Like most people, I’ve kind of always known that the Beach Boys were one of the most famous, iconic rock bands of all time, but despite this, I couldn’t honestly say that I’d ever listened to one of their many albums.
A couple of years ago, I ran across a great “best of” list called “Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time,” which was originally published by Rolling Stone magazine in 2003. That list included three Beach Boys’ albums, and the top-rated Beach Boys’ album on the list was their 1966 album, “Pet Sounds.” Rolling Stone ranked it No. 2 on this prestigious list, which is why I added it to my “bucket list” a few years ago.
As chance would have it, this past Saturday, May 16, was the 49th anniversary of the album’s official release, and to mark the occasion, I officially listened to it from start to finish. I thought it was great, especially for an album recorded a decade before I was even born.
Released on May 16, 1966, “Pet Sounds” was the Beach Boys’ 11th studio album. In all, the original album included 13 songs. Songs on the album included “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” “You Still Believe in Me,” “That’s Not Me,” “Don’t Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder),” “I’m Waiting for the Day,” “Let’s Go Away for Awhile,” “Sloop John B,” “God Only Knows,” “I Know There’s an Answer,” “I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times,” “Pet Sounds” and “Caroline, No.”
At two minutes and 18 seconds, “Let’s Go Away for Awhile,” which is entirely instrumental and contains no lyrics, is the shortest song on the album. “I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times” is the longest song on the album with a run time of three minutes and 12 seconds. In all, the album, from start to finish, is 35 minutes and 57 seconds long.
“Wouldn’t It Be Nice” is arguably the most famous song on the album, but that’s up for debate. Rolling Stone didn’t include that song on a 2004 “best of” list called the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time,” but they did include a few other songs from “Pet Sounds” in their ranking of the best songs ever. “God Only Knows” was ranked No. 25 and “Caroline, No” was ranked No. 211. “Sloop John B” was ranked No. 271. If I had to pick a personal favorite, it would be a toss up between “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” and “Sloop John B.”
Of course, now that I’ve listened to “Pet Sounds,” I’m left wanting to listen to the other Beach Boys albums on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all-time. Those albums (and their rankings on Rolling Stones’s list) include “Today!” (No. 271) and “Smile” (No. 381).
In the end, how many of you have listened to the Beach Boys’ “Pet Sounds” from start to finish? What did you think about it? Is it your favorite Beach Boys’ album? If not, which of his albums is your favorite? Let us know in the comments section below.