THE BEACH BOYS Pet Sounds (a cappella) (1966)

1338301061066.cachedPet Sounds (a cappella) (1966)
Brian Wilson’s Teenage Chorale To God

An a cappella version of one of the most revered albums ever made, Pet Sounds. Just the cherished vocals of The Beach Boys… without music. And, maybe not surprisingly, it’s even more beautiful than the original. Brian Wilson’s elaborate musical instrumentation has never taken a back seat to the group’s equally elaborate vocals, so hearing Pet Sounds “naked” truly emphasizes the sheer beauty of The Beach Boys’ heavenly harmonies. This is a rare, alternate mix of what would eventually be on 1997’s The Pet Sounds Sessions box set. On the released version, Wilson actually left some music in the mix to avoid silences during extended instrumental passages. On this version, however, there is no music whatsoever (except for the opening seconds), and it’s a better mix as a result. Comparing the two, it appears time was edited to avoid lengthy silences. Stack-O-Vocals, as it’s referred to on the Sessions box, is a title nod to the Boys’ unusual 1968 LP, Stack-O-Tracks (HERE), an early example of a karaoke record featuring only the music of The Beach Boys, no vocals. That LP sold so poorly it became their first album to go out of print. Find The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds Sessions at Amazon, HERE.

Wouldn’t It Be Nice (a cappella)
You Still Believe In Me
(a cappella)
That’s Not Me
(a cappella)
Don’t Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulders)
(a cappella)
I’m Waiting For The Day
(a cappella)
Sloop John B
(a cappella)
God Only Knows (a cappella)
I Know There’s An Answer
(a cappella)
Here Today (a cappella)
I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times
(a cappella)
Caroline No
(a cappella)

Thanks to pj for sending us a nifty homemade cover for this a cappella version. Since it’s not a part of the download, you’ll need to click on it and drag the image to your desktop.


  • Willard
    May 5, 2007 - 04:14 | Permalink

    Search HERE

  • Anonymous
    May 6, 2007 - 07:12 | Permalink

    Thanks! This is so cool.

  • only moi
    May 6, 2007 - 09:03 | Permalink

    Many thanks.

  • only moi
    May 6, 2007 - 18:16 | Permalink

    I should've waited until I listened to this – 'God Only Knows' [predictably – lol] is particularly, simply, truly exquisite – spine tingling. But what a revelation to hear the previously inaudible, inspired subtleties in some of the melodic lines that comprise the harmonies. I've listened so often to the orig tracks with intense concentration trying to explore the arrangements and always been in awe of Wilson's genius, but this is something else.
    Hoo – ee.

  • Capt. Willard
    May 6, 2007 - 20:59 | Permalink

    Oh, how right you are, only moi.

    You should strongly consider getting the Pet Sounds Sessions box set. It's full of revelations, not to mention instrumental versions, tons of variations and more detail than any normal human should require. But these vocals only versions are, indeed, heaven on earth.

    Thanks for getting on board the boat.

  • Anonymous
    May 16, 2007 - 23:57 | Permalink

    This is absolutely wonderful! As far as I'm concerned, "Pet Sounds" is in the top three albums of the 1960s: I have listened to it many, many times and it has always filled me with joy. These versions, though, send shivers down my spine. I think I'll be listening to this frequently until the end of (my) time. Thanks, willard.

    John_R in Western Australia

  • A Dashing Blade
    May 29, 2007 - 17:39 | Permalink

    Shivers up the spine at Blade Manor! Awesome post.

    May 29, 2007 - 20:59 | Permalink

    thanks for this,
    i linked to it from my blog.

  • Anonymous
    May 31, 2007 - 17:13 | Permalink

    hi fellas

    thanks a lot!

    who mixed it eventually?

  • alanproj
    August 22, 2007 - 12:06 | Permalink

    A revelation…thanks.

  • Miles
    September 30, 2007 - 06:18 | Permalink

    Cheers Willard! Any version of 'Pet Sounds' (and I have many) is a delight!

  • Dave
    October 10, 2007 - 06:40 | Permalink

    Very cool. I remember when I was in the Army in 1976 one of my roommates had this LP.

  • mister kite
    October 19, 2007 - 18:26 | Permalink

    Wow…this really has to be heard to be believed…40 years old and still fresh today.

    Thanks a million for posting this.


  • Timmy
    May 4, 2008 - 00:21 | Permalink

    A floating musical ride to heresville. Thanx!

  • Anonymous
    September 29, 2008 - 00:10 | Permalink

    Wow…simply wow. Beyond gorgeous vocals…thank you for posting!!

  • music man
    January 20, 2009 - 20:40 | Permalink

    Sweet mother of God. This is so sublimely amazing, there's no words. Thank you so much… this is going to be my favorite for a while. (Better even than the original album if that's possible!)

  • Contact
    February 27, 2009 - 17:34 | Permalink

    Wonderful stuff, thanks so much


  • ptilou
    May 7, 2009 - 21:40 | Permalink

    Magique !!! quel son !

  • Don from Oregon
    August 1, 2009 - 05:33 | Permalink

    Oh Man this is good stuff. Thank You!

  • Rusty Pipes
    September 17, 2009 - 08:47 | Permalink

    WOW ,like i never knew this shit existed ,i love it,CHEERS TO YOU AND YOUR BLOG , thanks

  • Anonymous
    November 23, 2009 - 05:05 | Permalink

    Wow! Great post. I somehow missed this one before. Always find some surprises here. Keep up the great work. THANKS.

  • Art Ducko
    November 23, 2009 - 05:26 | Permalink


  • Festus
    November 23, 2009 - 16:10 | Permalink

    I again bow to the Master! Willard your choices of posts and the significance of the music chosen is impeccable! Many Thanks!

  • Anonymous
    November 23, 2009 - 23:13 | Permalink


    (Took me a little while to find The Link)

  • Capt. Willard
    November 26, 2009 - 00:56 | Permalink

    Thanks pj,
    That's mighty nice.

  • Art Ducko
    November 26, 2009 - 06:58 | Permalink

    From one PJ to another, thanks for for the most excellent cover.

  • Loren
    December 7, 2009 - 04:39 | Permalink

    Not to gush, but wanted to remind you Willard that it's not just the shares, but your commentary and community that makes your site so special. Appreciate the effort and the taste. Thanks.

  • Capt. Willard
    December 7, 2009 - 04:59 | Permalink

    Thanks for the kind words and the (forbidden) comments. Cheers.

  • Anonymous
    January 8, 2010 - 02:51 | Permalink

    Thanks for all your hard work,it is very much appreciated.Please,if at all possible could you post SAM the sham and the pharaohs woolly bully, my old 33 album is wore out. I HAVE THEIR RHINO RELEASE GREATEST HITS, BUT ITS NOT AS GOOD AS THIS ALBUM. THE COVER IS ALSO A HOOT. I LOVE THE HEARSE AND THEIR OUTFITS. AGAIN THANKS FOR YOUR WORK.

  • Capt. Willard
    January 8, 2010 - 14:00 | Permalink

    Sorry, don't have any Sam. To be honest, I'm not sure I've ever even heard one, much less owned one. Nothing against the Shammys, of course. Just one of those acts I've never looked into.

  • RicksterVC
    May 6, 2010 - 02:38 | Permalink

    Wow! This is awesome! But what I found really interesting when I listened through headphones is that this appears to be in stereo. I thought Brian Wilson always mixed down to mono, so I was wondering about this stereo mix of the vocals. Does anyone know anything about that?

  • Willard
    December 5, 2011 - 08:12 | Permalink

    Brian didn’t “always” mix to mono. It was his preference, but the BB’s had stereo mixes, too.

  • celtis
    December 5, 2011 - 15:02 | Permalink

    wow – that’s fantastic!

  • Make7upYours
    April 24, 2012 - 08:56 | Permalink

    Thanks very much for these wonderful reups!

  • hans de vente
    September 18, 2012 - 04:58 | Permalink

    i linked to your post again, still the most beautiful music on the planet

  • Formosa Coweater
    December 9, 2012 - 06:28 | Permalink

    The voices of angels, or the closest thing to it, anyway. Thank you so much. The Pet Sounds Sessions box set has always been one of my favorite possessions. This will be an excellent supplement. Outstanding.

  • Andrea
    December 23, 2012 - 16:39 | Permalink

    thank you very much

  • dugs
    May 2, 2013 - 14:35 | Permalink

    @34 stereo vs mono: as I understand it (and i think the box set makes this clear) lots of BB stuff was recorded in 3 track stereo (back before 4 and 8 track machines were widely available) partly as a technical convenience (easier to add tracks to existing material for later mixdown). The final releases were mixed to mono on 5″ speakers, approximating the “hi fi” setup in most passenger cars back then. One thing that delayed the PS stereo release was that the 3-track masters weren’t even found until…er…maybe 2000 or so. (again, the booklet with the box set lays this out in detail).

    Thanks, Willard, I’ve snagged some of these tracks off of YouTube, but that’s “internet” sound quality, and I look forward to hearing these. Your site is brilliant and I love the range of your taste. My hat’s off to you!

    • Willard
      May 2, 2013 - 14:51 | Permalink

      Thanks for the insight. Coincidentally, we’re posting Stack-o-Tracks tomorrow, since the link we’re now linking to in this post no longer works.

  • Neil
    May 4, 2013 - 10:33 | Permalink

    “Wouldn’t it be nice” sounds stunning in that clip. Never knew such things existed. Thanks

  • Newman
    July 2, 2013 - 13:24 | Permalink

    If I had taken the time to read your synopsis I would have realized that this is different than my Pet Sounds Sessions Box, well better late than never. Thanks Captain!

  • Supersonic75
    August 14, 2013 - 06:01 | Permalink

    I did not buy the PS box, and had no idea this acapella mix existed…thanks so much for making me aware…..amazing.

  • Baron Von Marlon
    November 16, 2013 - 00:10 | Permalink

    Thank you so much!
    You can’t believe how happy I am.

  • DaKraut
    July 7, 2014 - 17:49 | Permalink

    I mean I got the box set and all the other Boys sets and stuff. But I’m sitting here listening to God Only Knows – and I’m like…I’m dead and gone to heaven. Mr. Willard, I’m glad one of these wormholes led me here. Thanks so much!!!

  • Skip
    April 3, 2015 - 19:56 | Permalink

    Thank you – awe inspiring!

  • Anonymous
    April 4, 2015 - 07:09 | Permalink

    Wow !!! I was of the opinion that I had all of the BB’s.I am very exited about this gift !!
    Thanks Willard.

  • April 4, 2015 - 19:35 | Permalink

    God only knows just how much I love this. Thank you Cap’n!

  • Leave a Reply