“Despite an entirely phoney rivalry between the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, promulgated by journalists to give themselves something to write about, there was actually no contest between the two groups in anything other than chart positions. The real contender was always Brian Wilson, the composer and arranger of the Beach Boys. Brian wanted to match the Beatles on an artistic level. In a 1995 television documentary by Don Was, Brian described how the group would gather in prayer: “We prayed for an album that would be a rival to Rubber Soul. It was like a prayer, but there was some ego there… and it worked. Pet Sounds happened immediately“. Paul regarded Pet Sounds as one of the greatest popular-music albums ever made and was effusive in its praise, particularly for the way in which it proved that the bass player need not play the root note of a chord but can weave a melody around it on its own.
By the time Pet Sounds was released in July , the next stage in the music revolution was already half recorded. The first session for the Revolver album was held at Abbey Road on 6 April 1966.
Brian Wilson tried to follow Revolver, but unlike Lennon and McCartney, he was saddled with a conservative band who just wanted to stick to the old money-making formula. The release of Sgt. Pepper finally destroyed his ambition to roduce the greatest rock ‘n’ roll album ever. He abandoned his current project, Smile, and spent the next two years in bed”.
Barry Miles (Many Years From Now)