Fifty years ago, Revolver (The Beatles), Blonde on Blonde (Bob Dylan) and Pet Sounds (The Beach Boys) made the LP supreme and launched an era of unparalleled creative momentum.
Three writers reflect on what these albums mean to them
At first, I wasn’t remotely interested in listening to the Beach Boys’ 11th album Pet Sounds.
In the late 1980s I spent most of my late teens and early 20s in a massive cultural sulk because I’d missed out on punk – perfecting a ‘look’ midway between Nosferatu and Catweazle.
To me Beach Boy supremo Brian Wilson his brothers Dennis and Carl cousin Mike Love – Bruce Johnston and Al Jardine resembled Richie’s friends in Happy Days.
It didn’t matter that Pet Sounds was influential – regularly dominating ‘greatest albums of all time’ lists.
For me The Beach Boys (California Girls – I Get Around – Good Vibrations) evoked sun sea sand and faraway west coast Americana.
Growing up in a council house in Rutland – churning out music fanzines – eventually squatting in London the closest I was getting to beach culture was listening to Dead Kennedys’ California Über Alles.