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Pet Sounds


(Note from Marty: I'm freelancing for a company and my hours are going to get turned around. I worked late tonight and tomorrow I'm working from 7PM till around 6 or 7AM. So that's why this post is going up so early in the morning, I'll be sleeping in and didn't want everyone to wonder where the post was. The freelance job should last at least three weeks and may turn into a full time position (I hope.) So what does this mean as far as TWM is concerned? Fuck, I don't know, I'm just winging it as usual, I hope you stay tuned, it could be a little rocky here for a while, but that's what makes it fun! Okay on to today's video entry.)

In April The Beach Boys started a 50th anniversary tour that will carry on into July of this summer. I’ve always loved The Beach Boys (even though I think Mike Love is a complete assbag on broken wheels) and my favorite Beach Boys album is, “Pet Sounds,” which is, in my humble opinion one of the best albums of all time. It was produced and written by Brian Wilson (with Tony Asher supplying the bulk of the lyrics) while the Beach Boys were out on tour in Japan (photos from the tour were featured on the back cover of Pet Sounds). They came back, sang their parts and Pet Sounds was brought to life and it came out in 1966. Below are some videos and songs from the album.

The album wasn’t welcomed with open arms by Capitol records or Mike Love. Both thought that Brian should stick to the sun, surf and fun formula from the past. Mike Love openly criticized the music as, “Brian’s ego music.” I have a feeling that when it came out, the music probably confused a lot of the old time fans. And this quirky, oddball promotional clip probably didn’t help things, but I think it’s pretty funny!

Sloop John B” was the first single issued from the album and the only song on the record not written by Brian Wilson. The song is a traditional folk song and was suggested by Beach Boy Al Jardine to record it. Brian arranged the folk song to a Beach Boys style song and he and Mike Love sang lead on it. They made this promotional film to go along with it.

Bruce Johnston joined the Beach boys in 1965. He replaced Glen Campbell who took over bass and vocal duties when Brian Wislon stopped touring with the band in 1964 to concentrate on producing and songwriting. When Pet Sounds came out he personally took the album to England to play it for Beach Boy fans, John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Here he talks about that trip and how the Amercan arm of Capitol records weren’t thrilled with the album.

The title track, “Pet Sounds” was an instrumental song, originally written by Brian Wilson to be a title song for the next James Bond movie and the original title was, “Run James, Run.” The above video has the song on it after it was retitled, “Pet Sounds.” To see what it would’ve sound like over James Bond credits, click here.

Wouldn’t It Be Nice is one of the best known songs from “Pet Sounds.” It’s the first song on the album and it starts off a song cycle on a definite upbeat note, one that would ultimately end with the heartbreaking, “Caroline, No.” The song has been used in numerous movies, but I think the movie that it’s most effectively used in is “Roger & Me.” Here’s a video of the scene from that film showing the devastation of the town of Flint, Michigan after Roger Smith and GM shut down factories in that town to send the jobs overseas while they were still making record profits from the factories in Flint.

Brian Wilson was inspired to write and produce Pet Sounds after hearing Rubber Soul by the Beatles. When Pet Sounds came out, it inspired the Beatles to write and record, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. In this video, Brian Wilson, Tony Asher, George Martin and others discuss how both bands were competitive and how they influenced each other.

Further Reading: Rolling Stone, Pitchfork and Track Notes.

Surprise link, click on it...I dare you!


Bonus Photo From Jaws!

Jaws the Cabbie sent in this Mary Tyler Moore photo to go along with his comment. Who knew she had her own statue? Thanks, Jaws!

Reader Comments (28)

Meow Meow, wheres the pet sounds? Meow Meow.
Great Album, but why is it call Pet Sounds?

May 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJHwang

I wish you good luck in your freelancing work and really hope this turns into a full time position for you, being how the job market is today, its hard to find the perfect job, with perfect hours. Pet Sounds was a masterpiece and I agree with everything you wrote here. I love a lot of the Beach Boys songs, Catch a Wave, 409, Shut Down and Surfin Safari to name a few favs. I hear you about Mike Love, but his voice is unique to the Beach Boys sound. After seeing a recent interview with Love, I understand what caused the breakup and Love, as much as people hate him,,,was dealing with the Wilson brothers who for years were into drugs and heavy drinking. Not saying Love was a saint, but dealing with people that are stoned is tough. While Love, Jardine and Johnston were not, this led to a lot of problems, lawsuits, bad advice, etc. Its come full circle now, the tour is going great and Brian and Love are getting along great. Lots of money to be made on this world tour,,,,and they were smart enough to have young singers in the background for the high notes,,,they really sound great. America's band for sure. This was a great post today,,, thank you

May 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAl

Good luck with the freelancing and my fingers and toes and eyes are crossed that it transitions into a permanent position.

I don't think you're alone with thinking that Pet Sounds is one of the best albums of all time. It always seems to top the lists (I think. I might just be making that up though.) In any case it is a damn fine album. The phrase assbag on broken wheels is genius and without a doubt it is one of the top phrases of all time.

May 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterrandall

Congrats on your new position, Marty...Jesus it must be murder looking for any kind of work in Manhattan when you're past fifty, scares the hell out of me just thinking about it. As long as you can still come up with lines like "assbag on broken wheels" there's still hope for you as a freelance writer! Takes cojones and nerves of steel and one hell of a lot of drive to do what you do...you're one in a million...and just like Mary Tyler Moore...'You're gonna make it after aaaaallllllll!

May 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

Man, best of luck on your freelance job, maybe it will work out, maybe it won't, but as long as you got your head on right you can always tell them, "Go screw yourself!" and walk out whenever you feel like it. I know it will work out for the best ;)

Nice post Marty! I'm going to share it with others.

Good luck with work.

May 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTom

@JHwang: It's called "Pet Sounds" because at one point when Brian Wilson was being critical about the bands vocals, Mike Love said, "Who's gonna hear this shit, the ears of a dog?" And the title was born!

@Al: Thanks, I'm hoping this job will turn into a full time gig, not a lot of work out there now! I hear you about Mike Love, his singing was certainly a key part of The Beach Boys sound, but I always hated how he bullied everyone around him.

@randall: Thanks for the good wishes and the multiple crossings! And I'm glad you liked that "assbag" line!

@Jaws: Thanks for the good wishes and the Mary Tyler Moore reference makes me want to throw my hat up in the air...all I need now is a hat!

@Mykola Mick Dementiuk: Thank you! I don't think I'll be walking out of the job though, it's in Jersey and would be one hell of a long walk home! I'm just happy to have a steady paycheck for a few weeks and hope it turns into a full time gig!

@Tom: Thanks and I appreciate you sharing the TWM post with your friends!

May 16, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Good luck on the temp job. Can we look for you to back on the prowl on the weekends?

May 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDave - Everywhere

Good luck with the freelance gig. No worries though. Those guys at Chippendales really give new guys a hard time, but I'm sure they'll give you a shot at a full time roster spot if there is a position open.
To night jobs!

May 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercsp

I’ve always loved The Beach Boys and I always WILL!

May 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermeleah rebeccah

Great clips. A couple years ago I heard a radio documentary on the making of Pet Sounds while driving around Wales. Might have been BBC produced but I've been unable to find it since. Great tunes.

May 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSpike

@DaveW: Thanks, I'm just winging it and not sure what's going to happen right now! Time will tell.

@csp: Thanks and yes, to night jobs!

@meleah: One of the best groups ever!

@Spike: There was also a film documentary that used to be on YouTube, but I couldn't find it. I'll search around for the radio doc and if I find It, I'll let you know.

May 16, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Excellent news, Marty! Congrats and hope it all works out! As for "Pet Sounds," I love it, but I have to be in the mood for it. Kind of like curry.

May 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

I saw the Beach Boys once in 1985 ... don't remember a lot ... I might have had a few beers. More memorable than the "Boys" was John Stamos, Mr. T, and Jimmy Page .... it was a wild day/night ... a few hundred thousand people, beer bottle/can fights, and garbage a foot high everywhere. Hey ! ... maybe I remember more than I thought I did ?

Washington Monument, Washington, DC -- July 4, 1985

May 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

Marty, That's got to be one upside down world going back to overnights. Or just work at all. Take it as it comes. If it leads to something permanent great, if not your in the same boat as me and a shitload of others in this field.
Pet Sounds was probably their best album, their Sgt Peppers. It's more than just the songs, the subtle sounds in the background are amazing. The production is amazing

May 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDanny the freelancer

@Biff: Thanks and your likening Pet Sounds to curry cracked me up!

@GENE: That sounds like one wild show, I never knew Jimmy Page had ever jammed with the Beach Boys!

@Danny the freelancer: I'm one of the few people that like working nights, so I welcome the freelance and hope it turns into a regular gig, we'll see what happens. I think Pet Sounds is their best album too and it was a shame Capitol didn't do more to promote it at the time.

May 16, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Good luck!! Is this the place where you worked before it moved?
Thanks for explaining the Pet Sounds title. Like JHwang, I had no idea either. I always enjoy JHwang's comments ...

May 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteronemorefoldedsunset

Marty...did you know the city of Minneapolis put up a statue of Mary Tyler Moore in the exact spot where she did her famous TV hat toss? Well, maybe N.Y.C. will someday honor you with a statue of you throwing a vitamin water bottle half full of beer over your shoulder in the exact location where you got popped....(snigger,chortle, phHaaww...) check your email.

May 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

@onemorefoldedsunset: Yeah, just like Beatles I'm going back to where I once belonged! And I appreciate JHwang's comments too, along with everyone else's!

@Jaws: Ha ha ha! Thanks for the photo, I just posted it!

May 16, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Great write up on my 3rd favorite Beach Boys album. I like their Holland Album the best, but nobody has ever heard it because it sold 6 only copies and I have 3. The band recorded Holland in 1972 when they moved to Holland and smoked a lot of Hash...when I say a lot of hash, I mean tons of that old surfboard slabs of Lebanese Blonde.. Great album, very trippy, just like Surf's Up(their other best album), which has the contender for the most beautiful Beach Boys song ever(fighting neck and neck with God only Knows), Till I Die. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6E9obXA6mDY enjoy.

May 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMike Hunt

Here;s a couple of my other Beach Boys faves.





Now, this is the real good Beach Boys stuff, not the "Fun, Fun, Fun", "Kokomo" shit they did. This was the band at their apex of creativity;

Mike Love was a douche, and I can say this from personal knowledge.

May 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMike Hunt

Anyone else go to their concert in Central Park in '77?

May 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercsp

I was at this show-Central Park-7/2/1971 “The show included the Boz Scaggs Band, Kate Taylor, Carly Simon, the Ike and Tina Turner Revue and The Beach Boys.” Filmed for ABC TV.


May 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDuncester

@Mike Hunt: I bought Holland and it's a great album! I remember the Brian Wilson 45 that came along with it, Mount Vernon Fairway. Those are great Beach Boy songs you posted, thanks for the linkage! Another gem from Holland is "Sail On Sailor." I think Kokomo is probably the worst Beach Boys songs ever. I was really disappointed when that became a hit. I'd love to hear your Mike Love story!

@csp: I wasn't there, but I did see Paul Revere and the Raiders in 1966 at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky. So I've got that going for me!

@Duncester: Wow, sounds like a great lineup and all for two bucks! Thanks for the link!

May 16, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

Fuck. yesterday must have been beach boys day. From your blog post, I went and read the LA Times where I saw a picture of the beach boys playing a show on top of the USS Iowa gun box, kind of like Cher in the "If I Could Turn Back Time" video, but with less lingerie, then my old man picked me up to go to dinner and he was spinning a beach boys album in his car and then I learned that they had just played a show in my town.

Damn you Pendletones. I declare May 16th official Beach Boy's day.

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterrandall

Ugh good call on that Mike Love that marginally talented coattail rider. Ass-clown if you will. I know he could sort of carry a tune and all but for me that stupid nerdy voice kinda spoils some real classic tracks. He sounds like such a, I don't know, a goober. The band could've been much cooler without him IMO.

May 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlegitimate beef

@randall: I learned after I posted that yesterday was the anniversary (I forget which and I'm too tired to check it out) of the release of Pet Sounds! Happy coincidence here! This should be the official Beach Boys day!

@legitimate beef: In total agreement about your Mike Love assessment: In fact he puts the ass back in assessment!

May 17, 2012 | Registered CommenterTripping With Marty

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