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The Beach Boys Pet Sounds (40th Anniversary Edition) Review

Compilation. Released 2006.  

BBC Review

Every home should have one. You've got no excuse...

Chris Jones 2006

Ok, ok - surely every person in the known universe must now own, or at least be aware of, the masterwork known as Pet Sounds? Well, yes. But some things are worth being reminded about. Brian Wilson's first coherent, album-length expression of pop perfection is one of those things. So bring it on...

By 1965 a cheery rivalry existed between the twin paragons of top 20 glory. When Brian's Beach Boys gave the world the Today album (severely underrated)the Beatles came back with the killer left hook of Rubber Soul. Brian was down, but by no means out. The combination of overwork and stagefright was the silver lining to this cloud. Retired from gruelling road duties, he hired Tony Asher to convert his complex emotions into words and got on with welding Phil Spector's breadth of vision to his own mature, complex and still thrillingly tuneful vision.

While his returning brothers and band may have been slightly put out by Brian's growth and ambitionsas a writer and producer (Mike Love famously referred to it as 'ego music') Pet Sounds was finally released in 1966.Though singles "Sloop John B" (included just because it was a hit), "God Only Knows" and "Wouldn't It Be Nice" did make the charts, the album stiffed.

Except it didn't. Hardly anyone may have bought it, but a LOT of people were listening very hard. Paul McCartney was one, and he's gone on record to say that without Pet Sounds there would have been no Sgt Pepper. Consistently put in the top 10 of greatest albums ever recorded. Wilson's mini-masterpiece is now turning 40, hence this velour coated bumper reissue with mono and stereo mixes,bonus DVD (with promo videos) and notes by the man who created it. Every home should have one. You've got no excuse...

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