Ten essential albums of the 1960s
1. The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
Challenging arrangements, complex vocal harmonies, psychedelic sound effects, existential, coming-of-age lyrics -- it has been said by many before us that Pet Sounds is the most essential album of the 1960s. Inspired by the Beatles' Rubber Soul, songsmith Brian Wilson set out to make "the greatest rock album of all time!" Wilson composed and recorded the arrangements for the album while his band-mates toured across Asia; and when they returned, Mike Love greeted Wilson's experimental, radio-unfriendly tunes as self-indulgent, druggy pap. This sentiment was shared by management, who put little promotion into the record, and record buyers, who failed to bring it to gold record status, greatly disappointing Wilson. Though across the pond Lennon and McCartney were far from disappointed, playing the album repeatedly for themselves and anyone who would listen, often citing it as a competitive influence on Sgt. Pepper. With treasured songs like "Wouldn't It Be Nice," "God Only Knows" and "Caroline, No" Brian Wilson created a template that would be emulated for decades to come, forever altering the emotional and sonic range of what could be done within a pop album.