Mono and Stereo Versions
Although not a big seller for the band originally, Pet Sounds has been influential since the day it was released. Rapturously received in Britain, it was lauded in the music press and championed by many top pop stars. The Beatles, for example, have said that Pet Sounds was a major influence on their album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and Paul McCartney has repeatedly named it as one of his favorite albums (with "God Only Knows" as his favorite song) — completing a circle begun by The Beatles' influence on Wilson. McCartney stated that:
|“||It was Pet Sounds that blew me out of the water. I love the album so much. I've just bought my kids each a copy of it for their education in life ... I figure no one is educated musically 'til they've heard that album ... I love the orchestra, the arrangements ... it may be going overboard to say it's the classic of the century ... but to me, it certainly is a total, classic record that is unbeatable in many ways ... I've often played Pet Sounds and cried. I played it to John [Lennon] so much that it would be difficult for him to escape the influence ... it was the record of the time. The thing that really made me sit up and take notice was the bass lines ... and also, putting melodies in the bass line. That I think was probably the big influence that set me thinking when we recorded Pepper, it set me off on a period I had then for a couple of years of nearly always writing quite melodic bass lines. "God Only Knows" is a big favourite of mine ... very emotional, always a bit of a choker for me, that one. On "You Still Believe in Me", I love that melody - that kills me ... that's my favourite, I think ... it's so beautiful right at the end ... comes surging back in these multi-coloured harmonies ... sends shivers up my spine.||”|
Other artists have also cited Pet Sounds as one of the all time classic albums. Eric Clapton stated that "I consider Pet Sounds to be one of the greatest pop LPs to ever be released. It encompasses everything that's ever knocked me out and rolled it all into one."
Elton John has said of the album, "For me to say that I was enthralled would be an understatement. I had never heard such magical sounds, so amazingly recorded. It undoubtedly changed the way that I, and countless others, approached recording. It is a timeless and amazing recording of incredible genius and beauty."
Beatles producer George Martin stated that "Without Pet Sounds, Sgt. Pepper wouldn't have happened... Pepper was an attempt to equal Pet Sounds."
Bob Dylan has said of Brian Wilson's talents, "That ear — I mean, Jesus, he's got to will that to the Smithsonian."
In 1995, nearly thirty years after its release, a panel of top musicians, songwriters and producers assembled by MOJO magazine voted it "The Greatest Album Ever Made." It was number one in New Musical Express's list "The 100 Best Albums". In 1997,Pet Sounds was named the 26th greatest album of all time in a Music of the Millennium poll conducted in the United Kingdom by HMV, Channel 4, The Guardian and Classic FM. In 2006 Q magazine readers voted it the 18th greatest album of all time; critics of German magazine Spex voted it the best album of the 20th Century; in 2001 the TV channel VH1 placed it at #3. The Times magazine ranked it the greatest album of all time. It also placed #2 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time behind only Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles. In 2004, it was one of 50 recordings chosen by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry.