I have a confession to make: I like listening to new music. Music that’s been released recently. There’s so much of it. Some may argue too much.

As a result I haven’t really got around to sitting down and listening, really listening, to many of the ‘classics’ — those albums, mostly from the 1960s and 1970s — that continually crop up in music magazines’ portentous Top 10 Albums Of All Time lists. Sure, some of the songs on those albums are unavoidable so etched are they in the collective memory from repeated airplay everywhere, but do the albums they originate from live up to the hype?

Consider this earworm‘s version of a book club. Each week an album will be listened to, either for the first time or afresh if it’s one of your favourites, and judged by modern standards not solely on its sparkling critical reputation. Give it at least three spins (as ‘they’ used to say…) and let earworm know if it deserves its status as a classic.

To kick things off, the 1966 album Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys seems an apt place to begin since main singer-songwriter Brian Wilson recently reassessed it worth. Is he right?

Check back here next week for my opinion, and yours too if you like (or don’t like) Pet Sounds.

In the meantime here’s a clip from a UK daytime TV show last month with a slightly uncomfortable looking near 70-year-old Wilson promoting his latest tour and responding to questions like “do you still enjoy touring then?” from obviously well-briefed presenters. (Wilson infamously quit touring with The Beach Boys several months before the release of Pet Sounds due to stress)

UPDATE: Having now listened to Pet Sounds, my personal opinion on its ‘classic album’ status is here.

Feel free to nominate earworm’s next ‘classic album?’ to be (re?)visited in the comments section.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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