Wilson, Al Jardine, and Blondie Chaplin will be on our stage
The Atlantic, in a 2016 article, writes, “Wilson’s bildungsroman about the life and death of adolescent love wasn’t just a great record: It was also a record of a great artist’s mind—popular music’s first long-form investigation into the psyche of an auteur.”
In other words, it was a highly lauded and deeply respected piece of art. According to Wilson in an article in The Guardian, John Lennon even called him up after its release and said it was the greatest album ever made, “an opinion that would be repeated again and again in subsequent years.”
Not only is Pet Sounds considered the first concept album, it’s also regarded as the moment the sound of the Beach Boys changed. Instead of girls, surfing, and cars, songs like “Wouldn’t it be Nice” and “God Only Knows” were among the tracks. Check out this mini-documentary (eight minutes) on the album, put together for this tour:
Wilson also pushed the envelope on instrumentation: the album includes music made with orange juice jugs, Coke cans, sleigh bells, water bottles, guiro, bongos, timpani, and the vibraphone, to name but a few.
“In order to create the music in his head, Wilson improvised a number of percussive instruments from whatever he had on hand,” Rolling Stone says about the album.
However, it wasn’t necessarily welcomed with open arms in the US. According to The Atlantic, Capitol Records even quickly released a greatest hits compilation right afterwards. Rolling Stone reported that the album cost $70,000 to make, which was unheard of in the day. Capitol’s marketing department didn’t know how to best advertise Pet Sounds, hence releasing Best of the Beach Boys just two months later to help recoup their money from the production costs.
And yet the album, and its genius, persist. Wilson performed in Edmonton just this past April, and Edmonton Journal reviewer Fish Griwkowsky writes, “Besides being remarkably tight and faithful to the original songs down to the rubber bike horns and flutes on You Still Believe in Me and That’s Not Me, the former song was touching as a sort of statement of faith describing about the entire evening. We do still believe in you, Wilson, those words, those songs.”
On Monday, September 18th, just before summer officially ends, come see Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, and Blondie Chaplin perform the album that caused waves in the music world.