Greatest of all time. It’s become such a common phrase that the kids even have an acronym for it these days—GOAT. But, even though the term has come to be hyperbolic—make no mistake—sometimes it still applies. And it definitely applies to Pet Sounds.
Pet Sounds, of course, is the Beach Boys album. The brainchild of Brian Wilson. And it changed the everything with its orchestral movements and sweeping harmonies. Starting with the opening of the first track “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” the entire album serves to notify the listener that The Beach Boys had grown up—that Brian Wilson had grown up.
But the album almost never was. Band member Mike Love didn’t like it. The album’s name came from Love’s admonishment that only “the ears of a dog” would like the album. And the band’s record company almost didn’t release it at all. But, history has been kind to Pet Sounds. Legendary producer George Martin even said that without it there would have been no Sgt. Pepper album from the Beatles.
And now Pet Sounds is 50. And Brian Wilson is touring (with more of the original Beach Boys than the Beach Boys that currently tour with Mike Love—who, it bears reminding, is the actual worst). And on this tour he will be playing, in addition to many Beach Boys hits, Pet Sounds in its entirety.
Wilson played a Red Butte Garden show in 2015, and though he’s definitely slowed down and needed help on and off the stage, Wilson behind a white piano backed by Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin was a welcome sight to the crowd.
Expect another enthusiastic reception when Wilson plays Abravanel Hall on Wednesday night. I bet he’ll even play “Salt Lake City.” Tickets are still available here.