Home Landmark Albums Landmark Albums: The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds

Landmark Albums: The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds


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Keeping their love of harmonies intact, Brian Wilson and the boys created one of the best and most innovative albums of the 60s, and perhaps of all time.

The band took its songwriting and production skills to a whole new level, using multi-tracking like it had never been done before. Track upon track were layered with vocal melodies and instruments to create a truly symphonic sound.

The Beach Boys took conventional keyboard sounds and guitars and infused the album with orchestration, strings, harpsichords and flutes. Expanding the sound even further, they used a theremin, Hawaiian-sounding string instruments, bicycle bells, tin cans, barking dogs, and unconventional organ sounds—you name it, they used it.

Of course all this means nothing without great songs. Pet Sounds has some of the group’s most stunning melodies, lyrical themes and thought provoking love songs ever written.

Driven by some of the most beautiful vocals ever recorded on a rock-pop recording at the time, Brian and brother Carl Wilson evoked pop perfection on songs like “God Only Knows”, “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”, “Caroline, No”, and “Sloop John B”.

Brian Wilson left the Beach Boys tour to write the album. He then recorded it with top session musicians and then finished the vocals when the rest of the band came off their tour. It may have been Wilson’s vision, but let’s not forget that the harmonies are pure Beach Boys at their best.

From the moment the album was released, it was hailed as a classic. Pet Sounds catapulted the band, and in particular, Brian Wilson, into the top level of music pioneers, superstars and innovators.

Photo: Getty

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