|1. Wouldn't It Be Nice|
|2. You Still Believe In Me|
|3. That's Not Me|
|4. Don't Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder)|
|5. I'm Waiting For The Day|
|6. Let's Go Away For Awhile|
|7. Sloop John B|
|8. God Only Knows|
|9. I Know There's An Answer|
|10. Here Today|
|11. I Just Wasn't Made For These Times|
|12. Pet Sounds|
|13. Caroline No|
|14. Hang On To Your Ego - (bonus track)|
What is disturbing to me is this strange glorification of "Pet Sounds" as the BEST album of all time. It all apparently stems from this major competition between the Beatles and the Beach Boys in the mid-60s. Still, I find it absurd and close to infuriating when the Amazon reviewer dares to characterize "Sgt. Pepper" as "missing the mark." Since when do bands make records to please music pundits' dogmatic characterizations? Should we judge every album based on how close it comes to the "perfection" of "Pet Sounds"? Of course not.
The main reason why I think "Pet Sounds" can never be the greatest album of all time is that both Brian Wilson and the staunch defenders of the album continue to reference the Beatles. Always, even six or seven times in the liner notes, it's all about how they are better than or inspired by the Beatles, even a lengthy quote by Paul McCartney extolling the virtues of "Pet Sounds." The reason is simply a deep insecurity about the title of "greatest album of all time." Greatest albums stand on their own, and do not justify their greatness by constantly comparing it to albums of a rival band. It is strange and a bit silly.
And since I know I will get many votes by offended Beach Boys fans and reactionary anti-Beatles, might I take this chance to offer my choice for the best album of all time, the one that escaped the loop of competition between Wilson and McCartney. The story goes like this: "Rubber Soul" inspires Wilson to do "Pet Sounds," which in turn inspires McCartney to suggest "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." In the meantime, outside of all this madness, the Beatles made THE recording of history, "Revolver," which in terms of musicianship, variety, experimentation, lyrics, and especially production beats any album from any generation and any popular music style.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, I love "Pet Sounds," but I simply find the intense determination by its loyal devotees to have it crowned a subjective and irrelevant title to be slightly paranoid and certainly very much overdone.