Pet Sounds: The Beach Boys, originally released in 1966

Without Pet Sounds, The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper might never have been made.

Pet Sounds was released in May 1966 to staggering acclaim and is acknowledged as one of the greatest albums ever made.

It is an album that not only defies belief but raised the barriers to new heights in recording and production techniques. After hearing it Paul McCartney and John Lennon with their producer George Martin said: "We have to make our next album as good as this one".

Despite the critical acclaim, Pet Sounds sold poorly after its release. The Beach Boys had had a string of hit records about endless summers, fun, beautiful girls, sunshine, surfing and driving around in hot rod cars. This album was a huge shift in emotional growth by Brian Wilson who had written just about every Beach Boy hit.

He was devastated at first, but was later compensated at the end of the year when the UK Press voted the Beach Boys as the most outstanding vocal group in the world, pushing the Fab Four into second place.

The album did sell consistently over the next few years and reached new heights in 1990 when it was re-introduced to the music world on compact disc. A new generation discovered it and it became one of the first CDs to sell more than a million copies. It has since become a major influence on many promising musicians hoping to succeed.

Pet Sounds is ageless, it speaks to us and the songs and harmonies strike emotional chords that resonate deep within our souls. It is an album about innocence, love found and love lost, never to return with all the heartfelt emotions along the way.

A boy meets a girl, who is on the rebound of a broken romance. He falls in love and hopes that she will eventually feel the same way about him. Listen to the tracks 'Don't Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder); feel the longing in 'Waiting For The Day' and the sadness in the achingly beautiful final song 'Caroline No'. Paul McCartney once said it was the only album that ever moved him to tears, it was so beautiful.

Listen to it without interruption with headphones and let the music flow through you. Despite being more than 50 years old, it remains a timeless masterpiece.

No record collection could be considered complete without this album.

Vinyl value: Mono £50; Stereo £70

* Brian Wilson and his band are one of the main headliners at the Kendal Calling event at the end of July. They will be playing the Pet Sounds album in its entirety including many Beach Boy hits and will shortly be touring the UK.

Michael Brooks, rock historian