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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Pet Sounds

The Beach Boys

1966

Pet Sounds

Album Summary

Pet Sounds is the 11th studio album by the American rock band the Beach Boys, released on May 16, 1966 by Capitol Records. It was initially met with a lukewarm critical and commercial response in the United States, peaking at number 10 on the Billboard Top LPs chart. In the United Kingdom, the album was lauded by critics and reached number 2 on the Record Retailer chart, remaining in the top ten for six months. Promoted there as "the most progressive pop album ever", Pet Sounds garnered recognition for its ambitious production, sophisticated music, and emotional lyrical content. It is considered to be among the greatest and most influential albums in music history.The album was produced, arranged, and almost entirely composed by Brian Wilson with guest lyricist Tony Asher. It was recorded largely between January and April 1966, a year after Wilson quit touring with his bandmates. His goal was to create "the greatest rock album ever made"—a cohesive work with no filler tracks. It is sometimes considered a Wilson solo album that builds upon the advancements of The Beach Boys Today! (1965). Lead single "Caroline, No" was issued as his official solo debut. It was followed by two singles credited to the group: "Sloop John B" and "Wouldn't It Be Nice" (backed with "God Only Knows"). Incorporating elements of pop, jazz, exotica, classical, and the avant-garde, Wilson's Wall of Sound-based orchestrations mixed conventional rock set-ups with elaborate layers of vocal harmonies, found sounds, and instruments never before associated with rock, such as bicycle bells, French horn, flutes, Electro-Theremin, string sections, and beverage cans. The album could not be reproduced live and was the first time that any group departed from their usual small-ensemble electric rock band format for a whole LP. An early concept album, it consists mainly of introspective songs like "I Know There's an Answer", a critique of LSD users; and "I Just Wasn't Made for These Times", the first use of a theremin-like instrument on a rock record. The album's unprecedented total production cost exceeded $70,000 (equivalent to $580,000 in 2021). An expanded reissue, The Pet Sounds Sessions, was released in 1997 with isolated vocals and instrumental versions, session highlights, and the album's first true stereo mix. Pet Sounds revolutionized the field of music production and the role of producers within the music industry, introduced novel approaches to orchestration, chord voicings, and structural harmonies, and furthered the cultural legitimization of popular music, a greater public appreciation for albums, the use of synthesizers, the recording studio as an instrument, and the development of psychedelic music and progressive/art rock. It has topped several critics' and musicians' polls for the best album of all time, including those published by NME, Mojo, Uncut, and The Times. In 2004, it was inducted into the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress. It has been certified platinum by the RIAA, indicating over one million units sold.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.87

Votes

5015

Genres

  • Pop
  • Rock
  • Psychedelic Rock
Reviews
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5

I hear (and see) Pet Sounds as a pure Masterpiece. It is my belief that it has some of the best music the band ever created...lovely, catchy, and experimental. The Beach Boys were in major transition and Brian Wilson was insisting on pushing the envelope in writing and instrumentation. Some of the sounds on the record are quite raw and wild, and while the rest of the band wasn't feeling it, Wilson's mental health imbalances and his creative genius combined were strong contributors to making sure this piece of art was recorded as it was. I am so grateful that I was able to take my mom to Milwaukee to see Brian Wilson and his band (including original member, Al Jardine) perform Pet Sounds in its entirety a few years back. We were overjoyed. We were choked up often. The album live was gorgeous! The second half of the show was a long line of Beach Boys hits written by Brian. We sang along and smiled at each other often. I'll never forget it. Only a few years prior, I witnessed the entire band perform at Bonnaroo. The crowd was nuts and hundreds of massive beach balls were flying overhead. This was a time that the ego of Mike Love and mental health of Brian Wilson were able to merge for a reunion tour. Wouldn't It Be Nice to experience a music festival again and the Beach Boys again soon! **important to note that Love & Mercy with Paul Dano & John Cusack (each taking on two stages of Wilson's life) is a stellar representation of the highs & lows of the Beach Boys and Wilson.

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2

I first listened to this album a few years ago, and remember not liking it. When this album came up on this list, as I knew it would, I hoped that with my expectations lowered it would be an improvement for me. It wasn’t. The album was full of midtempo tracks that were neither particularly rocking or particularly chill. I don’t like Brian Wilson’s voice when he sings with more drawn out notes. The reputation of this album proceeded it, but it just wasn’t for me. My personal enjoyment: 1.5/5 Did it belong on this list: 5/5

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5

Imagine making this masterpiece and later having people scream “Kokomo!” at you at every single show you play for forty years straight until you die, when you then have people scream “Kokomo!” at you in the afterlife for all eternity. Sometimes I get very sad.

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5

Out of over a thousand possiblities I get an album I've already listened to, hahah Pet Sounds is great but I slightly prefer The Beach Boys Today Post-listen again: OK PET SOUNDS IS A FUCKING MASTERPIECE I TAKE IT BACK

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5

One of the most exquisitely beautiful albums you could ever hope to hear. Also a very brave and heartfelt album, leaping head first into uncharted territory beyond genres. Nothing else sounds like this. In my ideal alternate universe this would have caught on more commercially and the Beach Boys would have continued more in this vein. I absolutely adore Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys. This was one of the first CDs I ever owned. I drove down to Iowa to see him perform the album in it's entirety in 2017 and hearing God Only Knows in person was one of the most powerful musical experiences of my life. I always come back to this one and I always will. Transcendent. Hors categorie.

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5

Technically, this might be the best pop record ever made. An absolute masterpiece that is completely enjoyable on multiple levels.

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5

It is impossible to rate this album below perfection. This is arguably the best album of all time in rock and roll history. It as yet to be bettered today, decades later. It achieved more with less given limited yet innovative technologies at the time. Must be listened to start to finish.

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5

Perfect harmonies, lush production, and super complex layers, still sounding relevant and contemporary

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4

I have mixed feelings about this album. Every time I have listened to it before was after reading a review that made me think I was gonna see god after listening to this. So this time I went in thinking I was going to hate it like I had every other time. It was actually pretty good, instrumentation was layered and interesting though the vocals still feel trapped in 1950s shtick. Overall I think this album is more historically significant as one of the first concept albums than some sort of sonic masterpiece.

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2

I may be committing a spot of heresy here but this is...a bit shit? The songs tend to drag, the production and orchestration feel creaky and I really struggle with the drippy, lugubrious vocals. I am to understand that this is an enduring work of genius, but one or two tracks aside I'm not getting any juice out of this lemon. The soupy sounds of a bunch of wet lads, criminally overrated all told.

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5

9.7/10

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5

A departure from everything I thought the Beach Boys were. This is neither beach music or boys music. It is a combination of pop/jazz with a ton of orchestral music woven in. It showcases why Brian Wilson is considered to be one of the greatest songwriters in history. The music couldn't be more solid. Each of the songs instrumentals is carefully crafted and even some of the odder sounds feel like they fully belong. The lyrics are more mature and even though experimental it still has a fantastic flow and rhythm to it. I never thought I would love a beach boys album as much as I did this one and I feel a little upset at myself having obviously never given them a fair listen. The only issue I have with this album is the songs are too short, I always wanted more and with this the fade outs(while the singing was still going on) were not to mu liking. But the harmony of this album far out weighs and gripes I may have.

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5

Genre: Baroque Pop 5/5 Ah, Pet Sounds. One of those truly ubiquitous albums that continues to stand the test of time. It's a true pop masterpiece, an album where each song has the tender love and care that most producers and songwriters at the time would put towards just one or two singles. Along with the efforts of The Beatles, The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds is another example of how radically music was changing and growing at the time, and how the competition didn't come from the record companies (though they profited mightily), but from the songwriters themselves. Brian Wilson and Paul McCartney were trading pop masterpieces like boxers trade uppercuts. Pet Sounds, however, certainly does sound and feel its age. It's truly all so classic, from Wouldn't It Be Nice to God Only Knows to every beautiful nugget in between, but I'm sure this album does little to the impatient listener nowadays. The Wall-of-Sound style reverb, and the classical and baroque influences throughout I'm sure turn off some younger listeners nowadays, and the mystique of this album may die with the times. But Brian Wilson here is methodically walking us through his feelings garden, and it's quite the emotional journey, with each track leaving an impression throughout the length of the album. Sloop John B, Don't Talk, That's Not Me, they're all here and they're all songs that would be other band's best song ever. I think even if this album doesn't hit you as hard as it hits others, which isn't usually the case, it still serves as a monolith of the times. A pop project that set the bar quite high for the rest of time.

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3

Couldn't hear any pets but some good songs otherwise

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3

sweaty. hellish. hate the harmonies. feel like i took too many painkillers

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2

wouldn't it be nice to fuck off

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1

The album is Brian Wilson in a nutshell: Disconnected and contained all at once; Insecure lyrics, mature music; Ambitious and more than a little bonkers.

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1

I've never really liked The Beach Boys. This album is very typical of their music, so naturally I dislike it. "Wouldn't It Be Nice" is the most recognizable tune on it, and all I could think was "Wouldn't it be nice if no Beach Boys albums were on this list?" 1 star.

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1

Fucking nightmare. Too much sound. Everytime I start to like it someone goes 'oooohhh woooooo' and then a horn starts honking

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1

i want a reason to live and this site isn’t helping

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5

One of the most praised albums of all time. The Beach Boys have never been and never will be my favorite, but this is a great album, end of story. Best track: God Only Knows

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5

CLASSIC AF, and really brings out the psychedelic side of the Beach Boys, which of often overlooked for the more beachy tunes. And the hits are always fun to hear again.

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5

What an incredible album. From wouldn’t it be nice to Caroline no, you will be entrenched in the heavenly harmonies. I’ve noticed with this listen the “story” of this album, where from wouldn’t it be nice is a simple song of young love. This concept is introduced there and is expanded upon in the first side. By sloop John b, the relationship is more fragile and not as tight, perhaps because of the age of the characters. God only knows continues this. Listening to the song on its own appears to be a love song asserting ones love. In the concept of the album it is the first song where the love falls apart. God only knows goes from certainty of love to uncertainty based on context. Throughout the second side, the protagonist deals with the love failing and a breakup. Specifically here today exhibits the ex lover finding a new partner. I just wasn’t made for these times is a depressive state following that. The title track “pet sounds” is an instrumental break that lets us breath in from the journey so far. Finally Caroline no, shows us what happens when the two lovers reconnect and the spark can’t be reignited, concluding with the sound of a train and a dog barking. I don’t understand the albums final notes of train and dogs. But I ADIRE THIS ALBUM. It truly is one of the greatest of all time.

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5

9

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5

Fun, creative lyrics that will always make you feel 19 again. Great weekend or car trip listen.

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5

Some outstanding tracks. God Only Knows, wouldn’t it be Nice, Sloop John B. Top 10 best album of all time in my opinion.

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5

I've listened to this album many, many times over my lifetime because it's my dad's favorite. And for good reason.

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5

Great album — love The Beach Boys and this album is what sparked the new-age indie/alt.

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5

One of the greatest albums of all time.

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5

Excellent

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5

C’mon you think I haven’t heard this shit before? It’s one of the best albums ever! I’ll listen to it again though I guess

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5

Classic

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5

A classic

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5

wouldn't it be nice is a classic. one of those songs that never fails to lift your spirits. that's not me is so nice i never really listened to it. this album is so joyful. my heart is floating.

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5

Okay, I’m really excited about this one because I really like the Beach Boys! And I already know some of these songs. And it didn’t disappoint. Some of the songs weren’t as good as others, but it was pretty good as a whole.

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5

Thank you, Brian Wilson.

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5

Trop bon!

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5

This is one of my all time favorite albums. I love it.

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5

good as always

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5

Possibly the best album ever made

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5

Great, I LOVE all songs

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5

This is a great album that I already know before. It has some of the most important songs in the whole world. Impossible to give it less than 5 stars

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5

One of the best albums ever.

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5

A masterpiece

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5

An all-time classic I'd never listened to before. It lived up to it's billing - a beautiful, tender and melancholic record, and quite far removed from the Beach Boy's west coast pop (which is also great). Both sides start and finish with classics and the songs in between help this album to read very much of a consistent piece. A pretty much perfect record. 5/5.

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5

The GOAT

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5

Una maravilla.

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5

Lovely, one of, if not the greatest pop albums ever. Deep, rich recording. Love the horns and diverse sounds across this album

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5

Love listening to this album. God Only knows brings back a lot of nostalgic memories for me.

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5

already listened

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5

Interesting to listen to the full album. Sad, haunting, beautiful. Clear influences to Wilco & some Pink Floyd 40-50 years earlier.

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5

sonic bliss!

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5

Classic

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5

Eins der goat Alben

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5

The Beach Boys' finest effort and one of the greatest albums of all time. 9.4/10 Best Tracks: "Wouldn't It Be Nice" "I'm Waiting for the Day" "Sloop John B" "God Only Knows"

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5

Classic songs that flow together for a great listen

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5

I mean, come on. So good

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5

Already in the mix

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5

One of the best albums. There's little better than the Beach Boys at their best, and this album is definitely a great one.

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5

Always been a favorite. Every time I listen to it I find something new to love.

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5

God Only Knows

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5

A great classic.

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5

Talented voices and some interesting drums.

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5

It's been said before, but.... Genius!

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5

So good!

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5

I studied this album as part of my college degree, it's that big of a deal. Even so, I wasn't prepared to give it a 5 start review. But, as I listened, I realized that this really is a milestone album in the history of recording. So many of these songs are OBJECTIVELY great songwriting and (despite Brian Wilson's penchant for lazy fade-out endings) the production really is astounding. Wilson truly was a mad genius and his capacity for brilliance is on full display here.

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5

Superb classic album.

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5

Obviously Beach Boys best. A musical inspiration for that period. Variety, a great album. Brian Wilson a genius.

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5

I listened practically on repeat the entire day. Love it.

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5

I had always heard how "genius" this album was so I was going in with high expectations. This was not at all what I was expecting, but in a great way. I have heard the greatest hits of TBBs countless times as a kid and have seen them live a long time ago, but this was so far from that sound. Surf rock, pop, and an orchestra so amazingly mixed together. Makes me think a bit of Metallica's S&M somewhat. Great album. Needs a couple relistens

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5

A true classic. The harmonies, Wilson is a genius. Nothing more to be said.

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5

WOW. I love this album. I'd put this in my Top 5 all time for sure. Stunningly beautiful melodies, soaring rich harmonies, insane instrumentation, and poetic lyrics. A classic.

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5

Them harmonies. The brilliant studio work. Very pure

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5

Need I say more? One of the most important albums of the 60s indeed of the rock era. 5 stars

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5

I mean...it's Pet Sounds. Not much to say really. Brian Wilson is a genius. This album is brilliant. You probably already knew that.

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5

Poppy, moody, fun, dense. A great album.

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5

Legendary

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5

Need no introduction to this one. My all time favorite. There are goats on the front because it is the GOAT. Brian Wilson did something unprecedented with this album, and few have been able to imitate the results he achieved here.

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5

Still mesmerising, seminal, the start of many wonderful things.

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5

nice

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5

Absolutely amazing album. The father indie albums. Beautiful lyricism and vocals that make me feel them. Super soothing and fun.

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5

Perfection. Soo good.

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5

A great piece of work

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5

Engir Bítlar, en þetta er samt æðisleg plata.

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5

First listened to this years ago and never quite got it. Revisited recently and it's probably an all time top 5 album. Best tracks 1. I'm Waiting For The Day 2. God Only Knows 3. I Know There's An Answer Wouldn't It Be Nice 10/10 You Still Believe In Me 10/10 That's Not Me 10/10 Don't Talk 9/10 I'm Waiting For The Day 11/10 Let's Go Away 10/10 Sloop John B 10/10 God Only Knows 11/10 I know There's 10/10 Here Today 10/10 I Just Wasn't Made 10/10 Pet Sounds 9/10 Carolone No 10/10

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5

Questlove had it right. This thing transcended music. It’s like Brian Wilson had a secret time machine.

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5

Concept album

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5

5/5

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5

what an album! listened to it years back as it comes up on loads of "best album ever" rankings but didn't really get the fuss, glad this came up for another round today as I loved it

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5

Who knew the surf pop dudes could write an album of such exquisite beauty? Pet Sounds is one of the greatest works of art of the twentieth century. Fragile, delicate, poetic, with perfect arrangements and haunting tunes, this album stands alongside the compositions and musical innovations of The Beatles. A transformative album, to take you from where you are to another place and time. The delicate beauty of God Only Knows is a fine love / love lorn song and tracks like Wouldn’t It Be Nice and Sloop John B have a playful enjoyable energy to them. A five star classic and an album which will be remembered and revere in centuries to come.

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5

I mean Pets Sounds is one of the greatest albums of time...did as much or more to change music than the Beatles accomplished at the same time

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5

A great pop album here. Always feels like it goes by really quick. The songs are enjoyable but also aren’t just poppy nonsense. The Beach Boys best album without a doubt. 9.3/10

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5

Went for the stereo version. So many good songs it's hard to pick a highlight. Beautiful, genre-bending music that was way ahead of its time but also nostalgic.

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5

This is not an easy album to love. The melodies are not standard pop fare, they are complex and the hooks are while their are present but require repeated listens to make their way into your brain. This is not Sgt. Pepper, with its easily hummable melodies and easy hooks. It's a great album but it requires time before it's greatness is revealed. It did at least for me. 5 🌟

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5

I mean really

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5

Near perfect album.

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5

One of the best albums of its era

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5

Wonderful way to start.

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5

Great album. First time playing all the way through. Perfect for a cold Winter work morning.

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5

A classic. So instrumental in changing rock music through the magic of production. Amazing.

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5

Top notch

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5

5/5. God-tier

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5

A peerless 60s classic, full of sweeping harmonies, one of the finest pop records ever made…

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5

I've heard Pet Shop Boys before. It's difficult not to feel a warmth in your heart with most of their songs. It's really a soung that represents the turning of the 60's, mostly in America... A piece of musical history, in my opinion. - An issue I've been having with 1001 is that there are only English-speaking bands and singers. I didn't check for this info but it seems that they're mostly American as well... Anyway, it's been a fun experience so far!

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5

I've Finished Typing Two Chapters On Pc, Ktebt 5 Saf7at Fy 3l Bouheli Mte3 Dostoevsky. Getting Better.

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5

I listened to this one recently, so I don't even need to listen to it again to know how great it is. Such a wonderful album! Nothing I say would do it justice.

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5

Introduces young kids to a wide range of animals from eight different habitats or groups. Hear the sounds they make and learn a few fun facts about each animal. There are some memory-recall and musical-exploration games, as well as a collection of offscreen activities to do as a family.

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5

Wouldn't it be nice? Brian Wilson’s evolutionary compositional masterpiece, eh? Painstakingly put together in an effort to outdo The Beatles, this album was certainly ahead of the curve in terms of production. Some of the lyrics are a bit shit, but I guess that's what you got at the time. Dennis Wilson should have hung out with Charles Manson a bit more for some darker themes.

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5

Nightmares are the best part of my day. Most Wednesdays I wake up screaming like a methed up marmot who's just stubbed its toe. I sound like Kerry Katona coughing up a parrot. Then there's usually a vacuum of deafening silence before my foreskin deflates and produces not only the most foul stench imaginable, but the sound of an injured ghost of a crocodile, trying to claw itself back into a different realm. Peter Pan, Peter Pan, Peter Pan.

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5

The best album of 1966 and a contender for best album of the 60s outright. Brian Wilson took a break from touring after a panic attack and decided that he wanted to take the Beach Boys' sound in a more experimental and introspective direction. He built upon Phil Spector's 'wall of sound' with his own unique orchestrations and ended up with one of the lushest and best produced albums of all time. Here Wilson is at his creative apex both melodically and harmonically. The tone of the album is melancholic and full of longing. The melodies are acrobatic and delicate, and the harmonies are full of depth.

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5

Un de les primera clares obres mestres del pop. Incentivat pels Beatles, Brian Wilson decideix explorar les possibilitats del génere en una simfonia de melodies, sons diversos, explosió d'il.luminació i creativitat i un conjunt de cançons difícilment superable

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5

Combining Brian's drive to create something that would outdo Spector, and challenged by the recent works by the Beatles, he took the same approach to creating music as they did, get off the road and use the studio to create and explore. The resulting Pet Sounds is an album of sheer beauty. Every sound, every harmony, and every noise (bicycle bell or dog barking) matters and is as important to this piece of work, as are the range of musical styles. From the innocence of young love, Wouldn't it Be Nice" to the heartbreaking Caroline No this album represents a man at his musical peak and just like the Wrecking Crew were able to put down what Brian was hearing in his head the Beach Boys were able to put down the complex vocals harmonies coming from that same place. The songs came together beautifully. A pure pop symphony. Really hard to pick a favorite but I will go with; Wouldn't It Be Nice, God Only Knows, Caroline No, I Just Wasn't Made for These Times. 5 out of 5.

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5

Best Beach Boys album. A must have in your vinyl collection. Appreciate the master as it is much more enjoyable in stereo than mono. Brian Wilson Opus with out a doubt. The work that went into PET SOUNDS and amount of studio musicians performing makes this ear cotton candy. It also has the best collection songs of any of their albums. It definitely moves away from what made them popular with that surfer sound, but that needed to be done.

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5

There's a reason this album is as highly regarded as it is. Super well constructed and hugely influential.

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5

It’s tricky, because I can’t go to a Pre-Pet Sounds time and appreciate how important this album is. I love it, and I love the Beach Boys but I generally come away from listening to the full album slightly underwhelmed. In my opinion, there’s 4 or 5 great songs, but an equal amount of forgettable songs, which is kind of lame considering Wilson set out to make the first all killer no filler record. It’s an easy 5 stars, one of the best of all time, but it’s not quite as breathtakingly spectacular as the hype would lead us to believe.

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5

Christ, I could sing most of this album and the harmony lines without even putting it on. I spent a lot of my time arguing that the Beach Boys were better than the Beatles, and this was very much the exhibit A of my argument. On here, it may just be true. Every track contains more emotion than the entirety of other classic albums, and it touches my actual soul when I hear it. Joy.

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5

‘I’m Waiting For the Day’ has a solid drum beat Now I want the vinyl of it The songs are all really good

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5

After watching the movie Love and Mercy, I have full appreciation for this album.

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5

n tem o q fazer

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5

4.5

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5

The melodies on this thing are amazing. Layers of sound. Harmonics. God only knows is obviously fantastic but all the songs except maybe John Sloop B hit. Love the melancholic mood that fills this album.

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5

This was probably my most anticipated album when I began this project, so I'm stoked to have finally gotten it. It's such a innovative album with a fantastic mix of heartbreak and positivity, all wrapped up in the unique Beach Boys' sound. Will definitely have it on repeat for a while. 10/10

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5

Excellent.

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5

Super enjoyed this. Used to listen to Beach Boys as a kid and I love listening to harmonies.

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5

The most celebrated album ever? Pet Sounds has cemented itself to the top ten of countless lists concerning the greatest albums ever, although curiously it's absent from this site's top 15. Anyway, such a position should neither extol nor sully the album in the ears of the listener, as the predictability of such lists indicates how meaningless they are. For instance, Citizen Kane has its reservation at the toppermost of film polls, and the first-time viewer usually concludes that it's actually, properly, seriously good, but the same lists that hold Pet Sounds aloft usually have the ridiculous phenomenon of 4 Beatles albums in the top ten albums of all time (I have recently concluded that the Beatles were primarily a singles band, and none of their albums display the Fabs at their fabbest). Happily, Pet Sounds falls into the Citizen Kane category. This is not to say that I consider Pet Sounds the GOAT; I don't. But I can't deny this album's magnificence. The genesis of Pet Sounds has been exhaustively documented: the Beach Boys began as the means for the autocratic, abusive minor songwriter Murry Wilson to attain stardom vicariously through a singing troop comprising his sons and nephews. However, one of those sons was the sensitive musical prodigy Brian Wilson, who broke from Murry to craft a more personal, emotional pop music inspired more by Phil Spector's Wall of Sound than the goodtime surf-music stipulated by the formula Murry conceived (then championed by everyone's one-despised Beach Boy Mike Love). With the British Invasion, and specifically Rubber Soul, Brian Wilson felt an overriding, and ultimately unhealthy, ambition to surpass the Beatles' sonic achievements (with hindsight, is Rubber Soul actually that good? Isn't it just an average, acceptable collection of songs? But then, do I know more about music than Brian Wilson?) One oddity of Pet Sounds is that it was released in 1966, during a time when the hippy movement was becoming established. Indeed, nascent psychedelic rockers such as the Doors, Love and Jefferson Airplane took Rubber Soul as a thrown-down gauntlet to reconnoitre into the beyond. Pet Sounds has none of this, focusing on producing the most impeccable soundscape. Along with this, Pet Sounds doesn't seek to investigate the more R-rated themes that had begun to interest rock. Rather, Pet Sounds is adolescent, almost childlike in its innocence and honesty. The opener, Wouldn't It Be Nice, is an almost-chaste yearning for the fireworks of romance the young assume are permanent with true love (maturity bestows the not-always-welcome realisation that romance and love are far more complicated, but the desire for love so intense never leaves you regardless of age). I Know There's An Answer (inspired by Brian's first experience with LSD) manifests that teenage sense of having everything figured out and nothing figured out, of recognising the phonies and not knowing whether to hug them or run away with a deafmute girl (baseball cap-clad douchebag Mike Love objected that the song was immoral to his square sensibilities, then later sued Brian for a songwriting credit). I could go through almost every song dissecting its guileless charm, but let's change focus to the flow of the album. It starts off exuberantly, and the first half maintains this joy, yet side 2 is far bleaker, far more introspective and self-doubting. Of course, this is still firmly adolescent, and instead of souring the album elevates it, articulating the alienation and despair that period of one's life attends. The album ends with Caroline, No, a heartbreaking song about heartbreak and the end of love, and the ideal counterpoint to Wouldn't It Be Nice. This is not to say that Pet Sounds is in any way a concept album, but it has a remarkable thematic coherence, a coherence that justifies its status as a masterpiece. Pet Sounds probably isn't perfect. God Only Knows suffers from its ubiquity, which is hardly Brian Wilson's fault. But tweezering out the minor faults of Pet Sounds would be fussiness, not diagnosis. The most valid criticisms one can make of Pet Sounds are the name and cover. According to Brian's first memoir, the title stems from somehow-more-villainous-than-Charles-Manson Mike Love damning the album, saying, "Who's gonna hear this shit? The ears of a dog?" Mike Love denies saying this (and sued him), but are there any circumstances where you want to believe Mike Love?

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5

Know it's a critic's favourite but it's damn good

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5

Utterly lush and lavnish. So many great tracks within a nicely integrated feel overall. Beyond the obvious (“Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” “Sloop John B”), the very mature and uncanny cuts (“That’s Not Me” and “Caroline, No” and “I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times”) make the record. The brightness and harmonies hide the shadows and weirdness (aren’t we glad Brian had this creative outlet?). Beyond the contrapuntal hymnal feel, there’s vulnerability and authenticity in the storytelling – the songs are about confused kids trying to find love, stay positive and be grateful (to put it in contemporary, self-carey terms). Sure, it’s over-indulgent at times, but that’s where the opulence and ethereality come from, so too the fucking Bach-esque haunting of the liltiest bits and highest glee-club registers (the vocals on “You Still Believe in Me” are a chorale, for christ’s sake). No way BB Today! Is a better record (as editors claim). That’s blasphemy, not even a quality troll because it’s so wrong (plus being indicative of dodgy taste). 4.8

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5

Great from start to finish.

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5

Not sure what more I can say about this album beyond what's been said a million times. It's a masterpiece, start to finish. 5 stars.

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5

Ça m'a pris du temps apprécier les Beach Boys. Tout ce que je connaissais d'eux était Surfin' U.S.A. et Good Vibrations. Faut voir aussi que je ne suis pas un grand fan des harmonies vocales de ce type. J'avais probablement entendu de cet album Wouldn't It Be Nice ou God Only Knows à la radio, la télé ou un autre média plus commercial, mais je n'avais pas porté une grande attention. Par contre des années plus tard, quand j'ai pris le temps d'écouter l'album dans son ensemble en y étant attentif, j'ai compris son importance. Oui il y a encore les harmonies vocales, mais tous les arrangements de cet albums sont spectaculaires. Il y a des moments dark. Pour l'époque, il y a vraiment plein d'exploration et de nouveautés dans cet album. On parle quand même ici de l'album qui a poussé les Beatles à répondre avec Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band. La pièce God Only Knows à elle seule est un chef d'oeuvre. Définitivement un album à écouter.

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5

Excellent, one of the greatest of all time. Every track is enjoyable, some are obviously better than others, but I love every one.

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5

Interesting influence on later music.

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5

A 60’s pop masterpiece, one of the truly ground breaking albums of its time.

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5

The seminal Beach Boys album, I've never heard it front to back but so many references to it from anyone talking about the band, I knew it would show up on this list eventually. Didn't disappoint, you can feel the band transition from pop/surf music to something more. You still have the harmonizing the band is known for, but it's more of a psychadelic tone. Great album, definitely would listen to again.

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5

Je connaissais les beach boys mais aussi fou que cela peut l'être je n'avais jamais écouté pet sounds autre que Wouldn't it be nice.... et je dois dire, c'est vraiment un chef d'oeuvre. Je n'ai pas regardé les chansons du début à la fin et j'ai adoré. Cela va directement dans la bibliothèque et je regrette d'avoir boudé les beach boys si longtemps.

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5

The timbres, melodies and grooves are those that I have heard contemporaries try to hit. Many pull from thee. Bows to Brian Wilson. He wasn't made for these times.

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5

If this was 5 albums you must hear before you die this would still be here

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5

I don't have to listen to this one yet again, but I will. 5 Stars. Blindly, Easily, 5 stars. A must listen.

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5

Definitive Beach Boys for me. Wouldn't it Be Nice, Sloop John B, and God Only Knows all on one record? It's a fantastic collection of sounds.

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5

One of the best ever

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5

One of the best albums of all time!

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5

Predictable 5.

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5

Classic 1960s California Beach Soundtrack

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5

perfect talented beautiful amazing one of a kind

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5

Classic, a must.

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5

Beautiful

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5

Wouldn't It Be Nice, Sloop John B, and God Only Knows makes this a legendary album. 50 years later and we're still listening to these songs. I Know There's an Answer is an under appreciated song. The lyrics are not great, but the music is super interesting.

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5

Stellar. One of my favorite bands & albums. I'd argue that Beach Boys are the best American band.

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5

Whenever a publication makes a "Greatest Albums of All Times" list, "Pet Sounds" is inevitably in the mix, and it getting picked #1 isn't unusual. I've listened to it before, but didn't really get what all the fuss was about, so I dove into the Wiki page for context as I listened to it. And then I listened to it a couple more times. And you know what? I wouldn't go so far as to call it the best album ever, but it *is* excellent. Judging the album as a cohesive whole rather than just a bunch of songs slapped together on the same hunk of vinyl helped (and that's what we're doing here, right?). And getting some of the background from Wikipedia helped contextualize it. As for individual songs, "Wouldn't It Be Nice," "Sloop John B," and "God Only Knows" were my preexisting favorites, but new favorites include "That's Not Me," "I'm Waiting for the Day," "I Know There's an Answer," and "Here Today." I definitely slept on this album, but no more! These pets make great music.

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5

After multiple listens this weekend, I’m concluding that this album that I’ve been meaning to listen to for decades is absolutely wonderful!

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5

Not much to say that has not already been said a 1000 times.

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5

Nunca había escuchado el Pet Sounds completo y cuando empezamos este proyecto supuse que aquí estaría y ya mejor me esperé. En general le pongo un 4.5 que sube a 5, y lo único que me falta o sobra es que la voz de Brian Johnson no es mi favorita. Sin embargo, fuera de eso, cada rola en si misma es una gran obra de pop. Mi favorita es God Only Knows, pero el disco completo se va como agua porque todas son compactas y entretenidas. Al final, el punto que más me sorprende es que este es el disco número ONCE de los Beach Boys. ¿Qué pedo con la capacidad creativa y/o la explotación?

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5

An all-time classic album!

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5

Why am I crying in the surf shack rn?

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4

YAY BEACH BOYS

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4

Even in mono, this is the model for all baroque pop to come. The percussion is amazing, the harmonies and songwriting are of course beautiful, and the thing as a whole breaks my image of the Beach Boys.

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4

it sure WOULD b nice

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4

I am a bit embarrassed that this was my first listen to the whole record. That said, I had extremely high expectations for this album. I am not "blown away" but can definitely understand and appreciate the artistry, and can say I mostly enjoyed listening.

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4

A classic for a reason.

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4

Some old favourites here.

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4

decent.

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4

A great and comforting album, but while I can see how impactful it would've been at its release, I feel the Beach Boys music really shows its age. simple and occasionally repetitive construction lets down the great voices and harmonies

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4

Stand out tracks: That’s Not Me, God Only Knows, I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times Overall excellent psychedelic/surf music. Definitely checking out more of their work.

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4

First album I heard of that era. Liked it way more than I thought I would

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4

Very wavy and psychedelic state throughout the whole album. A little bit of nostalgia from it too as I've heard a couple of the tracks before.

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4

Great album with no misses. Its really ahead of its time and 36 minutes is the perfect length for this album.

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4

beautiful orchestral production, sounds like nature

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4

Great psychedelic sound ahead of its time. A classic 9/10

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4

Fun/cheery/happy music!

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4

Its long

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4

Classic. Pet Sounds. Phil Spector was a murderer *shrug emoji*

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4

Good album. Though tends to feel a little bit same-y at times ultimately songs/progression along with general structure makes it a 4 (probably leaning more towards a 3.5)

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4

Very influential and historically important album that's still as amazing as it was back in the day. However I have a small quibble with it. I tried listening to the original mono version and it felt very bland. Stereo is just so much better. Also this was the first album I listened to on Hifiman HE-400i.

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4

Such a classic. Wish it was longer. Definitely some songs that just make you envision 50s California and others just seem timeless.

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4

Decent, good education.

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4

Classique. La définition du Old School Cool ?

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4

Easy listen. Some supremely solid songs on this album.

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4

Very smooth, incredible production. Thanks Brian.

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4

I appreciate this album and the Beach Boys - they were a big part of my childhood listening. Where this one falls down some for me is in the dweeby, simplistic, overly emotional lyrics in many of the songs. But I can't deny the iconic sounds and the cultural weight that Pet Sounds carries.

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4

Classic. If you don’t find yourself singing with the harmonies there’s something wrong with you.

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4

I love this album! I was never a fan of the beach boys, but this album changed that. Some of brian Wilson's best work.

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4

4

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4

I had this when I was a teenager... Its a funny one because on first listen, I'd say its not really my cup of tea. 60s pop can sounds pretty dated, and its hard to distinguish the good from the bad, because it all just sounds 60s. I do recognise that this was progressive, for the beach boys themselves and music in general. Listening more carefully, I really love the orchestral sections, the fast-slow & quiet-loud transitions, almost choral or barber shop harmonies. Really enjoyed some of the lesser-known side 2 songs like "Here Today" - big, epic, cinematic sounds.

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4

really good album. a lot of classic songs

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4

I didn't know that Wouldn't It Be Nice was the Beach Boys...

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4

Was supposed to listen to this years ago in college. Positively delightful! 8/10

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4

Now I just feel like watching a bunch of movies...

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4

I remember pitchfork hyping this while I was in college. I gave it a few skeptical listens and didn't hate it, but I also didn't fall in love. Anytime I hear the tracks I enjoy them. I think calling "the greatest rock album ever made" is crazy, but it does hold up well and continues to influence tons of people.

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4

Great chill vibes!

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4

favourite tracks: wouldn't it be nice, you still believe in me, that's not me, I know there's an answer, caroline no

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4

Brian Wilson quería hacer algo tipo a Ruber Soul de The Beatles, y le salieron dos temazos, y el resto... Comparsita.

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4

Some really great songs

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4

Very nice soundscape, God Only Knows is amazing but a lot of the songs don't really do anything for me 3.5/5

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4

Dece

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4

wtf is up w album cover? I guess this validates  the adage that says "you can't judge a book by its cover" The Beach Boys seemed so wholesome and so damn American that I ignored them until recently (of course, 20 years ago is recently in Beach Boys terms). It eventually became impossible for me not to concede that God Only Knows is a fucking masterpiece. God Only Knows has numerous chords that are unrecognizable to most which is probably a good thing since this ensures it doesn't get butchered by campfire guitar hacks (like me). While that song is the clear highpoint, the low point is the song Pet Sounds which is almost as bad as the cover of Pet Sounds. Was having a bad cover and bad song with the same name part of their sense of humour? If it was intended to be a joke, it's not very funny.   Some of the orchestral songs don't really do it for me. I could say God Only Knows equals five stars regardless of  the rest. I could say that - but I won't. 

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4

Vrolijke muziek met leuke harmonietjes

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4

Good album to listen through, and it contains a few all-time pop greats. The production is as good as the hype around it, but I personally don't rate it a top 10 album because it's just not my style at the moment. Compared to the Beatles, I find it a little too far over on the pop side to listen that regularly.

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4

A classic album that is the quintessential Beach Boys album with that 60s vibe.

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4

A classic album highlighting the advanced orchestration and attention to detail of Brian Wilson. This holds the most touching and cherished Beach Boys songs as well.

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4

Better with listens

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