I've lived with the original Brian Wilson album for some time, and, based on musical content alone, it qualifies as a 4-star album. This very generous resissue, however, easily boosts it into MUST OWN, 5-star status.
The music on this album is quite wonderful. It's probably the equal of any of Brian's Beach Boys work, with the obvious exception of "Pet Sounds" and possibly "Wild Honey". It's easily the best thing he's done as a solo artist. My favorite bit of this album has long been the closer, "Rio Grande", which is a bizarre, high-tech, California-fied take on the Western stlyings of Gene Autry and Roy Rogers. If the Sons of The Pioneers had recorded in the late 80's, this is what it would have sounded like. The acapella "One For the Boys" is beguiling, "Let Your Hair Grow Long" is essential Brian Wilson. No two songs really sound the same. He explores many styles.
This album was big news when it broke, because it proved that Wilson was able to write, arrange, play, sing, and produce an entire LP. It has aged very well, in my opinion. In fact, there are things about this album I like more and more, suggesting it is in fact a difficult album, a fact belied by its glossy, resonate sounding production. The reissue is priceless, adding spoken comments, tons of liner notes, and best of all, outtakes and alternate versions, which are worth the price alone. If you are at all a Beach Boys fan, or interested in the California sound in general, check out this album. If you own the old version, you neeed to uprgrade! The bonus material is fascinating.
Sound quality is the best possible, given the tendencies of engineers of the time. The wrinkles revealed by the remastering process may actually make it sound *worse* to some ears, but, in fact, it's just more revealing of the source.