Duophonic Pet Sounds & The Beatles & Stones

This is the original duophonic or fake stereo version of The Beach Boys classic Pet Sounds album transferred from a pre-recorded reel to reel tape. This version has been much derided by the purists who prefer the mono version. Brian Wilson intended the original album to come out in mono only.

The reel is not an audio revelation and has suffered from age degradation, moreover, I think that there was a problem with the mastering to begin with. keep in mind that the tape is 48 years old and to my ears it sounds slightly better than the vinyl version of same. The quality does improve a bit after the opening track.

I have put this up as not everyone has heard this version. You will also note in the pictures below that the back cover art was different from the vinyl version.

The second clip features tracks from the reel to reel copies of The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour and The Rolling Stones Flowers. These were recorded at 3.75  inches per second but they sound better than Pet Sounds ( recorded at the better speed of 7.5). The copy of Flowers is actually the most worn out of the three albums but I think it sounds the best.  There’s also some variations from the vinyl on the back cover of these two albums as pictured below.

The three groups featured were at or near their peak when these recordings were made ( 1965-67) and the pop-rock landscape was ripe with innovation and creativity. Pet Sounds has been acknowledged as an influence on the Beatles Sgt. Pepper. Magical Mystery Tour was the US follow up album to Sgt. Pepper but the single, Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields ( featured on Magical Mystery Tour) actually preceded the release of Pepper. The influence of God Only Knows from Pet Sounds is apparent on Penny Lane.

Addendum – Should be noted that some of the tracks on the album version of Magical Mystery Tour were also fake stereo including Penny Lane and Baby You’re a Rich Man which are included in the clip above. The stereo processing used for these tracks was different than the one used for Pet Sounds and is hard to discern when listening on headphones ( unlike the Pet Sounds mix ). Strawberry Fields, however the flip side to Penny Lane, was mixed in true stereo for the original album and how that came to be is a whole other story.






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