149 of 166 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2006
First of all, this review has nothing to do with the quality of the album. We all know how great this album is. Just a couple of thoughts about this specific product. This is why I'm giving 4 stars.
First,all of the content on the CD is exactly the same as on the previous mono/stereo release. But, that's to be expected, right?.
You're probably saying to yourself that the real value is in the DVD. Well, all of the DVD material has been released before, except the "Good Vibrations" promo and a short featurette from the BBC where George Martin visits Brian and they discuss songwriting and arrangement. The "documentaries" are edited together from the Endless Harmony DVD and the promo material found on the DVD Audio version of the album. Also, some of the interview footage found on Brian's Pet Sounds Live DVD is also included. You also get the hi-res stereo and 5.1 mixes of the album that were included on the above mentioned DVD-A.
So basically, if you already own the original album, the DVD-A version, and the Endless Harmony and Pet Sounds Live DVDS, you already have everything on this set except for a brief George Martin interview and a "Good Vibrations" video.
I was kind of disappointed with the limited edition packaging, as well. The two discs are housed in a velvet-type covered case with the original CD booklet with all of the production and mixing notes stapled in the middle. This booklet appears to be the same old one that was used with the mono/stereo combo disc, save for the DVD credits. The actual liner notes appear the same.
You know, I feel like Capitol has wasted two great Beach Boys opportunites with the products they released for the anniversaries of Good Vibrations and Pet Sounds. It seems that they just throw previously released material together in one package and tack on one unreleased item for each and put it out for the fans to buy (again, for the most part). You would think that they would have more respect for the legacy of these recordings.
Anyway, I'm through ranting. If you already have Pet Sounds but you want something extra, pick up the Pet Sounds Sessions box set and skip this CD/DVD. The box is pricey, but you get a better sense of what went into the album.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2012
PET SOUNDS has been issued a number of times on CD, initially in 1990, with three mono bonus tracks: "Unreleased Backgrounds" (a snippet of "Don't Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder)"), an instrumental called "Trombone Dixie" (both which later appeared in stereo on The Pet Sounds Sessions box set), and "Hang On To Your Ego" (the original lyric for "I Know There's An Answer"). Next, several tracks, including an alternate take of "Ego," were issued on the 1993 box set Good Vibrations: Thirty Years Of The Beach Boys. After that came the wonderful 1996 (released in 1997) box set The Pet Sounds Sessions, which featured the first-ever true stereo mix of the album, plus instrumental-only and vocal-only tracks (including an early take of "Good Vibrations"), alternate takes, and the remastered original mono album. The stereo mix (along with the original mono version) was released as an individual CD in both 1999 and 2001; I'm not sure what the differences between the two versions were, except that one of them may have had the original 1990 version of "Ego," the other the later version from 1993 and 1996, and that the 2001 version had a reconstructed mix of "Wouldn't It Be Nice," with Mike Love's original mono bridge vocal dubbed into the stereo master. I have the "Sessions" box set, and in the past had both the 1990 and 2001 CD issues; currently I own the Pet Sounds 40th Anniversary CD+DVD (Limited Edition Fuzzy Package), which I believe is essentially the same as the 2001 release, except for the restoration of the original "Hang On To Your Ego," with a bonus DVD containing both a high-resolution stereo and 5.1 surround sound mix of the album (including "Ego"), plus a couple of mini-documentaries (including one with Sir George Martin) and three music videos.
This 2012 reissue is a straightforward reissue of the mono and stereo mixes of the album, without "Ego" or any of the other bonus tracks. It sounds a little brighter than the 40th Anniversary Edition, or the versions on THE PET SOUNDS SESSIONS box set, but is not radically better. The packaging is also rather skimpy; the digipak has the front cover art with a white banner, the back cover art on the left inside flap, a picture of The Boys from the San Diego Zoo on the right inside flap, and a small picture of the band on the back cover, with the mono and stereo track listings. The booklet consists of four pages - front cover, back cover, and the track listings on the inside.
If you don't have PET SOUNDS, and want the original album without extras, this new version is for you. Otherwise, I would stick with either the 40th Anniversary Edition or the 2001 version, and I would also recommend THE PET SOUNDS SESSIONS box set.
It's not the best Beach Boys album - the "Today"/"Summer Days" two-fer gets that honor, but it is, as the English say, a good 'un, nonetheless.
I received this CD last week, but I have been unable to update my review, because Capitol and Amazon moved the release date up to today. Hopefully, the changes will stick this time!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2006
Pet Sounds is a very good album. Although perhaps a little critically over-hyped, it does reward the listener on repeated listening. The first time I heard it, I thought there were a couple of great songs, a few good ones, and a fair amount of filler. However, knowing to never fully trust first impressions where adventurous music is concerned, I later concluded after hearing it a number of times that it was an outstanding effort and very creative, even if it now sounds a bit dated. It was an influential album and forms an important piece of popular music history. Sonically impressive, especially for 1966, this is Brian Wilson's high-water mark of musical creativity. It's a worthwhile CD to own and I highly recommend it.
Of course, "God Only Knows" and "Wouldn't It Be Nice" are masterworks, particularly the former with its unusual lyrical melody, lush layered vocals, soaring French horn and interesting percussion and bass. But there are other outstanding songs, such as "Sloop John B," which is actually a rearrangement of a traditional West Indies song, "Don't Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder)," "I'm Waiting for the Day," and "Caroline No." The album even sports a couple of instrumentals. The weakest song for me is "I Know There's an Answer," which isn't bad, though it doesn't quite hit the mark. But that's a minor detour in an otherwise fine effort. A year after making this album Wilson would become psychologically unhinged, withdrawing into paranoia and nervous breakdown in trying to keep pace with the Beatles.
Speaking of the Beatles, I was amazed by Amazon reviewer Jerry McCulley's assessment that the Beatles' Sergeant Pepper, partly inspired by the competitive challenge of Pet Sounds, "misses the point." In fact, Sergeant Pepper was its own point and was the outgrowth of a lot of influences and ideas, including psychedelics and the modern art scene, just as Pet Sounds had been its own point. Not surprisingly, it came out sounding altogether different from the Beach Boys and with a different emphasis than Pet Sounds, much like the Beatles never sounded like Little Richard, Elvis or Dylan, although inspired and influenced by them. I think McCulley is the one who actually misses the point and needs to go back and rethink what musical creation and influences are all about.
Editorial rant aside, is Pet Sounds the greatest album of all time, as some effusively maintain? Not in my estimation. I would certainly rate Abbey Road, Revolver, the White Album, and a number of other albums by a variety of artists, ahead of it. Does it belong in the top 100, though? Yes, that's a fair statement. This is a fine piece of work.
If you like an eclectic mix of catchy and heartfelt material with the patented Beach Boys vocal sound, you'll enjoy this CD. This is not the simple surfing and car music of their early days but rather a much more mature and worthy effort that will likely grow on you over time.
409 of 548 people found the following review helpful
on July 15, 2004
First of all, I would like to preface that I am a big fan of this record, and to this day am absolutely blown away by Brian Wilson's innovative production and profound songwriting. The music is wonderful, no band ever did harmonies better than the Beach Boys. The gulf between their early "fun in the sun" recordings and this masterpiece is a wide, deep chasm.
I will not dwell on the technical merits of this album, although there are many, and will only pinpoint a few songs. "Wouldn't It Be Nice" is a powerful, instantly addictive album opener, "Don't Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder)" is a dreamy piece with exceptionally moving and beautiful lyrics. And "God Only Knows" is, well...enough said - the subtle instrumental layers behind the chorus tantalize the listener until the harmonies kick in at the end in a marvelous climax.
What is disturbing to me is this strange glorification of "Pet Sounds" as the BEST album of all time. It all apparently stems from this major competition between the Beatles and the Beach Boys in the mid-60s. Still, I find it absurd and close to infuriating when the Amazon reviewer dares to characterize "Sgt. Pepper" as "missing the mark." Since when do bands make records to please music pundits' dogmatic characterizations? Should we judge every album based on how close it comes to the "perfection" of "Pet Sounds"? Of course not.
The main reason why I think "Pet Sounds" can never be the greatest album of all time is that both Brian Wilson and the staunch defenders of the album continue to reference the Beatles. Always, even six or seven times in the liner notes, it's all about how they are better than or inspired by the Beatles, even a lengthy quote by Paul McCartney extolling the virtues of "Pet Sounds." The reason is simply a deep insecurity about the title of "greatest album of all time." Greatest albums stand on their own, and do not justify their greatness by constantly comparing it to albums of a rival band. It is strange and a bit silly.
And since I know I will get many votes by offended Beach Boys fans and reactionary anti-Beatles, might I take this chance to offer my choice for the best album of all time, the one that escaped the loop of competition between Wilson and McCartney. The story goes like this: "Rubber Soul" inspires Wilson to do "Pet Sounds," which in turn inspires McCartney to suggest "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." In the meantime, outside of all this madness, the Beatles made THE recording of history, "Revolver," which in terms of musicianship, variety, experimentation, lyrics, and especially production beats any album from any generation and any popular music style.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, I love "Pet Sounds," but I simply find the intense determination by its loyal devotees to have it crowned a subjective and irrelevant title to be slightly paranoid and certainly very much overdone.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 23, 2002
I think that Pet Sounds is a really fine album. It definetly blows the Beach Boy's surf music right out of the water (no pun intended). Although it is a very good album, it takes some time getting used to: it's not like anything, especially something from the Beach Boys, you've ever heard. It has a slower pace, with a lot of attention to detail, and, of course, the Beach Boy staple: beautiful harmonies.
My favorite track has to be "Wouldn't It Be Nice". The song kicks of the album in such an awesome way. Almost every track is a highlight (most prominently "Sloop John B", "God Only Knows" and "That's Not Me") and not one track is one to skip over while listening.
However much I like Pet Sounds now, it took a while for me to warm up to it. I was expecting up-beat surf music, but got something differnt. At first I was yawning, then intrigued and then, finally, enthralled. I can see how many of the fans were disappointed, and how many critics loved it (they enjoy things that are unique and different then the mainstream).
I want to adress one more issue: a lot of people compare Pet Sounds to Sgt. Peppers by The Beatles, but I think they're different types of albums. Pet Sounds was an album where each track was different and wonderful in it's own way, while Sgt Pepper's had more of an overall feel, a concept album if you will. Also, Paul McCartney loved Pet Sounds, and, I beleive, tried to emulate it with the Beatles' Revolver. If you listen to all three of these albums, I think you'll find that revolver is more like Pet Sounds.
Most importantly: Give Pet Sounds TIME. Don't just dismiss after one listen. Hear it a few times before you pass judgement. You'll thank yourself for it.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2012
as big as amazon is one would suppose that when clicking on a review of a vinyl selection that is what would pop up. instead you have to filter through EVERY review of that title. come on man!!! i shop quite a bit w/ amazon and would appreciate it if i clicked on vinyl that is the review i got. by the way pet sounds is a great album, cd , sacd, boxed set, 8 track. cassette well you get the idea!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2004
If I talk about the music of this wonderful masterpiece, it is in my opinion the best pop recording ever made. The melodies just have this feeling that immerses you in that incredible world of harmonies that only Brian Wilson is capable to do. Songs like `Don't talk (Put you head on my shoulder)' can turn your eyes into tears; you can enjoy the amazing arrangements of the classic song `Sloop John B'. Finally `God only knows', any words I write about this song will get short, the vocals from the late Carl Wilson just makes you realize how deep he can be perform the beatifully composed melodies that Brian arrange in this song. I think it's one of the best vocal performances ever made.
Regarding the 5.1 mix, when you listen, it is clearly that the center channel it's not there, only ocassionally. In my opinion, leaving the center channel without sound can empty and in this case it does not support the overall sound of the songs in `Pet Sounds', that could be distributed thru 5.1 channels without any problems. In other words you get only 4.1 mix that it's not at the quality level of the songs and the rest of the mixes (mono and stereo);which sound great by the way.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2004
Few albums appear to provoke such strong feelings like Pet Sounds. Its placement atop Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Albums" list has received considerable praise; and resentment. To emphasize the point, look at this page, which is not so much a collection of "reviews" of the album as it is a message board for Pet Sounds/Beach Boys fans and critics. What a shame.
What is lost in the controversy and debate surrounding the "greatness" of the album, is the album itself. Pet Sounds is a beautiful, unique, and compelling work. That it was an innovative, influential album, praised by critics, fans, and musicians - like Paul McCartney - alike, is irrefutable. Is it THE second greatest album of all time? Who cares? Make up your own mind. Lists like that are only one group of people's opinions and are so subjective, to place much stock in them, much less get worked up over them, is foolish.
And, particularly you Beatles fans here, don't feel so threatened by the album or its "ranking." If Sir Paul isn't sweating the Beach Boys - why should you? I personally find the Beatles early music dull and simple, and the later stuff, contrived and pompous. But I do recognize their place in the annals of rockology. I'm certainly not going to make ridiculous, unfounded statements like, "George Martin actually composed their music," or "Sgt. Pepper is the most overrated album of all time."
If you are going to criticize the Beach Boys and Brian Wilson, at least get your facts straight. For the record, John had Paul, Paul had John, and they both had George Martin. Brian Wilson had Brian Wilson. He wrote and produced Beach Boys albums, like Pet Sounds, entirely by himself. The only thing he collaborated on was LYRICS - not the music - so direct your critiques of the album's lyrics at Tony Asher and don't suggest someone was helping Brian compose or produce the music. Also, don't criticize Brian for using professional studio musicians on his albums; unless you're actually stupid enough to think that's the Fab Four playing the orchestra parts on all those Beatles albums. Its statements like these that only reveal your own ignorance.
No, the Beach Boys didn't smash their guitars, like the Who - or light them on fire, like Hendrix. Brian Wilson wasn't trying to be a poet/preacher like Dylon or Lennon, or a revolutionary like Morrisson. The Beach Boys did their own thing; and some people get it and some people don't. Its as simple as that.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2005
I realize that debates over what pop/rock album is "the best of all time" are pointless; it's a personal choice. MY personal choice would be "Dark Side of the Moon," and apparently a lot of the world agrees, as it was on the Billboard Top Albums list for continuously for nearly 15 years!
But this review is about "Pet Sounds" -- and while I enjoy this album a lot, it has too many flaws to be a serious contender for "best of all time." Specifically: dopey name, faux-Beatles album cover and too many songs that sound basically the same. If you like well-crafted harmonies, this album is a pleasure. If you appreciate good instrumental work and skilled production, chalk up another couple of points. But if you want great, deeply insightful lyrics, you'll have to go elsewhere. Too much of this album is like greeting-card verse set to music.
I'm sure I'll get a lot of negative ratings for this review from ardent Beach Boys and Brian Wilson fans, but this is my honest opinion. Enjoy it for what it is - a pop/rock classic with some fun moments - but don't worship it as an iconic achievement.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 19, 2005
Do you ever notice that the so called "best" and "greatest" albums like Revolver, Sgt. Peppers and Pet Sounds are all from the same 12 month period? I am sorry, I refuse to believe that the best music ever began and ended in 1966-67. We've had too many VH1 best ever lists clouding our judgement and too many people have bought into pundits who spout and spin because that's what they get paid for. I think a lot of people say an album, be it Pet Sounds, Sgt. Peppers, whatever, is the "best" because... well, just because and have no idea why beyond the fact it was #1 on some list they saw.
That said. This is a fine album. It sounds amazing especially when you think about the kind of equipment they had back in 1966. The songs are fine poppy, boy meets girl material that get a huge boost from Brian Wilson's tremendous production skill.
I believe someone wrote that it was sounded like a bunch of greeting card verses. Well I wouldn't go that far but it does seem to reach a certain depth and stop. I could be wrong and I fully expect Beach Boy fanatics to claim that I am not listening to it carefully enough. Maybe, but honestly the album doesn't grab me enough to find another level and that in itself is enough to knock Pet Sounds off any pedastel.