The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds - Review
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critics' view

The real catalyst for Pet Sounds was the U.S. version of The Beatles’ album Rubber Soul, released late in 1965. Brian Wilson later recalled his first impressions of the ground-breaking album: “I really wasn’t quite ready for the unity. It felt like it all belonged together. Rubber Soul was a collection of songs … that somehow went together like no album ever made before, and I was very impressed.” Inspired, he rushed to his wife and proclaimed, “Marilyn, I’m gonna make the greatest album! The greatest rock album ever made!”. His muse resulted in this splendid work of pop art which, somewhat amazingly, only reached no.10 in the Billboard Albums chart of the time. “Pet Sounds” delivered those legendary Beach Boys harmonies and melodies under and over a somewhat darker approach, fusing all that they’d learnt to date with a psychedelic orchestration steeped in Phil Spector’s dramatic production values. Paul McCartney was perhaps the most moved man on the planet: “It was Pet Sounds that blew me out of the water. I love the album so much. I’ve just bought my kids each a copy of it for their education in life… I figure no one is educated musically ’til they’ve heard that album… I love the orchestra, the arrangements… it may be going overboard to say it’s the classic of the century… but to me, it certainly is a total, classic record that is unbeatable in many ways… I played it to John [Lennon] so much that it would be difficult for him to escape the influence … it was the record of the time.” The gauntlet was well and truly laid down to the Fab Four…

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