Why Elton John Calls the Beach Boys’ ‘Pet Sounds’ a ‘Landmark Album’

The Beach Boys released “God Only Knows,” “I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times,” and “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” in conjunction with Pet Sounds. The production earned praise from artists like Paul McCartney and Elton John, with the “Tiny Dancer” singer calling the 1966 release a “landmark album.”

Brian Wilson wrote songs for the Beach Boys’ album ‘Pet Sounds’

Singer Elton John presents The Beach Boys with trophies
‘Tiny Dancer’ singer Elton John presents The Beach Boys with trophies | LGI Stock/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images

The Beach Boys are a chart-topping surf rock group, releasing their full-length album Pet Sounds in 1966. This album, initially released in 1966, featured songs written by Brian Wilson. It was even described as a “religious experience” by one Beach Boy member.

“Carl and I were into prayer,” Wilson said, according to Best Classic Bands. “We held prayer sessions in our house on Laurel Way. ‘Dear God. Please let us bring music to people.’ It happened. A cool trip. A lot of people say to me that Pet Sounds got them through high school or college.” 

Elton John called the Beach Boys’ ‘Pet Sounds’ a ‘landmark album’

The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds specifically earned recognition from other musicians. That includes the artist behind “I’m Still Standing,” “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” and “Your Song.”

“Pet Sounds is a landmark album,” John said, according to Brian Wilson’s website. “For me to say that I was enthralled would be an understatement.” 

“I had never heard such magical sounds, so amazingly recorded,” he added. “It undoubtedly changed the way that I, and countless others, approached recording. It is a timeless and amazing recording of incredible genius and beauty.”

This songwriter even performed alongside some of the Beach Boys, with the “Tiny Dancer” artist joining Wilson for a 2001 performance of “Wouldn’t It Be Nice.” For An All-Star Tribute to Brian Wilson, John sang “God Only Knows.”

John wouldn’t be the only chart-topping artist who commended the Beach Boys on this collection. As a bass player and songwriter for the Beatles, Paul McCartney mentioned the bass parts in Pet Sounds.

“Because the bass parts resound better in a studio, and you can take three hours to get one line if you really needed it,” Wilson said, according to Best Classic Bands. “You could take forever and get a goddamn line, you know?”

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‘Pet Sounds’ Was the First Time the Beach Boys Didn’t Play Instruments on an Album

The Beach Boys released ‘God Only Knows’ and ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’ in conjunction with ‘Pet Sounds’

One of Pet Sounds’ most popular songs, “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” currently holds over 420 million Spotify plays. “God Only Knows” has over 215 million plays on the music platform. Some “stereo” and “mono” versions of original songs are included on the album.

According to RMU Sentry Media, The Pet Sounds Sessions earned a Grammy nomination for Best Historical Album in 1999, but did not win. Now, music by the Beach Boys is available on most major streaming platforms.