Monday, May 16, 2011

Today in music history

On this day in 1966, the Beach Boys released their magnum opus, Pet Sounds.

From Rolling Stone:
Not many American rock bands survived the mop-topped hordes of the 1964 British Invasion, but the Beach Boys endured — perhaps they knew presciently that their masterpiece was soon to come. It arrived in 1966, while America was still in the thrall of the Beatles’ Rubber Soul, and was met by many dubious ears, including those in the band: When group mastermind Brian Wilson played rough cuts of the songs, singer Mike Love derided them as music for dogs, inadvertently inspiring the title. Pet Sounds was a glorious, heart-rending experience, one miles away from the SoCal surf dudes’ previous happy-go-lucky pop. In somber, rich symphonics, Wilson exposed the deep pain of growing up, confessing his conflict wistfully in “I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times” and “Caroline, No.” Yet he conveyed wonderment, his true gift, in the swoon of “God Only Knows” and “You Still Believe in Me” — and, in doing so, captured the timeless complexity of living romantically. Despite initially lackluster sales, Pet Sounds has since been embraced as the Beach Boys’ most enduring and acclaimed record. However, a few fans recognized the genius of the record instantly: The Beatles cited it as the inspiration for their own magnum opus, 1967's Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the lone record to top Pet Sounds in Rolling Stone’s "500 Greatest Albums of All Time" list.

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