16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Cheeky cash-in, fake stereo,
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This review is from: Surfin' Safari - Mono & Duophonic Edition (Audio CD)
Now that the copyright on these 50-year-old recordings has expired, Surfin' Safari is enjoying a free-for-all in terms of re-issues. Multiple digital download versions have been available for a while, and this is the second of two physical re-issues that I'm aware of; the other appears to be a straight mono but this is the more promising, appearing to offer mono and stereo mixes on separate discs.
A stereo re-issue of Surfin' Safari should be interesting - the album's never been issued in stereo, though back in 1962 it was released as a duophonic album, whereby the mono track is duplicated in each channel with a barely discernible delay in one channel to give the impression of stereo. And, sadly, that's what you get here: not stereo, as the slipcase text claims, but duophonic. Interesting for fans who don't own the original '62 vinyl then, but hardly essential.
The duophonic disc is actually the better-sounding of the two, as the mono disc 1 appears to my ears to be a needle-drop (recording of a vinyl disc being played real-time) - it's muddy, and you can hear what I assume is surface noise. The duophonic tracks seem beefier by comparison, less muddy and a tad clearer, and the last album track, The Shift, features a curious drumroll a few seconds after the track's ended. There's also a bonus non-album track, Luau, possibly a needle-drop of one of the thousands of budget releases of their pre-Capitol Records sessions which have been kicking around almost as long as The Beach Boys themselves.
Why the release is spread across two CDs is a mystery - at under 25 minutes long, you should be able to fit the album on to one CD three times!
Incidentally it's unlikely there ever will be a true stereo release of Surfin' Safari as most tracks were recorded on three tracks and some might even have been on just one track. Extraction technology might provide a way forward ... but the definitive way forward has to be the 2001 two-fer issue which paired the Surfin' Safari album with the ground-breaking and true stereo Surfin' USA follow-up (www.amazon.co.uk/Surfin-Safari-U-S-A-Beach-Boys/dp/B00005A1MT). Vital listening, great audio!
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Initial post: 20 Jan 2013, 02:51:34 GMT
Philip A.Cohen says:
Maybe this will cause The Beach Boys' long-time troublemaker Mike Love to realise that it is time to stop arguing over the contents of the proposed 6-CD box set "The Beach Boys-Made in California", so we can get some quality Beach Boys archival material, and perhaps a legitimate upgraded "Surfin' Safari" CD. Incidentally, 8 of the songs on the "Surfin' Safari" album CAN be remixed for true stereo(but unfortunately "Surfin'" ,"Surfin' Safari" & "409" can't be remixed as they were recorded direct to mono). The time is NOW for The Beach Boys to briefly set aside their long-term interpersonal hatreds, and do right for the fans. Mike Love is one of the worst villains in Rock n' Roll history.
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