In 1964, Brian Wilson suffered a panic attack five minutes into a flight. He subsequently opted to stay home from the Beach Boys’ tour and work on the music that would eventually become Pet Sounds. Highlighting these types of tidbits, Pitchfork.tv created a short “Liner Notes” documentary that details the lore behind the first ever concept album.
The three-minute video also includes rare photos and dialogue of Wilson directing the Wrecking Crew in the legendary Pet Sounds sessions. The best parts, though, are the fun facts. Did you know, for instance, that Wilson initially intended to call the record “Run James Run” because he hoped it would feature on an upcoming James Bond film? Or that there’s a recording of Wilson’s dogs at the end of “Caroline, No”? Rumor has it that the Beatles used the same dog clip on “Good Morning”—a track from their own seminal concept album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Interesting stuff.
Today we appreciate Pet Sounds as one of the most influential pop albums of all time, but like most groundbreaking art, it wasn’t immediately met with open ears. The Beach Boys’ label, Capitol Records, noted its significant departure from past albums and had little hope that it would succeed. In an attempt to sweep it under the rug, Capitol released The Best of the Beach Boys just two months following Pet Sounds release. God only knows what kind of world we’d live in if it had stayed under that rug.
This Monday marks the actual anniversary, so celebrate accordingly! I’m waiting for the day in earnest. Hopefully it’s sun-filled and strange, so we can don our headphones of choice and meander to the 1966 sounds that still ring through today. Let’s go away for awhile.
IMAGE: Capitol Records