Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

8. The Beach BoysPet Sounds

I suppose I could have chosen so many of their records but again, I learned about harmonies from The Beach Boys. It’s a real California sound and it really typifies where I grew up. And their string arranger also worked on The Adult Net album so again I got to work with someone that I idolised.

The sound of The Beach Boys is the sound of happiness but it’s also really psychedelic and also really deeply mental. And again, this is a band with so many dynamics going on all the time; they were not happy campers in any shape or form. They were a mess. All of them.

Brian Wilson was brilliant; he was absolutely brilliant. He was guided, I’m sure, and he did things that no one had ever done before. He made sounds like no one else. He was mad because he took so much LSD. It’s like when they were recording that song ‘Fire’ for the Smile>/i> album and he believed that by recording the song they had manifested fires going off in L.A. He was in that kind of a headspace that I can actually see could actually happen.

I never get sick about reading about them and I’ve just finished Mike Love’s book. I can’t get enough about reading stories about them from every side. No one likes Mike Love. I remember Mark Smith going to me, ‘no one likes him!’ Everyone hates Mike Love, the poor guy!

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