Up until this point, most fans liked them for the surf-and-fun songs they released. It was a utopia most male fans could only dream about: life at the beach with nothing but girls and cars. However, for those paying close attention,
As early as 1963 on the Surfer Girl album,
Pet Sounds actually begins with another version of utopia. The marvelous 'Wouldn't It Be Nice' studies marital bliss, but from this point, the cute love songs are gone. 'God Only Knows' brings intimacy rarely heard in a pop or rock song. When the album was re-released in 1990, Brian had this to say about the song: "Carl (
There are lighter moments on the album like the goofy 'Sloop John B.' However, Brian was saying goodbye to the old Beach Boys. 'I Just Wasn't Made for These Times' communicates the isolation of not fitting in. 'Caroline, No' said good-bye to the types of girls sung about on previous Beach Boys songs.
Unsurprisingly, because of the departure from their successful formula, the album sold modestly and briefly peaked at number ten on the album chart. From this point, Brian faded away, and the band started resembling a
I had heard the hype about this album for years, and finally broke down and bought it. When I listened to it the first time, I was not impressed. I tossed it into my pile of CDs and ignored it for a couple of years. Then, on a sleepless summer night, I gave it a second chance, and the music that came through my head phones touched me in a way few albums have.
Maybe I had grown a little older and could better understand the issues Brian Wilson was battling. I don't know. However, I do know this is a great album. In fact, I cannot think of an album quite like it.