August 29, 2006

Beach Boys, Pet Sounds, and 40 years gone by

Considered by many to be The Beach Boys’ seminal album, Pet Sounds turns 40 this year and still is as influential and fresh-sounding as ever. I was surprised recently to read that Pet Sounds was something of a commercial failure when it was released; it was viewed as a bit of an anomaly, musically dense and somewhat difficult to digest. Thankfully it has aged quite well, and continues to gain new fans (and make peoples’ Top 5 Desert Island Disc lists) to this day.

Capitol is celebrating the anniversary this year in an aptly commercial way by releasing some fancy reissues:

1) The green suede CD/DVD combo features the original album in mono, followed by the bonus track, “Hang on to Your Ego”; immediately following that is the original album in stereo. So you can tickle your ears both ways.

2) Then you also get the DVD, which includes rare and previously unreleased promotional and documentary film footage, and a photo gallery of classic band images from the era.

3) Finally there’s a limited edition, numbered vinyl (10,000 copies worldwide), with mono and stereo mixes of Pet Sounds on yellow and green vinyl in a gatefold sleeve. Super hard to find online (or maybe I am just not looking in the right places), but I think it would be a cool thing to own. Some albums just want to be heard on vinyl, and I would argue that this is one of them.

One very cool feature that won’t cost you a red cent is the neat-o podcast series that The Beach Boys are recording and putting up over at iTunes to correspond with the release. So far there are two episodes, each which pairs all-new Beach Boys interviews with information and the sounds of every tune on the album. You can subscribe here for the rest of the podcasts, there will eventually be 15 total.

Wouldn’t It Be Nice” – Pet Sounds podcast (mp3)
You Still Believe In Me” – Pet Sounds podcast (mp3)

Oh, and Justin’s re-upped that fantastic 1967 Beach Boys reheasal session audio over at Aquarium Drunkard. An absolute must-have, check out the evolution of these songs. This is probably my favorite bit of the bunch:

God Only Knows” (1967 Rehearsal Session) – The Beach Boys


  • The Beach Boys are one of my favorite bands ever. I was able to see Brian Wilson perform the “Smile” album a few years back. You must read the book, “Catch A Wave: The Rise, Fall & Redemption of the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson”

    Derek — August 29, 2006 @ 1:31 pm

  • It’s on my “to read” list! Thanks for the suggestion.

    heather — August 29, 2006 @ 1:59 pm

  • Still don’t understand why people love the Beach Boys….When / if I listen to a classic rock or a “AM Gold” station and the Beach Boys come on…that’s when my hand reaches out and spins the dial…Hey they sold millions of records, so there has to be something there right?
    Of course it’s only my opinion.

    SINEDDIE — August 29, 2006 @ 4:51 pm

  • For some stupid reason I only bought Pet Sounds a few months ago. I highly reguard it as one of the best albums ever made. If you look at the history of music since, very few bands have ever made it with a sound like the Beach Boys. Plus it contains ‘God Only Knows’ which is one of the greatest love songs ever written.

    Nick Fulton — August 30, 2006 @ 4:19 am

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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