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pet the sounds
May 3, 2011 7:46 PM   Subscribe

Behind the Sounds is a sampling of images and recordings from the studio sessions of Pet Sounds, the 1966 Beach Boys album masterminded by Brian Wilson.

Named in honor of Phil Spector, inspired by The Beatles' Rubber Soul LP, Pet Sounds became one of the most influential pop recordings of all time. The Beatles' response in kind was Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which pioneered the technique of automatic double tracking now associated with psychedelic rock.
posted by Brian B. (18 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh, wow. What a delicious treasure trove. This should be fun to dig through.

Kind of reminds me of a lot of the material I've seen about SMiLE that can be found online. (And that project might actually see the light of day this summer, if the rumors are to be believed.)

There was so much naked creativity happening during that period of music. Astounding what they achieved considering the tools they had to work with.

Thanks so much for posting!
posted by hippybear at 8:00 PM on May 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is awesome. I've had purple chick's SMiLE edit on repeat lately. Time to revisit Pet Sounds. Thanks for this!
posted by corey le fou at 8:46 PM on May 3, 2011


Kind of reminds me of a lot of the material I've seen about SMiLE that can be found online. (And that project might actually see the light of day this summer, if the rumors are to be believed.)

I have the version he released in 2004. It sounds great, and he's great live.

I've got a book that looks like a Beach Boys fanzine only it's about 200 pages. I can't remember the name but it mostly focuses on the Smile era.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:33 PM on May 3, 2011


Great stuff. Thanks for the link. This is a golden age of leaked studio tracks and rock band backing tracks. The 4 track Sgt Pepper tracks are pretty swell to finally hear.
posted by jetsetsc at 9:35 PM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here's the "purple chick" SMiLE bootleg in case anyone's interested.

Apparently, purple chick reconstructed the album from leaked recordings from the original SMiLE sessions. It's pretty amazing and a lot more interesting than Brian Wilson's 2004 version imo.
posted by corey le fou at 10:13 PM on May 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Was just spinnin' my vinyl copy of Pet Sounds earlier tonight.. great post for me to dig into!
posted by ReeMonster at 10:13 PM on May 3, 2011


Brian Wilson = Neutral Good
Carl Wilson = Lawful Good
Dennis Wilson = Chaotic Good
Al Jardine = Lawful Neutral
Mike Love = Lawful Evil
posted by anazgnos at 10:33 PM on May 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


I've got a book that looks like a Beach Boys fanzine only it's about 200 pages. I can't remember the name but it mostly focuses on the Smile era.

It's probably Look, Listen, Vibrate, Smile. I gave my copy to a friend for his birthday a few years back.

I have about five different versions of Smile bootlegs (thanks for the Purple Chick one!). Never got the three colored vinyl version, but I've had several friends who've had it. Yeah, great stuff. Thanks for the links, Brian B.
posted by sleepy pete at 11:07 PM on May 3, 2011


I'm gonna have to dig through my boxes of old DAT tapes (remember those?) where I've got a bootleg recording of the Beach Boys, recording Help Me Rhonda. It's really, really sad and depressing, though. A drunk and abusive Brian Wilson's dad (I've forgotten the asshole's name) is "producing" the session, slurring his words, saying all sorts of inane, stupid things like telling them to make it "sexier" (he even demonstrates how they should sing the chorus, it's incredibly embarrassing), and generally being a total effing drag. The tape rolled even while Brian and his dad had a one-on-one chat that they undoubtedly thought was not being recorded. It's pretty awful, all in all, and is pretty wrenching to listen to, but it does give one great respect for Brian and crew, to have been able to soldier on and make such a fine recording, under such hideous conditions.

And thanks, Brian B., for the heads up on this YT channel. Looks good.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:31 PM on May 3, 2011


It's probably Look, Listen, Vibrate, Smile. I gave my copy to a friend for his birthday a few years back.

Yes it is.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:39 PM on May 3, 2011


Wouldn't It Be Nice is a great auto-biography of Brian Wilson that details his struggles with the Beach Boys and mental illness. Brian Wilson was diagnosed as a person with schizophrenia. He also really liked cocaine and food. A LOT. It really is a great read and I highly recommend it.
posted by XhaustedProphet at 1:30 AM on May 4, 2011


Wouldn't It Be Nice is a great auto-biography of Brian Wilson

Yeah, about that...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugene_Landy

Wilson's family contested Landy's control of Wilson, pursuing ultimately successful legal action in late 1991. Landy's depiction in glowing terms in the second half of Wilson's autobiography Wouldn't It Be Nice: My Own Story, published that year, would, were it a legitimate autobiography, indicate Wilson's approval of his methods; in an unrelated court case, however, Wilson testified that he had never even read the final draft of the manuscript, much less written any of it.

posted by anazgnos at 8:09 AM on May 4, 2011


Eugene Landy at least got Brian on the path to being functional again, no matter what other shenanigans he may have been up to. And that first Brian Wilson solo album is pretty excellent. The insect noises which have been reshaped into a rhythm track on "Meet Me In My Dreams Tonight" are just one of the really tiny touches that make that album so special.
posted by hippybear at 8:19 AM on May 4, 2011


Just another day appropriate for cartwheels. Thanks for posting this. It's one of the most wonderful things I've ever seen here. Color me giddy.
posted by uraniumwilly at 8:59 AM on May 4, 2011


I despise Mike Love so much that I don't want to believe that he wrote the "good night, baby, sleep tight, baby" outro... oh, phew, here's something from Brian's collaborator Tony Asher on that point:
[Q.] Mike recently sued Brian for writing credit to around 30 songs among which was "Wouldn't It Be Nice". What role did Mike have in writing that song?
[A.] None, whatsoever. As most people know, the Beach Boys were on tour during the writing of that song. During the trial, Mike's attorney asked me how I could be so sure Mike hadn't influenced the writing of that song. "After all, " he speculated, "wasn't Mr. Wilson out of your sight from time to time? Didn't he go to the bathroom, or leave the room periodically for one reason or another? And couldn't he have been taking a phone call from Mr. Love during one of those absences?" These guys get paid big bucks for this kind of absurdity. At any rate, I answered that, while it was true Mr. Love could have called Mr. Wilson on one of those occasions, it was doubtful it had any influence, since "Wouldn't It Be Nice" was one of the few songs I wrote the entire lyric to by myself at home. "Mr. Love did not then," I explained, "and I pray does not now, have my home phone number."
posted by ibmcginty at 11:33 AM on May 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, the Beach Boys are one of the rare bands in rock to be saddled with an actual, honest-to-goodness, not-at-all-exaggerating-for-humorous-effect, evil member.

I was trawling through my way-too-many BBs boots over the week and kind of putting together a comp for myself, and ended up thoroughly re-indoctrinating myself on a band I already loved more than almost any other. It's gotten to where even their lesser material makes me freak out like Frank Booth did when he heard "In Dreams", screwing his face up in anguish...their shit is just too pure, man. It's too real. I can't handle it.
posted by anazgnos at 12:01 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm gonna have to dig through my boxes of old DAT tapes (remember those?) where I've got a bootleg recording of the Beach Boys, recording Help Me Rhonda. It's really, really sad and depressing, though. A drunk and abusive Brian Wilson's dad (I've forgotten the asshole's name) is "producing" the session, slurring his words, saying all sorts of inane, stupid things like telling them to make it "sexier" (he even demonstrates how they should sing the chorus, it's incredibly embarrassing), and generally being a total effing drag. The tape rolled even while Brian and his dad had a one-on-one chat that they undoubtedly thought was not being recorded.

The "I'm a genius, too!" tape! The story is actually slightly less depressing than that, in that Brian was producing the session -- he was in charge of production by then -- and everybody but Murry understood that Murry had no business being there. At one point Murry tries to stop the tape, but Brian keeps it rolling. You can find the whole thing on the WFMU blog.
posted by Adventurer at 6:11 PM on May 4, 2011


Ah! Thanks Adventurer! That's the very tape! (Don't have to go digging through the DATs!) And I wasn't aware that Brian was producing the session: I'd just assumed it was his dad.

And seconding XhaustedProphet's recommendation of Brian's autobiography. Although it's been years since I read it, I also found it engaging and informative.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:24 PM on May 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


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