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Music DVD Review: The Beach Boys – ‘Classic Albums: Pet Sounds’

Eagle Rock Entertainment’s well-timed release on the 50th anniversary of this 1966 album includes over 30 minutes of additional interview material not included in the broadcast version. This DVD-Audio disc includes stereo and mono versions and does not play on regular CD players. I have fond memories of playing Pet Sounds on our family record player and experiencing an album where every song deserves multiple listening sessions. We concentrated on the sounds and imagined how this record was made. Now we don’t have to guess so much. I thoroughly enjoyed this DVD that includes recording session information, bonus material, track-by-track…

Review Overview

Reviewer's Rating

Four out of five stars

Summary : Great insight, personal perspectives, bonus features, and pure talent and collaboration make this Beach Boys music documentary worthwhile.

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beachboyspetsoundsEagle Rock Entertainment’s well-timed release on the 50th anniversary of this 1966 album includes over 30 minutes of additional interview material not included in the broadcast version.

This DVD-Audio disc includes stereo and mono versions and does not play on regular CD players. I have fond memories of playing Pet Sounds on our family record player and experiencing an album where every song deserves multiple listening sessions. We concentrated on the sounds and imagined how this record was made. Now we don’t have to guess so much.

I thoroughly enjoyed this DVD that includes recording session information, bonus material, track-by-track notes, photo galleries, and a Pet Sounds promotional film.

The Beach Boys’ Classic Albums: Pet Sounds DVD features key Beach Boys members: Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, and David Marks.

beachboyssheetVarious Capitol Record executives, producers and the “Wrecking Crew” contributing musicians are also included on this special DVD, specifically lyricist Tony Asher, engineer Bruce Botnik, drummer Hal Blaine, keyboardist, Don Randi, singer Helen Shapiro, publicist Keith Altham, music journalists David Wild, and Lucy O’Brien.

This DVD includes great insight, personal perspectives, and amazing talent and collaboration.

beachboysstudioIt’s impressive to see behind-the-scenes footage of Wilson’s process, perspective and initial work as the Beach Boys toured Japan and Hawaii in the fall of 1965 with Glen Campbell filling in for him. Wilson worked with each musician and their respective contributions, which showcases their talents and his own.

This experience also features who Jardine brought the Kingston Trio’s version of the traditional folk song “Sloop John B” to Wilson, which ultimately became the biggest hit on the Pet Sounds album. Pet Sounds’ success ranged from early trepidations and artistic visions to huge hits and smash success in the U.K. and elsewhere.

Love accentuates the hardships as well with his singing struggles on “Hang on to Your Ego” that eventually morphed into “I Know There’s an Answer”. It’s easy to relive the memories or experience them for the first time when watching creation footage of songs like “Caroline No”, “God Only Knows”, “I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times”, “Sloop John B”, and “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”.

Other highlights include Bruce Johnston’s vocal contributions on “I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times” as well as Asher’s writing and collaboration with Wilson through January and early February 1966.

brianwilsonIronically, Wilson is currently on the road touring worldwide and performing this album throughout dates in 2017.

Sounds was appropriately, and perhaps predictably, in the title here. Striking sounds reached beyond common, popular instrumentation of the time and included accordions, bottles, bicycle bells, flutes, French horns, harpsichords, and timpani drums.

This great experimentation warrants the notable special features inclusion of the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations” song, which was not included on the Pet Sounds album and was released in late 1966. Viewers get some great vibrations for about one-third of the total extra feature running time, including a unique “fireman” video.

Classic Albums remains a historical music documentary series that featured artists from several genres. Episodes in this series run approximately 45 to 50 minutes and the DVD release contains considerable interview features and additional content. Also, look for Classic Albums Live concerts like this one in your area.

Directed by Martin R. Smith, this memorable celebration of pure talent and collaboration comes highly recommended. It is also available on Blu-ray.


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