The Beach Boys reveal how Pet Sounds influenced one of The Beatles' biggest albums

24 May 2024, 07:00 | Updated: 30 May 2024, 15:23

The Beach Boys talk to Gold
The Beach Boys talk to Gold. Picture: Gold/Global

By Tom Eames

The Beach Boys are without a doubt, one of the most influential bands of all time.

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Starting out as a garage band, the California group emerged as the leaders of the surf rock boom of 1963, but managed to sustain their success with hit after hit across the decade and beyond.

The original lineup featured brothers Brian, Dennis, and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and friend Al Jardine. They were later joined by a number of full-time musicians, most notably Bruce Johnston once Brian took a step back from live performance.

Known for their vocal harmonies, youth-centric lyrics, and musical creativity, they are one of the most influential bands of the rock era.

The Beach Boys Disney+ documentary trailer

The Beach Boys captured the southern California youth culture of surfing, cars, and romance, known as the California sound. They were one of the few American rock bands to maintain their commercial success during the British Invasion. In 1966, the Pet Sounds album and the single 'Good Vibrations' elevated the group's status as rock innovators.

And now, a new documentary on Disney+ will delve into the band's history, from their early beginnings, the various tragic occurrences throughout the decades, and where they are now.

To celebrate, Gold's James Bassam caught up with Beach Boys legends Mike and Bruce to hear more about the film, as well as some fascinating stories.

Speaking about how Pet Sounds wasn't a big success at first until The Beatles helped launch it in the UK, Bruce said: "Capitol Records, they worked on it barely three months. And then they put out the Very Best of the Beach Boys, Volume 1.

The Beach Boys reveal how 'Pet Sounds' influenced one of The Beatles' biggest albums

"I'm over [in the UK] with two copies of Pet Sounds, and it wasn't released in England at all or Europe. And the Beatles show up in my hotel room in my suite. I had a record player there, and they wanted to hear Pet Sounds.

"I played it for them twice. They distilled the vibe of 'Wouldn't It Be Nice' and our harmony into 'Here, There, and Everywhere' in the Revolver album.

Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson in 2009
Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson in 2009. Picture: Getty

"But looking back, hindsight, I realised they were our total promotion team spreading the word. And people started talking about the Beach Boys and Pet Sounds. It exploded in England and Europe. 'Sloop John B' from Pet Sounds went to number five. But thank you, John. Thank you, Paul!"

Mike added: "Paul said that 'Good Vibrations' was like one of his favourite songs, or if not his favourite or something. He was very generous in his appreciation of the album."

Reflecting on the documentary and their favourite part, they revealed how Brian Wilson is doing very well despite his recent dementia diagnosis.

"At the end of the documentary, here are some lovely white-haired gentleman sitting at the beach talking and going over old times in certain songs," Bruce said. "Brian, you probably think everything you read, Brian doesn't exist in the planet. He does."

Mike said: "His long-term memory is right there."

The Beach Boys is out now on Disney+.