Stack-O-Tracks is an album release by The Beach Boys containing the backing tracks to fifteen of their songs spanning their career to that point. Considered little more than a penny pincher when it came out, Stack-O-Tracks turned out to be a very educational album for those wanted to know what went into the making of a Beach Boys music track. This type of release was unique for the band, and generally was and still is relatively unique throughout the music industry where backing tracks, in the rare event of their commercial release, are generally bonus tracks or b-sides to singles.
The Beach Boys third and final album release of 1968, coming after Friends and released the same day as the quickly cobbled-together Best of The Beach Boys Vol. 3, Stack-O-Tracks was seen by many at the time as a desperate last-ditch effort by Capitol Records to try anything to sell Beach Boys records. The strategy backfired, however; issued at one of their lowest commercial ebbs in the U.S., Stack-O-Tracks became the first Beach Boys album to fail to reach the U.S. or UK charts. Until 1992's much-maligned Summer in Paradise, it would remain their only official release to have this distinction.
Nonetheless, featuring instrumental highlights from the past studio albums, and including a booklet with the bass lines, lead lines, chords and lyrics (to sing along with), Stack-O-Tracks was clearly a gift to those who wanted to hear what was going on beneath the lush harmonies. Stack-O-Tracks quickly disappeared and was out of print for two decades. In 1990, Capitol Records saw fit to re-issue it on CD, and again in 2001 - both releases without the handy booklet that accompanied the vinyl edition.
Stack-O-Tracks is now paired on CD with Beach Boys' Party!, with bonus instrumental tracks.
Stack-O-Tracks (Capitol (D) KAO 2893) failed to chart in either the U.S. or the UK.