Pet Sounds (instrumental)

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"Pet Sounds"
Instrumental by The Beach Boys from the album Pet Sounds
Released May 16, 1966
Recorded November 17, 1965,
United Western Recorders, Hollywood
Genre Exotica[1]
Length 2:38
Label Capitol
Composer(s) Brian Wilson
Producer(s) Brian Wilson
Pet Sounds track listing
"I Just Wasn't Made for These Times"
"Pet Sounds"
"Caroline, No"
Music sample

"Pet Sounds" is an instrumental composed and produced by Brian Wilson and is the 12th track on the 1966 album Pet Sounds by American rock band the Beach Boys. Originally called "Run James Run", Wilson intended it to be used as the theme of a James Bond film.[2] It was then titled "Pet Sounds", later also becoming the title of the album on which it appears. It is the second instrumental to feature on Pet Sounds, the other being "Let's Go Away for Awhile".

The exotica piece has been compared to the work of Les Baxter and Martin Denny for its reverberated bongos and güiro combined with pervasive horns and a Latin rhythm.[2] According to Wilson: "I loved Thunderball, which had come out the year before, and I loved listening to composers like Henry Mancini, who did these cool themes for shows like Peter Gunn, and Les Baxter, who did all these big productions that sounded sort of like Phil Spector productions."[3] MOJO declared it an "ambiguous, jet-age update of Martin Denny-style 1950s exotica."[1]


A diagram showing the key components of a Leslie speaker

It was performed by Brian and several session musicians, with no other members of the Beach Boys. The session sheet for the recording date carries the notation, "This is a working title only."[4]

"Pet Sounds" was recorded on November 17, 1965 at United Western Recorders, with Chuck Britz engineering.[4][5] The unique percussion sound heard on the track is drummer Ritchie Frost playing two empty Coca-Cola cans, at Brian's suggestion.[4] Overdubs included bongos and two guitars filtered through a Leslie speaker.[6]


According to AFM sheets[6] and Brad Elliot:[4]

The Beach Boys
Additional musicians

Cover versions[edit]


  1. ^ a b Mojo Staff (April 24, 2015). "The Beach Boys' 50 Greatest Songs". MOJO. 
  2. ^ a b Lambert, Philip: Inside the Music of Brian Wilson, page 232. Continuum Publishing, 2007.
  3. ^ Wilson, Brian; Greenman, Ben (2016). I Am Brian Wilson: A Memoir. Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0-306-82307-7. 
  4. ^ a b c d Elliott, Brad (August 31, 1999). "Pet Sounds Track Notes". Retrieved March 3, 2009. 
  5. ^ Doe, Andrew G.: "GIGS65." Bellagio 10452. Retrieved on 2009-10-11.
  6. ^ a b "Pet Sounds Session List". Retrieved 18 May 2014. 
  7. ^ "Sessionography". In Pet Sounds: 40th Anniversary Edition [CD booklet]. Los Angeles: Capitol Records