Brian Wilson Tours to Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Pet Sounds

The Beach Boys (1965)
By Capitol Records (Billboard, page 73, 11 September 1965) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The Beach Boys’ iconic album, Pet Sounds, was released in 1966 and went on to become a classic. Brian Wilson, the driving force behind the project, is marking its 50th anniversary with a tour that is scheduled to continue through the fall.

Wilson took a long break from music and then began performing Pet Sounds live in its entirety in 2001 to overwhelmingly positive reactions from reviewers and fans. He is currently performing with an 11-piece band that includes Al Jardine, an original member of the Beach Boys; his son, Matt; and Blondie Chaplin. They are performing songs from Pet Sounds, as well as Beach Boys hits from before and after the album was released.

Pet Sounds was a radical departure from the Beach Boys’ previous work. It was an album dealing with powerful emotions that combined musical genres in a way that other artists had not attempted. Pet Sounds explores feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and guilt and Wilson’s hope that music could help heal him.

Wilson wrote much of the music for Pet Sounds himself and recorded it with help from session musicians. He collaborated with advertising copywriter Tony Asher, who wrote many of the lyrics with inspiration and guidance from Wilson.

The album includes instruments that were seldom used on rock and roll albums and even some things that were not instruments at all, such as cans and bottles that were used for percussion. Wilson recorded dogs barking and even considered bringing a horse into the studio.

Pet Sounds took 10 months to record and cost $70,000 to produce, making it one of the most expensive albums that had ever been recorded at that time. When Wilson presented Pet Sounds to Capitol Records, executives were disappointed that it did not follow the “fun in the sun” formula of the Beach Boys’ previous hits. Capitol Records was not behind the album and decided to promote a greatest hits compilation instead, to Wilson’s disappointment.

Pet Sounds inspired many other musicians, including the Beatles. Their producer, George Martin, said Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band never would have been recorded without Pet Sounds.

Brian Wilson is currently touring across the United States and performing Pet Sounds live. You can see this legendary artist perform his classic album live by ordering tickets from Reserve your seats today.