Supposedly this was influenced greatly by Brian Wilson’s desire to match Rubber Soul. This album then spurred The Beatles on in the recording of Revolver. Arguably the two Beatles albums sound more varied – but you’d expect them to be, being the compositions of three men. Pet Sounds, chiefly written by Brian Wilson with a few others sharing co-writing duties, doesn’t have the advantage of sounding so three-dimensional.
The other thing that really irks me about this album is that people who really love it tend to really hate Sloop John B – like how dare they tarnish such a classic album by daring to cover a traditional folk song? For me, Sloop John B is one of the highlights of the album. Unlike Rubber Soul and Revolver, once you get past Wouldn’t It Be Nice, Sloop John B and God Only Knows, all of the other songs tend to merge into one big melancholic ballad.
Which brings me to God Only Knows. Wilson may have failed with composing an album’s worth of material to challenge The Beatles’ dominance of the pop LP, but in God Only Knows he succeeded majorly in writing an enduring classic, superior to anything else coming over the Atlantic in that decade.
Does it excuse that LP cover though?
Hit: God Only Knows
Hidden Gem: Let’s Go Away For Awhile