May 16: Beach Boys released Pet Sounds in 1966

Beach Boys - Pet Sounds


May 16: Beach Boys released Pet Sounds in 1966

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. I said, “That’s it. I really am challenged to do a great album.”
~Brian Wilson (...inspiration for creating “Pet Sounds”)

[Pet Sounds] 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…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’ve often played Pet Sounds and cried. I played it to John [Lennon] so much that it would be difficult for him to escape the influence.
~Paul McCartney (recalling his first impressions of Pet Sounds)

Pet Stories – A documentary about the making of “Pet Sounds.”  (39 min):


Released May 16, 1966
Recorded July 12, 1965–April 13, 1966,
United Western, Gold Star, CBS Columbia, and Sunset Soundstudios, California
Genre Psychedelic rock, baroque pop,psychedelic pop, art rock
Length 35:57
Label Capitol
Producer Brian Wilson

Pet Sounds is the eleventh studio album by the American rock band the Beach Boys, released May 16, 1966, on Capitol Records. It has since been recognized as one of the most influential records in the history of popular music and one of the best albums of the 1960s. It features songs such as “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” and “God Only Knows”. Pet Sounds was created several months after Brian Wilson had quit touring with the band in order to focus his attention on writing and recording. In it, he wove elaborate layers of vocal harmonies, coupled with sound effects and unconventional instruments such as bicycle bells, buzzing organs, harpsichords, flutes, Electro-Theremin, dog whistles, trains, Hawaiian-sounding string instruments, Coca-Cola cans and barking dogs, along with the more usual keyboards and guitars.

A heralding album in the emerging psychedelic rock style, Pet Sounds has been championed and emulated for its dramatic and revolutionary baroque pop instrumentation. It signaled an aesthetic trend within rock by transforming it from dance music into music that was made for listening to, elevating itself to the level of art rock. Largely viewed as one of the first rock concept albums, Pet Sounds has been suggested to follow a lyrical song cycle format, although Wilson has maintained that the album’s real unified theme lies within its cohesive production style. Writer Bill Martin said that within Pet Sounds, “[The Beach Boys] brought expansions in harmony,instrumentation (and therefore timbre), duration, rhythm, and the use of recording technology. Of these elements, the first and last were the most important in clearing a pathway toward the development of progressive rock.”

Although Pet Sounds was met with strong sales abroad, reaching number two in the UK, it charted lower in the US than the majority of the band’s preceding albums, peaking at number ten on the Billboard Top LPs chart. 

  • In 1993, it was named the greatest album of all time by NME magazine and The Times, and in 1995 by Mojo magazine.
  • In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked it second on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
  • Pet Sounds was preserved in the National Recording Registry in 2004 by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant.”

pet sounds back

God Only Knows (Stereo Remaster):

Track Listing:

All songs written and composed by Brian Wilson/Tony Asher except where noted.

Side one

  1. “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” (B. Wilson/Asher/Love)
  2. “You Still Believe in Me”
  3. “That’s Not Me”
  4. “Don’t Talk” (Put Your Head on My Shoulder)
  5. “I’m Waiting for the Day” (B. Wilson/Love)
  6. “Let’s Go Away for Awhile” (B. Wilson)
  7. “Sloop John B” (trad. arr. B. Wilson/Jardine)

Side two

  1. “God Only Knows”
  2. “I Know There’s an Answer” (B. Wilson/Sachen/Love)
  3. “Here Today”
  4. “I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times”
  5. “Pet Sounds” (B. Wilson)
  6. “Caroline, No”

Wouldn’t It Be Nice (Stereo Remaster):

The Beach Boys (@Pet Sounds)
  • Al Jardine – lead, harmony and backing vocals, tambourine
  • Bruce Johnston – harmony and backing vocals
  • Mike Love – lead, harmony and backing vocals
  • Brian Wilson – lead, harmony and backing vocals, producer, arranger, conductor, organ, piano, dog whistle, train whistle, sound effects incl. barking dogs
  • Carl Wilson – lead, harmony and backing vocals, guitar, twelve-string guitar
  • Dennis Wilson – harmony and backing vocals, drums

Pet Sounds (full album) – Original mono version with TruBass mode @ youtube:



-Egil & Hallgeir

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