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Brian Wilson Presents Pet Sounds Live

Brian WilsonAudio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

Price: $21.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 14 Songs, 2002 --  
Audio CD, 2002 $21.98  

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He is one of popular music's most deeply revered figures, the main creative force behind some of the most cherished recordings in rock history. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to call Brian Wilson one of the most influential composers of the last century.
Wilson’s remarkable journey began in a modest Hawthorne, California home that was filled with music. His mom and dad both played ... Read more in Amazon's Brian Wilson Store

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Brian Wilson Presents Pet Sounds Live + Gettin' in Over My Head
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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: #139,012 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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 55 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Incredible in the flesh, less so on dic 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Let's Play Two! 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
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, but lacks the power it had live. 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars masterpiece played impeccably live 30 years after original release
This is a true revelation of a recording. Brian Wilson's voice may not sound the same as it did in '66 but he has an excellent band backing him on this. Read more
Published 11 months ago by robb sososikwitit
5.0 out of 5 stars Pet Sounds
If you are not sure what Pet Sounds is about do some research. I feel that this album was ground breaking and showed Brian Wilson's musical genius. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Greg
3.0 out of 5 stars A Special Moment
Imagine being able to witness Brian Wilson performing his "Pet Sounds" live in its entirety, note perfect beginning to end.
Published 18 months ago by Mike Malone
4.0 out of 5 stars excellennt
It must be cathartic for Brian Wilson to play this material live after all these years. He is healthier, has a more sympathetic band in the Wondermints than he did in the 1960s... Read more
Published on November 6, 2009 by Bill Your 'Free Form FM Print DJ
Recorded at the Royal Festival Hall London in 2002, this live performance led by Brian Wilson and The Wondermints is incredible. Read more
Published on January 25, 2007 by Patrick Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars Pop Music Genius? ...Absolutely
It is all here. Just as it should be. Brian Wilson's genius shines through. Nearly 40 years after its release Pet Sounds is as fantastic a body of work as you can find. Read more
Published on May 29, 2006 by Luke Dunstone
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic performance!
Who would ever imagine that a studio album's complete line up would be reprised live from the first to the last track? Read more
Published on April 29, 2005 by andy8047
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rock Fan's Dream Come True
This is truly a fantasy come alive. Brian Wilson, the man who created what many believe is the greatest album of all time, performing that masterpiece live in concert. Read more
Published on May 14, 2004 by bushsupporter04
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rock Fan's Fantasy Comes Alive
Well, this is truly a dream come true. Brian Wilson, the man who created what many (including myself) beleive is the greatest album in rock history, performing his masterpiece live... Read more
Published on January 25, 2004 by anthony nasti
3.0 out of 5 stars Great playing, bad singing
Face it. No album can live up to the hype of Pet Sounds, including Pet Sounds. It had some good songs but the highly vaunted production values were easily matched by Motown. Read more
Published on June 27, 2003 by bob turnley
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