The Beach Boys.
California, surfing, girls, and hot rods.
Innovators of the “California Sound.”
The Beach Boys started in a Californian suburban town called Hawthorne. The band consisted of three brothers, Brian, Carl, and Dennis, their cousin Mike Love, and their friend Al Jardine. In the summer of 1958, on his sixteenth birthday, Brain received a two-reel tape recorder from his father, who was a songwriter. Soon after, Carl got a Rickenbacker guitar and learned how to play it. Brian was hooked, he tirelessly experimented with his recorder, recording himself and his brother, adding piano, and enabling him to harmonize with himself. In December of 1961, the band release their first single on a small independent label, Candix. At this point, the band’s image was clean-cut kids singing about cars, love, and hot rods. From then on, Brian molded his songwriting and producing prowess by leaps and bounds. Single by single, album by album, The Beach Boys’ songs got better and better. Ever determined to “one-up” his previous songs and albums, Brian took a break from touring to start on what he called “sharing his soul with the world.” While The Beach Boys were touring in Japan, Pet Sounds was born. (Howard, 2004)
Pet Sounds, an album where the other members of the band did not record one note of music, was Brian’s masterpiece. His soul in music form. He wanted to get away from the car and surf songs and write something more introspective. His role at this point was not as leader, but as the soul of the band, putting everything he could into making the album the best ever. He has said the reason he made Pet Sounds was to one-up The Beatles’ album “Rubber Soul” that released in 1965. He got together with lyricist, Tony Asher, and wrote the melody and lyrics little by little. After that was said and done, Brian moved to the studio to work on the rest of the music. He was so inspired by Phil Spector, that he wanted to hire Phil Spector’s studio band “The Wrecking Crew” to work the music. This was the first album not featuring the rest of the band playing instruments. (Wilson, 2012)
Brian arranged the tracks on this album to match a sequence of life. From adolescence to adulthood, he masterfully crafted this album to open the world to his heart and soul. He experimented with anything that made noise to find the perfect sounds for what he had playing in his head. They used plastic water bottles, sticks, or anything they could get their hands on.
As a producer, a composer, and a musician, I see Pet Sounds as a revolutionary way to look at music. They techniques and styles that Brian Wilson used and mashed together to create this masterpiece, is simply mind-blowing. This album is definitely, in my opinion, on of the greatest albums of all time. It inspires me to not compose inside limits, always look outside the box when I write.
Thank you for reading!
Until next time,