The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
People have been singing the praises of this album to me forever, and what little I'd heard I loved. But that only included God Only Knows and Wouldn't It Be Nice, and a select few stop/start takes off the Complete Pet Sounds boxset release from a few years back.
So my impression was still that they were predominantly a surf/girls/cars themed pop group with a liking for vocal harmonies (which is not a bad thing at all - I love that stuff too). 23 years pass and I finally listened to this album in its entirety and was blown away to an extent that happens very rarely. The vibe was the polar opposite to what I expected too. I find it extremely depressing, but essential listening. The production is enthralling, but you could strip all of the bells and whistles away (literally) and perform these songs with a lone guitar or piano and they'd still resonate…