Pet Sounds – The Beach Boys

512MILrKWsL._SL500_AA280_I was given this on cassette as a present for Christmas in 1982! I was ten years old. Little did I know at the time the path this gift would set me upon.

I had loved the Beach Boys since 1979, Terry Wogan used to play them a lot on his radio show. I would dart upstairs and tape them on one of those mono tape recorders, and sit and listen to them whilst playing with my lego :¬))

This album is often voted the best ever. Why is this you might ask? Well, it was one of the first conceptual albums – a vast departure from all the earlier Beach Boys albums. The ‘Today’ albums b side gave a glimpse of what was to come with its wonderful ballads but this was it; Brian’s heart on vinyl.

Brian Wilson met Tony Asher at a party and asked him how he fancied being his latest lyricist. The two would sit at Brian’s piano (pre sandbox) and Brian would play the chords and explain to Tony what he wanted the song to be about.

The rest of the Beach Boys were on tour in Japan. Upon their return Brian played them his tracks – it is very famous how Mike Love responded and let us just say here it wasn’t all that positive.

Brian used instruments in a different way on this album and he also used unusual sounds to get the effects he wanted and of course the album closes with his dogs Banana and Louie barking as a train heads off into the blue yonder.

This album is often cited as musicians main influence – Paul McCartney said ‘God Only Knows’ is his all time favourite song and George Martin had this to say: ‘Without Pet Sounds, Sgt. Pepper wouldn’t have happened!’

‘Sgt. Pepper’ was an attempt to equal ‘Pet Sounds’.

Standout tracks, all of them – but of course, ‘God Only Knows’, ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’, ‘Let’s Go Away for a while’ and the sublimely moving ‘Caroline No’!

Years later when Brian came over here to tour this album; I got the huge honour of presenting him and his wife with flowers! Life is full of such wonderful twists isn’t it!
Pet Sounds

Lesbians of North London Music Reviews

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