Tweet of the day:
Paul McCartney’s favorite LP marked its 50th anniversary today, and while the music is holding up OK, the mythos is starting to fray a little around the edges.
Pet Sounds and the band that created it have been so heavily analyzed, so frequently chronicled, that the backstory just isn’t that interesting any more. A “little-known fact about Pet Sounds” is kinda like an “underrated Beatles tune”: No matter what it is, that song’s been sung.
So, in the interest of freshening up (or outright pissing in) the Pet Sounds pool, here’s a never-before-seen list of things you didn’t know about the album.
Feel free to share. Your friends will marvel at your pop-god knowledge. And who knows? Maybe a few of these tidbits will end up joining the gospel.
If my children’s children’s children believe even one of these, my time on social media will have been worth it:
Eight Things I Know About Pet Sounds You Didn’t Know Until Now
- Carl Wilson, struggling with a debilitating addiction to milkshakes, took no part in the Pet Sounds sessions; his only contributions to the record are the amazingly lifelike dog howls at the very end.
- Studio records and DNA testing indicate that the water that had been in the jug used for percussion on “Caroline, No” was consumed by Carol Kaye, Tommy Tedesco, Tony Asher, Terry Melcher, Bruce Johnston, and Al Jardine’s brother.
- The voices that can be overheard talking in the bridge of “Here Today” belong to Billy Preston and Murray the K — two men, coincidentally, who are often cited by fans as being the “sixth Beach Boy.”
- Mike Love is an American hero.
- The bicycle horn and bell on “You Still Believe In Me” are left over from the shell of an earlier track called “Bitchin’ BMX Derby.” (During Brian’s later absence from production, the Beach Boys would revive “Bitchin’ BMX Derby” with a new vocal track, achieving a No. 38 pop hit in 1979.)
- In keeping with the “animal” theme of the album (its working title was The Beach Boys Love Ewe), Brian Wilson composed most of the songs in the barn of a goat farm in the hills outside Los Angeles, having a Steinway piano and a theremin installed there at great personal expense.
- Side One’s original running order of “Pigs On The Wing,” “Dogs” and “Sheep” was rejected by the record company.
- Brian Wilson was inspired to create a lush, orchestrated suite of themed songs after repeated listens to Ferrante & Teicher’s album Concert for Lovers. (“That album really blew me away.”)