Home Read Classic Album Review: Brian Wilson | Pet Sounds Live

Classic Album Review: Brian Wilson | Pet Sounds Live

The Beach Boys leader delivers a note-perfect recording of his 1966 masterpiece.


This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Last Heard From: Probably on some televised concert or another — the former Beach Boys wunderkind has been popping up on stage and on the tube with increasing frequency since being lured out of his self-imposed seclusion a few years back.

What You Get: Just what’s advertised: The contents of Wilson’s 1966 masterpiece Pet Sounds, reproduced live in its entirety earlier this year in London.

Does it Rock? Beautifully, majestically, magnificently so. The band is dynamic and note-perfect, the recording is impeccable, Wilson’s voice is surprisingly strong considering he’ll be 60 this month, and his between-song comments (“You can close your eyes if you want to … or keep them open.”) don’t have the overmedicated quality he sometimes displays. Plus the track list includes Wouldn’t It Be Nice, Sloop John B, God Only Knows and Caroline No.

The Dark Side: Some of these tunes appeared on 2000’s Live at The Roxy Theatre album, which suggests Brian is treading water.

It’s Worth: Every penny you pay for it. In some ways, this gorgeous live document may be an even-more-impressive technical achievement than the original studio album.