Wouldn't it be nice to hear Pet Sounds for the first time again? Well, next month you can experience the next best thing. In commemoration of the monumental album's 50th anniversary The Beach Boys and Capitol Records are re-releasing it in four different editions, some of which include studio outtakes, alternate mixes, and unreleased live versions. What's more Brian Wilson is now on a world tour playing the album in its entirety. Catch him in Los Angeles at the Hollywood Bowl, Jul 10 and in San Francisco at The Masonic, Oct 12-13.
When Pet Sounds was released May 16, 1966 its reception was mixed. The 11th album for the already popular group garnered little critical and commercial success in the States, while in England it was hailed by the music press and hit the number 2 spot on the Top 40 charts. One Mr. Paul McCartney was so impressed with it the album became the main influence on his band's next record, a little thing called Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
While it may be a little hard to imagine today, the radical arrangements, un-rock-like orchestrations, and wildly inventive production coupled with subject matter that was less cheery and more introspective than your average pop album of the day, was a lot to take in for some who were just looking for the next fun surf track to dance to down at the beach shack. However Pet Sounds paved the way for the idea that a rock album could be more than a mere collection of singles, but a cohesive piece of art. Brian Wilson's production on the album would open up creative possibilities we take for granted now, would influence all kinds of musical genres, and would bring the concept of production into the mainstream consciousness as an essential part of an album.