Originally Posted by ninman
Oh boy, you are clueless. The stuff he wrote from 1961-1967 is amazing work. Lyrically it's about surfing and girls mostly, but the composition and style was phenomenal.
As for the last comment, that is ridiculousness at it's most extreme. Brian Wilson had a mental breakdown, which basically incapacitated him for a good 20 years.
Try listening to his solo albums, Sweet Insanity, Imagination, also the released smile album. Musically they are fantastic.
In my opinion the Today album is their best album by far. Much better than Pet Sounds.
The reason people cite Pet Sounds as one of the greatest albums of all time (I believe it's number 2), is because the musical composition of that album was revolutionary. Every track on that album sounds fantastic.
I already acknowledged that the surf music is great. What I'm saying is that he couldn't really move beyond it aside from a few excellent songs. He wrote tons of great surf songs, yes, but only a handful of interesting ones after that, and I'm talking pre-mental breakdown. It's akin to the Beatles being unable to produce more than a few great songs after a "Hard Days Night" something.
As for "revolutionary", and "compositionally" and "innovative" and "conceptually" and whatever other terms we want to apply to these artists and their music only one thing really matters: the songs. How good are the songs
? And "Wouldn't it be nice?" and "Sloop John B." aren't going on my ipod before "Gimme Shelter" or "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", my friend. Are they really on your "A" list?