38. The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds (1966)
1. Wouldn’t It Be Nice
2. You Still Believe in Me
3. That’s Not Me
4. Don’t Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder)
5. I’m Waiting for the Day
6. Let’s Go Away for Awhile
7. Sloop John B
8. God Only Knows
9. I Know There’s an Answer
11. I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times
12. Pet Sounds
13. Caroline, No
14. Hang on to Your Ego
15. Wouldn’t It Be Nice (Stereo)
16. You Still Believe in Me (Stereo)
17. That’s Not Me (Stereo)
18. Don’t Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder) (Stereo)
19. I’m Waiting for the Day (Stereo)
20. Let’s Go Away for Awhile (Stereo)
21. Sloop John B (Stereo)
22. God Only Knows (Stereo)
23. I Know There’s an Answer (Stereo)
24.Here Today (Stereo)
25. I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times (Stereo)
26. Pet Sounds (Stereo)
27. Caroline, No (Stereo)
Who is/are The Beach Boys?
Hmmm. I’d be hugely surprised if anyone reading this was unaware of the Beach Boys, but just in case, here’s Wikipedia’s summary; “The Beach Boys are an American rock band formed in Hawthorne, California in 1961.”
As that’s something of an understatement, here’s another couple of lines from the same article; “Distinguished by their vocal harmonies and early surf songs, they are one of the most influential acts of the rock era…” and “The Beach Boys are one of the most critically acclaimed, commercially successful, and widely influential bands of all time.”
Why did you buy this album?
During the second year of my university studies, I found myself studying song writing as a module. As part of that, we were recommended a number of albums to listen to, including ‘Pet Sounds‘. As I rarely ventured into the university library to use anything other than books and the photocopier, often at the same time, I decided to buy the album.
In those days, I barely used Amazon, so a trip into Manchester was called for. Usually on one of these trips, I’d visit two HMV branches, Polar Bear, two Vinyl Exchanges, Piccadilly Records, Virgin Megastore, and Our Price. My copy of ‘Pet Sounds‘ was likely bought in one of these…
What’s it like?
It’s iconic. Every track is familiar, but you hear something new and different on each listen. It’s been described as “art-rock”, “psychedelic pop” and “progressive pop”, and apparently paved the way for concept albums and prog-rock.
A couple of the tracks do suffer from over-familiarity, ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice‘ being a prime example, but that’s what comes of being a ground-breaking single and one of the best songs of the 1960s…
One advantage of the edition I own (released 2001) is that it has both the original mono mix, and a remastered “stereo” mix, meaning I can listen to it twice without any effort on my part*.
After listening to it now, do you (still) like this album?
I was fully prepared to go into this album and not like it. I remember being somewhat underwhelmed in 2001 when I first listened to it, but the intervening years have been kind. Each time I’ve listened to it this time round, another track has leapt out at me, and I’ve found myself reconsidering my opinion on songs I’d previously dismissed as saccharine 60s pop.
In summary, it’s brilliant, and I like it a lot more now than I did 16 years ago.
Any stand-out tracks?
At different points this week, every track has been a stand-out track. However, if I had to choose, I’d go for ‘Don’t Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder)‘, ‘God Only Knows‘, and ‘I Know There’s An Answer‘.
Rating out of 10?
*Admittedly the only effort in listening to an album twice in one sitting nowadays is making sure “repeat-all” is selected on my phone music app…