Tangent Sunset

The History of Conscious Music by Alex Cosper

Battle of New Ideas


As it turned out, The Beatles metamorphosis album Rubber Soul in 1965 had made an enormous impression on Brian Wilson that it inspired him to do a very conceptual album for The Beach Boys called Pet Sounds. The album was more innovative in its recording and arranging techniques than in songwriting. "Sloop John B" was a rendition of a traditional song. The atmospheric album was full of ballads and sound effects. The Beatles, in turn were impressed with Pet Sounds so much that they came up with an even more experimental album called Revolver, which was a monumental introduction into stream of consciousness musical production.

"Tomorrow Never Knows" still stands up as one of the most innovative recordings ever made with its backward tape loops and swirling sound effects on a journey through the inner mind. The answer from The Beach Boys was more atmosheric experimentation with the first big multi-track hit "Good Vibrations." This recording would heavily influence the recording techniques of The Carpenters, who would define a new era of multi-layered stereo production sound from the early seventies onward (although they would be snubbed by almost the entire rock scene as too clean cut).

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