Pet Sounds

The Beach Boys’s, Pet Sounds, although the lack of serious titles, it actually a collection of musical works that brought a new element and arrangement to music that hadn’t been done before.  Unlike previous albums that captured the beach life lifestyle, surfing, and a good times with upbeat tempos and melodies, Pet Sounds was proof that Brian Wilson, becoming a more mature adult.  This might be due to the fact that Brian expected more out of Pet Sounds than any of the other Beach Boy albums. Brian Wilson wrote the arrangements and music for the album, with the help of Lyricist, Tony Asher, and influences from producer, Phil Spector, who’s musicians Brian Wilson used for the Pet Sounds album.  Brian Wilson said Phil Spector’s Christmas album, “A Christmas Gift For You” was the greatest album of all time, but his main influence for Pet Sounds came from a Beatle’s album called Rubber Soul. Ironically enough the Beatles said that the Pet Sounds album was their main influence when writing, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”.  Pet Sounds was not only innovative in the music arrangement, but also in the production style.  An example these new and innovative arrangement ideas was the song, “Sloop John B,” which was a folk song that only utilized three major chords in it. Al Jardine brought “Sloop John B” to Brian Wilson’s attention, which then trigger the following events.  Although simple, Brian Wilson had a good idea how he was going to arrange it prior to recording. This allowed Brian to plan bring in large horn sections and orchestral performance.   The production of every song was just revolutionary, “Caroline No” being a prime example. “Caroline No,” was a tribute to Wilson’s high school crush or better known as “the one that got away.” The production side was really clever. Even after the whole song was done, Brian’s father recommended speeding up the tape a half note to give it some life and Brian happy obliged. Innovative ideas like these made Pet Sounds a big deal back then and today.  I feel that the production style is very modern. Some music I listen to today still implement the same techniques. In terms of the arrangement, I feel that there isn’t anything necessarily special, but more impressed with the powerful inspirations for songs such as “Bohemian Rhapsody” and orchestral type pieces. This album bridges the gap between genres and really starts to show that you can pull from other genres as you choose.


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