Pet Sounds is the 11th studio album by the American rock band the Beach Boys, released May 16, 1966 on Capitol Records. It was initially met with a lukewarm critical and commercial response in the United States, peaking at number 10 on Billboard Top LPs chart, lower than the band's preceding albums. In the United Kingdom, the album was favorably received by critics and peaked at number 2 in the UK Top 40 Albums Chart, remaining in the top ten for six months. Promoted there as "the most progressive pop album ever", Pet Sounds attracted recognition for its ambitious production, sophisticated music, and emotional lyric content. It is considered to be among the 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 and a refinement of the themes and ideas he introduced with 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").
Pet Sounds is regarded by musicologists as an early concept album that advanced the field of music production, introducing non-standard harmonies and timbres and incorporating elements of pop, jazz, exotica, classical, and the avant-garde. The album could not be replicated live and was the first time a group departed from the usual small-ensemble electric rock band format for a whole LP. Combined with its innovative music, which was perceived as a wholly self-conscious artistic statement (or "concept"), the record furthered the cultural legitimization of popular music and was influential in 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 preserved in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." It has been certified platinum by the RIAA, indicating over one million units sold.
The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
All Star Discs
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