The Beach Boys, Stack-o-Tracks (2001 – Remaster)

Lenny Kaye

By Lenny Kaye

on 02.21.12 in Reviews

Stack-o-tracks (2001 - Remaster)

Beach Boys
The band at their most revealing

Stack O Tracks is a behind-the-control-board look at what components comprised the band’s considerable studio acumen. With Brian Wilson’s closeted recording of what would become Pet Sounds, ever-hungry Capitol Records needed product for the holiday season of 1965, which resulted in the free-for-all contrived fiesta Party!. This sense of marketplace also resulted in the unintentional fascination that is Stack O Tracks. Originally intended as a play-and-sing-along disc, complete with chord charts and lyrics, as well as a do-anything-to-revive the Beach Boys’ commercial fortunes post-Pet Sounds, it is a window into the frame that surrounded the group’s vocal harmonies, the individual hooks and textures and free-floating melodic lines that bedded and embedded their songs. Budding producers might listen for the triangle’s ping in “In My Room,” the plate reverb on the drums in “Help Me Rhonda,” the jingle bells (ahhhhh…) as they meld with strings on “God Only Knows.” And then let the karaoke begin!