To call this album classic doesn't do it justice. A rival with only two or three albums as the greatest album of all time. It is this good.
The Beach Boys are often dismissed as surf pop, bubblegum music (think "Fun Fun Fun" or "Surfin U.S.A."), by the same people who defend the Beatles as classic rock, and lambast anyone who dare call them a boy band or pop music. An odd double standard, but a rampant one. And even by those who accept the Beach Boys to be on a similar level to the Beatles, they are even then dismissed as a lowly counterpart at best.
Instead, the Beach Boys are one of the greatest bands of all-time, certainly to have ever come out of the 60s. Their vocal harmonies are second to none, and Brian Wilson's compositions and arrangements are nothing short of masterful. Need proof? Listen to Pet Sounds. This is pop rock at it's best. "Wouldn't it Be Nice" remains one of my favourite songs, even after having known it for the vast majority of my lifetime. "Good Vibrations" would have been right at home here (and perhaps should have been), but even without it this album shines.
Besides the extremely well-known songs (Sloop John B, Caroline No, God Only Knows), the tracks which were not released as singles still have extreme merit. "You Still Believe in Me", "Here Today", and the even the (unfairly) oft-dismissed title track "Pet Sounds" are all stellar recordings in their own right.
An absolute must for any collection. I can't describe it here, it has to be heard. Ignore what you think you know about the Beach Boys. Buy this album, if only to appreciate the massive influence they've had over music. The Beatles didn't change the face of music alone, you know.