Cover image for Wouldn't it be nice : Brian Wilson and the making of the Beach Boys' Pet sounds
Title:
Wouldn't it be nice : Brian Wilson and the making of the Beach Boys' Pet sounds
Author:
Granata, Charles L.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Chicago, Ill. : A Cappella Books, [2003]

©2003
Physical Description:
256 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 22 cm.
Language:
English
Personal Subject:
ISBN:
9781556525070
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Offers insight into the making of the seminal album, Pet Sounds, revealing the processes that went into its creation and featuring interviews with key players. This work chronicles the ways in which Pet Sounds changed the face of American popular music, from conception and composition to arrangement and production.


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

In 1965, before anyone thought rock music could be ambitious, let alone artful, Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson set out to record "the greatest rock album ever made." Many fans feel to this day that Pet Sounds, the resulting record, which applied the Boys' jazz-influenced vocal harmonies to Wilson's new, sophisticated songs and inventive arrangements, realized his lofty aspirations. Quite simply, though a flop when originally released, the album, which spearheaded the transition from the single to the LP as rock's primary format, is an enduring popular-music masterpiece. Granata recounts its genesis in a song-by-song rundown with Wilson's cowriter, Tony Asher, and its recording sessions through the eyes of the other Beach Boys and additional participating musicians. Bracketing this detailed examination are concise accounts of the group's pre- and post-Pet Sounds careers. Troubled by emotional problems exacerbated by drug use, Brian Wilson never surpassed Pet Sounds. He has enjoyed its constant critical and commercial rediscovery, however, and listeners who have caught up to his magnum opus should appreciate learning more about it. --Gordon Flagg Copyright 2003 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

In 1966, Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys released a revolutionary rock album that would influence the Beatles, the Who, Eric Clapton and the Rolling Stones. As music historian Granata points out in this often passionate, sometimes pedantic history of Pet Sounds, U.S. audiences turned a cold shoulder to this album because it represented such a departure from the pleasing surf melodies that had made the Beach Boys famous. In spite of such a reception, the album showcases the soaring musical genius of Wilson, argues Granata, in what was perhaps truly the first ever "concept album." The innovative combination of folk, blues and jazz blended into the gorgeous harmonies of the Beach Boys. Granata traces the evolution of the album from its writing, mostly by Wilson and Tony Asher, to the long nights of production in the studio. He analyzes dispassionately each song on the album, from the jangly 12-string guitar chords of "Wouldn't It Be Nice?," which open the album, to the closing harmonies of "Caroline, No" that close it. Granata chronicles Wilson's well-known disappearance from the musical scene not long after the album's release to battle the demons of paranoid schizophrenia, as well as his recent solo appearances performing the songs from Pet Sounds. Granata devotedly tells a story whose contours are already well known, so the book at times appears to be a set of liner notes allowed to grow too large. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Table of Contents

Tony Asher
Forewordp. 7
Prefacep. 12
Early Historyp. 19
Fresh Soundsp. 33
Turning Pointsp. 44
Writing the Albump. 69
The Making of Pet Soundsp. 115
Pet Sounds Arrivesp. 184
Brian's In-Between Years (1967-1990)p. 204
Pet Sounds Revisitedp. 218
Brian is Backp. 227
Epiloguep. 235
Acknowledgmentsp. 239
Selected Bibliographyp. 245
Indexp. 249
Song Creditsp. 256