The song is well noted for its string quartet that played minor seventh chords at such close intervals, that an angelic, lush, and peaceful sound was generated. To date, Wilson believes this is one of his greatest accomplishments, because the sound that was created was something that many thought could never exist.
God Only Knows. During the sixties, the song had less of an appeal though. It was unusual for God to be mentioned in a song, much less be in the title.
Nonetheless, the recording was aimed at doing something special, innovative, and never-before-heard. This was highly unusual for pop music, but then again The Beach Boys were transforming day by day in the recording studio. The practice involves a minimum of three voices singing the exact same melody in unison, but with each voice starting at a different point in the recording.
For example, one Beach Boy would start the melody, then five seconds later another Beach Boy would jump in and sing in unison, and then a few second later a third would jump in to sing the same melody.
In doing so, The Beach Boys were able to create something so harmonious that few in recording have ever been able to replicate. Also unusual to the recording was its unorthodox selection of French horn, accordions, sleigh bells, harpsichords, and a quartet of violas and cellos. One final technique used in this recording was double-tracking.
Since the band had been recording on an 8-track, there were three extra tracks left over. Brian saw this as a chance to work his magic once more.
He used double-tracking to fill the third track that was not being used by him or Bruce Johnston. Saturday 17 August Sunday 18 August Monday 19 August Tuesday 20 August Wednesday 21 August Thursday 22 August Friday 23 August Saturday 24 August Sunday 25 August Monday 26 August Tuesday 27 August Wednesday 28 August Thursday 29 August Friday 30 August Saturday 31 August Sunday 1 September Monday 2 September Tuesday 3 September Wednesday 4 September Thursday 5 September Friday 6 September Saturday 7 September Sunday 8 September Monday 9 September Tuesday 10 September Wednesday 11 September Thursday 12 September Friday 13 September Saturday 14 September Sunday 15 September Monday 16 September Tuesday 17 September Wednesday 18 September Thursday 19 September Friday 20 September Saturday 21 September Sunday 22 September Monday 23 September Tuesday 24 September Wednesday 25 September Thursday 26 September Friday 27 September Saturday 28 September Sunday 29 September Monday 30 September Tuesday 1 October Wednesday 2 October Thursday 3 October Friday 4 October Saturday 5 October Sunday 6 October Monday 7 October Tuesday 8 October Wednesday 9 October Thursday 10 October Archived from the original on Pop Annual.
Pet Sounds CD Liner. Adams, John Hallelujah Junction: Composing an American Life. Badman, Keith Backbeat Books. Carlin, Peter Ames Dillon, Mark ECW Press. Granata, Charles L. Chicago Review Press.
Kent, Nick Da Capo Press. Lambert, Philip Bloomsbury Publishing. Wilson, Brian ; Greenman, Ben Pet Sounds. Surfin' Safari Surfin' U. Summer Days And Summer Nights!! Beach Boys' Party! Album L. The Beach Boys singles discography.
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There's too much controversy. Mike's a formula hound — if it doesn't have a hook in it, if he can't hear a hook in it, he doesn't want to know about it. I wasn't exactly thrilled with the change, but I grew to really appreciate it as soon as we started to work on it. It wasn't like anything we'd heard before. He [Brian] could do no wrong. He could play me anything, and I would love it.
In defense of Love, Asher said that "he never was critical about what [the album] was , he was just saying it wasn't right for the Beach Boys. In other words, they gave in. They let me have my little stint. The album's soundscape incorporates elements of pop , jazz , classical , exotica , and avant-garde music. According to biographer Jon Stebbins , "Brian defies any notion of genre safety There isn't much rocking here, and even less rolling. Pet Sounds is at times futuristic, progressive, and experimental.
I wanted to make an album that would stand up in ten years. Wilson conceived of experimental arrangements  that combined conventional rock set-ups with various exotic instruments, producing new sounds with a rich texture reminiscent of symphonic works layered underneath meticulous vocal harmonics.
Most of the songs use unusual harmonic progressions and unexpected disruptions of hypermeter , both features that were met in ' Warmth of the Sun ' and ' Don't Back Down. However: "This time Brian Wilson was out to eclipse these previous sonic soap operas, to transform the subject's sappy sentiments with a God-like grace so that the song would become a veritable pocket symphony.
As author James Perone explains, Wilson's compositions include tempo changes, metrical ambiguity, and unusual tone colors that, culturally speaking, separates the album from any pop music of the era. It also adds to "the background tenderness and melancholy—as well as the increased maturity—that ebb and flow throughout Pet Sounds. Rather, he was trying to get classical musicians to play like rock musicians. He's using these things to make music in the way that he understood, rather than trying to appropriate the orchestra.
The album included two instrumental tracks composed solely by Brian. Both titles had been recorded as backing tracks for existing songs, but by the time the album neared completion Wilson had decided that the tracks worked better without vocals. As an instrumental composition, this gives the piece an atmospheric feel; however, the exact mood is difficult to define.
For much of Pet Sounds lyrical content, Brian turned inward and probed his deep-seated self-doubts and emotional longings. Brian was constantly looking for topics that kids could relate to. Even though he was dealing in the most advanced score-charts and arrangements, he was still incredibly conscious of this commercial thing.
This absolute need to relate. According to reviewer Jim Esch, the opener "Wouldn't It Be Nice" inaugurates and suggests the album's pervasive theme: "fragile lovers buckling under the pressure of external forces they can't control, self-imposed romantic expectations and personal limitations, while simultaneously trying to maintain faith in one other.
It is a theme that keeps reverberating sweetly, and hauntingly, throughout Pet Sounds. Responding to the songwriters' denials of a conscious lyric theme, Nick Kent observed: "[The] album documents the male participant's attempts at coming to terms with himself and the world about him. Each song pinpoints a crisis of faith in love and life: confusion ' That's Not Me ' , disorientation the staggeringly beautiful ' I Just Wasn't Made for These Times ' , recognition of love's capricious impermanence ' Here Today ' and finally, the grand betrayal of innocence featured in 'Caroline, No'.
The main one is the inclusion of the hit single 'Sloop John B', as well as of two instrumental pieces. Fussili states that Wilson's tendency to "wander far from the logic of his composition only to return triumphantly to confirm the emotional intent of his work" is repeated numerous times in Pet Sounds , but never to "evoke a sense of unbridled joy" as Wilson recently had with the single "The Little Girl I Once Knew".
On the second track "You Still Believe in Me", "One of the high points of the composition and Brian's vocal performance I guess it just came up naturally. The album is often considered within the canon of psychedelic rock. They attribute this to Wilson's "eclectic mixture of instruments, echo, reverb, and innovative mixing techniques learnt from Phil Spector to create a complex soundscape in which voice and music interweave tightly".
DeRogatis compared the album's repeated listening value to a heightened psychedelic awareness, that its melodies "continue to reveal themselves after dozens of listens, just as previously unnoticed corners of the world reveal themselves during the psychedelic experience".
Wilson produced several backing tracks over a period lasting several months, using professional Hollywood recording studios and an ensemble that included the classically trained session musicians nicknamed " the Wrecking Crew ", also known as the musicians frequently employed on Phil Spector's records. Although the self-taught Wilson often had entire arrangements worked out in his head, they were usually written in a shorthand form for the other players by one of his session musicians.
I wrote out all the horn charts separate from the keyboards. I wrote one basic keyboard chart, violins, horns, and basses, and percussion. Engineer Chuck Britz remembered how most of the time was spent perfecting individual sounds: "[Brian] knew basically every instrument he wanted to hear, and how he wanted to hear it.
What he would do is call in all the musicians at one time which was very costly , but still, that's the way he would do it.
Tape effects were limited to slapback echo and reverb. Archivist Mark Linett notes: "to my ears, it sounds more like the plate [reverberators] rather than chambers. It should be mentioned that you get a significantly different sound from a chamber when you record it 'live' as opposed to doing it off tape, and one reason these records sound the way they do is that the reverb was being printed as part of the recording — unlike today where we'll record 'dry' and add the effects later.
Spector's backing tracks were recorded live, and usually in a single take. These backing tracks were mixed live, in mono, and taped directly onto one track of the three-track recorder. The master was completed with the addition of backing vocals on the third track before the three tracks were mixed down to create the mono master tape. The fourth track usually contained a rough reference mix used during playback at the session, later to be erased for overdubs such as a string section.
Discussing Spector's Wall of Sound technique, Wilson identified the tack piano and organ mix in "I Know There's an Answer" as one example of himself applying the method. The Beach Boys rarely knew their parts before arriving in the studio. Britz: "Most of the time, they were never ready to sing. They would rehearse in the studio.
Actually, there was no such thing as rehearsal. They'd get on mike right off the bat, practically, and start singing. He explains, "Every night we'd come in for a playback.
We'd sit around and listen to what we did the night before. Someone might say, well, that's pretty good but we can do that better We had somewhat photographic memory as far as the vocal parts were concerned so that was never a problem for us. During recording, Mike Love often called Brian "dog ears", a nickname referencing a canine's ability to detect sounds far beyond the limits of human hearing. We worked and worked on the harmonies and, if there was the slightest little hint of a sharp or a flat, it wouldn't go on.
We would do it over again until it was right. Every voice had to be right, every voice and its resonance and tonality had to be right. The timing had to be right. The timbre of the voices just had to be correct, according to how he felt.
And then he might, the next day, completely throw that out and we might have to do it over again. By the time of Pet Sounds , Wilson was using up to six of the eight tracks on the multitrack master so that he could record the voice of each member separately, allowing him greater control over the vocal balance in the final mix. The album's final vocal overdubbing session took place on April 13, , concluding a ten-month-long recording period that had begun with "Sloop John B" in July You could hear him talking in the background.
It was real sloppy. He had spent all this time making the album, and zip—dubbed it down in one day or something like that. I think a lot of times, beautiful orchestrated stuff or parts got lost in his mixes". He did this because he felt that mono mastering provided more sonic control over the final result, irrespective of the vagaries of speaker placement and sound system quality.
On October 15, , Brian went to the studio with a piece orchestra to record an instrumental piece entitled "Three Blind Mice", which bore no musical connection to the nursery rhyme of the same name. According to Brian, "I was just foolin' around one day, fuckin' around with the musicians, and I took that arrangement out of my briefcase and we did it in 20 minutes.
It was nothing, there was really nothing in it. In mid February , Brian was in the studio with his session band taping the first takes of a new composition, " Good Vibrations ". To the group's surprise, he also dropped "Good Vibrations" from the running order, telling them that he wanted to spend more time on it. Al Jardine remembered: "At the time, we all had assumed that 'Good Vibrations' was going to be on the album, but Brian decided to hold it out. It was a judgment call on his part; we felt otherwise but left the ultimate decision up to him.
Brian devoted some Pet Sounds sessions to avant-garde indulgences such as an extended a cappella run-through of the children's song " Row, Row, Row Your Boat " that exploited the song's use of rounds. Humorous skits and sound effects were recorded in an attempt to create a psychedelic comedy album, foreshadowing much of his work on Smile , which was set to have followed Pet Sounds. The only product of these sessions present in Pet Sounds was an excerpt of Brian's dogs barking accompanied by a recording of passing trains, which was sampled from the sound effects LP Mister D's Machine.
This features Brian asking Britz: "Hey, Chuck, is it possible we can bring a horse in here without The front sleeve depicts a snapshot of the band — from left, they are Carl, Brian, and Dennis Wilson; Mike Love; and Al Jardine — feeding pieces of apples to seven goats at the zoo.
Love remembers that Capitol's working title for the album was Our Freaky Friends , and that the label planned the cover shoot at the zoo, with the animals representing the group's "freaky friends".
Zoo officials were not keen about having their beloved beasts connected with the title of the album, but gave in when the Beach Boys explained that animals are an 'in' thing with teenagers.
And that the Beach Boys were rushing to beat the rock and roll group called The Animals. I thought it was a goofy name for an album — I thought it trivialized what we had accomplished. Jardine also expressed disappointment with the chosen cover, believing it was "crazy" to go to the zoo, that "the art department screwed up pretty badly on that one That was the whole idea",  and that the title was a "tribute" to Spector by matching his initials PS ,  but could not recall who thought of going to the zoo.
We had taken pictures at the zoo and It was just so much more than a record; it had such a spiritual quality. It wasn't going in and doing another top ten. It had so much more meaning than that. After the album was assembled, Brian brought a complete acetate to Marilyn, who remembered, "It was so beautiful, one of the most spiritual times of my whole life.
We both cried. Right after we listened to it, he said he was scared that nobody was going to like it. That it was too intricate. In February , Pet Sounds was presented with gold and platinum awards based on sales that could be documented, although Capitol Records estimated it may have sold over two million copies.
Brian was "heartsick" that Pet Sounds didn't sell as highly as he expected, and interpreted the response as a rejection to his creative ideals.
Allegedly, they did not promote the album as heavily as previous releases. There's a good possibility that's what happened. Anyway, my real forte was dealing with artists and producers and making them feel comfortable so they could achieve their ends.
And sometimes, particularly when the label wanted something that the artist didn't, it wasn't easy. Before Pet Sounds was released, "Caroline, No" was issued as a single; it was credited to Brian alone, leading to speculation that he was considering leaving the band. The single reached number 3 in the US  and number 2 in Britain.
The album's greatest success was in the UK, where it reached number 2  and stayed in the top-ten positions for six months. Bruce Johnston stated that when he was in London in May , a number of musicians and other guests gathered in his hotel suite to listen to repeated playbacks of the album. Moon himself involved Johnston by helping him gain coverage in British television circuits, and connecting him with Lennon and McCartney. Pet Sounds was released in the UK on June Derek Taylor , the Beach Boys' publicist, is widely recognized as having been instrumental in this success, due to his longstanding connections with the Beatles and other industry figures in the UK.
While the second film, containing footage of the group minus Bruce flailing around in grotesque horror masks and playing Old Maid , was intended to be accompanied by excerpts from "Wouldn't It Be Nice", "Here Today" and "God Only Knows", slight edits were made by the BBC to reduce the film's length. Early reviews for the album in the U.
The whole LP is far more romantic than the usual Beach Boys jollity: sad little wistful songs about lost love and found love and all-around love. Instrumentally ambitious, if vocally over-pretty, Pet Sounds has brilliantly tapped the pulse of the musical times. A superb, important and really exciting collection from the group whose recording career so far has been a bit of a hotchpotch.
Melody Maker ran a feature in which many pop musicians were asked whether they believed that the album was truly revolutionary and progressive, or "as sickly as peanut butter". I haven't spent much time listening to the Beach Boys before, but I'm a fan now and I just want to listen to this LP again and again.
It's the pop equivalent of that, a complete exercise in pop music. It's written for a feminine audience. According to author Johnny Morgan, a "process of reevaluation" of Pet Sounds was underway from the late s onward, with a NME feature proving especially influential. Club , writing in , theorized that the success of "Good Vibrations" helped turn around the perception of Pet Sounds , in that the album's "un-hip orchestrations and pervasive sadness baffled some longtime fans, who didn't immediately get what Wilson was trying to do.
In a review for Rolling Stone , Stephen Davis called Pet Sounds "by far" Brian Wilson's best album and said that its "trenchant cycle of love songs has the emotional impact of a shatteringly evocative novel". Strauss says that the album's quality and subversion of rock traditions is "what created its special place in rock history; there was no category for its fans to place it in".
For all of its inward-looking sentimentalism, it lays out in a masterful way the kind of glow and sui generis vision that Brian aimed to [later] expand.
In Chris Smith's book Albums That Changed Popular Music , Pet Sounds is evaluated as "one of the most innovative recordings in rock" and that it "elevated Brian Wilson from talented bandleader to studio genius". I can't even get my dad to talk about Pet Sounds anymore. The hymnal aspect of many of these songs seems no less pronounced, and the general air of deeply heartfelt love, graciousness and the uncertainty that any of it will be returned are still affecting to the point of distraction.
He references a sketch from the television show Portlandia in which "your classic hipster musicians Maloney mused: "The songs on Pet Sounds are great, but you have to wonder, given all the hype and mythology and our love of shallow nostalgia, what we mean when we call it a classic or Wilson a genius. Consider what [Frank] Zappa was doing in , to say nothing of Miles [Davis]. Wilson's high reputation is evidence of our obsession with childlike innocence and the victory of boring poptimism.
By the s, three British critics' polls featured Pet Sounds at or near the top of their lists. Pet Sounds is recognized as an ambitious and sophisticated work that advanced the field of music production in addition to setting numerous precedents in its recording.
Strauss, they were also the first major rock group "to look music trends firmly in the eye and declare that rock really didn't matter. Although not originally a big seller, Pet Sounds has been "enormously" influential since it was released. In terms of musical conception, lyric content, production and performance, it stood as a landmark in a music genre whose development was about to begin snowballing.
Thought to be released on the same day as the album was Bob Dylan 's Blonde on Blonde , which Leibovitz called "two strands in the same conversation, the one that turned American popular music, for one fleeting moment of one year in the middle s, into a religious movement".
Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The interplay between the Beatles and the Beach Boys thus inextricably links the two albums together.
Brian's ensuing mythology originated the trope of the "reclusive genius" among studio-oriented musical artists. In , a panel of numerous musicians, songwriters and producers assembled by MOJO voted Pet Sounds as the greatest album among them. Its scope transcends just about all lines of age, race, and gender.
Its impact continues to broaden with each passing generation. The album informed the developments of genres such as rock, hip hop , jazz, electronic , experimental , punk , pop,  and is often cited as one of the earliest entries in the canon of psychedelic rock. Along with Rubber Soul , Revolver , and the s folk movement, Greene credited Pet Sounds with spawning the majority of trends in post rock music. Pet Sounds is viewed by David Leaf as a herald of the art rock genre,  while Jones specifically locates it to the genre's beginning.
Wilson became a "godfather" to an era of indie musicians who were inspired by his melodic sensibilities, studio experimentation, and chamber pop orchestrations."Wouldn't It Be Nice" is the opening track on the album Pet Sounds and one of the most widely recognized songs by the American pop group The Beach Boys. It was composed and produced by Brian Wilson, with lyrics by Tony Asher, Brian Wilson and Mike Love.