Pet Sounds - classic or dud

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I simply don't get the acclaim accorded this album, much like I don't really care for Sgt Pepper. Certain tracks are ok, but really I prefer their ripping off Chuck Berry period. I've had Pet Sounds for years, never play it, and could happily never hear it again.

Because it's such a Mojo/Q favourite, my dislike is also reacting against that awful smug rock classics thing, which means it's a prejudiced taste. Should I be challenging myself or is it really is as worthless and dull as I think?

Guy, Wednesday, 2 May 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

Perhaps I was born too late to appreciate its arguable forward- sightedness, but like Guy, I just do *NOT* hear what's so fabulous about it. I actually went out and bought the thing based on its purported significance as summarily dictated to me by supposedly insightful musos. Its not painful to listen to, but to compare it to REVOLVER or even fuckin' RUBBER SOUL seems supremely ill-advised. Brian Wilson's indeed a compelling character in the history of rock, but more so for his particular mental plight than for his music (in my opinion, at least). Dud.

alex in nyc, Wednesday, 2 May 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

I didn't see what all the fuss was about after having the thing around for about 10 years or so. Then it finally clicked and well, I just think it's a beautiful album, especially the stereo version issued a couple of years back, which really opens it up. It's all about SOUNDS for me - the sax on "I Know There's An Answer", the purity of the horn on "God Only Knows", wierd fragments of percussion and banjo here and there.... . The way it's put together is astounding.

Having played it to death for the last 3 years or so, it's a little over-familiar now, but Classic for sure. The fact that it's so universally fawned over by the dad-rock mags doesn't make it AUTOMATICALLY crap, although I understand the suspicion.

Dr. C, Wednesday, 2 May 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

Don't hate whatever Q loves! the first time I listened to Pet Sounds I thought - what's this shite? there's not a memorable song on it, that fawning pube head Charlie Shaar Murray sure got me this time... but...

then riding on a bus through Archway with a hangover one day, the string quartet on "Don't talk put your head on my shoulder" slid in on top of the vocal melody on my walkman and this was the strand that unlocked the album for me, an epiphany took place, and thenceforward I was captured by its beauty, which was a beauty of a different musical logic than I was used to, hence my initial blindness. For me it's a record for hangovers. It's better than the bitty, half-crap Revolver, but this is really beginning to resemble a giants of rock mojo argument so will desist...

enough to say that the acclaim it gets is OTT: it's not an unassailable classic: the instrumentals seem overly loungey and dated now, but the songs and the textures get me every time.

Peter, Wednesday, 2 May 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

It's okay, but not a patch on Surfin' Safari.

scott bassett, Wednesday, 2 May 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

Not bad. They've made better albums - it could use a little more "Wouldn't It Be Nice" and a little less "Caroline No". I don't see why it's always near the top of critic polls.

Patrick, Wednesday, 2 May 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

Well, certainly "Wouldn't It Be Nice" and "God Only Knows" are two of their best songs. So you don't really need Pet sounds, I think it's so "renowned" because it is kind of a break out from their happy- surfing days...and has a certain fresh sound, and showed Brian Wilson as the creative genius...but I much prefer "Summer Days and Summer Nights" and "Sunflower", the sound is better and the songs are more consistent...I would agree that parts of Pet Sounds are dull and cloying...they should stop it with all that remastering stuff, it'd prolly sound better if it was rougher!

james e l, Wednesday, 2 May 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

Sunflower was their best album I'd say (not counting best-ofs).

scott, Wednesday, 2 May 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

ah, pet sounds. it's great when heard, even better when felt. listening to it, one may delight to the brilliant melodies and even better arrangements, wondering "how on earth did one human being put this all together?" and i liked it after my first listen though i was suspect of all those who claimed it was the best album ever, but it's difficult for any album to bear the weight of that crown.

after repeated playings, the music -- in a way that only a few records can -- passed through my ears and connected with my soul, wherever it may be. it was one of those moments when you literally stop dead in your tracks and realize that an album, a book, a film is playing out your life, before your very eyes/ears. the music was charged with hope, anxiety, fear; it screamed, it sighed, it shed tears: it wasn't notes or chords or lyrics, it was the word made flesh.

when you reach that level of engagment with a work of art, as i hope everyone has at some point, how the melody compares to so-and-so or "are the lyrics really as sophisticated as blah blah?", questions like that, they cease to matter. pet sounds, for me, is about being young, stupid, and in love for the very first time and i hope it continues to bring me back to those times. 'til i die.

fred solinger, Wednesday, 2 May 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

sunflower? come on, boys. sure it's great, their third best album in my estimation, but have we forgotten clunkers like "at my window" and "tears in the morning"?

if you want a friendly alternative to pet sounds at the very least say today!, the second side of which, if it were an album, probably tops pet sounds, "bull session with big daddy" notwithstanding.

fred solinger, Wednesday, 2 May 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

I prefer the Surfaris covers of the Beach Boys (and the Surfaris own material best of all). Having raised this album I went back to it again this afternoon and with the exception of the instrumental breaks on 'I know there's an answer' and moments in 'Sloop John B' I still find it quite unbearable. Not just over-rated, downright awful - the Christian Union camp fire sing-a-long vocals and the dull medium plod rhythms.. it's a disc for people that need to get out more.

Guy, Wednesday, 2 May 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

guy, that's brilliant! even if it is a gross generalization!

but, as tom just proved to me, it needs to be reworked just a little: it's music for people who didn't get out enough as adolescents. because even if you're out partying every night now, your past is always with you like a scar, like the ghost of the person you'd like to believe you once were and are no longer.

fred solinger, Wednesday, 2 May 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

I, too, do not understand the Pet Sounds rock and roll album.

Okay, so perhaps part of that is because it was released just before I was born. My understanding is that Pet Sounds played a big part in determining the direction for Sgt. Pepper, another album I don't get. I also think that Revolver was really the start of this direction, at least as far as pop/rock goes (admittedly, other artists were pushing the boundaries of recorded sound in other genres...Raymond Scott, to name one). I think Pet Sounds is pleasant enough, but hell, I even prefer to listen to the Heavy Blinkers' album, which uses it as an influence.

Sean Carruthers, Wednesday, 2 May 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

I feel compelled to add a caveat to my previous post, and you can decide for yourself if I am prejudiced. In the mid-80s, the Beach Boys were doing one of their long-after-their-prime tours, and I was backstage with the opening act, The Razorbacks, and while I was talking to the bassist, along comes Mike Love. Instead of waving or saying hi, or just carrying on, he actually SCOWLED at me on the way past. I haven't really forgiven him since, not that he's done anything worthwhile in that period. Still.

Sean Carruthers, Wednesday, 2 May 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

Oh I understand the complaints, but still classic. Not even close to being the best album of all time, but the melodies are well amazing.

Omar, Thursday, 3 May 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

The Beach Boys make me want to razor blade my arms and bleed on all their fans. I'm not kidding. They drive me literally insane. I can NOT listen to them. I don't know what it is - the vocals? the songs themselves? the style? who knows? - but I just can not in any way, shape or form bear them for even a few minutes. Therefore, I just have to give Pet Sounds a dud. It's like Solinger said about the music ceasing to be about melody or what have you - except in my case, it didn't amount to a good experience. It's like a really, really horrible acid trip for me to listen to them. And no matter how many times I explained this unrelenting, unexplainable (and really, I can't explain it) hatred to a guy I dated, he insisted that every single mixtape he made for me contained a Beach Boys song. I could've thrown myself off a bridge. I really honestly don't know what it is but there's something that just makes me absolutely nuts.

Except for Sloop John B, which gets a pass because of an injoke with my cousin involving hoisting my, erm, rather large grandmother's underwear in the air on laundry day and running around screaming "Hoist up the john b sails!" over and over. So, yeah. Anyhow.

Ally, Thursday, 3 May 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

Dud: Pet Sounds

Classic: the phrase "fawning pube head"

mark s, Thursday, 3 May 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

I'm a bit perplexed to the backlash of 'Pet Sounds' here. It seems to me people are reacting negatively to the acclaim rather than the recording itself. Is it a 'classic' or one of the top 100 records in the universe since the beginning of time? I don't care! It's a record that was made and for SOME reason a lot of people have found it to have merit and even more important - THEY SIMPLY ENJOY LISTENING TO IT!! So you don't like the record? Are you SO insecure in your taste you have to prove (validate?) it to the rest of the on- line music community? I know there are LOADS of shit horrible records which receive tremendous acclaim. I'm uninterested either way. What I am interested in is finding that song I haven't heard before that's going to seriously move me.

But I regress, this little tangent has more to do with the validity of deeming a record a 'classic' or not than it does 'Pet Sounds.' So I'll go ahead and bite and tell the world 'Pet Sounds' is a favorable record in my collection despite ANYTHING that has been said about it.

But what about 'Friends' or the brilliant 'Smile?' No one's talking about those? Right, Q or Mojo has yet to run coverage on either. Can you say "Manipulation by the Media?"

JRL, Thursday, 3 May 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

Yes, and I can also say: "Calm down old boy, this thread is basically ABOUT the absurd 'coverage' by the media, and is it justified - is Pet Sounds worth the hype?" After a pause I then say: "I don't believe this thread or forum is related to people's insecurities about their taste. Its just people having a nice chat about music stuff. Since when has sharing an opinion automatically been a token of angst?" And finally, because I'm in a slightly aggresive mood, I say: "Jeeeeeesus Christ man, you sound like you've escaped from the BBC Teletext music letters page. What's your next post, 'You only don't like the Beach Boys because you're jealous!'?"

DG, Thursday, 3 May 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

Symphonic angst. Hilarious stuff, worth it for the spacey bass on "Hang on to your ego (I wasn't ... these times) and the cover, but I assume it heads the polls for it's vulnerability, too sweet and naive to criticise, and also cause it speaks of a time that never existed, like Boards of Canada. Nostalgia for a time you never lived is very powerful, and I don't think any many of the people who rate it were in Southern california in the mid sixties.

K-reg, Friday, 4 May 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

Hey DG & fellow music lovers,

You only don’t like the Beach Boys because…you only don’t like the Beach Boys. It’s that simple my friend (where you got the ‘jealous’ bit is beyond me - I'm actually quite theoryless on why people don't like the Beach Boys).

Also, you're right I SHOULD calm down. I was having a fucking crazy caffinated day at work (Wall St. style!) and I went off...but today is TGIF!

Since when does opinion = token of angst? Reread the rest of the opinions on the thread mate! (Notice my previous message said nothing of blood and razor blades;)

I also don't think this thread is ENTIERLY about insecurties, but it did start with a lad wondering out loud if he should 'challenge' himself to give 'Pet Sounds' another chance as he fears his taste is predjudice (and even he agrees the 'rock classic thing is smug'). I say go with your insticts man!

Hey K-Reg - you're right, I'm sure a lot of people who rate Pet Sounds highly where in other places and times than SoCal in the mid 60's. But some Beach Boys tunes are nostalgic for me as I grew up listening to them on the Gulf Coast (of Mexico) in the 80's and the aesthetic seemed to transfer well, but I was just a little kid of course. Also, I'm glad we made you laugh from our 'symphonoc angst.'

Cheers y'all!

JRL, Friday, 4 May 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

It's good. Is all. Certainly not worth killing yourself over, positively or not.

One of the better capsule descriptions of A Certain Album I Like is that it's _Pet Sounds_ meets _Metal Machine Music_. And frankly of the three I know which one I like listening to the most...

Ned Raggett, Friday, 4 May 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link



loveless, for me, is like pet sounds but without the tunes. and the angst. and the deep, lasting connection. but with guitars. so, not really like pet sounds after all. ;)

fred solinger, Friday, 4 May 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

I've listened to Pet Sounds, not all that many times, and have enjoyed it some. I can see why people say the things they do about it, I think. But the things people say about it make me suspicious, because if we take what they say at face value, then this is apparently the most "spiritual" piece of music ever recorded. That smacks of a kind of critical blindness that I think often goes unexamined just because Pet Sounds is more "spiritual" (I'm talking about certain musical qualities that usually get called that, I don't really believe the spiritual stuff in that way) that most other popular music (and thus most music) that people are exposed to. I'm tired so I might not be getting my point across - think of it like this. I think there's plenty of music out there to have this kind of "spiritual" experience with, but it doesn't have all of the surface associations with the spiritual, and what's more, all the critical talk about the spiritual surrounding it. So Pet Sounds sort of automatically slots in there by default because it's good music that is superficially spiritual. The unfortunate critical effect that often follows is that people think you're missing something, or not spiritual enough, if you don't have that same kind of experience - when really it's a lot like a very strong reaction to a lot of other music. Also leads to people saying things like, oh, no one else ever made music like this, etc.

Josh, Saturday, 5 May 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

i love the beach boys. i don't really have anything else to add. sorry

gareth, Sunday, 6 May 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

one month passes...
Oh my. Wow. "Revolver or even Rubber Soul better than Pet Sounds"? Whoa, scary monsters.

I'll give you an abridged/simplified rant, as opposed to one of my massive rampages that I've given in the past (so, this version will be shorter and sweeter than in the past, which also means less involved and less detailed).

Brian Wilson and lyricist (depending on which album) vs. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and George Martin. PLUS, The Beatles had the record label AND almost literally the rest of the entire (yes, entire) world on their side (very much unlike Brian). Put all that together get one lopsided "battle". Nonetheless, Brian some-freakin-how managed to STILL win the "war" (until the breakdown, at least).

-Early Beach Boys (B.Wilson = "The Beach Boys") is better than early Beatles. I'll take songs about surf-n-turf (regardless of how fake they were, which they were fake, Brian was nearly afraid of the water) over "she loves you yea yea yea" n'sync bull. -'Pet Sounds' is better than 'Revolver' (the difference is that one must actually listen very closely to 'Pet Sounds' than to 'Revolver' to fully hear thus understand this - which is the case with B.Wilson to The Beatles, in must listen more closely to how intricate Brian gets with his brilliant music, that The Beatles simply do not touch). -'Smile' was set to be better than 'Sgt. Peppers'. By most all accounts of those around that scene who saw and/or heard 'Smile' being recorded (months before 'Sgt.' I might add) has admitted to as much.

Brian was, basically, always one step ahead of The Beatles. Of course, until his impending breakdown (which would've happened to literally anyone else - including Lennon or McCartney, if the situations were reversed).

However, I certainly will say that:

The Beatles absolutely were better pure/standard/verse-chorus-verse songwriters than Brian and lyricist. I will give them that. But, as far as "the big picture" in terms of albums (of which only the early stuff onward to 'Smile' can be taken into account - in all fairness) or over-all finished products (including certain singular songs written by Brian after 'Smile' the ones that were truly on account of/written by Brian within his very much dimished role in The Beach Boys)...which would account for the mixture of actual basis of the song/composition/lyrics+arrangement+production...I just can't see The Beatles as equal (much less above) that of Brian Wilson. But, that deals (of course, as with everything in life) with ones own personal opinions. I mean, I'm alright with people calling it a draw, but. Most feel compelled to constantly view The Beatles as above (if not FAR above) Brian (The Beach Boys), which simply isn't based on reality. I find that many Beatles supporters go overboard and the rest of the world validates them doing so (sadly enough).

michael g. breece, Sunday, 1 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

The Beatles v BBoys debate is the drabbest in all rock BUT I would like to say that "she loves you* yeah yeah yeah n'sync crap" is pretty much what both bands/collectives excelled at - the best thing about Pet Sounds for me is the lyrics (yes its more "intricate" but intricacy is not a neutrally positive value). The Beatles were better at managing the fashion-led transition away from love lyrics, though the results still weren't too pretty. I have massive respect for Van Dyke Parks as a songwriter and arranger but his late 60s lyrics are over-indulged.

Tom, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

There are a lot of things I could very well hate about Pet Sounds.

But I still love it.

Robin Carmody, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

i echo robins sentiments here. the stultifying consensus/rock bore dynamic is usually enough to turn me off anything, but not pet sounds.

gareth, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

"Drabbest", but yet...leave it for some Beatle freak to jump on Brian Wilson/Beach Boys (normal pattern, for people to jump on him) with the very FIRST answer to 'Pet Sounds'. Thus, my defense via B.Wilson vs. Beatles - especially since it doesn't seem to be a very popular stance to take in light of how . I suppose that would make such Beatles followers as the "drabbest" in rock (to which, I might agree).

michael g. breece, Thursday, 5 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

"Drabbest", but yet...leave it for some Beatle freak to jump on Brian Wilson/Beach Boys (normal pattern, for people to jump on him) with the very FIRST answer to 'Pet Sounds'. Thus, my defense via B.Wilson vs. Beatles - especially since it doesn't seem to be a very popular stance to take in light of how much of the world is SO VERY pro-Beatles. I suppose that would make such Beatles followers as the "drabbest" in rock (to which, I might agree).

*there was a mistake in sending that message prematurely, by the way*

But, I would completely (though partially) agree with you about both bands lyrics being in the "crap n'sync" vein (as I already stated in my previous post, the Beach Boys, at least, mixed in some other variants than JUST "crap n'sync" simple love letters).

"over-indulged" - who's to say. Personally, I don't make such caps on art. Clearly, Parks was attempting a sort of "Picasso" of rock lyric. And...why not? Nothing wrong with that. Rock should have such freedoms (which both Brian Wilson and The Beatles were both quite important in freeing up pop/rock in numerous artistic ways - lyrically, musically, sonically, conceptually, etc). Especially seeing as Brian was doing the same with the music - a sort of "Picasso" of a rock album (was what the pieces of the 'Smile' puzzle had been).

The Beatles were better at FASHION, period. Which, unfortunately, is a part of the reason why they are so vastly more accepted and then respected in comparison to Brian Wilson (I could give a flying rats assed fuck about The Beach Boys, in case that wasn't already clear enough). The element of fashion ("hipness") clearly played a larger role than most would care to realize in their transition compared to Brian (and the Boys).

michael g. breece, Thursday, 5 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

*by the way, I meant to say "I would NOT completely (though partially) agree with you" about the two bands and "crap simple love letter lyrics" early on in their careers. It's 4am here (which is when I usually get on this bullentin board, too late at night) and...I'm far too tired to be sitting here right now, so...nighty night. Oh, also I meant that I only worry about/concern myself with Brian Wilson (I don't care about/for the rest of the Boys, basically).

michael g. breece, Thursday, 5 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

Incidentally it's worth me saying maybe that I much much prefer B.Wilson to any Beatle. (Though the qn doesn't take up much of my time).

VDP's lyrics - yeah of course he was trying to do this and that. Saying it was "over-indulged" I don't think is trying to "set caps on art" - it's pointing out that whatever he was trying to do, I don't think he managed it. Compare especially his excellent lyrics on "Discover America". Points-for-effort is not a particularly sensible mode of criticism, I think.

Tom, Thursday, 5 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

Michael, your Picasso reference is not at all clear to me. Why "Picasso" particularly? I don't really see / hear the parallels between Picasso's work and "Smile".

Tim, Thursday, 5 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-three years ago) link

six months pass...
I listened to this recently & wondered if there was a thread about it. The thing about Pet Sounds is that it captures a very paticular mood better than any other record I can name, but it's a mood I'm rarely in the mood for.

Mark, Monday, 28 January 2002 01:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

but it's a mood I'm rarely in the mood for.

I can understand this. For me, the album is extremely emotional and a little on the melancholy side, so I sort of need to be ready for a full service emotional experience, or it might not really hit me very hard. Another album that's like this for me is Grace, though less so.

FWIW, it has never been my fave BBoys record.

dleone, Monday, 28 January 2002 01:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

The big question is: why didn't Brian Wilson just kick Mike Love out of the band? They clearly didn't get on, were holding each other back (I'm sure Mr Love would've gladly trotted off to pen hits for the Cowsills, Cufflinks, Ohio Express, Partridge Family, whoever) - why didn't BW just say "fuck you Mike, if you can't get with what I'm doing, there's the door"?

Terry Shannon, Monday, 4 February 2002 01:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

Ans: Mike was family. He wrote the lyrics to some of their most popular songs (Bri wanted the big hits just as much as the others.) He was good at being the public face of the BBs, leaving Bri to play in his sandpit. All groups need a hate figure, and with Murray eased out of the pic Mike fitted the bill. Most of the time Bri wasn't in a fit state to hire or fire anyone. Legally ML prob. had shares in the Beach Boys 'brand'. Getting rid of your cuz would prob. play badly in the press. Mike knew the songs/harmonies and his voice blended well w/ Brian and Carl. Mike's brother managed the group for a while. etc. etc.

Andrew L, Monday, 4 February 2002 01:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

three years pass...
I'm inclined to say dud, but I'm finding I can't even make it all the way through it.

RS_LaRue (RSLaRue), Sunday, 8 May 2005 15:20 (nineteen years ago) link

How do you feel about Duke Ellington?

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Sunday, 8 May 2005 15:38 (nineteen years ago) link

He has his moments.

RS_LaRue (RSLaRue), Sunday, 8 May 2005 15:43 (nineteen years ago) link

Van Dyke Parks' Discover America over Pet Sounds anyday.

Mr. Snrub (Mr. Snrub), Sunday, 8 May 2005 15:48 (nineteen years ago) link

I say total classic, and it took me a long time to come around to that opinion.

Hurting (Hurting), Sunday, 8 May 2005 16:05 (nineteen years ago) link

Tim, I'm not sure what the Ellington question is supposed to mean exactly: that not liking Pet Sounds is like not liking Ellington? I don't like Ellington all that much, but I don't see much comparison between him and the Beach Boys. Ellington's compositions exist in so many different forms that even where I haven't like recordings under his own name, maybe I liked some of them when I heard the Arkestra play them live, or maybe I would like Ella Fitzgerald's recordings of his songs. Plus he's so much more prolific.

RS_LaRue (RSLaRue), Sunday, 8 May 2005 16:09 (nineteen years ago) link

I'm not motivated to give it more of a chance.

RS_LaRue (RSLaRue), Sunday, 8 May 2005 16:18 (nineteen years ago) link

I do see a connection between Ellington and Brian Wilson--both graduated from short-form to longer-form, I guess, and both were derided for doing things that supposedly went outside what they were good at. I don't see it that way at all, since it seems, yes, rockist to look at music that way. Brian Wilson was a guy who needed to get away from rock and roll, I think, and who never really graduated, given the relatively lame-ass collaborators he had like Mike Love (who had his virtues, sure). I've heard plenty of Ellington in the '50s and '60s that, while it might not have been quite on the level of the music he did with Blanton and Ben Webster, was pretty great, and I do see Brian Wilson as an example of someone who was hobbled by the expectations of "rock and roll" in a way that Ellington was too sophisticated to be hamstrung by.

edd s hurt (ddduncan), Sunday, 8 May 2005 16:40 (nineteen years ago) link

"Tim, I'm not sure what the Ellington question is supposed to mean exactly"

I don't know. I thought you were being flip in reviving a thread about a pretty serious piece of work and just going, "Dud, can't get through it." So I thought I'd be flip right back atcha and imply that Pet Sounds is Ellingtonian in scope. Not so far off base, is it?

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Sunday, 8 May 2005 17:17 (nineteen years ago) link

I'm surprised at how short this thread is.

Spencer Chow (spencermfi), Sunday, 8 May 2005 18:37 (nineteen years ago) link

I could never get into pet sounds however hard i tried. i finally sold it a few months ago. it's boring (i like the beach boys being upbeat; fuck all these ballads and shit), and kinda depressing.

Ian John50n (orion), Sunday, 8 May 2005 18:43 (nineteen years ago) link

If you leave out "Sloop", it'd be the best rock and roll album.

As is, very near the top.

Zed Szetlian (Finn MacCool), Sunday, 8 May 2005 19:41 (nineteen years ago) link

I love "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times." it's so plaintive in a really personal way. it's like a musical self-portrait of Brian

lukevalentine, Sunday, 25 October 2009 08:47 (fourteen years ago) link

A lot of overrated albums are still classic. But this one is not even overrated.

Tied Up In Geir (Geir Hongro), Sunday, 25 October 2009 13:12 (fourteen years ago) link

Except for Sloop John B, which gets a pass because of an injoke with my cousin involving hoisting my, erm, rather large grandmother's underwear in the air on laundry day and running around screaming "Hoist up the john b sails!" over and over. So, yeah. Anyhow.

― Ally, Wednesday, May 2, 2001 8:00 PM (8 years ago) Bookmark

Figured this for an lj post.

alexfromnycderpoolera (kingkongvsgodzilla), Sunday, 25 October 2009 15:06 (fourteen years ago) link

TWO instrumentals? This album did not need two instrumentals.

Mr. Snrub, Sunday, 25 October 2009 15:49 (fourteen years ago) link

i love the beach boys. i don't really have anything else to add. sorry

― gareth


velko, Sunday, 25 October 2009 15:57 (fourteen years ago) link

"Wouldn't It Be Nice" came on oldies station today and I just imagined being in the room they recorded it and tried to picture all these people playing multiple pianos and jingle bells and tympanist and vibraphones and etc etc. Was it recorded live? Wow what an amazing sound Brian got!

Adam Bruneau, Monday, 26 October 2009 04:35 (fourteen years ago) link

I've been listening to it on repeat for the last few days and one thing that's struck me is that 'I'm Waiting For The Day' is the album's unheralded masterpiece. Does anyone else agree?

― Alba (Alba), Friday, July 8, 2005 11:46 AM (4 years ago) Bookmark


chocolatepiekid, Monday, 26 October 2009 07:29 (fourteen years ago) link

If it had some ripping frazzled psyche guitar solos, it'd be a much better album.

Sickamous (Scik Mouthy), Monday, 26 October 2009 11:38 (fourteen years ago) link

Certainly worked for the Zombies.

Adam Bruneau, Monday, 26 October 2009 14:32 (fourteen years ago) link

five months pass...

i pulled this thread up cuz i'm spending tonight in self loathing mode and listening t oPet Sounds and Smiley Smile era Beach Boys (just saw Mike Love and the band he calls the Beach Boys live a few weeks ago and they were pretty awesome)....

and this thread is clearly the biggest challopser I've ever read. Pet Sounds might be 'overrated' to some degree but there's little doubt in my mind that it's filled with fantastic songs. Hell, the first four tracks are pretty much flawless!

Phoenix in Flight (Cattle Grind), Saturday, 10 April 2010 03:59 (fourteen years ago) link

basically old-ILM was just a bunch of trolls who hated to get trolled and eventually got older, fatter, grayer in their safe haven corner of the blogosphere.

✌.✰|ʘ‿ʘ|✰.✌ (Steve Shasta), Saturday, 10 April 2010 04:08 (fourteen years ago) link

so presumably there's a thread from 2003 proclaiming Coda to be Led Zeppelin's best album.....

Phoenix in Flight (Cattle Grind), Saturday, 10 April 2010 04:14 (fourteen years ago) link

hmm when did Lord Soto Challops show up on ILM?

✌.✰|ʘ‿ʘ|✰.✌ (Steve Shasta), Saturday, 10 April 2010 04:24 (fourteen years ago) link

We're not as intent on fighting the Heartbreak of Rockism as we once were. I never gave a fuck about rockism, or popism, or Geirism, or whatever. I just liked what I liked, including Pet Sounds.

Christine Green Leafy Dragon Indigo, Saturday, 10 April 2010 08:02 (fourteen years ago) link

one year passes...

Kind of a dud, for me, to be honest.–-pet-sounds-–-round-14-–-nick’s-selection/

Sick Mouthy (Scik Mouthy), Friday, 16 September 2011 21:08 (twelve years ago) link

So while I find the rollicking drums of I’m Waiting For The Day exciting and pleasurable, I find Don’t Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder) and You Still Believe In Me to be just a little… dull.

Aww really? I think 'You Still Believe In Me' is incredibly beautiful, the bit at the end (from 'I wanna cry' echoing the intro melody, before it dies down and builds up into those harmonies) is incredible.

"Pet Sounds" is a classic for me, but on a personal level I get the most enjoyment from "Sunflower" of all the Beach Boys albums.

Turrican, Friday, 16 September 2011 21:15 (twelve years ago) link

four months pass...

Someone in my neighborhood is jamming this pretty loud for 11:30pm on a Monday night.

"I'm Waiting For The Day" at the moment.

queequeg (peter grasswich), Tuesday, 14 February 2012 07:25 (twelve years ago) link

your neighbours OTM

The Invisible Superstars (dog latin), Tuesday, 14 February 2012 10:48 (twelve years ago) link

three years pass...

Just got the Pet Sounds Sessions box in the mail and I skipped straight ahead to the a capella version of the album at the start of disc three. Boy, what a revelation. I mean, it's obviously their thing to do those gorgeous perfect harmonies, but to hear them isolated like that just brings out something so pure in it. Really hypnotizing and wonderful. I don't know why I waited so long to get the box.

austinato (Austin), Thursday, 29 October 2015 23:24 (eight years ago) link

seven months pass...

Thanks to a Rick Astley-related link, just learned that this is currently #26 on the British album charts.

clemenza, Saturday, 18 June 2016 16:43 (eight years ago) link

The sessions box is wonderful. Night and day between this and the Beatles anthologies !

AlXTC from Paris, Saturday, 18 June 2016 19:36 (eight years ago) link

i love this album so so much.

brimstead, Saturday, 18 June 2016 20:26 (eight years ago) link

listening to the instrumental tracks and you can sort of see why mike love was freaked out. otherworldly chord changes.

brimstead, Saturday, 18 June 2016 20:27 (eight years ago) link

This is like a master class in pop. Anyone who wants to make songs should listen to this box !

AlXTC from Paris, Saturday, 18 June 2016 20:43 (eight years ago) link

one month passes...

BBC Classic Albums show tomorrow night on bbc 4

piscesx, Saturday, 23 July 2016 18:23 (eight years ago) link

Did anyone happen to catch this? And how was it? Should I try to watch it somehow from across the pond? Does David Fricke show up intermittently to tell me why Pet Sounds is so good?

it's sort of a layered stunt (sheesh), Tuesday, 26 July 2016 21:18 (seven years ago) link

TWO instrumentals? This album did not need two instrumentals.

― Mr. Snrub, Sunday, October 25, 2009 3:49 PM (6 years ago)

it totally did btw, the instrumentals on this album are both wonderful

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Tuesday, 26 July 2016 21:20 (seven years ago) link

Yup. And as I mentioned previously, listening to the instrumentals of the other songs is a trip.

brimstead, Tuesday, 26 July 2016 21:21 (seven years ago) link

At least for me, it really brought out the "strangeness" and "complexity" of the chord changes and stuff.

brimstead, Tuesday, 26 July 2016 21:22 (seven years ago) link

Does David Fricke show up intermittently to tell me why Pet Sounds is so good?

Same question

I look forward to hearing from you shortly, (Karl Malone), Tuesday, 26 July 2016 22:23 (seven years ago) link

No, he doesn't. This wasn't long or in depth enough, they didn't talk about every track for a start. They interviewed all the right people though: all the remaining Beach Boys, Tony Asher, Hal Blaine, Don Randi. Don't know why Helen Shapiro was on it though and why she was given as much screen time as Mike Love or Al Jardine. Brian started off very lucid but seemed to be losing it a bit by the end.

24 Hour Sex Ban Man (Tom D.), Wednesday, 27 July 2016 09:36 (seven years ago) link

yeah, the moments with Brian and Mark Linett in the studio, vaguely listening to some isolated tracks, are awkward (and quite useless).
the documentary was ok but I guess not for big fans who already know a lot about all these stories and recordings.
I don't think I have learned or heard anything new but it's always nice to go back to this fantastic album.
a funny moment was when Jardine was seating in front of a piano for the interview. then next comment he's still seating there but with a guitar. I was wondering where they would stop and if he would have an extra instrument each time !

AlXTC from Paris, Wednesday, 27 July 2016 10:46 (seven years ago) link

Pet Sounds good because the lyrics were largely written by Laura LaPlante's son. And that's fun.

The day Brian Wilson and Tony Asher met at Western Studios, Tony introduced Brian to "Stella By Starlight", perhaps during Asher's Bill Evans phase.

Of course, Brian's obsession with Dick Reynolds, the arranger for the Four Freshmen, culminated in the "Beach Boys" warbly bootleged version of the song (along with another standard performed just as warbly, "How Deep Is The Ocean"). Both are Brian, Reynolds, and Bones Howe in Studio A (where Spector recorded Ebb Tide a month earlier)

But I suspect all of these events happened on the same day, October 15, '65, just as Brian was recording this overlooked seed for Pet Sounds (generally misidentified as a Smile fragment)

How much Brian was dropping in on Gold Star during the fall of '65 just to hear other people's sessions remains debated, but some of those Spector proteges/throw-aways are fucking marvels -- so I can see where Brian felt a surge of ideas

And once the Beach Boys returned from Japan around Feb '66, Mike Love was greeted with Brian's solo Caroline No already in the can, and facing his role on "Let Go of Your Ego" being the first session.

I often speculate on the Sloop John B sessions, just before Mike Love got on that plane to Hawaii/Japan (wait; who's gettin' paid royalties on this traditional folk song, Brian?!)

OPRAH WHEELIE! (PappaWheelie V), Friday, 29 July 2016 23:13 (seven years ago) link

this was lacking something. wished the had the in depth analysis of each track like they did with previous episodes of this

Neptune Bingo (Michael B), Friday, 29 July 2016 23:19 (seven years ago) link

Still the best Brian interviews I've seen on it, and well combined with Wrecking Crew interciews:

OPRAH WHEELIE! (PappaWheelie V), Friday, 29 July 2016 23:27 (seven years ago) link

missed you bro

Οὖτις, Friday, 29 July 2016 23:33 (seven years ago) link

thank you. seriously :-)

OPRAH WHEELIE! (PappaWheelie V), Friday, 29 July 2016 23:33 (seven years ago) link

one year passes...

“I can’t help how I act when you’re not here with me”

Random Shitposter (calstars), Friday, 29 December 2017 00:47 (six years ago) link

one year passes...

picked up the 4cd sessions this week, with acapella/miscellany/sax solo/dogs barking. "hey jack, is it possible we could bring a horse in here...?" "my horse would be so bitchin' in here!" no one will ever make a record as beautiful and pure as this. when traveling in california i saw brian & co play it from start to finish in san diego. i got told off for dancing.

meaulnes, Sunday, 19 May 2019 22:42 (five years ago) link

oh, and my housemate made a very astute observation on a detail in 'don't talk. he remarked (while blind drunk i might add) how the kettle drum appearing around 2:07 is perhaps in anticipation of the following song, which of course has the big kettle drum intro.

meaulnes, Sunday, 19 May 2019 22:45 (five years ago) link

four years pass...

for people who listen to records and who like the beach boys: i'm playing a non-fancy U.S. stereo reissue from 2016 put out by Capitol/UMe with the UPC code 6 02547 822289 1 and it is without a doubt the best version of this album that i've ever heard. and i've heard multiple versions from multiple years and yes i have heard the mono version that people love that comes with So Tough and this is really the one. Big, Bright, Tons of Detail. its a jaw-dropper.

played on a Music Hall Ikura table with a gold Viburg weight and resting on an Auralex Acoustics isolation platform and run through a Marantz 2230 into vintage Klipsch Heresy II speakers. just in case Steve Hoffman is reading this.

i know i know what about mono but whatever. and i know i know what about the 50th anniversary 200 gram analogue productions pressing from 2016??? well, that one is probably better? i've never heard it! what i have heard? TONS of crappy pressings of this record. and this is just such a treat to actually hear one that opens up and blooms like a rose instead of lying there in the mud with those goats at the pet sounds goat farm. no offense to the goats.

anyway, kudos to Mark Linett. it gives me hope for mixing old stuff in the 21st century.

scott seward, Friday, 1 March 2024 15:19 (four months ago) link

Some of the worst posts I've ever seen on the internet to start this thread. Truly gag-worthy takes.

Your set up sounds like a dream Scott, happy listening to you!

H.P, Saturday, 2 March 2024 05:19 (four months ago) link

xp is there something about the Carl and the Passions version that sets it apart?

Western® with Bacon Flavor, Saturday, 2 March 2024 05:30 (four months ago) link

the tapes they used were supposed to be top notch/early master/etc. can't remember the details. i'm sure there is a very long internet story about it. i'm sure there are people here who can tell you more! some people swear by it as the go-to mono pressing. it sounds good from what i remember. i've sold a bunch of them.

scott seward, Saturday, 2 March 2024 05:35 (four months ago) link

yeah, that's the one i have - i just remember buying that double-lp set and being pretty sure the shop had no clue it was included. just looked up the discogs prices and was shocked how much mid quality even goes for.

Western® with Bacon Flavor, Saturday, 2 March 2024 05:43 (four months ago) link

i've had pristine early pressings that look unplayed and i think they are going to blow me away and they sound like mud. it happens. Capitol vinyl can be like that. which is why people prefer certain pressing plants from that era. and which is why it was so nice to hear this copy i was playing from 2016. they did a heck of a job with it. but it also doesn't know, digital. like a CD. too clean. too overdone as far as a new mix goes. people can go overboard with new tech to change the inherent qualities of a record. make it sound like what they THINK it should sound like. this just really sounds like what i imagine an actual reel-to-reel of the album sounded like in 1966. only louder probably.

scott seward, Saturday, 2 March 2024 05:44 (four months ago) link

I truly wanted to love this album, but I just can't.

BriefCandles, Sunday, 3 March 2024 00:34 (four months ago) link

its a weird one.

scott seward, Sunday, 3 March 2024 00:51 (four months ago) link

in 2019 i got to listen to this album while riding the Pacific Surfliner and walking around the San Diego Zoo (the site of the cover shoot). Balboa park instantly struck me as the visual universe of Pet Sounds, also this music loves giraffes. It was 70F and sunny, and there are so many plants i've never seen anywhere else in the zoo.

I don't think Pet Sounds is overrated by the dad rags, if anything it was underrated by the wider public for so long. i'm sure it's pretty hard to have an original thought about Pet Sounds but one dimension the title takes on for me- it's an album about the vulnerable, dependent kind of love, like that of a pet for its owner.

the thing with the dad rag praise, calling Pet Sounds the best album ever made implies a lot of things that i've grown uneasy with, like that art should never be limited by practical constraints...

i'm happy with my cd versions (1990 mono with trombone dixie etc, 97 box set)

A street taco cart named Des'ree (Deflatormouse), Sunday, 3 March 2024 03:28 (four months ago) link

I don't think Pet Sounds is overrated by the dad rags, if anything it was underrated by the wider public for so long.

I think so too. And also Rolling Stone (especially editor Dave Marsh) were actually pretty hard on it whenever I came across any mention of it published in the '70s or anything Marsh wrote in the '80s and '90s. They didn't hate it, but they constantly argued it was pretentious and beneath their earlier hits. Even Robert Christgau and I believe Greil Marcus maintain that argument.

They're older now, but the first newspaper critics I remember reading in the '90s were part of a later generation and really championed it. Everyone I knew back home who adored it was high school or college age at the turn of the millennium - Wilson's big revival (which began with that first Pet Sounds tour) probably fed off that and vice versa. I haven't heard as much about it now, but I think that's more reflective of changes in pop with the music most consciously influenced by Wilson having less of a mainstream presence now. I personally don't care - I never bought into the idea that musical trends defined "greatness" to the extent that a work is taken down a notch simply because other things have become trendy. Pet Sounds hasn't lost anything for me, it's still brilliant and beautiful for so many reasons - absolutely one of the great landmarks in rock history.

birdistheword, Sunday, 3 March 2024 06:09 (four months ago) link

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