorites shine brighter than the originals!
Surfin' USA was the Beach Boys' real breakthough album, showing Brian Wilson asserting himself in the studio as both a premier songwriter and arranger on a set of material that was stronger than their Surfin' Safari debut.
Apart from Surfin' Safari, which was mono only, the Beach Boys did turn in stereo masters on all of their early albums up until 1965. The Beach Boys Today! was the first LP for which they only delivered a mono master.
The stereo editions of Surfin' USA, Surfer Girl, Little Deuce Coupe, Shut Down Vol. 2, All Summer Long, Beach Boys Christmas Album and Beach Boys Concert were all mixed in stereo by their own preferred engineer, Chuck Britz, ostensibly under the group's supervision.
"Brian may or may not have been present for those mixing sessions — evidence suggests that he trusted Chuck's skills enough to let him prepare those mixes on his own — but the group held onto their multitrack tapes and delivered stereo masters to Capitol, rather than allowing Capitol to prepare their own stereo versions. Later, when Brian was only delivering mono masters, Capitol would prepare the Duophonic pseudo stereo editions for the stereo market," says Alan Boyd, producer and Beach Boys' archivist.
The Beach Boys' practice of double-tracking their vocals really lends itself to stereo mixes. Split left and right, as they are on a lot of those early stereo versions, those doubled vocal parts can really envelop the listener, surrounding them with Wilsons, Loves and Jardines!
All of the newer stereo mixes on these remastered albums (The Beach Boys Today!, Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!), The Beach Boys' Party, Pet Sounds and Smiley Smile) were done by Mark Linett on behalf of the Beach Boys.
Besides the hit title track on Surfin' USA and its popular drag-racing flip side ("Shut Down"), AllMusic.com notes thatSurfin' USA has a lovely, heartbreaking ballad ("Lonely Sea") and a couple of strong Brian Wilson originals ("The Noble Surfer" and "Farmer's Daughter").
"There are also a surprisingly high quotient of instrumentals (five) that demonstrate that ... the Beach Boys could play respectably gutsy surf rock as a self-contained unit. Indeed, the album as a whole is the best they would make, prior to the late '60s, as a band that played most of their instruments, rather than as a vehicle for Brian Wilson's ideas. The LP was a huge hit, vital to launching surf music as a national craze, and one of the few truly strong records to be recorded by a self-contained American rock band prior to the British Invasion." — AllMusic.com