The Beach Boys “Pet Sounds”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#308 in the Series and #2 in the Whale Wednesday Series) is The Beach Boys, Pet Sounds.

Beach Boys, Pet Sounds and The Beatles, Sgt. Peppers.   I think we know the relationship between these two albums.   If you don’t, really quickly, Pet Sounds was released directly before Sgt. Peppers.  The Beatles were heavily influenced by the  Beach Boys use of structure and over dubbing.  That story is well told, I’m not going to rehash it now.  Paul McCartney has even been quoted as saying that “God Only Knows,” a Pet Sounds single, is his favorite song.  (Hey Paul, if you’re reading… I’d lean towards “Caroline, No” actually.)

This was another one of those albums that I never listened to that closely. 1967 was a little ahead of my time. I knew the hits like everyone else.

A couple of years ago I happened to see that Brian Wilson was reproducing Pet Sounds on stage. I was able to find a television broadcast of the show.  It blew me away. The presentation was spectacular.  I now own the DVD.  The piccolo flute intro and harmonies in “Sloop John B” flat were a highlight.  He had a huge band. They did a fantastic job in bringing this album to life. Let’s just say, Pet Sounds as a historic recording? Yeah, I got it now.

If you’re a fan of this album, or even if you’re not, I highly recommend giving that DVD a viewing.  It’s titled Brian Wilson: Pet Sounds Live In London.

I’ve listed everyone that played on the album. Why not, those players deserve it.  You’ll notice names like Glen Campbell, Jim Gordon and Tommy Tedesco.

Pet Sounds was mostly written by Brian Wilson with Tony Asher. For more specific information you can check out the track listing just below. I’ve listed the song writers and also lead vocalist information.

Please make sure to visit the playlists below. I have included the full album in the first playlist. The second one includes a couple of live Brian Wilson take along with a series of “Making Of” videos. They come highly recommended!


Track listing

Side one

No.   Title       (Writer(s))   Lead Vocals    Length

  1. “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” (B. Wilson/Tony Asher/M. Love)  Brian Wilson/Mike Love 2:22
  2. “You Still Believe in Me”  (B. Wilson/Asher)B. Wilson 2:30
  3. “That’s Not Me”  (B. Wilson/Asher)  Love 2:27
  4. “Don’t Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder)”  (B. Wilson/Asher) B. Wilson 2:51
  5. “I’m Waiting for the Day” (B. Wilson/Love) B. Wilson 3:03
  6. “Let’s Go Away for Awhile” (B. Wilson)  instrumental 2:18
  7. “Sloop John B” (trad. arr. B. Wilson)B. Wilson/Love 2:56

Side two

No.         Title     (Writer(s))  Lead Vocals   Length

  1. “God Only Knows”  (B. Wilson/Asher) Carl Wilson 2:49
  2. “I Know There’s an Answer”  (B. Wilson/T. Sachen/Love) Love/Al Jardine/B. Wilson 3:08
  3. “Here Today” (B. Wilson/Asher) Love 2:52
  4. “I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times” (B. Wilson/Asher)  B. Wilson   3:11
  5. “Pet Sounds”  (B. Wilson) instrumental 2:20
  6. “Caroline, No”  (B. Wilson/Asher )B. Wilson 2:52


The Beach Boys

Brian Wilson Producing "Pet Sounds" in 1966

  • Al Jardine – vocals, tambourine
  • Bruce Johnston – vocals
  • Mike Love – vocals
  • Brian Wilson – vocals, organ, piano
  • Carl Wilson – vocals, guitar
  • Dennis Wilson – vocals, drums

Session Musicians

  • Arnold Belnick  Violin
  • Chuck Berghofer  String Bass
  • Hal Blaine  Bongos, Drums, Percussion, Tympani [Timpani]
  • Bruce Botnick  Engineer, Viola
  • Norman Botnick Viola
  • Glen Campbell  Guitar (12 String)
  • Frank Capp  Bells, Glockenspiel, Percussion, Tympani [Timpani], Vibraphone
  • Al Casey Guitar
  • Roy Caton  Saxophone, Trumpet
  • Jerry Cole  Guitar, Guitar (Electric)
  • Gary Coleman   Bongos, Tympani [Timpani]
  • Mike Deasy Sr.  Guitar
  • Al DeLory  Harpsichord, Organ, Piano, Tack Piano
  • Joseph DiFiore Viola
  • Justin DiTullio Cello
  • Steve Douglas   Saxophone
  • Steve Douglas & the Rebel Rousers Clarinet, Flute, Percussion, Sax (Tenor), Saxophone
  • Jesse Ehrlich Cello
  • Carl Fortina  Accordion
  • Ritchie Frost  Drums, Percussion
  • James Getzoff   Violin
  • Jim Gordon  Drums, Percussion
  • Leonard Hartman  Clarinet, Clarinet (Bass), Horn (English)
  • Jim Horn Flute, Sax (Baritone), Sax (Tenor), Saxophone
  • Paul Horn  Sax (Tenor)
  • Harry Hyams  Viola
  • Jules Jacob Flute
  • Plas Johnson  Flute, Percussion, Sax (Tenor), Saxophone
  • Carol Kaye  Bass, Bass (Electric)
  • Barney Kessel Guitar, Mandolin
  • Bobby Klein Sax (Tenor)
  • Larry Knechtel Organ
  • Leonard Malarsky Violin
  • Frank Marocco  Accordion
  • Gail Martin Trombone
  • Nick Martinis Drums
  • Terry Melcher Tambourine, Vocals
  • Mike Melvoin  Harpsichord
  • Jay Migliori  Clarinet, Clarinet (Bass), Flute, Sax (Baritone), Sax (Tenor), Saxophone
  • Tommy Morgan  Harmonica
  • Jack Nimitz  Sax (Baritone)
  • Bill Pitman  Guitar
  • Ray Pohlman Bass (Electric), Guitar, Guitar (Bass), Mandolin
  • Don Randi Piano
  • Jerome Reisler Violin
  • Lyle Ritz  String Bass, Ukulele
  • Alan Robinson French Horn
  • Joseph Saxon Cello
  • Ralph Schaeffer Violin
  • Sid Sharp  Violin
  • Billy Strange Guitar, Guitar (12 String Electric), Guitar (12 String), Guitar (Electric)
  • Ernie Tack  Trombone (Bass)
  • Paul Tanner  Theremin
  • Tommy Tedesco Guitar (Acoustic)
  • Darrel Terwilliger Viola
  • Julius Wechter  Latin Percussion, Percussion, Tympani [Timpani], Vibraphone
  • Tibor Zelig Violin


Back to ‘Cool Album’ of the Day’ Home Page.


Here’s a couple live videos plus some GREAT “Making Of” videos as well.

Posted by Larry Carta

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