The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds

The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds



If all Pet Sounds makes you think of is clippy-clop percussion, songs about sloops or a goat-feeding photoshoot, then persuading you to watch this may be tricky. But you’d be missing out. The 1966 album, by turns lush, symphonic and emotional, turned a sharp corner in pop’s possibilities.

The Beach Boys’ head lifeguard, Brian Wilson, felt constrained by the group’s winning formula and decided to shun cars and surfing. Invigorated by the Beatles’ Rubber Soul LP, Wilson was determined to express himself fully by musical means – the studio became his instrument.

Memories, outtakes and tantilising footage from the recording nail the uplifting story of this Classic Album, track by complex track. Much of Pet Sounds’ success is down to Wilson’s teaming with mellow lyricist Tony Asher, who was able to channel Wilson’s thoughts and feelings. "I was stunned sometimes by how much he had going on in his head,” Asher says.

The story of Wilson’s search for love and acceptance, Pet Sounds gave listeners songs that they loved him for, including what would become in many ways his signature work, I Just Wasn't Made for These Times.

What comes over loud and clear is how complex the arrangements and vocal harmonies are, on hits that we think of as simple, like Sloop John B and Wouldn’t It Be Nice. And if you’ve become jaded by God Only Knows overplay, listen again. The “take one” instrumental track, and Carl Wilson’s lovely, isolated vocal, will make you swallow hard. It’s “where rock ’n’ roll meets a religious experience”.


Documentary exploring the making of the Beach Boys' classic 1966 album Pet Sounds, originally shown to mark the 50th anniversary of its release. Featuring contributions from songwriter Brian Wilson and the other surviving members of the group Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston and David Marks, as well as rare archive footage from the recording sessions.

Cast & Crew

Contributor Brian Wilson
Contributor David Marks
Contributor Mike Love
Contributor Bruce Johnston
Contributor Al Jardine
Contributor Helen Shapiro
Contributor David Wild
Contributor Keith Altham
Contributor Lucy O'Brien
Contributor Karl Engemann
Contributor Hal Blaine
Contributor Don Randi
Contributor Mark Linett
Contributor Tony Asher
Contributor Bruce Botnick
Director Martin R Smith
Director Matthew Longfellow
Editor Matthew Longfellow
Producer Martin R Smith
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