BY ED MURRIETA
A calliope of insecurity, introspection, hope, despair and delusion — the best and worst of a pot trip in 12 symphonic pop songs — “Pet Sounds” is Brian Wilson’s marijuana masterpiece.
Recorded in 1965 at a cost of $70,000, the album was fueled by $2,000 worth of pot the Beach Boys’ bandleader purchased for production.
“Pet Sounds” was released in 1966 and inspired the Beach Boys’ leading pothead rivals, The Beatles, to record their trippiest disc, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” the following year.
For “Pet Sounds” 50th anniversary last year, Wilson toured and performed the original album live. The 2016 Pet Sounds shows were so popular that the 74-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer announced a second round of 50th anniversary tour dates for 2017, starting March 27 in Orlando, Fla., continuing across North America and concluding June 15 in Honolulu.
Here’s a track-by-track pot-pairing playlist for enhanced enjoyment of pop music’s ultimate pot album.
PET SOUNDS POT-PAIRING PLAYLIST
SOUND: Upbeat, uplifting, feelgood song brimming with optimism.
STRAIN: Skunk #1 strikes sweet, pungent and powerful opening chords.
SONG: That’s Not Me
SOUND: Loping and soaring between introspection and doubt.
STRAIN: L.A Confidential, warms, relaxes and cozies your senses a velvety wave.
SONG: Don’t Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder)
SOUND: Aural couchlock at a relaxing tempo.
STRAIN: Mendo Purps is the classic couchlock indica.
SONG: I’m Waiting for the Day
SOUND: Kettle drums punctuate shifting rhythms pining for an old love.
STRAIN: OG Kush is a lovable Southern California classic that surfs the line between stony and racy.
SONG: Let’s Go Away for a While
SOUND: Spacey, neo-exotica instrumental floats you away and floats through you.
STRAIN: Space Queen is smooth and mellow, concentrating itself in your head.
SONG: Sloop John B
SOUND: Old Beach Boys, foisted onto the album by Capitol Records. Skip it.
STRAIN: Have an edible.
SONG: God Only Knows
SOUND: Wilson’s teenage symphony to God hits on many levels — spiritual, harmonic and pure pop pleasure.
STRAIN: Cherry Limeade’s exceptionally mild, candy-like sweetness is profoundly uplifting and relaxing.
SONG: I Know There’s an Answer
SOUND: Swirling, confident rhythm punctuated by Wilson’s navel-gazing insecurities.
STRAIN: Sour Diesel is excellent fuel for seeking solutions, melting away worry and anxiety in an intense head high.
SONG: Here Today
SOUND: Driving beat, racing harmonies, roller-coaster rhythm changes and a dash of realism anchor this instrumental.
STRAIN: Blue Dream is one of the world’s most popular strains for a reason: Sedative without being narcotic, it’s relaxing and euphoric.
SONG: I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times
SOUND: Wilson’s sleepy, soul-baring ballad needs no accompaniment. Let all the THC in your system ride.
SONG: Pet Sounds
SOUND: A sultry, hip-shaking bit of instrumental exotica Wilson envisioned for a James Bond movie soundtrack.
STRAIN: Durban Poison is a sub-tropical sativa with a hint of spice that packs a punch.
SONG: Caroline, No
SOUND: The album’s swansong mimics fading off with a fat joint at the end of the evening.
STRAIN: Cookies is fruity and minty, heady and heavy.