Hoist up the John B’s sail

Steve Kline Ages of Rock

May 16

Pet Sounds Cover1966: The Beach Boys release the revolutionary Pet Sounds album. This is Brian Wilson’s personal tour de force, an album that marks a point where rock turns from being strictly dance music to an art form that commands attentive listening. Wilson is producer as well as writer and arranger of almost all of the music in this, The Beach Boys’ 11th studio album. Wilson weaves layers of complex vocal harmonies with unconventional instruments and sound effects, delivering one of the first-ever “concept” albums and heralding the dawning of the age of psychedelia. It makes use of all of Wilson’s “pet sounds”, incorporating elements of jazz, exotica, classical, and the avant-garde. It is led by the singles Wouldn’t It Be Nice (b/w God Only Knows) and Sloop John B, while Wilson makes his solo debut with Caroline, No. The LP will peak at #2 in the U.K. but reach only #10 in the U.S. This is a version of The Beach Boys that some in the U.S. audience are slow to accept.

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