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The album that Paul McCartney said he often played and cried

Paul McCartney
Images from ABC News and Mary McCartney


The album that Paul McCartney said he often played and cried

Alongside John Lennon, the multi-instrumentalist and singer Paul McCartney formed the most sucessful songwriting partnership of all time, since The Beatles still are the best-selling band in history. They have sold an estimated amount of more than 600 million records worldwide and are still a huge influence to countless musicians from all generations.


Not only with The Beatles, but with his band The Wings and on his solo career, McCartney created praised albums that became the soundtrack of people’s lives over the decades. Although he created some of the most praised pieces of music ever recorded, McCartney still can get emotive when he hears other’s people music. He once revealed which is the album that he often played and cried when listening to.

The album that Paul McCartney said he often played and cried

Rock and Roll music was born in the United States but in the 60s it were the British bands that helped the music genre to evolve and become even bigger. The so called British Invasion, led by The Beatles, made the groups from the United Kingdom be known worldwide and inspire countless groups, including American ones.

The Beatles were so accomplished in their songwriting that only a few bands could be mentioned as their “rivals” and one of them were The Beach Boys, which were formed one year after the British band, in 1961, in Hawthorne, California, United States. The group first started playing the so called Surf Music but the band’s creative leader Brian Wilson took the band’s sound further when they recorded the groundbreaking album “Pet Sounds” in 1966, which is the one that Paul McCartney said he often plays and cries.

“I figure no one is educated musically ’til they’ve heard Pet Sounds. I love the orchestra, the arrangements. It may be going overboard to say it’s the classic of the century.”

He continued:

“But to me, it certainly is a total, classic record that is unbeatable in many ways. I’ve often played Pet Sounds and cried,” McCartney said as reported by Brian Wilson‘s website.

Curiously, “Pet Sounds” is credited by McCartney as a huge inspiration for The Beatles to experiment more in studio and the result was their classic 1967 album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”.

The same thing happened with The Beach Boys, which already recognized many times that The Beatles were a huge influence. Talking with Smashing Interviews magazine in 2022, Wilson said that “Pet Sounds” was influenced by The Beatles’ album “Rubber Soul” (1965).

“We weren’t going through anything. We were just very inspired. (So) we heard ‘Rubber Soul’ by the Beatles. It inspired us to do Pet Sounds.” During the same conversation he said that he doesn’t believe there was a mutual competition between the two bands. He claims there was a “mutual admiration”.

Which is Paul McCartney’s favorite song from “Pet Sounds”

A real landmark in the music business, “Pet Sounds” had many incredible tracks and McCartney revealed once which is his favorite song from The Beach Boys, that is from that record. When he was interviewed by the Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood back in 2014, the musician talked about the Brian Wilson and the song.

“(Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage) You know, Brian Wilson sort of proved himself to be like a really amazing composer. I was into chords, harmonies and stuff at that time and we ended up with this kind of rivalry. We put a song out, Brian adhere it and he’d do one. Which is nice, like me and John, you know. We kind of try to top each other all the time. But he eventually came out with “God Only Knows” that was a sound stomper on Pet Sounds. I just think it’s a great song. (The) melody, harmonies, words.”

Ron Wood chimed in, saying: “Yeah, they are wonderful, feel very bluesy. Paul McCartney continued: “It’s a great song, I love it, it’s my favorite Beach Boys song.”

He had the chance to perform the song with Brian Wilson

Paul and Brian are friends since the 60s and they had the chance the chance to even perform that song together on stage. He recalled that moment in the same conversation he had with Ronnie Wood. “I got to sing it with Brian once, when we did a benifit (show) together. I was okay at the actual performance, I held it together.”

“But at the rehearsal, at the soundcheck I lost it, because it’s very emotional, this song, I find it. (I was thinking) ‘Oh my god, i’m singing with Brian’, just got me, I couldn’t. And all it is, it’s little vibrations reaching your music, it’s only little vibrations, little words and little things. There is this powerful effect, you know,” Paul McCartney said.

Paul McCartney once said that he wished he had written that track

The first track of the second side of the album, “God Only Knows” is credited to Brian Wilson and Tony Asher. The vocals were done by Wilson, Carl Wilson and Bruce Johnston. Although it became a classic, it wasn’t a huge hit at the time, reaching number 39 on the United States Billboard 40.

In an interview with B&N CEO James Daunt in 2022, McCartney praised again the track. He said that is a song he wished he had written. “Beach Boys, ‘God Only Knows,’ I think that’s a great classic. In a way, I could say I wish I’d written them, but I’ve written enough. I’ve got enough to go on with. But yeah, there are some great writers and artists out there. I love to feel that when I’m writing something here, they’re writing something there. You get a little bit of rivalry going.”

“We had a big rivalry with The Beach Boys. I suppose I had a little one with Paul Simon, that is good. I had one a rivalry with John. If he’d write a good one, I’d go, ‘Oh god. I better write something better!’ So that’s good, a little bit of competition is a good thing. But yeah, I would think there are lots of classic songs. You need to give me three hours and I’d write you a very long list,” Paul McCartney said.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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