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Pet Sounds Stereo
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Pet Sounds 40th Anniversary Stereo Digital
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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, October 9, 2012
Blu-ray Audio, Import, February 4, 2014
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From the brand
|1||Wouldn't It Be Nice (Side A)|
|2||You Still Believe in Me (Side A)|
|3||That's Not Me (Side A)|
|4||Don't Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder)|
|5||I'm Waiting for the Day (Side A)|
|6||Let's Go Away for Awhile (Side A)|
|7||Sloop John B (Side A)|
|1||God Only Knows (Side B)|
|2||I Know There's An Answer (Side B)|
|3||Here Today (Side B)|
|4||I Just Wasn't Made for These Times (Side B)|
|5||Pet Sounds (Side B)|
|6||Caroline, No (Side B)|
The Beach Boys' iconic 1966 album, Pet Sounds, is universally hailed as one of popular music's most important recordings of all time. May 16, 2016 marks the acclaimed album's 50th anniversary.180gram heavyweight black vinyl LP reissue of `Pet Sounds' remastered in Stereo with faithfully replicated original artwork.
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- Product Dimensions : 12 x 12.6 x 1 inches; 8 Ounces
- Manufacturer : Capitol
- Item model number : 35425577
- Original Release Date : 2016
- Date First Available : March 23, 2016
- Label : Capitol
- ASIN : B01DB0EBMS
- Country of Origin : USA
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #351 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
- Customer Reviews:
Reviewed in the United States on June 15, 2016
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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 either The Pet Sounds Sessions box set or the new Pet Sounds 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition , if you don't own the former (see below).
HISTORICAL NOTE: In addition to the single releases "Wouldn't It Be Nice" / "God Only Knows" (Capitol 5706), "Sloop John B." / "You're So Good To Me" (Capitol 5602), "Good Vibrations" / "Let's Go Away For A While" (Capitol 5676), and the Brian Wilson single "Caroline, No" / "Summer Means New Love" (Capitol 5610), another song from PET SOUNDS was also issued as a single: "Here Today," issued as the B-side of "Darlin'," a track from Wild Honey (Capitol 2068). In addition, the stereo version of "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times" was issued as a single in 1996 on the indie Sub Pop label.
PET SOUNDS is not the best Beach Boys album - The Beach Boys Today! and Summer Days (And Summer Nights!! get that co-honor - but it is, as the English say, a good 'un, nonetheless.
2017 UPDATE: I originally pre-ordered the new Pet Sounds 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition on Amazon (May 25, 2016), but when I saw the track listing on Universal Music's Web site, I discovered that I already owned about 90 percent of the tracks (save for 11 live versions (recorded at different venues between 1966 and 1993) and three alternate mixes: a vocal-only version of "I Know There's An Answer," an alternate remix of the same song, and a new stereo remix of "Good Vibrations" with a partial vocal track) on The Pet Sounds Sessions . The only other difference is that the mono version in the new collection (found on Disc 1 together with the stereo version, instead of on a separate bonus disc [Disc 4 on the 1997 collection]) is mastered from the 1972 Brother/Reprise reissue of Pet Sounds (Brother/Reprise MS 2197, also issued as a double LP with Carl And The Passions-So Tough [Brother/Reprise 2MS 2083]), supervised by Carl Wilson, instead of the original Capitol master. In addition, four of the "Alternate Versions" on the original box set's third disc (the two promos for the Brian Wilson solo single, "Caroline, No," "Hang On To Your Ego," and the aforementioned vocal snippet of "Don't Talk...") have been moved to the end of Disc 1 on the new collection. Plus, since I didn't own a Blu-ray player then, I could not play the bonus Blu-ray audio disc. Since there was a DVD-Audio disc in the 40th Anniversary Edition, they opted for a Blu-ray version this time around. The DVD also contains video material that is not on the Blu-ray disc (see my comments above). So I cancelled the order at the time.
Because I now own a Sony multi-region Blu-ray player, I reversed myself and purchased the 50th Anniversary Edition on July 15, 2017. The Blu-ray audio-only disc contains PCM mono, stereo, and stereo instrumental versions of the album, plus two 5.1 mixes (Dolby True HD and DTS 5.1 Master Audio - not much difference between the two on my sound system). A bonus section for stereo and 5.1 listeners contains six additional tracks: the aforementioned "Unreleased Backgrounds," the vocal snippet of "Don't Talk..." originally issued in mono on the 1990 CD, but now in stereo and 5.1 on the Blu-ray audio disc (after further review, The Pet Sounds Sessions vocal snippet of "Don't Talk...," also on Disc 1 of the 50th Anniversary collection, is exactly the same as "Unreleased Backgrounds"), a couple of alternate versions of the "Wouldn't It Be Nice"/"God Only Knows" single, and the beautiful instrumental "Summer Means New Love," a track originally from Summer Days (And Summer Nights!! , which is included here because it was later issued as the B-side of the aforementioned Brian Wilson solo single "Caroline, No." The Blu-ray audio sounds great, especially the 5.1 mixes.
HISTORICAL NOTE: I haven't listened to the two "Caroline, No" promos in a long time, so when I heard them again recently, I had forgotten that the DJs mentioned were both from the Baltimore/Washington area where I grew up. One promo is for Kerby Scott of Baltimore's WCAO (he also had a teenage dance show on Baltimore's WBAL-TV, and worked in D.C. for a while as well). As of 2016, Kerby Scott (real name: Kerby Confer) is the owner of Forever Broadcasting, and is in the Country Music Hall Of Fame. The other promo is for the late, great Johnny Dark, who worked at WEAM, Arlington, Virginia, at the time of the promo, and also worked at WCAO for many years. On September 13, 1964, Johnny was onstage at the Baltimore Civic Center (now the Royal Farms Arena) introducing The Beatles in their first and only appearance in Charm City (Ringo Starr And His All-Starr Band have returned to Baltimore twice, but Paul McCartney has never been back (you owe Baltimore one, Macca; it's been over half a century)). WCAO switched from Top 40 to country music in the early '80s, and has programmed Black Gospel music since the '90s (as "Heaven 600"). More recently, Dark worked at Washington's WBIG-FM (when it was Oldies 100; it is now classic-rock BIG 100.3, or just BIG 100), and his last gig before his death last fall  was at WTTR-AM 1470, an oldies/classic hits station in Westminster, Maryland. RIP, Johnny - you were to music what the late Hall of Famer Chuck Thompson was to sports broadcasting.
Casual Beach Boys fans can probably skip this new release; those who already own The Pet Sounds Sessions should only purchase it if they want the Blu-ray audio disc and the 14 extra tracks not found on the previous set. The 50th Anniversary collection is an essential purchase only for those who don't already own The Pet Sounds Sessions or for hard-core completists.
This was a man who was hearing wonderful musical themes in his head and was not being allowed the time, space and creative freedom to explore and bring these themes into fruition. On top of that, the "British Invasion" was in full swing and those artists and bands were bringing a fresh perspective on music, both it's recording and production, to the world as well as the "Motown Sound" topping the charts with one great artist after another. Fate typically does things when least expected and fate saw an exhausted Wilson being home recuperating from his breakdown at just the time the "Rubber Soul" album was being released by the Beatles. It would be the album that helped to validate the direction Wilson was feeling his music and that of The Beach Boys should be going.
He found his creative "second wind" and with the help of friend and lyricist Tony Asher, he begin to compose, write, produce and record the songs that would become "Pet Sounds." It was truly an ambitious project and one that would change the face of not just rock music but music in general forever. When his fellow band mates returned off of the remainder of the tour Brian had left, he had basically the entire project completed except for the vocals. Once the other members, along with Brian, laid down their gorgeous vocals which, as usual, were one of the many strengths of the album, they had completed a true game changer and neither they nor the music world would be the same. This album would inspire a whole host of artists to change their entire perspective on how songs should be both written and recorded.
Paul McCartney took a copy to John Lennon and they listened to it over and over again until it became engrained in their thought processes. George Martin, their brilliant producer, also was listening to the album and it was now the catalyst for what would become "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." Funny how fate and destiny work, isn't it? Bravo to you Mr. Brian Wilson, I recently listened to this album from beginning to end and marveled at what was produced. You and Mr. Asher created a masterpiece that truly changed the music world and more importantly, validated your true genius.
P.S. Here's what others were saying about the album and Brian Wilson:
Eric Clapton stated that "All of us, Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce and I consider Pet Sounds to be one of the greatest pop LPs to ever be released. It encompasses everything that's ever knocked me out and rolled it all into one."
Elton John has said of the album, "For me to say that I was enthralled would be an understatement. I had never heard such magical sounds, so amazingly recorded. It undoubtedly changed the way that I, and countless others, approached recording. It is a timeless and amazing recording of incredible genius and beauty."
Beatles producer George Martin stated that "Without Pet Sounds, Sgt. Pepper wouldn't have happened... Pepper was an attempt to equal Pet Sounds."
Paul McCartney has said "It was Pet Sounds that blew me out of the water. I love the album so much. I've just bought my kids each a copy of it for their education in life. I figure no one is educated musically 'til they've heard that album. I love the orchestra, the arrangements. It may be going overboard to say it's the classic of the century, but to me, it certainly is a total, classic record that is unbeatable in many ways. I've often played Pet Sounds and cried. I played it to John [Lennon] so much that it would be difficult for him to escape the influence, it was the record of the time. The thing that really made me sit up and take notice was the bass lines and also, putting melodies in the bass line. That I think was probably the big influence that set me thinking when we recorded Pepper, it set me off on a period I had then for a couple of years of nearly always writing quite melodic bass lines. "God Only Knows" is a big favourite of mine, very emotional, always a bit of a choker for me, that one. On "You Still Believe in Me", I love that melody - that kills me. That's my favourite, I think, it's so beautiful right at the end comes surging back in these multi-coloured harmonies, sends shivers up my spine."
Bob Dylan has said of Brian Wilson's talents, "That ear - I mean, Jesus, he's got to will that to the Smithsonian."
Roger Waters stated that along with Sgt Pepper, Pet Sounds "completely changed everything about records for me."
Elvis Costello stated "Last summer, I heard "Don't Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder)" played on the cello. It sounded beautiful and sad, just as it does on Pet Sounds."
Pete Townshend stated "'God Only Knows' is simple and elegant and was stunning when it first appeared; it still sounds perfect".
Tom Petty stated "I think I would put him up there with any composer - especially Pet Sounds. I don't think there is anything better than that, necessarily. I don't think you'd be out of line comparing him to Beethoven - to any composer."
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Even now, after playing it quite frequently for the past few months, I can still understand why Pet Sounds may rub people the wrong way. It does not have any specific style and instead chooses to utilises many different sounds, some fairly normal for the time and others that are quite unusual. Fans of the band will be quick to point out the fan favourite tracks like the opening, Wouldn't It Be Nice, Sloop John B and of course God Only Knows. Three stand out songs and for a very good reason.
The album as a whole is an interesting muddled mess of psychedelia and '60s pop. It is very progressive in a way and strange in so many ways. It is too soft to be a rock album, it's too complex for a pop album and the concept is so elaborate that it should by all means put off people from both sides of the fence. But for whatever reason, it works beautifully. It just takes a little time to appreciate.
The copy of the album I own presents the album its original mono as well as a more recent stereo mix. The original sound is very warm, has a traditional '60s production and fits in perfectly with the rest of The Beach Boys catalogue. You could argue that it's exactly how the album should sound and should always be played that way. However, I have grown to appreciate the stereo mix just as much. Where the mono provides us with how it should sound, the stereo gives us an interesting alternative. By separating the tracks and hearing them with a lot of space between each instrument, it's fascinating. It lets you hear a lot of details that can be easily missed in the original print.
I'm not going to pretend that I understand the concept behind the album. But I can say that after many years of listening to it, I finally understand why people love this record so much. It was an extremely daring project by the standards set in the '60s and is an album that has very rarely been matched on a technical and creative scale.
Pet Sounds is worth a purchase, no questions asked. It may seem a bit strange at first, but put on a pair of headphones and listen to the details. I would happily bet that you'll always find something new with every listen.
Sure I can hear some interesting instrumentation in places but it also sounds a bit mainstream pop of the era in an over orchestrated way and the list of musicians looks a bit like a roll call for a Cecil B DeMille epic.
It a desperate effort to get into this album I have just bought it on vinyl as I thought that gave me the best chance of catching up with the revisionist view of this album as a masterpiece and while the 50th anniversary vinyl edition has a really bright sound and if you are a fan you will not be disappointed, it presents the album brilliantly, unfortunately after a couple of listens, many of the songs still sound lame to me.
If you love this album, my opinion shouldn’t matter at all, I dare say there are albums that I love that you would not like. If Pet Sounds ever clicks for me I will certainly update my review but as of 27 June 2021 I still feel that the original, contemporary reviews were largely spot on
So what do I have now?
The mono mix of the album on cd1 is different from the previously released ones because now they have found a “superb mono master from 1972, originally supervised by Carl Wilson”. Does it give me a new listening experience? Not really! The instruments stay far behind the vocals (and maybe even more so then before … or it’s been a while to remember). A good thing is that we can listen to the instrumental album on cd2 (when you buy the box set you have these instrumentals also but they are spread across cd2 and 3). Wonderful, sometimes complex, arrangements.
Cd2 ends with live recordings (all previously unreleased). The main reason I bought the album again. 4 times “God Only Knows”, 2 times “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” and “Sloop John B” and 1 time “Good Vibrations”, “Caroline No” and “You Still Believe In Me”. Couldn’t they find live recordings of other Pet Sound songs? We blame marketing strategy again! But we can compare what we have. My opinion is that the 80’s and 90’s versions are the best. Probably because the recording equipment was much better so the sound quality is warmer but also because they have some nice arrangements. Especially the “Sloop John B” Universal Studios version from 1989. Brian Wilson is clearly audible although, in that time, already working apart from The Beach Boys.
I read Capitol Records will release a 50th anniversary edition of “Good Vibrations” somewhere in the fall. Maybe thanks to marketing strategy “Good Vibrations: master track with partial vocals” will be on it!
I wait for a decent quality blu- ray release.