WILKES-BARRE — Which of the stellar rock ‘n’ roll albums written during the musically revolutionary 1960s and ’70s was most brilliant and influential is a topic of heated debate among musicians, music historians and fans alike.
But The Beach Boys’ progressive pop triumph “Pet Sounds,” and it’s primary songwriter Brian Wilson, tend to make their way to the top of the conversation — the album was ranked No. 2 in Rolling Stone’s 2012 list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Wilson and his 11-piece band will perform the work in its entirety at 8 p.m. May 2 at the F.M. Kirby Center.
The tour, dubbed Pet Sounds: The Final Performances, comes as an extension of the record’s 50th anniversary campaign that began in March of 2016.
“I feel very proud,” Wilson said in an interview with NJ.com’s Bobby Olivier prior to an April 28 performance at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark.
“(The album) was recorded 51 years ago, and people like it more now than ever. It was definitely the best. I’ll probably never make an album that good ever again.”
Wilson recorded the 1966 work as a reaction to The Beatles’ “Rubber Soul,” and “Pet Sounds,” although not immediately acclaimed by critics, heavily affected the musical culture of the era.
According to the 2012 Rolling Stone article, The Beatles alluded to “Pet Sounds” by including their own barking dogs on “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” — the only album topping The Beach Boys’ classic on the list of 500.
Wilson, who also composed hits like “I Get Around,” “California Girls” and “Good Vibrations” during The Beach Boys expeditious rise to surf-rock stardom, plays those celebrated tunes and others during the warm-up set that precedes the “Pet Sounds” performance and the encore that follows it.
Among the ensemble members currently touring with 74-year-old Wilson are founding Beach Boy Al Jardine and guitarist and vocalist Blondie Chaplin.
Although Wilson indicated, in the interview with Olivier, that he’s looking forward to his next studio project, he’s not yet tiring of the road.
“We just want to keep touring and making people happy,” he said.
Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or on Twitter @TimesLeaderMatt.