Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Beach Boys released Pet Sounds: May 16, 1966

Originally posted 5/16/12. Updated 5/16/13.

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Release date: 16 May 1966
Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.) Wouldn’t It Be Nice (7/30/66, #8 US, #58 UK) / You Still Believe in Me / That’s Not Me / Don’t Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder) / I’m Waiting for the Day / Let’s Go Away for Awhile / Sloop John B (4/2/66, #3 US, #2 UK) / God Only Knows (7/28/66, #39 US, #2 UK) / I Know There’s an Answer / Here Today / I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times / Pet Sounds / Caroline, No (3/26/66, #32 US)

Sales (in millions): 1.6 US, -- UK, 1.6 world (includes US and UK)

Peak: 10 US, 2 UK


Review: Pet Sounds is “a pop milestone” CR and “watershed moment in the evolution of the album as art.” JM It shifted the Beach Boys’ sound from surf songs about “fast cars and cute girls” JM to an effort at presenting “an album as a unified work and not merely a collection of singles.” NRR

While the other Beach Boys are present, this is “effectively a Brian Wilson solo album.” BL While his bandmates on the road, Wilson retreated to the studio to craft a “melancholy meditation on adulthood, desire, and failed romance” BN that carried “the emotional impact of a shatteringly evocative novel.” RS

The album showcased Wilson’s abilities to rival producer Phil Spector’s famed Wall of Sound technique. “The unique recording style, the combinations of sounds [and] the deeply personal lyrics” DV “changed the rules of rock & roll” CD “by interjecting artistry, pop balladry, and studio craftiness into the otherwise predictable world of 2-minute dance songs.” PK

Wouldn’t It Be Nice

“It wouldn’t have been a classic without great songs, and this has some of the...most gorgeous upper-register male vocals...ever heard on a rock record.” AMG The “up-tempo, impossibly sophisticated” AD Wouldn’t It Be Nice “defines The Beach Boys’ sound” RV and “the traditional folk song Sloop John BCD “set the standard for the use of harmonies in rock & roll.” PK God Only KnowsCD is “one of the most beautiful songs ever.” PK

Sloop John B

Pet Sounds was a lower seller than earlier albums, but the music industry knew it was special. “The Rolling Stones took out an ad in the British music papers urging everybody to buy it.” BN John Lennon and Paul McCartney both cited it as the inspiration for The Beatles’ Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. BL McCartney has called it his favorite album. NRR

God Only Knows

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