Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Creative Contemporaries - Pet Sounds 1


A classic among music classics: PET SOUNDS  of  THE BEACH BOYS.

Generally accepted as one of the most important albums, Pet Sounds made that The Beach Boys entered the history of pop as one of the most innovative groups ever.

The record mainly is the creation of the 24-year old musical genius  BRIAN WILSON  who called on session musicians for the recording of most musical parts. Nevertheless, because of the outstanding, excellent harmonies a pure and genuine Beach Boys record was created with a number of the most beautiful tracks that the group ever had sung.

The great American composer  LEONARD BERNSTEIN  ( among many other things composer of
WEST SIDE STORY ) conductor, songwriter, pianist and music-teacher wrote about him:
" Brian Wilson was one of the greatest composers of the 20th century ".

A statement of  PAUL MCCARTNEY:
" I often played Pet Sounds and cried ".

And  GEORGE MARTIN  producer of the Beatles, stated:
" If there is one person that I have to select as a living genius of pop music, I would choose Brian Wilson. Without Pet Sounds,  SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND  wouldn't have happened. Pepper was an attempt to equal Pet Sounds ".

For Paul McCartney, Pet Sounds was the great source of inspiration creating Sgt. Pepper.
Up till today the former bass player of the Beatles, and with him a lot of important musicians, has a deep admiration for the masterpiece of  BRIAN WILSON  the genius of The Beach Boys.
McCartney gave as a present to all his children a copy of Pet Sounds: " No one is educated musically 'til they've heard Pet Sounds. It is a total classic record that is unbeatable in many ways ".
The statement of McCartney is exemplary.

Those who once listened well to the great sound of Pet Sounds, will never get rid of its charm during the rest of their life.
If any record should be chosen as the best in the 20th century, it only could be this one, according to the opinion of many competent and respected music connoisseurs.

What exactly is the special attraction of Pet Sounds?
As a matter of fact the answer is quite simple: the vision of Brian Wilson, a brilliant composer and a progressive producer.
He was one of the very first musicians who used the recording studio as a full instrument. Constructing layer after layer ( also by making use of quite unusual instruments in pop music )  he worked on his pop symphonies with an excess of beauty and profundity.

Also in different respect the record has been extremely important. 

Before Pet Sounds, an LP consisted of a few hit singles and some stuffing. Brian Wilson showed that a record could be a total listening experience, with a very specific structure.
That vision is adopted worldwide by every single musician by now. And that's not just a minor achievement.

Although " Sloop John B ", "Caroline No " and the double " Wouldn't It Be Nice / God Only Knows "  all were top-10 hits, The Beach Boys did not achieve the well deserved success in America with this album.

However, in Great Britain Pet Sounds was most successful and by the time The Beatles with Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band made their follow-up, the understanding and consciousness started to grow that The Beach Boys with Pet Sounds had created one of the most innovating albums ever, just one year before.