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The Beach Boys: Making Pet Sounds (2017)

Five dudes from southern California surf the waves of 1960's radio, with hit after hit of original songs.
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Cast

Credited cast:
... Himself
... Himself
... Himself
... Himself
David Marks ... Himself
Helen Shapiro ... Herself
David Wild ... Himself
... Himself
... Himself (archive footage)
... Himself (archive footage)
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Five dudes from southern California surf the waves of 1960's radio, with hit after hit of original songs.

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Documentary | Music

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TV-14
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7 April 2017 (USA)  »

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During the interview, Hal Blaine, who was a session drummer for "Sloop John B", is wearing a shirt from "Zildjian, The only serious choice." Zikdjian had been making cymbals since 1623. See more »

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Pleasant viewing but nothing new or unexpected
8 February 2018 | by See all my reviews

"The Beach Boys: Making Pet Sounds" (2017 release; 59 min.) is a documentary about the making of the Beach Boys' ultimate album (released in May, 1966). As the documentary opens, we get a couple of quick quotes from current-day interviews with several of the main players (Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, among others), before we go back in time for a thumb-nail review of the Beach Boys' early years of surf and hot rod music. In 1965, Brian Wilson decides he has had enough of the endless touring AND of the surf and hot rod music and retreats to concoct the band's next album...

Couple of comments: if you are somewhat familiar with the Beach Boys' history, none of what you will see in this documentary will come as a surprise or new revelation. Instead, we rehash the some ol' same ol', and that makes for pleasant viewing, nothing less but nothing more eitehr. THe documentary focuses on a number of the album's key songs: "Sloop Johnny B." (suggested to Brian by Al Jardine, who loved the folk version from the late 50s), "Wouldn't It Be Nice", "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times", and last but certainly not least "God Only Knows". Thankfully the documentary has extensive interview clips with Tony Asher, who wrote the brilliant lyrics. Asher, Johnston and others all make the same comment about Brian Wilson's musical genius: "it was all here in his head". Mention is made that "Pet Sounds" was released the very same day as Bob Dylan's monumental "Blonde On Blonde" album, and only 2 months before the Beatles' revolutionary "Revolver" album (in my book, the best Beatles' album ever). 1966 was the year!

The thing that struck me the most about this documentary is how relaxed and good-natured the main characters are in these interviews, in particular Brian Wilson and Mike Love. I say this because one might not necessarily expect this, given that Love essentially kicked out Brian Wilson (again) following the 50th anniversary reunion tour in 2012. (I had the good fortune of seeing the band on that tour here in Cincinnati--what a magical evening of music that was!) If you are a Beach Boys fan, "Making Pet Sounds" is pleasant if non-essential viewing. I caught it the other night while browsing my Spectrum On Demand library of documentaries but it is of course available on VOD,


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