But Brian’s not the kind of person to give up. He was going to make the band cool through being unique in the type of music they played. He wanted to step aside from singing and travelling and instead focus on what he could do to reinvent music. He began introducing new instruments that had never been used in a recording studio before. He interned with the most famous record producer of their time, the eccentric (a.k.a. crazy), Phil Spector, and he learned a great deal about new technology and advanced recording techniques. And because he wasn’t stressed out about having to perform because of his mental illness (said to be schizophrenia), he began writing countless songs.
The problem was that the other band members were concerned about the direction Brian was going. He was getting too far out there even dabbling in drugs like LSD. When he began telling the other band members his ideas for their next album, which he wanted to call: “Pet Sounds,” worry began setting in. They had never heard or seen some of the musical instruments Brian showed them. They always knew Brian was a bit twisted, but they thought it came with the territory because everyone thought he was a genius, and he was. They had a good five-year run going at this point, but they were fading fast, so they agreed to give the album a shot. They thought it would either bury their existence or give them new life; they truly didn’t know which.
The release of this album was one of the most unique in music history. Keep in mind, back then we only knew a record existed if we heard it on the radio. So, since The Beach Boys had been losing attraction, and the fact that the name of the album sounded hideous, they weren’t getting much play by DJs.
The album was a slow burn until some well-established music critics began noticing how tremendously unique the album was. They began sharing with everyone that they think Brian Wilson hit it out of the park with genius artistry especially since he wrote all the songs and produced the record himself. Once DJs had an incentive to give the record a shot, they realized there were potentially smash hits on the album and they were right, songs like “God Only Knows,” "Sloop John B," and “Wouldn’t it be Nice,” began rocketing up the charts, and The Beach Boys were back on the road again, performing. Instead of their careers being over, they produced 18 more albums!
The funny thing is, while "Pet Sounds," slowly became a hit in the U.S., British citizens went crazy for the new album. It was in the U.K.’s Top Ten for six months! They were clamoring to get The Beach Boys back to Europe. Brian did it...the Brits thought The Beach Boys were cool.
Brian Wilson is such a unique individual. I don’t believe The Beach Boys would’ve ever have existed, if Brian didn’t have a mental illness. So, although it negatively impacted his life, quite frankly we have been blessed to experience his genius.