1001 Albums 0061-0062

Published May 30, 2014


My continued journey through the albums featured in the book
1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.


0061: The Beach Boys: Pet Sounds (1966)
An album I've already heard.

Oh my. So much has already been written and said about this album that I'm not sure I have anything significant to add, except that I admire it deeply. Everything here is just wonderful: the tunes, the production, the singing. As an album it truly is the gift that keeps on giving, with new aspects of the songs revealing themselves with every listen. And my favourite tracks keep changing depending on my mood or the time of year. In recent years, though, the one I keep coming back to is 'Don't Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder)' - so beautiful that it almost hurts.

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0062: Fred Neil: Fred Neil (1966)

Like most people, my knowledge about the songs of Fred Neil is "second-hand", through Harry Nilsson's hit cover of 'Everybody's Talkin''. That's basically where it stopped until I listened to this album. According to the 1001 Albums book, Fred Neil "was a key figure in the transition of folk to folk-rock," and having listened to this LP I'd say that's about right. It's hard to compare his music to other artists, though, although his singing style at times sounds like it may have inspired The Doors' Jim Morrison a bit.

I don't like everything on this album - I don't think I will ever need to hear the closing track, 'Cynicrustpetefredjohn Raga', again - but there are a few songs that really grabbed me, such as 'The Dolphins' and the hauntingly beautiful 'Faretheewell (Fred's Tune)'.

Verdict: Not entirely the bag I'm in, to paraphrase one of the song titles on the album, but some of the songs captivated me.

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The Beach Boys: Pet Sounds.

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Fred Neil: Fred Neil.

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