23 Songs


April 2006, and it's one month to the 40th anniversary of Pet Sounds. So it's only appropriate that this playlist is dedicated to the greatest album of all time, with songs that may have inspired the album, songs that the album inspired as well as a goodly chunk of the record.

1)TRUE LOVE WAYS (Buddy Holly): Let's begin the romantic tradition in rock and roll with one of the real pioneers- a beauty dating from the 50s, with a full orchestral arrangement.
2)IN MY ROOM (Beach Boys): An early signature introspective number from Brian and the Beach Boys- absolute classic, of course, and an early signpost on the route to Pet Sounds.
3)THERE'S A PLACE (Beatles): An ocean away, but at the same time as In My Room, a certain Liverpool did an up-tempo but inward looking number that remains one of my favorites of the group despite being somewhat obscure- it wasn't on any of the original Capitol albums of the Beatles.
4)PLEASE LET ME WONDER (Beach Boys) Today was a major step on the road to Pet Sounds with its intricate arrangements and "love is more than just a game" lyrics, as well as a complete move from the surf and turf of the early Beach Boys days. This is a powerful love song, not just because of the excellent melody and powerful production, but the lyric that reflects the longing of so many. The lyricist is one Mike Love and one wishes he retained even just 10% of the sensitivity exhibited here.
5)GUESS I'M DUMB(Glen Campbell): Also from 1965, a year before Pet Sounds, this Brian production and composition shows that he was ready for the big time.....
6)WOULDN'T IT BE NICE (Beach Boys): The next eight tracks are the real thing- a goodly chunk of Pet Sounds. This is a great opener, to the greatest album of all time!
7)THAT'S NOT ME(Beach Boys): Pet Sounds has been described as an album about love and acceptance, typified by this track.
8)LET'S GO AWAY FOR A WHILE (Beach Boys): The instumentals are an integral part of Pet Sounds, and one can sense what this about, without words. One of the greatest instrumentals ever.
9)GOD ONLY KNOWS (Beach Boys): If you don't know and love this....
10)I KNOW THERE'S AN ANSWER (Beach Boys): Originally Hang On To Your Ego, this is still a lyrically interesting track.
11)I JUST WASN'T MADE FOR THESE TIMES (Beach Boys): Pet Sounds ends with a bit of a downer, almost prophetic of the troubles Brian was about to face. This track pretty much sums it all up.
12)PET SOUNDS (Beach Boys): Quite a bit of menace, despite the seemingly homeless title. Was going to be a James Bond instumental called Run James Run, but maybe the running is more figurative.
13)CAROLINE, NO (Beach Boys): Ostensibly a sad song about a girl changing, but could be about Brian's world as well. An incredible production.
14)HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE (Beatles): The rest of this list looks at the influence Pet Sounds had. This was a clear, immediate result of the album on the Beatles next album, and one of their best love songs.
15)LOOKING GLASS (Association): The Sunshine Pop movement of the late 60s was heavily influenced by the Beach Boys, and Pet Sounds in particular, and the Association were one of the chief bands of this movement. One of their many brilliant harmonic songs.
16)JUST A LITTLE BIT (Orpheus): Another important Sunshine Pop band from Boston. The melodic basslines were a feature of Pet Sounds and stand out here too.
17)REQUIEM: 820 LATHAM (5th Dimension): Jimmy Webb's late 60s work with a number of acts was some of his best, even if his reflection of his turbulent romances was sometimes over-the-top. This is an example which could be seen as overblown but is ultimately very moving and powerful.
18)LISA WAS (Bergen White): Another Sunshine Pop obscurity, this is a Mann/Weil song.
19)ON YOUR OWN AGAIN (Scott Walker): Probably more Baroque Pop than Sunshine Pop, this is from Scott 4, probably his masterpiece. 105 seconds of beauty.
20)AT MY MOST BEAUTIFUL (REM): Moving on to more recent times, Peter Buck and Mike Mills have frequently spoken of their love for Brian's music, and this is a clear homage to the Pet Sounds sound.
21)BLUE ROSES (Prefab Sprout): No-one writes about love as well as Paddy, as I'm sure I've said before.
22)MEANWHILE (Alan Boyd): If you miss the real "Beach Boys" sound, you can't go wrong with Alan Boyd's album. This is one of the highlights and wouldn't have been out of place on Pet Sounds itself.
23)I'D LIKE (Freshlyground): I've never been a huge South African music fan, despite being from here, but there have been some great songs from this part of the world, and it's nice to see this local song hit the airwaves in 2006. I don't know if the band know Pet Sounds, but it does have the emotional vulnerability that is the hallmark of the album.


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