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  • Brian Wilson Presents Pet Sounds Live
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Brian Wilson Presents Pet Sounds Live

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MP3 Music, June 11, 2002
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Audio CD, June 11, 2002
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 11, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sanctuary Records
  • ASIN: B000067OYY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,639 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

13. Caroline, No

Editorial Reviews

Rock music has rarely benefited from aging veterans revisiting their glory years in a live setting--witness Roger Waters's disastrous run through Pink Floyd classics on In the Flesh. But Brian Wilson is the exception, primarily because he has virtually remained the same wide-eyed pop fanatic he was in 1966, when he initially released his teenage symphony to God, Pet Sounds. The live version of the Beach Boys classic, recorded in January of 2002 at Wilson's four sold-out shows at London's Royal Festival Hall, hardly sounds like secondhand goods. Despite the potentially sacrilegious risks, Wilson's 10-piece touring band--which includes members of the Wondermints and the former Beach Boys session players--actually revitalizes the music with its reverential-but-contemporary verve, breathing new life into classics like "God Only Knows" and "Caroline, No." Chuck the CD cover aside and it merely sounds like you are listening to a newly remastered version of the real thing. --Aidin Vaziri

Customer Reviews

His soul and heart goes into that song.
David Weiskircher
Ex-Beach Boy Brian Wilson brilliantly performs every song from the Beach Boys' PET SOUNDS album,released on Capitol Records in 1966.
Moreover--this is beautiful, timeless music.
John Stodder

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Michael Hann on February 23, 2003
Format: Audio CD
First, let's make one thing clear: the Royal Festival Hall shows at which this album was recorded were staggering. They were quite the most emotional musical experiences those present would have experienced. Grown men - myself among them - were crying. To hear those songs - not just the Pet Sounds material, but the Smile songs - performed by the man who wrote them, back from more than 20 years of staring over the abyss, was an astonishing experience. And Wilson's band were magnificent, rising to the occasion perfectly. Wilson himself, though fragile, was plainly on good form, and in an audience of the devout his own errors were viewed indulgently.
But this isn't a gig for the converted, it's a CD on general sale. And facts must be faced: those BW/Beach Boys fans who clog up Wilson's messageboard claiming he's in the best voice of his career are way, way, wide of the mark. His voice is tattered and frayed, straining and yearning. Given the intimacy of the concert hall, and the nature of the material, that can be a positive: it accentuates the melancholy at the heart of the material. On record, however, it sounds like a bloke who's really struggling to hit the notes and to enunciate the lyrics (and let's not forget, these songs weren't written to be performed straight through by Wilson. There were other singing Beach Boys). The backing is magnificent, and Wilson loyalists will probably love it, but this is not an album for people who just fancy hearing Pet Sounds. I've played it to them. And they laugh. "You're kidding," they say."This is meant to be classic?"
The problem is the fiercely protective unanimity that BW hardliners take: Brian is a genius (granted, though I'd perhaps apply the past tense), and everything he is involved with is, therefore, inestimably wonderful ...
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John Stodder on October 3, 2003
Format: Audio CD
If you love Pet Sounds, why wouldn't you love this?
I'm sure it was nowhere near as easy as it sounds to translate a layered, heavily orchestrated album into a workable live-band arrangement. The fact that Wilson has assembled a band capable of pulling this off, and making it sound so fresh and energetic, should not be taken for granted.
Moreover--this is beautiful, timeless music. Your great-grandchildren will be listening to this music 100 years from now, just as today we listen to Beethoven or Mozart. We're lucky to have the composer around to lend his personal stamp to what will be the first of thousands of concert interpretations.
Finally, a word for one element of the live show--the Wondermints. I know nothing about their music, but on this album, as well as on the wonderful double-CD, "Brian Wilson Live at the Roxy," they sing great. They don't have the egos of the Beach Boys--they're happy just to sing the incredible vocal arrangements he wrote. Heresy it may be, but sometimes I prefer their singing to the Beach Boys. Certainly as a live representation of the vocal sound, the Beach Boys never sounded better than these guys. They show respect for the music, and when the music is this good, and this important, that reverance is much-appreciated.
Now, of course Brian's voice has faded somewhat. That incredible falsetto is now somewhat gravelly, and his intonation wavers. But he is the soul of this music, and what he may lose in technique through age, he more than makes up for in character.
So, just get this, and then you'll have two versions of Pet Sounds. That's bad?
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michael Stack VINE VOICE on March 15, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This disc, culled from recordings over four days, is exactly what it says it is, "Pet Sounds" performed live by Brian and his band. No more, no less. Really kind of a shame that the rest of the show was not included, but rather we only got the performance of "Pet Sounds". However, ignoring that, let me talk about the performance itself.

There's not much to say about Brian's band that hasn't already been said-- they're top notch, they sing magically, they've got full command of their instruments, and they approach the material with a reverence and sensitivity that supports Brian well. For his part, Brian's voice is strong-- not quite what you want it to be, but the guy *IS* 60. Some songs have to change key for his voice, but he does a great job overall. The backing vocals are perfect-- these guys had been on the road for several years now and there wasn't much they couldn't sing together.

The arrangements are pretty close to the original-- there's a couple deviations (other than the key changes), a slight backing vocal in "Don't Talk" being the one I can think of off the top of my head, but it sticks pretty close. The album itself is genius, there's not much to say about the music that I can't say already.

One more thing to be said-- live, this was incredible. The audience was in awe, really. Emotions ran rampant, the album that spoke to all of us was in front of us. I don't think any document can accurately capture that. Having said that, I'm glad to have it.

Really, its a fun, engaging performance, but seek the studio album if you don't have it. If you do have it, this is a great record, but I'd recommend getting "Live at the Roxy" in conjunction with it so you can hear what else Brian and his band have to offer.
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