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Now All I Need Is the Hardware

About 36 or 37 years ago I received a record player for Christmas, with two Beach Boys singles. One was Christmas-themed (“Blue Christmas” b/w “The Man With All the Toys”), and the other was from Pet Sounds — “God Only Knows” b/w “Wouldn't It Be Nice.” Since then Pet Sounds has been released on “Duophonic” (fake stereo) LP, 8-track, analog cassette, digital compact cassette, mono CD, and stereo CD as part of a boxed set that also featured vocal and instrumental versions of the tracks.

Well, now Capitol has released it yet again, this time on DVD Audio. Now, I don't have a DVD Audio player, and normally such discs go for about $25, but seeing that you can still use it on DVD Video player, and the Sam Goody I bought it was having a closing sale, why not ? It comes with three high-resolution mixes, mono, stereo, and surround, which you'll need a real DVD Audio player for. The flip side has promotional films that were made for the album and “Sloop John B” in 1966, plus documentaries for made the reissue box in 1996, and a Dolby Digital and DTS surround version which you can enjoy as long as you have a surround-capable receiver. This artifact is dense with information, a veritable archive in a jewel box only slightly larger than a CD jewel box.

I haven't had a chance to try it out yet, but it should be pretty cool. The booklet is very comprehensive on the making of the album, as well as how they managed to remix for stereo and surround from the 3, 4, and 8-track master tapes. Really, the only flaw about it is that the writer, David Leaf, cannot resist reminding us about how revolutionary and ahead of its time the album is, but, given how it's already withstood the test of time, I think it's just enough to let this gorgeous and personal music speak for itself.

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rpkrajewski
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