50 years ago today, The Beach Boys released “Good Vibrations” on October 10, 1966, continuing a sea change in studio-recorded popular music.
Last year, Brian Wilson said to me the song was “like a pocket symphony” (as he’s described it before). In 2011, Wilson told me he felt “Good Vibrations” also “represented our growth musically. When we did it, we took one giant step forward in music.”
Just recently, Mike Love told me he felt “Good Vibrations” was an “interesting example of aural excellence” the band always strove to attain, and it was a prime example of how they “pushed the necessary boundaries” of what pop music could achieve. (My full interview with Mike Love will be appearing soon on Digital Trends, and I’ll be posting the hi-res-oriented highlights of that conversation right here on HRAC, so stay tuned.)
Many people assume “Good Vibrations” is on Pet Sounds proper, but its release as a standalone single actually followed the album’s release by 5 months. Even so, you can find a few different versions of the song on the recently released five-disc Pet Sounds – 50th Anniversary Collectors Edition box set (Capitol/UMe), which consists of four CDs and one Blu-ray. The first three CDs hold the album’s remastered mono and stereo mixes plus scores of alternate mixes and session outtakes, many of which appeared on The Pet Sounds Sessions box set that commemorated the album’s 30th anniversary in 1996. As for “Good Vibrations,” a pair of in-progress takes usher in Disc 3, and an unreleased partial-vocal take closes Disc 4, and they can all be heard via Mark Linett-supervised 44.1/16 PCM Stereo tracks on CD.
But if you want “Good Vibrations” in hi-res (ahem!), you can get it as a 192-kHz/24-bit and/or 96-kHz/24-bit Mono and/or PCM Stereo download from HDtracks.com, by way of the song’s inclusion on the band’s post-Pet Sounds album, Smiley Smile, which was also released in 1967.
“Good Vibrations” will forever reside in my personal all-time Top 5. Its rich sonic palette never ceases to give me aural excitations.