Pet Sounds

Beach Boys


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
10. Here Today
11. I Just Wasn't Made For These Times
12. Pet Sounds
13. Caroline, No

Alternative versions

1990 CD re-issue added the following tracks -later re-issues had different combinations
Hang On To Your Ego
Trombone Dixie
Unreleased Backgrounds

Album Trivia

Released on Capitol Records on 16 May 1966.
Reached #10 on the USA charts.
Reached #2 in the UK charts. The Sound of Music soundtrack and Revolver kept it off the top of the chart.
Produced by Brian Wilson

Front cover photo taken at San Diego zoo.

Website Comments and Review

Pet Sounds seems to have been born as a response to the Beatles late 1965 album Rubber Soul which signalled a change in the moptops from perky rock and roll to introspection and folk rock and classical influences. Brian's aim would seem to have been to create an album of consistent quality and significant meaning. Tony Asher was used as lyricist for the album, and was able to channel Brian's feelings of self-doubt and confusion as his young adult life unfolded in the craziness of the mid-60s.

Brian achieved all of this, and a lot more. Pet Sounds is a very special moment captured in time, as the magical combination of Brian's songs and production genius, Tony Asher's lyrics, the Beach Boys' voices and the Wrecking Crew's musical prowess created an album that didn't just reflect the world in 1966, but captured feelings and emotions that are universal.

Pet Sounds was never intended as a concept album, but there are certainly themes of growing up, the need for acceptance, self-doubt and in the end, deep felt pain, underpinning this album. Musically, there is experimentation...Brian's penchant for odd percussion, unusual song structures, but Brian's seamless production means that the music sounds like it was always there, just waiting to be written. It is ultimately the combination of the musical textures created and lyrics that give Pet Sounds greatness.

Sloop John B is the big hit, while Wouldn't It Be Nice, and God Only Knows are the timeless pop classics, two of the greatest songs ever written. Wouldn't It Be Nice is the ultimate yearning pop-song, dazzling with its tempo changes and musical playfullness. God Only Knows is well-known as one of Paul Mc Cartney's favorite songs and is beauty captured in three minutes. However, there is a lot more; the stunning beauty of Don't Talk and You Still Believe In Me and the musical soundscape created by Let's Go Away For Awhile. Then there is the increasing sense of doom and dissappointment at the end, firstly, the powerful acknowledgement of not fitting in ( I Just Wasn't Made For These Times), then the mood of doom and oppression brilliantly created in the instrumental title track, before it all ends in tears in Caroline, No. The final note of that song is surely the musical version of a world falling apart, and can operate at so many different levels.

Pet Sounds may not be for everyone -if you need a fast bass beat to create any musical pleasure -if you need others to decide your musical taste for you, you may find it hard to get into this album. However, if you haven't felt the deep emotions captured in the album, you aren't moved by the beauty of the vocals, if God Only Knows does not move any way, you may not have really lived it all. Or maybe Pet Sounds will always be a secret kept amongst a group of people who weren't made for these times, or any other time. Either way,the world will change, but Pet Sounds has enough advocates to ensure that it will always be there as a companion, soother of feelings and emotional cornerstone, and ultimately remain one of the greatest musical creations ever.

RATING: 10 out of 10

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